Wednesday, August 12, 2015
A Dance With Dragons- Tyrion I
This is the first installment of my A Dance With Dragons re- read. I read the book in 2011 when it came out and again a few years ago, so this will be the third time. Yikes- and the next volume, The Winds of Winter, has no release date yet.
If you're interested, you can see my review of A Dance With Dragons here- the non spoilery one.
The spoilery version is here.
And now, on to the re- read!
The book starts with a Tyrion chapter.
Tyrion is on his way across the Narrow sea to Pentos, one of the Free Cities. He is smuggled there in a barrel, and has a pretty rough crossing! He's also drunk all the time, wallowing in self pity after having killed Tywin in A Storm of Swords. When he gets there he is taken to the estate of Illyrio Mopatis, the fat cheese merchant who has been conspiring with Varys since the first book. Illyrio takes Tyrion in, and the dwarf soon realizes that Illyrio is a player. They discuss Danenerys and Illyrio makes the case that if Tyrion wants revenge on his family, the thing for him to do is make alliance with Dany.
In the meantime Tyrion is still full of self loathing and resentment over both what he has done and what his family has done to him. He thinks of Tysha, his long lost love, and obsesses over where she went all those years ago. "Where do whores go?", his father asked- and Tyrion asks himself that repeatedly throughout the book. He's a little mean in this one, at first, he terrorizes a serving girl after sensing she is repulsed by him.
This chapter is the first installment of Tyrion's story since A Storm of Swords, which was published in 2000, so it's kinda weird to think of that while reading it. Tyrion is utterly down and out in this one- he's killed Tywin, lost Shae and lied to Jaime. He has a price on his head and has to be smuggled offf the boat in a barrel to keep him hidden. He keeps of Tysha, his wife who his father humiliated and drove off all those years ago. And he's now in Pentos- starting a pattern in this book of showing us the Free Cities of Essos. Tyrion comes face to face with Illyrio, the grossly fat merchant who is in league with Varys, and they spar verbally a bit before coming to an understanding.
Tyrion doesn't really care what happens to him at this point, he basically just wants to drink himself silly- but Illyrio does get his attention when he talks, over dinner, about another way to get Casterly Rock. Tyrion had thought about going to Myrcella in Dorne and proclaiming her queen, per the Dornish, but Illyrio tells him that would be the same as killing her, and Tyrion realizes he's right. Illyrio says there is one better than Myrcella or stannis- someone with a better claim. A dragon... with three heads.
He wondered where he was. Even the air smells different here. Strange spices scented the chilly autumn wind, and he could hear faint cries drifting over the wall from the streets beyond. It sounded something like Valyrian, but he did not recognize more than one word in five.