Welcome to my A Dance with Dragons re- read. This week we are reading Jon and Tyrion. Jon is continuing to consolidate his control over the Nights Watch, and making decisions that are unpopular with his men. He is also waiting to see what happens with Mance Rayder and the spearwives who went south to rescue "Arya" Stark- who we know is not really Arya. But who is she? Tyrion, meanwhile, is en route to Meereen with Jorah Mormont and Penny the dwarf girl. So...
Jon is seeing off Val who is going north to try and find Tormund Giantsbane. Jon wants to form an alliance with Tormund if he can, and knows Stannis will not be happy if he finds out Jon sent Val north of the Wall. Val leaves and says she will return by the first night of the full moon. He knows the men are restless and not sure about his decisions, and sure enough Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck come to complain The men have concerns, Marsh tells him, and they debate the wisdom of Jon's decisions.
We learn the giant's name is Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, and Jon talks to him. Leathers is taking over as master-at-arms and Marsh is not happy about it. Pretty much every decision Jon makes they are not happy about, and to some extent you can see their point. Jon is going in new directions because he knows the stakes, but it's too much change too fast perhaps for the Nights Watch. Marsh asks him what he is offering Tormund, and Jon tells him that he wants Tormund to join them.
Jon tells them about Mother Mole, a wildling woman who led some of the wildling survivors to Hardhome. A place of ill repute, where some catastrophe happened hundreds of years before. Jon thinks the wildlings there should be rescued, so they do not become enemies later, but Marsh is not convinced.
Another chapter that appears to be set up for future events. Val is off to find Tormund, and Jon quarrels with Marsh about his decisions. Hardhome is introduced and we begin to see that Jon is ready to take any wildlings that will bolster his defenses and help them in the coming struggle. The men of the Nights Watch though may not be convinced...
Tyrion and Penny are jousting on the pig and dog that are part of Penny's act, and Tyrion is humiliated, but they are trying to entertain the crew who are getting increasingly unruly. The ship is stuck with no wind and things are getting tense. Tyrion gets under Jorah's skin about Daenerys and Jorah hits him, knocking him sprawling. As he is talking to Penny the wind picks up, and they see a storm approaching from the west. The storm hits and Penny, frightened, kisses Tyrion.
When they hit a lull in the storm Moqorro, the red priest, apparently calls forth a wind and green fire erupts from his staff. The rain and winds return and the mast is broken- when it's over the ship is crippled and drifting, and Moqorro is gone, swept overboard. Eventually they spy a sail, and think they're saved... but Jorah says it's a slaver.
This is an odd chapter, actually. I don't know what's going on with Moqorro- did he mean to get swept overboard (having seen in the flames that he is to turn up elsewhere) or was that just a consequence of his interacting with the storm? Who knows? The whole Tyrion and Penny thing is kinda ridiculous- Penny is not in the show and I can see why. Seems totally unnecessary. As good as this book is, there is a lot of fluff- stuff like this. This is where the show overtook the books in some ways, eliminating extraneous stuff like this. Not my favorite chapter...