Wednesday, March 2, 2016
A Dance with Dragons
Welcome to my A Dance with Dragons re- read. This week we are reading The Blind Girl and a Theon chapter in Winterfell. The Blind Girl is an Arya chapter and the first one in this book, while Theon's chapter continues his evolution as a character from someone who is damaged and terrified to someone who may have to find himself again. Let's jump in...
Arya wakes up having dreamed of being a wolf- her wolf Nymeria, somewhere in the Riverlands. Across an entire sea she is warging her long lost wolf. She goes as Blind Beth now, and every day the kindly man asks her who she is. She says no one, but he doesn't believe her. He asks her if she wants her eyes back, and she says no. She is posing as a poor blind girl and the night before she was at the Inn of the Green Eel listening to gossip. She knows if she asks for her sight back they will send her away.
She is learning poisons and potions, languages, how to tell when someone is lying. She goes out as a begging girl to a tavern and a familiar cat rubs against her. She thinks that the cats remember Cat of the Canals, which was her previous identity. The place fills up and she overhears three Lyseni talking about the galley they sailed in on, which was seized by the Sealord.
The next day she tells the kindly man that the galley was a slaver that put in at Hardhome for repairs, and took on wildling women and children to sell as slaves. There were two ships, but a storm separated them and the Goodheart had to put in at Braavos due to damage. They were seized because slavery is illegal. The Elephant made it to Lys, and perhaps more slave ships will come? She also says she knows who has been hitting her, and she whacks him with her staff. He wonders how she knows, but she doesn't tell him. A cat had followed her home from the tavern the night before, and hid in the rafters- and saw the man hitting her with his staff as he frequently did to test her. So... Arya is seeing through cats now. And... she must have passed a test because they give her a different drink, and she is no longer blind.
The Hardhome connection here is interesting. Obviously these two Lyseni ships were part of Salladhor Saan's pirate fleet and were separated in the storms that decimated his fleet. And... Arya can see through cats. Hmm...
Theon meanwhile is at Winterfell and a dead man has been found at the base of the wall. It is snowing relentlessly and there is talk that Stannis has someone on the inside, hence the dead man. Theon is eating when one of the wildling spearwives comes up to him- Holly. She wants him to take her to the crypts, and Theon remembers that Abel the singer (who is really Mance Rayder) wanted to know how Theon took the castle. Theon figures he's looking for a way out
The next day another man is dead- and then another. The lords get to bickering, especially Manderly and the Freys. Theon is wandering outside when he comes across a hooded man, who calls him a turncloak and wonders why he's still alive. Theon is then called before Roose Bolton and the lords to account for his wanderings. They realize he's not the killer, and squabble about who is. After he's released he wanders outside again and then they hear drums pounding out in the snow. He goes to the godswood and thinks he hears his name being called. Then he hears the name Bran, and then it seems as if Bran is looking out at him from the weirwoods face. He's talking to it when three of the spearwives show up- Holly, Rowan and another. They want him to talk to Mance.
There's a lot of debate on fan sites as to who the hooded man in Winterfell is, and no shortage of theories.