Wednesday, June 15, 2016
A Dance with Dragons The Queensguard
After a hiatus I am back for the home stretch of my A Dance with Dragons readthrough. This is my second or third time through the book since it came out (5 years ago!) and it seems like there is always more nuance to be found, more plot points. Amazing really. Anyway the books and show are so different that it's nice to re- enter the world of the books after watching- so here I'm going to examine another couple chapters and there's less than twenty left so I'm getting close to the end.
Spoilers for the books!
Barristan finds out he's being replaced by Hizdahr, who now rules Meereen alone with Dany gone. The Shavepate has been replaced as well and the Unsullied had withdrawn to their barracks. Hizdahr still wants Barristan to command his forces if need be, but he is surrounding himself with pit fighters for his personal guard. And the dragon casualties- 214 people were killed, three times as many wounded by the dragon fire. Missandei informs him that the Shavepate wants to meet with him.
Barristan meets the Shavepate and finds out that the man still controls the Brazen Beasts. The Shavepate says he found the poisoner, the one the Sons of the Harpy used to poison the locusts. They were supposed to kill Daenerys and now that she's gone, their fear of her is as well. Volantis has launched its fleet against Meereen and he says the king will open the gates for them. Shavepate says they must attack the Yunkai'i, before the Volantenes arrive, but they need the Unsullied. Selmy reluctantly agrees, under condition that Hiadahr is not harmed until there is proof he tried poison Dany.
Barristan is alone and has to make a call here as to what the best course of action is. Dare he trust the Shavepate? He decides to after insisting that he wants to question the poisoner himself. It's pretty straightforward as chapters go, we get a status update on Daenerys' people and what the state of the city is, and we're setting up for Barristan's big move.
THE IRON SUITOR
Victarion's ships have been scattered they were 93 when they sailed and 54 have showed up near Slavers Bay. He's been waiting for more to show up but has decided it's time to sail before the Volantenes arrive. When they laid over in Volantis he could see the fleets preparing to sail, and the city was celebratory as people anticipated the influx of gold and slaves once Daenerys is dead. He thinks the Volantenes may have as many as 300-500 ships. The maester aboard the ship tells Vic that his hand is not healing and he may have to take it, but Victarion refuses.
After he gets his hand tended to he is presented with a prisoner they fished out of the sea. It's Moqorro, the red priest who was swept overboard when Tyrion's ship was in the storm. Victarion decides to spare him since he seems to know things, but when the dusky woman sees the priest she hisses and this has led to some fan theories that there must be meaning for her reaction. Moqorro tells Vic he can heal him and when Vic comes back on deck his hand is smoking. He tells his crew to throw the maester in the sea and the winds will favor them to Meereen.
Victarion is probably my least favorite character in this entire series, or at least the most loathsome one with a POV. Not only does he not seem very developed to me, but he's an asshole too. But some interesting things happen here. Moqorro does something to Victarion that changes him, heals his hand, but at what cost? What's up with the smoking hand that Vic now has?