10 Aug 2013

ASOIAF Book Club - A Game of Thrones Chapters 29-43

House Mithril Game of Thrones sigil
Let's do this! This post of the A Game of Thrones group read covers off Chapters 29-43. Take a look at the ASOIAF Book Club page to see all the participants in the book club and follow along!

Here are the questions from the book club this time around:

Heather: What do you think of Catelyn Stark's sudden capture of Tyrion Lannister and her trek to see her crazy sister? Was it a mothers reaction seeking revenge, or a strong woman trying to do her best for the Realm?

I really think that Cat reacted too quick and too harshly when she spotted Tyrion and had him captured. If she'd been thinking clearly, she would have done things differently, but I think her desperation to see justice and her grief at what had been done to Bran had made her see Tyrion as evil incarnate, causing her to summon her allies to apprehend him. The evidence against him was circumstantial at best.

Still, it made for a hell of a dramatic ending to the chapter when the Tully allies take him prisoner.

Ria: It seems that the author uses a good deal of archetypes as a base for his characters. Do you feel that this weakens the story when characters are models bordering on stereotypes, or does the large cast with a diverse number of archetypes balance that out?

I agree that the sizable cast allows for certain archetypes to play out without it becoming dull or stale. I also think that Martin is able to turn these archetypes around and turn them against the grain. For example. Ned Stark is your archetypal white knight - he is chivalrous, honour bound and keeps his promises no matter what.

In a traditional fantasy, he'd be the Prince Charming. In A Game of Thrones, he's a bit of an ass because his viewpoint doesn't work in the world they live in. His honour blinds him from doing what's right, and that's going to get him killed one day.

Game of thrones - Ned stark

Allison: So far, I am generally pro-Stark and anti-Lannister, but in the case of Catelyn vs. Tyrion I am torn. Who do you feel allied with in their situation?

It's hard not to love Tyrion - his wit and his snark beat anything else that Westeros has to offer. He's a self made man, in that he's beaten any and all opposition that has come his way and still manages to crack a smile and wriggle out of most scrapes. 

The scene where he 'confesses' his crimes to Lysa Tully is gold, and shows that although he's not the nicest egg in the basket, he could be a lot worse (I'm looking at you, Jaime and Cersei). My vote goes to Tyrion.

Game of Thrones - Tyrion captured at the Eyrie

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Jamie: Danaerys has grown quite bold since she was sold off to Khal Drogo, to the point where she has much less of a problem swinging for Viserys 'douchebag of the year' Targaryen. Do you think her development is down to her becoming stronger, the fact that she has a child to protect or is she getting comfortable in the safety of the khalasar?

First of all, I gave a little internal cheer when she smacked Viserys. About time someone laid the smack down on that entitled SOB.

I think her strength comes from the fact that for the first time in her life, Dany feels like she belongs somewhere. After being pushed around by Viserys for so long, now she is more able to do her own thing, and that feeling of freedom and family gives her strength.

Also, now that she's pregnant, Dany's priorities have changed a little. She's no longer the tool of Viserys to conquer the Seven Kingdoms; she's an integral part of the Khal's family and has to look out for her own.

Thoughts on the book so far

This past week as a bit of a rush to get through as I missed a few days and had to do an epic catch up session, but I made it. The drama and action isn't letting up, and the different plotlines across Westeros are good to keep the pacing up (although Danaerys' storyline isn't touched on all that often). I like Martin's gritty realism; minus the talk of Others, dragons, grumpkins and snarks, you might as well be reading a narrative of Medieval European politics and wartime. I can't wait for more!

Want to join in the book club? There's still time! Leave a comment or send me an email at mithrilwisdom[at]gmail[dot]com and I'll send you more info on joining in.

 About the author
Jamie Gibbs is the bearded, bespectacled geek who runs Mithril Wisdom and drinks too much coffee, usually at the same time.
You can follow him on his Google+ or Twitter profiles for a daily dose of fanboy discourse.


  1. I loved seeing Dany stand up to Viserys like that! I very much like how she's learned that she has a stable foundation under her feet from which to start building herself up as a real person insead of just somebody else's pawn. Her chapters were already interesting enough, but now I suspect they're going to be even better!

    1. Dany gets a lot less page time than the Westerosers, but I'm liking her growth and development so far.

  2. I also cheered when she smacked him :) I really like her story!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

    1. It translates quite well on screen aswell :)

    2. At this point, I kind of want to watch the show just for that scene! (Gonna wait until I've finished the first book before I watch the first season, at least, though.)

  3. I think Dany is a big hit with everybody. She's far more of a dragon than Viserys will ever be, even at this stage of play. I don't think we've seen the last of what she can do, and I'm definitely looking forward to more character development.

    As always, Tyrion is a great one to read about. He showed some of his metal when they were attacked on the way to Catelyn's sister, surprising Catelyn herself I think. It didn't change her mind about him though even when he saved her, which is a shame. I bet if those two were working on the same side they'd be a formidable pair.

    I had a bit of a catchup job with this post too, so I'm hoping to be a bit more organised for the next one.

    1. I love how well Tyrion got himself our of a jam at the Eyrie - he's still my favourite character.

  4. I'm so far behind. I'm on "chapter 24" right now. I'm hoping life slows down just a bit more. Not likely.

    1. Good luck, Josh! So long as you're enjoying it,the pace doesn't matter :)


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