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A Clash of Kings  (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)
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A Clash of Kings > 12/07/15 - Chapter 69: Bran VII

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Clara 1-The last chapter of A Clash of Kings! I really enjoyed rereading this book, and I loved it even more than the first time. So, this chapter starts with Bran as Summer, seeing everything that happened to Winterfell. He smells fire and death. He was with his brother, and they fought over a horse, and I remembered this from my first read, I don’t know why lol. Everything went black, and Bran woke up.

2-So, Bran learnt how to use his third eye, and now that he’s awake he has the normal, blind ones. Interesting description though. It was hard to talk for him, and I didn’t remember this, but it was because he spent three days in that state. So, he was hungry, thirsty and weak. He told Jojen he ate, but he replied the wolf ate, not Bran. He also said Bran should remember who he is. I guess it’s easy to get lost.

3-Bran got really good at being a warg, he could reach Summer anytime, and touched Ghost and even talked to Jon, although he wasn’t that sure. I remember this from Jon’s chapter.

4-So, they’ve been in the crypts all this time, which was a very smart move in my opinión. They mostly slept and ate, they can’t do much really, and talked in whispers. Of course, they all stank, but I guess they kinda got used to it. They were all in Ned’s tomb, and it has to be quite big to hold six people, and one of them being a big one like Hodor. Bran said they should go out, and see. I forgot he could see outside and inside the crypts at the same time, this way he told Osha it was day outside, but it was dark because of the smoke. The bastard must have burn pretty much everything.

5-Before they went, Bran thought he saw sadness in Ned’s eyes, and thought they had to go. This was quite interesting. Osha had Ned’s sword from his tomb, Meera had Rickard’s and Bran had Brandon’s, even thought he wouldn’t be using it, it was just it case. They sound so heavy though. Bran wasn’t so sure he would rest in the crypts one day, he didn’t know if he would ever come back, they were going north. I hope he does though.

6-I liked he felt safe with the old lords and kings there, even if he couldn’t see them, he knew they were there. It must have been quite scary, and they couldn’t even see their hands. I wonder how many time they spent there.

7-Osha went first to look, and when she came back he said something was blocking the door. Hodor could pushed through, and they went out. Bran saw the gargoyles fell in the same spot he did, and wondered how he could be alive if they were so destroyed. I forgot about this. It was also interesting the broken tower was no more burned than before, a detail I also forgot.

8-They knew they had to go, but Osha would go looking for food first. Sadly, Bran realised nothing was left of the stables, so Dancer was probably dead. The wolves came back, so that’s one good thing. Osha could tell Theon didn’t do this, she saw his men dead, but there is no mention of Theon. And Bran recognized the banner of the lord of the Dreadfort, which I forgot. It is a lot to take in.

9-They went to the godswood, where the air was sweeter. I liked Jojen said there was power in living wood, and it was as strong as fire. They saw Maester Luwin there, dying. I forgot he knew Bran and Rickon were alive, because of the leg muscles of the other boy. Bran told Luwin they never went to the Woods, the wolves did but they stayed in Winterfell. It made me sad Bran thought how could he help Luwin, you always took a wounded person to the Maester. He is just a kid, and he has to see all this. His eyes filled with tears. Luwin told Osha to keep the boys apart, it would be safer, and he told her about all the dead lords and the castles taken. I wonder where Osha ended up taking Rickon, although she had ideas.

10-Luwin told Bran to be strong, but the boy thought it would be hard, he didn’t have Rodrik or him anymore. Luwin asked Osha for water and a boon. I think in the show she kills him, and I got the same idea from the book the first time. So, Osha went with Rickon, and Bran with the Reeds and Hodor. The last paragraph was awesome, and I remembered the last line all this time, Bran was broken like Winterfell, but they both were alive. How an epic way to end a book!

message 2: by Vicki (last edited Dec 07, 2015 12:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Kalb | 310 comments Your point 1, I feel the same way. Reading this book a second time really gave me better insight as to what's going on in the story. I catch a lot of things I missed the first time, and I love it even more!

1. Summer sniffs the air around Winterfell. Fire is the worst smell in his opinion, even worse than cold iron. It’s very interesting how he sees a great winged snake in the air, roaring a river of flame. Man, that almost sounds like a dragon! He bares his teeth at it but it disappears. The fires rage through the night. At one point there is a great roar and a crash and the very earth jumps under his feet. I wonder what the fuck just happened. His brother is with him, not liking this either.

2. The fires stop by morning and they leave the forest. No one was left alive in this charred mess. They fight over a freshly killed horse, establishing who’s alpha, probably. Summer wins with Shaggydog rolling on his back in submission. That’s good. Bran’s the older brother of the two and wiser. I like reading the wolf’s point of view. It makes sense because Bran is watching and feeling it all.

3. The dark place pulls at him then, I think he means the crypts. Summer doesn’t like the darkness. He wants to be in the woods and hunt with his brothers and sisters, awe. :) The darkness seems to consume him and Bran wakes from his wolf dream.

4. Bran needed coaxing to come back to his own body, so he’s still not in complete control yet. Hodor, Meera, Jojen, Osha, and Rickon are with him. They are in the dark. He tells them he saw Winterfell burned to the ground. He was dreaming for three days straight. Holy hell, no wonder he’s hungry, thirsty, and weak! Meera tried sustaining him with water and honey while he was “away,” but Jojen says that’s too long; he could kill himself if he takes too long coming back. It sounds like an addiction for Bran, to want to be Summer forever. Jojen explains just because Summer eats doesn’t mean Bran ate too. “Remember who you are.” I like that. But Bran doesn’t want to be his broken self. :(

5. Bran is proud of himself for finally figuring out how to become Summer whenever he wants, but he sill has a lot to learn. One time he even reached Ghost and talked to Jon. I remember that well; it’s when Jon dreamed of the heart tree and of Ghost being attacked by the eagle. I think it’s pretty badass of him to already have been able to tap into other creatures besides Summer. Imagine the power he will have when he masters his gift! Jon is the only other Stark kid that knows he’s a warg, so that’s pretty significant. If they both train themselves, they can communicate to each other through thousands of miles away. Imagine how useful that would be!

6. Bran tells Osha about the wolf dream, so it must be true. She lights a torch so they can see. Now we know for certain where they are: inside the crypts of Winterfell, right beneath the burning rubble. They’d been hiding out beside Ned Stark’s empty tomb, which is beside Lyanna, Brandon, and Rickard Stark’s tombs. We get the names of their ancestors after Rickard as well. Their family line is a very long one full of lords. Before all that they were kings, too. Osha agrees to go up again if only to find more food; their stores are almost depleted. They’re all going up together, finally. They’d been hiding for a while. Very interesting how Bran thinks Ned’s statue looks sad to see them go.

7. They take some of the deceased Stark’s swords in case they need to use them up above. Meera takes Lord Rickard’s sword and Bran takes the sword of Brandon Stark, his uncle, because they share the same name. Bran obviously can’t use it, but he takes it anyway to feel safer. I wonder why Jojen doesn’t take a sword?

8. On their way out they pass some of the more recent dead kings of the North, not the ancient ones underneath them. Bran knows some of them did terrible things, but they’re all Starks. I like that Bran memorized all their stories. House pride. He was never afraid of the crypts. I like that a lot. I’m not afraid of cemeteries, but crypts on the other hand are a bit creepy. Maybe it’s because you’re underground with them, lol.

9. Apparently there is more than one level below this one, “levels” pluralized in this book. There’s probably enough dead kings to start an army, should they come to life like in Jon’s nightmares! An uneasy thought.

10. The stone lords gave Bran courage while they were down there. Osha checks to see if the coast is clear, and Bran is afraid of going up suddenly. He feels safe in the darkness. That’s interesting, since Summer doesn’t like it.

11. Gods, Rickon is annoying... he keeps demanding to go home. I know he’s just a kid, but still. Shut up.

12. Hodor helps Osha break through the blockade in the stairwell so they can get out. The stairwell keeps on going, indicating they are very far below ground level. That most likely means there are more empty levels above them for future Starks. I don’t know why but it interests me to know how many tombs in total there are, filled and unfilled. The original builders must have anticipated a long lineage at Winterfell. Makes sense. I wonder what the other castles do with their dead kings and lords.

13. They are out of the crypts now and behold the remains. How depressing. It doesn’t help that Rickon is screaming to go home. Summer and Shaggydog meet up with them, so that brightens Rickon’s mood, for a little while anyway.

14. Jojen proposes they leave this place. So much death will attract other predators, and not all are on four feet. I like that Osha is the one who says they should look for survivors first. :) Well that sucks the glass gardens are all broken and burned up. Little hope for finding food there. Some places are still on fire or smoldering.

15. Bran thinks Theon did this but Osha says it’s not the ironborn’s doing. They are all charred up in here, too. Some are men of the Dreadfort. There was a fight here.

16. Summer howls, darts to the godswood, and the others follow. At least they didn’t burn down the godswood too! Jojen says there is power in living wood, a power as strong as fire. I like that. :) They find Maester Luwin dying under the heart tree. So he didn’t immediately die from Theon’s chapter. I forgot.

17. Luwin is so happy to see that Bran and Rickon are not actually dead. :) He asks how they escaped Theon’s hounds and Bran explains what really happened. They started to go in the wolfswood but doubled back and hid in the crypts while the two direwolves ran off to make a false trail. No one ever thought to look in the crypts.

18. I smiled when Luwin tells angry Rickon that he’s old and can die as he pleases. :)

19. I forgot it was Luwin’s idea they separate the boys. He tells Osha to take them away to White Harbor or the Umbers, where it is safest. There is war all over the North. He then tells Bran to be strong. I think he asks her to end his pain once the Reeds and Stark boys exit the godswood. Besides Hodor, she is the only adult in the party. Osha says Hodor needs to stay with Bran but she’s taking Rickon with her and the Reeds will go with Bran.

20. Apparently the kitchens weren’t completely burned because there’s still some edible food they can take. They say their goodbyes and Rickon of course is upset, but Osha gets him to come with her. Where they’re going we don’t know as of yet, but there are rumors of possible places.

21. The rest decide to go north, instead of south to Greywater Watch. If you remember, Jojen said in an earlier chapter that the three-eyed-raven lives north of the Wall.

22. Bran takes one last look at the ruins before they depart. Despite the fire, most of the stone towers remain standing; they’re just blackened and parts broken off. Bran tells himself the stone is strong, and so are the trees and the crypts underground, and so is he. :) I just love the ending of this book:
So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I’m not dead either.
And that concludes A Clash of Kings!

Clara You are right about your point 5, Jon and Bran could talk from miles away if they master their ability. Good point!

About your point 7, I guess Jojen doesn't even want to pretend he knows how to fight. Bran couldn't use his, but took it just in case. If you don't know how to handle a certain weapon it's not useful. But Bran maybe took it to feel safe, and Jojen maybe knew they wouldn't use them at all.

About your point 12, I wonder what will they do when they run out of space, like, will they make a new one with just as many levels? It will run out of space at some point, if they keep using it.

Vicki Kalb | 310 comments You're right about Jojen and not knowing how to use a sword. I hadn't thought of it that way, it makes sense. :)

And I think it will be thousands of years before the Stark kings/lords will have to think about finding another place to bury their dead. I wonder how many levels beneath Winterfell ARE there? I believe it was built over a cavernous, hot springs region, so it's an ideal place for a crypt.

Clara It did sounded like a huge place. I don't think it's mention again, but is quite fascinating how huge it is. I don't know how many leves the crypts have, and I can't imagine either. I don't know where it was built, but you you wrote sounded like a good place.

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