This book had a lot of great scenes – my favorite scenes from the TV show and more. (view spoiler)[I’m INCREDIBLY surprised that the TV show thus far has not incorporated resurrected Catlyn (hide spoiler)] This was where the two versions of this story began to diverge wildly. Overall, I continue to understand why various choices were made given that HBO only has 10 hours a season to get their story told. However, I also now completely understand why people got so upset about the extra rape and anti-women stuff. The reunion scene between Jaime and Cersei in particular was quite a different tone.
Overall, the thesis of this book seemed to be the effects of the war the nobles were raging on everyone else. While the show touches on this, the book is rife with examples of how the smallfolk suffer horribly while the nobles mostly come out OK. Pretty prescient for GRRM to be writing, especially given the way wars have unevenly affected so many people in the decade(s) since this book was first written.
I’ll end with quotes I highlighted while reading — most of which I highlighted because I found them funny:
“Should you ever have a son, Sansa, beat him frequently so he learns to mind you.”
“Comely? I have taught my Margaery what comely is worth, I hope. Somewhat less than a mummer’s fart.”
“What sort of man is this Joffrey, who calls himself Baratheon but looks so very Lannister?””
“But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife! ”
“The unfortunate Willas Tyrell was like to contract a sudden fatal case of sword-through-bowels, which could rather sour the alliance between Highgarden and Casterly Rock.”
“Her legs were skinny but well muscled, the hair at the juncture of her thighs a brighter red than that on her head. Does that make it even luckier?
“Then perhaps seven courses would suffice. Three hundred guests instead of a thousand. I understand that a marriage can be just as binding without a dancing bear.” “The Tyrells would think us niggardly. I will have the wedding and the waterfront. If you cannot pay for them, say so, and I shall find a master of coin who can.”
“Bugger Joffrey, bugger the queen, and bugger that twisted little gargoyle she calls a brother. I’m done with their city, done with their Kingsguard, done with Lannisters. What’s a dog to do with lions, I ask you?”