This book is third in the sequence of A Song of Ice and Fire series of Game of Thrones and for those of who have not yet started reading or watching this awesome series, I would say, are missing out on an extremely fantastic experience. Not to mention, when the tale has gotten even more interesting after the end of the last book Clash of the Kings.
Let me mention the major pointers of the plot and display few shots of the Game Of Thrones television series to add a spice of interest for you readers and highlight significant differences in the book and television versions of the plot.
Please be aware that there is a SURPRISE factor for those who have watched the series and not read the books!!!
- The story continues in the same pattern and picks up after the Battle of Blackwater Bay where Stannis Baratheon gets thwarted by the timely arrival of Tywin Lannister's forces into King's Landing. Davos Seaworth (Hand of Stannis Baratheon), blames the red priestess Melisandre, for Stannis's defeat and is imprisoned for this accusation.
- In King's Landing, King Joffrey sets aside his betrothal to Sansa Stark in favor of Margaery Tyrell. Sansa, however, is forced to marry Tyrion Lannister (The Dwarf) to enable Lannister's control of the North. However, Tyrion shows a gentlemanly behavior and refuses to consummate the marriage against her will and treats her with respect, unlike Joffrey.
- Robb Stark marries Jayne Westerling, invalidating the promise to be wed to a daughter of Frey House and his mother Catelyn Stark releases Jamie Lannister in exchange for her daughters which she believes is still in captivity in King's Landing. She entrusts this job to Brienne of Tarth house to escort Jamie safely to King's Landing and to bring back her daughters.
- When Lord Tully (Catelyn Stark's father) dies, her brother Edmure becomes the Lord of Riverrun and Catelyn proposes a marriage between Edmure and Roslin Frey, to compensate the loss of Robb's marriage.
**According to TV version Robb Stark married Telisa, a nurse, traveling among his army during the battle against Lannister forces.
- Arya Stark and her friends are captured by the Bolten forces and sent to Harrenhell from where she manages to escape with the help of Jaqen H'ghar (An Assassin of the Faceless Men from Braavos), who gives her a coin that will give her a free ship passage from Westeros to Braavos if she utters the word "Valar Margulis" to a Bravosi. After escaping she meets the Brotherhood Without Banners led by a Red Priest, Thoros of Myr and also encounters Sandor Clegane, the Hound, who abandoned Joffrey during the battle of Blackwater Bay and kidnaps Arya for ransom at Riverrun.
**In the television version, Arya serves Tywin Lannister as his ward, but in the book she serves Roose Bolten.
- Now this book illustrates in detail the horrific and infamous Red Wedding incident where Walder Frey and Roose Bolton betrays the Stark family and kills each one of them (except Edmure and Blackfish Tully) during the wedding dinner.
- Beyond the Wall, the Nightwatchers are attacked by the Whitewalkers. However, Samwell Tarly manages to kill one of them using a dragonglass and escape with the help of one of the Craster's wives, Gilly with her new-born baby, assisted by a strange man. ** Who I think is Benjen Stark (Not revealed in the book yet), brother of Eddard Stark and is believed to be dead beyond the wall.
- Bran Stark, Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed are guided north by Bran's dreams of a three-eyed raven and Sam helps them pass the wall and keeps Bran's survival secret even from his half-brother Jon Snow.
- Jon Snow convinces the wildling leader that he is a deserter of the Night's Watch in order to gain knowledge of their plans and climbs the wall with them and also falls in love with a wildling girl, Ygritte. However, he abandons her when he gets caught in a treason and rides back to Castle Black. The wildlings assault the Castle and the Wall; but Jon takes commands of the defenses and repels several assaults, during which Ygritte is slain.
- Across the narrow sea, Daenerys Targaryen arrives in Pentos and asks the masters of the Slaver's Bay to buy an army of Unsullied (warrior-eunuchs) in exchange for one of her strongest dragons. However, after the final payment, she orders the Unsullied to turn on their former masters and frees all the slaves of Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen. However, later she banishes her trusted advisor, Jorah Mormont for betraying her secrets and whereabouts to Varys, while she rules Meereen, where she is known as Misha (the Mother - Breaker of the Chains).
- In King's Landing, Joffrey is poisoned on the day of his wedding. Tyrion and Sansa are accused by Cersie for the murder and Tyrion is imprisoned and placed on trial, while Sansa escapes with the help of Lord Baelish (Littlefinger) to the Eyrie (her aunt's place).
- Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat and Prince Oberyn Martell, who volunteers to combat against Cersie's champion, Sir Gregor Clegane (known as the Mountain), is mercilessly killed by Clegane during the combat and Tyrion is condemned to death. However, he is freed by Jamie and Varys.
- Tyrion kills his father, Tywin Lannister in revenge before fleeing Westeros.
Before concluding I would like to mention a very interesting fact from the book, that is not shown in the tele-series and is sure to create a lot of excitement for the fans beyond all possibility - Catelyn Stark is still alive!!
It turns out that she was mutilated after her death and thrown in the river, where the Brotherhood Without Banners, resurrected her by the magic of Lord of the Light.
How exciting is that!
However, she is decayed and mute now, because her throat was slit open when she was killed and she has become this cold lady who oversees the killing of two of the Freys present at the Red Wedding. She is now known as "Lady Stoneheart".
At the end of this book, Arya escapes from the wounded and dying Hound's captivity and finally aboard the ship to sail across the Narrow sea to the free city of Braavos.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know your own views on this series in the comment section of this blog or on my facebook page. Will bring the next book of this series review soon.
Till then keep watching this BlogSpace for more.