I finally managed to find the time to finish this gigantic piece of work. A Dance with Dragons is the fifth and latest book of the “A Song of Ice and Fire series” written by George RR Martin. This is a companion book to its predecessor, A Feast for Crows, in the sense that it narrates from the point of view of the characters not present in that one. That is true up to a certain point, I’d say up to 9 tenths of the book, where the story starts to flow as one and we get to see almost all of the characters.
At the Wall we have the play for power that Stannis tries to win with Jon, who is Lord Commander. Now, I do like Stannis and his quest for justice, but his claim to the help of the Night’s Watch is out of order and Jon knows it. Jon has become my absolute favourite character now that he is a grown man who, thanks to his father and to Maester Aemon, is capable of making smart and cunning decisions, while remaining fair and just.
Another favourite character of mine is Tormund, who brings that comic relief that we so desperately need in that world. A character that I’m on the fence about is Melisandre. She is…strange. In the chapter that we are granted from her point of view, we see that she is not fake and that she truly believes in her god and in her fires. R’hllor is a diety I am not so sure about, since I do think that the true gods are the Old ones, but R’hllor fits with the predominating prophecy and Azor Ahai. Jon’s final chapter is of course traumatizing even though Melisandre sort of tells us what will happen all throughout.
Ramsay Bolton is one of the most disgusting and hateful characters ever written. I cannot believe I hate him more than I hated Joffrey. I hope that his death will be similar to that in the show and that it will be Theon (Reek) who deals it to him. Theon is someone who has gone through a complete transformation and I want to see him flourish, with the help of his sister.
Another very interesting story is Bran’s. I am dying to know more about the Three Eyed Raven and how Bran will manage to use his powers.
Across the Narrow Sea, Tyrion basically faces the wrath of all gods: first he finds out that Rhaegar’s son is not/may not be dead, then he almost gets greyscale, then he gets kidnapped by Jorah Mormont (whom I love), then he gets almost killed by a fellow dwarf, and last but not least he jousts for Daenerys in the Slave Pits. After that, he finally starts to use his wits again and manages to secure the support of a mercenary group for Daenerys.
Daenerys, whom I still do not like, is trapped in an Essos game of thrones. She ends up marrying a man who then tries to poison her, she has to lock up 2 of her dragons (which are then let loose by our very brave but very stupid Quentyn Martell, rest in peace), she has to deal with a flux, and then she flies away on Drogon’s back only to then be found by a khalasar led by an old enemy of hers, who will probably want to take her back to the Dosh Khaleen (but she is protected by Drogon, so maybe not). One very interesting fact is that she appears to get the flux (although the Targaryens were mostly immune to diseases) and she starts bleeding between her legs; she starts thinking that she has not had her period in a very long time, but being convinced that she is barren, she unconsciously excludes the possibility of having a spontaneous abortion, which I personally think is possible (thanks to either her husband or Daario).
The Martells are doing a complicated ploy of their own, even though I am not sure how that will fare since Quentyn is now deceased. Jaime in the meanwhile manages to end the war in the Riverlands only to then disappear with Brienne, who is lying to him, saying that she needs his help, while really she promised his head in exchange for Pod’s life. I’ll want to see what happens there.
Cersei has to do a walk of atonement that leads her in the arms of a resurrected although half dead Mountain (Clegane) while her uncle, Kevan Lannister, whom I actually really liked, is killed by Varys and his little spies. I still dislike Cersei and find her quite a hypocrite even during her walk, when she says that women are the first to insult other women, while she herself has always done that to others.We find out that Varys has plotted all these years for a resurrection of the Targaryen line through Aegon.
I cannot wait for The Winds of Winter to come out, although I do think that we will have to still wait a while.
Thank you for reading