I'm listening to the audiobook of Game of Thrones again. Because I know these people so well now, the little moments are affecting me more this time around. I got misty when Jon and Arya said goodbye to each other; when Dany rides her silver for the first time ("tell him he has given me the wind"); other moments that I've forgotten, I took too long to write this.
So there's this vision that Bran has, as he's sleeping after his fall. He's falling from a great height, and the crow is telling him to fly. He can see everything from where he is: he sees Sansa crying herself to sleep on the Kingsroad, he sees Jon on the wall, etc etc. He sees three shadows made of ash: one wears the helm of a dog (the Hound;) one wears golden armor (the Kingslayer;) and one is an enormous suit of armor, with nothing inside but . . . black wisps or something. You guys, he's talking about Zombie Mountain!! Zombie Mountain isn't introduced until the END of ADwD!! I am so impressed by that. I have such confidence in George R. R. Martin, seriously. Stephen King can eat a dick. I mean it becomes so apparent in the Dark Tower series that he is making this shit up as he goes along (and not always doing such a bang-up job of it.) And I didn't fault him too much for it, I mean whatever, I can't write anything more challenging than Elvis Costello fan fiction . . . but still, to see that someone has an END in mind, and sure, he's getting a little distracted along the way (I could not care less about Quenten Martell, good, I'm glad he died,) but . . . man, that's such a great feeling. See also: Battlestar Galactica. I really really want to watch it again, and I really want Chris to see it, but I've complained so much about the ending of that series that I've un-sold him on it and he's super reluctant. And I sorta am too . . . as soon as poor-man's-Dane Cook is on the scene (not to be confused with poor-man's-Bashir (Baltar) and poor-man's-Dave Matthews (that blind lawyer guy)) I'm going to lose interest, I know it.
ANYWAY. What was I saying about Game of Thrones?
Oh yeah. So Kevin (Baker) was complaining about how there are "so many things" in the first book that still aren't resolved. And I'm going to have to ask him for specifics, because . . . what? We know who killed Jon Arryn. We know who tried to murder Bran. We know what Varys's deal is, mostly. (He just wants the Targaryeans in charge, right? Although it's still arguable as to why . . . does he really think that's for the good of the realm? Does he have the Others in mind? Is he that much of a Big Picture dude?) We know who Jon's parents are -- well all right apparently some people think it's possible it isn't Lyanna and Rheagar, but I think it's pretty obvious that it is . . . what else is there, really? Are there any other mysteries raised in the first book that aren't yet addressed by the end of the fifth? Am I forgetting something? After all, AGoT is pretty straightforward. There are Others in the beginning, and dragons in the end, and a whole lot of . . . politics in between. What am I forgetting?
So anyway. I'm about halfway through the audiobook, and even though the first half -- before Jaime attacks Ned and his men outside the brothel, before it all starts to go really wrong -- is not all, like, sunshine and roses? It is still, in comparison to the rest of the series . . . sunshine and roses. It's so bittersweet to see the Starks together, and then being all "all right well I'll see you soon!" and Dany all happy and pregnant and shit . . . it's just all going to go to shit, you know? They're never going to be a family again in Winterfell. They're never going to have a little reunion with their wolves. (Lady, we hardly knew ye!) They're never going to hang out. Robb doesn't get to be a leader, he's dead. Arya doesn't get to be a kid, she's a stone cold killa. Nymeria never comes back. (Well, not yet.) Rickon never gets to be . . . anything useful. (My god, if he turns out to be SUPER IMPORTANT at the end I will be pissed. He's so dumb and useless.) It's all just very bittersweet. I'm loving it, though. And dog-earing pages in my paperback! Mostly visions and flashbacks and whatnot.
[Oh, okay, so I asked what Kevin was complaining about . . . his answer? "I want to see more north of the wall and more dragons." I -- okay, first of all, those are NOT unresolved mysteries/issues; second of all, we spent a TON of time north of the wall. It is cold and there are wolves; third of all, we also saw a ton of dragons. They barbecued people. What the fuck more do you want; and fourth of all, the entire goddamn series is (presumably) going to end in a battle between the dragons and the Others. You want your load blown now? Ugh. I can't even respond to him without being snarky because COME ON.]