Time for the second chapter. Like I promised, I’m going to try pseudo-live-bogging this one and read ‘n’ write through it. Here we go.
Chapter 2 – Catelyn
“Catelyn,” eh? Okay, new POV. And my spellchecker wants to change her name to “Katelyn,” which frankly sounds more fictional to me.
Whoever Catelyn is, she’s a foreigner to Winterfell, because she’s complaining about the local gods, who have no names. She’s hanging out in someplace called a “godswood.”
Oh, she’s waiting for her husband. She’s knows he’ll be chillin’ here because he always goes here after killing somebody.
Apparently Catelyn is some kind of guest to the Starks. It sounds like Lord Stark built a shrine for her to pray to her own gods. That was surprisingly accommodating of him.
Wait, Lord Stark is her husband? Duh. I feel dense. Also, it seems their kids are arguing over the direwolf puppies, trying to come up with names for them. So far this book is about 100% more adorable than I was led to believe.
Interesting. Stark actually tried to interrogate Gared before executing him, but the old dude was driven insane by what he saw in the forest beyond the Wall. Stark doesn’t know anything about the ghoulies out there — he knows Night’s Watchmen are dying and deserting, but he blames someone named Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall. Hang on, his name’s “Rayder?” And he’s a raider? That’s kinda lazy/utterly convenient.
Never mind, Stark has heard of the ghoulies — he just doesn’t believe in them. They’re called “Others” and nobody really thinks they exist anymore, except for Catelyn, at least. Maybe Lady Catelyn? Is she, like, his proper wife or a concubine or what?
Okay, got the scoop: Catelyn is one of two daughters to a Lord Hoster Tully — the other daughter was married to Lord Stark’s mentor/father figure, Lord Jon Arryn. Catelyn is here to tell Stark that Arryn has died. The guy’s taking the news pretty well.
I’m kind of distracted from their conversation because there’s a giant tree behind them that literally has eyes and is staring at them. Try as I might, my mind won’t stray far from this:
Hmm, now Catelyn is telling Stark that King Robert Baratheon is riding to Winterfell to speak with him. Stark’s happy about this, but Catelyn — who seems to be more superstitious or else more devoted to her particular religion — is kinda freaked out, because she heard about the “slain direwolf” issue from last chapter. She thinks it’s a bad omen. I forgot to mention the direwolf was killed by a deer, but I didn’t think that was important information. Is King Robert’s sigil a deer? If that’s been said already, I honestly don’t remember.
Now the two of them are just throwing names back and forth and I can’t really keep up, but one of the names mentioned is the Lannisters of Casterly Rock. I’ve heard this name online somewhere, and Stark seems to dislike them, so I smell trouble.
Hmm, apparently King Robert married a Lannister, and Stark’s still upset about this, I guess.
And the chapter’s done. Huh, that was fast.
Summary Time: Lord Stark and his wife, Catelyn, hang out next to what I can only assume is a sentient willow tree. Stark gets some bad news, then some good news, but they’re both equally bad for Catelyn. She doesn’t share her reservations with her husband, though, so they get to work preparing Winterfell for the arrival of King Robert.
Well, I can’t say that was an especially exciting chapter, and I don’t really care that Lord Allyn has died because I didn’t get to know the guy, but I liked it enough. I think I have a better idea where the story is going to go now, too. It seems to me the King is going to arrive with his Lannister wife, who’s probably going to initiate some familial squabbling, while the Stark children are going to struggle raising their direwolf puppies.
So, less “epic fantasy” and more “Downton Abbey.”
I’m not sure about this live-blog direction I’ve taken. Maybe it will work out better with a more thrilling chapter.
See you next time and thanks for reading.
EDIT: Check out Ian’s interpretation of the weirwood tree (the Pocahontas tree) right here.