He was always cold, up here, at the Bear's Pit, where the coldwinds blew down from Beggar's Point and the deadsnow fell from the great walls of the Nightcastle into the Stinkmarsh below.
Time for some pointless italicised interior monologue, he thought, as an easy alternative to actually giving me a personality.
"I could best any man here in single combat," bragged Ser Timothei, pounding at his shield upon which was emblazoned the crossed secateurs of House Johnsen. "The scissors slice through all that stands in their path."
"Aye," replied One-Eye Fotheryngton-Smithe, tapping a withered finger upon his own armour, bearing the boulder-sigil of his own household, "but the rock beats the scissors, lad. Best you remembered that."
"And yet paper covers rock," insisted youthful, blonde-haired Ser Aernold of House Broewn, the handsome boy keeping his hand upon his sword. "Let us trust that your blade is more cutting than your wit, good Ser Timothei."
"Something is moving," he muttered, but the men ignored him. "Down by the south wall. Something is moving."
"Tis of no matter," Ser Timothei growled. "Scissors cut rock, you see, so it's more of a-"
An arrow sliced through the night and embedded itself in Ser Timothei's skull. One-Eye rose, roaring, but was cut down by a spear that shot through the darkness and jammed itself into his belly. Ser Aernold went down, slowly, hacked apart by a dozen swords.
Oh, no, Gavyn thought. Oh, no. They're killing them all. They're killing them all. What should I do? What should I do?
An armoured figure loomed over him, raising its battleaxe.
So the old woman's prophecy has been fulfilled, Gavyn thought, falling into darkness.
"My lord, I refuse," said Daenerys.
The second sentence, as it always did, established a sense of time and place.
"But, my queen," Vizier Jyfar crooned, stroking his silky goatee, "surely it is more reasonable to make me your husband and lord, while reinstituting slavery, necromancy and bestiality in the city you currently rule? You are in Arabblaend now, you see, and cannot hope to understand our decadent foreign ways."
'Beware a bearded Vizier by the name of Jyfar', the sorcereress had warned her. Could she trust the prophecy? Obviously she could, since prophecies always came true in this fantasy world so long as they were uttered by weird loners and not by members of the establishment, but she should probably spend the next ten chapters debating the point, over and over again, nonetheless.
"I will not marry you. I am a strong queen, an empowered queen, born to rule," Daenerys declared, getting her baps out. She had always liked her breasts, soft and white, their nipples standing on end almost as if they were being described in detail by a salivating middle-aged male pervert.
"So long as I have my dragons," she continued, "I have power. I am empowered by the fact that I am a maternal figure devoting myself selflessly to everyone and who has given birth to male phallic fire-breathing symbols of power, as opposed to the Evil Bitch Queen character who betrays everyone, becomes irrational and neurotic, and uses her feminine wiles to seduce those around her. At least one silly arsehole's going to write an article about how these books are pro-women, aren't they?"
"How long," the swarthy, bare-chested Captain Beegcoc enquired of his first mate, the Swan, "before her dragons are fully grown?"
"Ten more books, my lord."
"Fuck. Well, we'd better repeat this scene a thousand times and have an invincible army of eunuchs turn up to fight for Daenerys for a couple of battle scenes to break up the tedium, I suppose."
Jon Snow was nervous.
Die, a raven croaked beside him. Die, die, die. Polly want to overuse this device. Craawk. Polly want to overuse this device.
"Thank fuck ye've got earthy characters like us around," said Young Jimmei, farting loudly, "to say 'cunt' and 'tits', thus avoiding the series degenerating into hi-faluting self-serious gibberish.'
Too late, the raven croaked. Too late, too late, too late.
Over the horizon, a giant appeared. It was riding a giant spider.
"Shit," Young Jimmei said, "that was tone-deaf, generic and sketchily described, just the same as every single one of these forays into genuinely fantastic material are. Still, at least by having all of the weird stuff happen here at the Wall and in Daenerys' scenes, the faux-realistic politics of the central narrative won't be disrupted by...oh, wait, one of the main characters has been resurrected as a zombie for no particular reason. Never mind."
Gavyn opened his eyes.
"Hail," said the fleshy-faced man riding beside him. "You didn't really think you'd died, did you? Because the reality is that in this series praised for killing off its main characters, hardly anyone who matters seems to actually die. They always lose consciousness in the middle of a battle and then turn up again in the next book, or someone else gets executed in their place as part of a diabolical scheme, or..."
My head, Gavyn thought. My head hurts. I wonder if there'd be any simpler and more elegant way of conveying that my head hurts? Probably not.
"I am Chrastopher, priest of R'hllor," said the fleshy-faced man, "and this is Ser Allan and Ser Boeb. You're our captive, and we're taking you to the Whitefort. Lord Sebastean has declared war on the Dark Brothers, and the hosts of Pinecastle and Rainsummit ride to meet him. Though it is whispered that The Nicknamed has turned his cloak and taken Pisswiddle without a fight-"
"It doesn't matter," Gavyn said, depressed.
"None of this politics matters. It's only there to kill time until the dragons turn up and use their *FIRE* against the *ICE* wielded by the monstrous evil gathering in the north in an epic battle in which everybody dies. Until then, we're just around to set off on journeys which never actually succeed because everyone always gets ambushed and then carried away in a different direction."
"Well, really," Chrastopher began. "That's a little cynical-"
There was a horrifying thunk as a throwing axe embedded itself in the priest's skull. Ser Allen and Ser Boeb fell before they could even draw their swords.
Gavyn fell off his horse, into darkness.
This time that's it, he thought. This time I really am going to die.
Tonei watched as the captives were flayed alive, raped, castrated, dismembered, beheaded, and raped again, upon the walls of the Deadtower.
"Gosh," he said, looking at his watch, "this is hard-hitting stuff. Truly, the fantasy genre has grown up."
Gavyn awoke to find a naked woman pressing her voluptuous boobies up against him. This made his penis hard.
"Stacei, stop it," someone said.
The naked woman retreated, playing with her boobies some more as she went.
"My apologies," said the mysterious cloaked figure riding at his side. "Stacei is ultra-horny. Like, crazy mega-horny. It isn't pointless titillation for adolescent boys, though, because later we'll have a scene when you try to have sex with her but you'll climax too soon and there'll be talk of 'shameful seed shining on her thighs' or something. Anyway, I am Ser Darkface, and we rescued you from Chrastopher because we're on our way to restore the Griffin King of-"
The falchion took Ser Darkface's head cleanly off his shoulders.
For fuck's sake, Gavyn thought, with a visible yawn, drawing his sword and stabbing himself brutally in the chest in a desperate attempt to kill himself off, was the editors' decision not to trim off a thousand pages of repetitive filler a cynical attempt to sell longer, more expensive 'epic' books, or do people really still think this nonsense has any sort of serious direction, focus or intent?
Gavyn opened his eyes.
"A miracle," a voice declared, "that you have washed up alive on the shores on Perros. I am Grand Maester Dikwiied, and I intend to place a scion on the Iron Throne by-"