“average writer publishes about 1 book a decade” factoid actualy just statistical error. average writer publishes several books per decade. Westeros Georg, who lives in a new mexico and only publishes when the stars are aligned , is an outlier adn should not have been counted
Meera led the way back up the hill, jabbing at the wights when they came near. The things could not be hurt, but they were slow and clumsy. “Hodor,” Hodor said with every step. “Hodor, hodor.” He wondered what Meera would think if he should suddenly tell her that he loved her. (ADWD, Bran II)
“The secrets of the old gods,” said Jojen Reed. […] “Truths the First Men knew, forgotten now in Winterfell … but not in the wet wild. We live closer to the green in our bogs and crannogs, and we remember. Earth and water, soil and stone, oaks and elms and willows, they were here before us all and will still remain when we are gone.” “So will you,” said Meera. That made Bran sad. What if I don’t want to remain when you are gone? he almost asked, but he swallowed the words unspoken. He was almost a man grown, and he did not want Meera to think he was some weepy babe. “Maybe you could be greenseers too,” he said instead. (ADWD, Bran III)
Meera began to cry. Bran hated being crippled then. “Don’t cry,” he said. He wanted to put his arms around her, hold her tight the way his mother used to hold him back at Winterfell when he’d hurt himself. She was right there, only a few feet from him, but so far out of reach it might have been a hundred leagues. (ADWD, Bran III)
A lady’s armor is her courtesy. Alayne could feel the blood rushing to her face. No tears, she prayed. Please, please, I must not cry. “As you wish, ser. And now if you will excuse me, Littlefinger’s bastard must find her lord father and let him know that you have come, so we can begin the tourney on the morrow.” And may your horse stumble, Harry the Heir, so you fall on your stupid head in your first tilt. She showed the Waynwoods a stone face as they blurted out awkward apologies for their companion. When they were done she turned and fled.
“In my head I was like, ‘You have literally 30 seconds left in this room and if you don’t do something impressive nothing will ever come of it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, just take it.’ And he’s really scary. I can barely keep up. And he ends it saying, ‘You should be happy to have a husband like me. Now get over here and kiss me.’ So I walk up really close to his face and then I’m like, ‘Maybe I should kiss him. When else am I ever going to get a chance to kiss Leo DiCaprio, ever?” But another part of my brain clicks and I just go, Whack! I hit him in the face. And then I scream, ‘Fuck you!’ And that’s not in the script at all. The room just went dead silent and I froze. I’m thinking, ‘You just hit Leonardo DiCaprio in the face. They’re going to arrest you because that’s assault. You’re definitely never going to work again, that’s for sure. They’ll probably sue you as well in case there’s a bruise on his face and he needs to film something else.’ And then all of a sudden Marty and Leo just burst out laughing. Marty says, “That was great!” Leo’s like, “Hit me again!”
It’s been a while since I did one of these, and I’ve changed my mind on a couple points, so why not? TWOW spoilers below, natch.
In the East
Barristan and Victarion smash the slaver coalition (with a li’l help from those ever-treacherous sellswords), but neither get to savor their victory for long. Vic burns, either from without thanks to Rhaegal or within thanks to Dragonbinder. Barry returns to the city in triumph only to find that the Shavepate has wiped out his enemies root and branch, including Hizdahr and the child hostages. Furious and heartsick, the white knight goes for Skahaz’ throat, but is overwhelmed and killed by the Brazen Beasts.
Dany burns Khal Jhaqo and leads his riders to Vaes Dothrak, where the dosh khaleen declare her the Stallion (as she saw in the House of the Undying) and all the Dothraki are gathered into one gigantic khalasar at her back. All roads meet at Volantis: Dany and the Dothraki, Tyrion and the Second Sons, Moqorro and Benerro, Marwyn the Mage, etc. After overthrowing the Old Blood and being officially declared Azor Ahai Reborn, Dany consults her many advisors as to what to do next. Moqorro tells her to keep breaking chains, Marwyn passes along Aemon’s warning and urges her to fly north before it’s too late, but Tyrion plays his trump card, revealing Aegon’s existence and advising Dany to confront Illyrio about the “mummer’s dragon.” She burns the cheesemonger alive when he confesses that Aegon is not Rhaegar’s son but his, and turns Pentos over to the Tattered Prince.
Somewhere in all this, Tyrion becomes a dragonrider (possibly with Bran’s help, echoing Tyrion’s gift of a saddle in AGOT).
In Braavos, the Faceless Men kick Arya to the curb and try to eliminate her after learning she killed Raff. She runs away…and slap bang into Justin Massey and Jeyne Poole. Hearing the latter referred to as “Arya Stark” leads the true Arya to give up all other identities for good. She returns to Westeros with them; her TWOW storyline ends with her reuniting with Nymeria.
In the South
Jon Connington takes Storm’s End and then defeats Mace Tyrell, thanks in large part to the Golden Company’s “friends in the Reach” (I suspect Randyll Tarly may literally stab Mace in the back). Arianne calls Dorne’s spears north to join them.
Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, both Cersei and Margaery win their trials, leading to the former sending Robert Strong to kill the latter. The city erupts as Aegon’s army arrives; Nym and Tyene kill Tommen and Myrcella, and the High Sparrow throws open the city gates to his new king. Cersei evades capture thanks to Qyburn and Robert Strong, and flees below the Red Keep to arrange a wildfire explosion. Aegon sits the Iron Throne, and Arianne is Queen.
In the Riverlands, Lady Stoneheart frees Edmure and kills Jeyne Westerling and her mother in the Prologue. She then launches the Second Red Wedding at Riverrun, massacring the guests at the Daven-Frey wedding while forcing Jaime and Brienne to bear witness. Our POVs escape towards King’s Landing as the Riverlands rise up once more. Jaime is horrified to find Cersei about to pull an Aerys and kills her, fulfilling the valonqar prophecy. The “jade holocaust” is averted…until Dany arrives, attacks Team Aegon with dragonfire, and in so doing, sets off the wildfire. (My guess is that this happens in the book’s penultimate chapter from Arianne’s POV, with the Wall coming down in the final chapter; TWOW ends with eruptions of Fire and Ice.)
In the Vale, Sweetrobin succumbs to sweetsleep during the tourney, and Littlefinger frames Lyn Corbray. In the chaos, the Mad Mouse tries to make off with Sansa; he fails and is executed along with Ser Lyn, but Sansa’s identity is revealed in the process. She marries Harry, they are declared King and Queen of the North and Vale, the knights of the Vale muster at Gulltown, and they all set sail for White Harbor.
In Dorne, Darkstar retreats to Starfall, but the main branch of the Daynes refuse to help him, and he’s killed by his pursuers; Areo Hotah then kills Balon Swann on Doran’s orders. We learn some crucial R+L=J information from the Daynes, and Dawn is brought into play.
In the Reach, Euron annihilates both the Redwyne fleet and his own in a massive blood sacrifice. Damphair’s final moments are spent watching something huge and hideous rise from the depths in response, realizing that Euron was right all along: the humanoid god Aeron rebuilt his life around was a projection, and the real deal is a monster. Meanwhile, Sam buries himself in books as Marwyn advised, but keeps being distracted by all the weird goings-on in Oldtown. He eventually ascends the Hightower and finds Leyton and Malora very receptive to his stories about the Others; they take an immense interest in the horn Sam’s been carrying around, and he leaves it with them. Then the Crow’s Eye arrives with his “black and bloody tide,” kraken tentacles tearing down the city’s defenses so Euron’s reanimated followers can invade. Euron himself kills Leyton and Malora, and as Sam and Sarella flee Oldtown one step ahead of the Ironborn wights, they hear him blow the Horn of Winter from atop the Hightower.
In the North
Stannis defeats Hosteen Frey at the Battle of Ice; with the help of the Karhold men formerly in service to Arnolf, he then feigns his death. Ramsay buys it, sending the Pink Letter to Jon before killing Roose and Walda out of anger at the latter’s pregnancy. Stannis then takes Winterfell with Bran’s help, loosing Ramsay’s dogs on him while Theon watches. The younger Greyjoys (assuming they both survive all this) eventually return home thanks to Dagmer Cleftjaw.
On Skagos, Davos finds Osha and Rickon, and convinces them to return to the mainland with him (helped along by Shaggy immediately falling in love with the onion knight, a la Brown Ben and the dragons). They wind up in White Harbor, staring down Sansa and her army.
Bran continues his wizard training, learning about the Children’s earth magic as well as greensight, and has visions related to R+L=J, the Others, Euron’s apocalypse, etc. When the Others attack via the cave’s “back door,” Bran and Meera escape into the tunnels, while Jojen, Bloodraven, the remaining Children, and poor Hodor are killed.
At Castle Black, Mel uses a glamour to swap out Jon’s body for Cregan Karstark’s, preserving the former in the ice cells before resurrecting him. Jon executes Bowen Marsh, sends Mel and Stannis’ family to Winterfell, and then rides for Hardhome with Tormund and his fighters (leaving Dolorous Edd in command). There, Jon reunites with Benjen, who reveals R+L=J before being killed in a wight attack. Jon and Tormund retreat back to the Wall…only to see it come crashing down thanks to Euron. The Long Night returns.
“Ser Daemon, you squired for my uncle Oberyn,” she said. “If you were with him now, would you be counseling him to refuse as well?” She did not wait for him to respond. “I know the answer. And if you are about to remind me that I am no Red Viper, I know that too. But Prince Oberyn is dead, Prince Doran is old and ill, and I am the heir to Dorne.”