Misfit Toy wrote:
Really? That whole storyline leaves me a bit cold. I much prefer the characters that dominated the first book. I felt that the side arcs, while adding depth, weren't as compelling.
I'd agree about the side arcs. Arya's chapters in particular frequently feel like so much filler. I think they can be dealt with pretty swiftly in the series, a handful of scenes between leaving King's Landing and Harrenhal should do nicely.
But Stannis is simply one of the series' great characters. His iron will, overshadowed by his elder brother and not as well liked as his younger brother, the joyless teeth-gnasher who will be King not because he wants to, but because it is his by right.
Hell, the way he turns the discussion of supporting Melisandre's religion into one about how he once cared for a useless bird and things improved when he abandoned it is a wonderful little moment.