Considering how many times the books in this series have already been reviewed, I'm not going to bother adding to the collection. Instead, I'm just going to make a bunch of disjointed comments.
First thing: audiobook. I am so glad I'm listening to this on audio. In fact, I think one of the aspects I like about it (on audio) is that I can zone out for a while with the certain knowledge that if I miss any event, some character will tell another character about what happened at least two or three times, so I won't be missing much. All the same, I still don't get why Tyrion was given a Welsh accent.
Second thing: was the plot intended to be hilarious, or do I just have a weird sense of humour? Basic plot: everyone and his uncle (literally, in several cases) has decided to become king, leading to a serious superfluity of sovereigns.
The only thing I really don't understand is *why.* Seriously, why would you want to be king? It's not exactly a risk-free profession, and the retirement plan sucks.
It was interesting to watch the exponential increase in perspective narrators. By the end of the series, there will probably be so many perspective characters that no one will get more than a chapter. Unless a bunch of people get dead, which is a distinct possibility. Anyway. My feelings about most of the characters underwent something of a shift. Sansa's beginning to grow on me, and while I'm liking Arya more, my respect for her acumen is now basically nil. I found Dany's story less riveting, I think because of a sense that it is not already foretold and predictable, all the tension leached out of it. Sadly, I didn't like Tyrion as much. I suspect it's because he's not really an underdog in this book.
I now have a new favourite character: Varys.
I totally love Varys.
In case all the characters have become a muddle in your head, Varys is the Spider, the eyes and ears of the court. He has a finger in every pie and a knife carefully and politely resting on every back. Superficially unctuous, he appears to me to be the only person at court with significant political acumen, except, perhaps, for Tyrion. Yet as far as I can determine, he is utterly without ambition other than a satisfaction in the power of knowledge. I actually do think he may be the only person in the book who is actually trying to do what is right for the kingdom rather than a king.
And he's utterly lacking in integrity or any compunction of any kind.
On to the next one....