If you were looking for a happy upbeat read then I think you should turn back now. Issue fifteen is set during one of the bleakest periods within George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy series. The battle of the Blackwater is done, Lord Tywin is Hand of the King and rules the land in all but name, Theon Greyjoy holds Winterfel, Tyrion lies in bed trapped between life and death, Stannis is on the run and Robb Stark is about to make a huge tactical mistake. Once you go beyond this point there is no turning back.
The book opens with Tyrion. Unlike many others, he does not see the Glory of what he has done but instead ponders on the horror and butchery of what he was forced to do. All the while yearning to want the glory, knowing that he will never have it. Instead, he thinks back to the one time he was happy and how all he wants is love.
Half this issue is Tyrion in bed and between the sense of despair the book gives off and gorgeous artwork that shows Tyrion’s inner demons, I found that I just could not take my eyes off the page. I was having to go over and over it again and again and it really made me feel something. There is no triumph here, only pain. And I think that is the core of Tyrion, he never gets the glory, he only suffers and pushes on. This is why I think we all love him as much as we do.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the continent, we have Theon someone who like Tyrion just wishes to be loved. Only whereas Tyrion is the good son who follows orders to win daddy’s attention, Theon is the rebel who marches to the beat of his own drum. He never thinks things through and takes massive risks. This is probably all down to childhood trauma, he is most likely a sufferer of PTSD and just lives in the moment. What he does is unforgivable but he is understandable and maybe we all do not hate him as much as we want to.
Issue 15 does draw some interesting parallels and it makes it a very deep read.
But on the lighter side of things, I am impressed that Ivan Nunes (Colors) was able to make the Dreadfort uniforms look so intimidating. (In the book they are pink and this adaptation sticks to that.)
I highly recommend you check this one out, it will be on sale from the 6th of October 2021.