A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 6

Chapter 5 – Tyrion

Illyrio Mopatis is taking Tyrion to Volantis, where he will meet with Griff, and await the arrival of Danaerys. Illyrio believes she must have moved on from Meereen by now but has not had any news for a while. Tyrion questions Illyrio’s motives. Danaerys has sacked the cities of Slaver’s Bay and freed the slaves; Illyrio must have interests in that trade so why would he support her? Illyrio tells him that Viserys had promised he would be Master of Coin and tells Tyrion about his friendship with Varys.

They eat a lot of food and travel in a litter along the Valerian road to the Rhoyne. Illyrio reveals that it was he who arranged for the Golden Company to break its contract with Myr and to go east to meet with the Dragon Queen. They are travelling through legendary lands that Tyrion read about when he was a child. Tyrion’s grief is causing him to re-evaluate everything.


There is quite a lot of backstory in this chapter and Tyrion recalls legends and stories from a long time ago. It’s quite useful filling in and world-building. Where is all the food coming from though? Usually when Martin is spending a page describing the many dishes of a feast, the characters are in a castle or mansion, so the food is clearly coming from a kitchen. But in this case, it seems to appear from nowhere. Food is definitely a thing in this series. Martin makes a point of letting us know who’s eating well and who isn’t. Clearly, it is a reflection of wealth and status.

I’m wondering why Illyrio is so open with Tyrion about his relationship with Varys and their plans. There’s a point when Illyrio says “She could make good use of you.” which indicates that he is doing this for Dany’s sake not Tyrion’s. And that makes a bit more sense, actually. Tyrion is another gift Illyrio can give to Danaerys.

Who are Griff and his son, Young Griff?

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