Iron Gold spoilers ahead, obviously.
My brain is still processing everything that happened in Iron Gold, and I’ll likely need to do a full reread at some point ahead of the release of Dark Age. In the meantime, I want to keep a running list of all of the big and little moments, quotes and reveals that stand out in the book. Here they are in no particular order. Expect updates as I think of more, and feel free to suggest your own in the comments!
Clown and Pebble are officially together, finally. (And I almost lost it when it seemed like one or both of them might be in trouble.)
“After ten years of war, I no longer believe in moments of peace.”
– Darrow thought.
Victra on the attack in full maternity armor. Slay!
“My wife is not as fickle as a flame. She is an ocean. I knew from the first that I cannot own her, cannot tame her. But I am the only storm that moves her depths and stirs her tides. And that is more than enough.”
– Darrow, about Mustang
Sophocles has been cloned over and over again for seven hundred years?! This is new information, right? Because wow. Early on in Iron Gold, I was actually wondering how long foxes live, so I love that there’s an explanation. It’s such a typically bizarre bit of Telemanus lore.
That Pax has rose gold eyes, laughs like his mother and broods like his father.
“This is not the end. I loved you before I ever met you. I will love you until the sun dies. And when it does, I will love you in the darkness. Goodbye wife.”
– Romulus to Dido. Swooooooon! Stunning and heartbreaking last words to the love of his life. But as epic as Romulus’ grand walk to the monument of his ancestors was, it’s taking effort for me to appreciate his choice to admit he knew about the docks. My inner Slytherin wishes he would’ve just lied and lived to fight (or protest the fight) another day. You sat on that secret for a decade, dude. What’s another lie to save your hide?
“If I had a muffin I would eat it.”
– Volga. Bless her Obsidian heart.
Sevro desperately missing his family. It seems so important to his character that Sevro isn’t so caught up in being by Reaper’s side that he forgets what’s waiting for him at home. I love that he and Victra have a virtual litter of Howlers, but I especially adore Sevro’s closeness to his wife and kids. I like to think his devotion to his family pays tribute to his own mother and father.
– Ephraim. Please let that be a Firefly reference.
Lysander’s flashback of his first meeting with Cassius, which gave us a look at an earlier piece of the story that we’d never seen before. We got a glimpse of Lysander’s first encounter with Cassius, at some point after the Institute, and after Darrow joined the Academy. During the flashback, Lysander bluntly told Cassius that he preferred Darrow to him. Cassius’ inability to get past Julian’s death apparently didn’t go over well with Lysander.
“‘And sometimes I go to the Cerebian. You know. The zoo? I like the popcorn and the animals. And the people are all so happy. Especially the children. But I go in the middle of the day, so tickets are cheaper,’ she adds quickly at the end to mitigate the gross expenditure.”
– Volga admitting to her lavish lifestyle. In all seriousness, I love that she wants to buy a bunch of land on Earth and use it to set up a refuge for abandoned carved animals. And I love that Ephraim knows that about her… and cares.
“No, Sevro. Summon the Howlers.”
Darrow with a plan.
Every impression Lyria had of Mustang. The Red was a bit all over the map with how she felt about Virginia, understandably so. On one hand, she seemed in awe of her, and on the other hand, she was frustrated and even angry at Mustang for failing to truly protect the Reds. Sidenote: I’m glad Mustang understood that she needed to be humble and genuinely apologetic with Lyria.
That Volga was arrested at the zoo breaks my heart. #FreeVolga
“His face is wrinklier than my father’s knuckles.”
Lyria’s description of Dr. Liago cracked me up. I’m also a little fascinated by the batty Yellow. He seems to be an interesting potential-friend to Lyria, but he’s also breeding deadly flowers, so that could be interesting.
Someone take the holo of Trigg dying away from Ephraim. For real, that is not effective grief management.
“They planted us in stones, watered us with pain, and now marvel that we have thorns. Slag them. Slag the lot of them.”
“Pain is a memory.”
– Kavax au Telemanus. (Probably worth noting, for Lyria, pain is more than one memory.)
“I know what it states, you toaster!”
I’m choosing to believe this is a nod to Battlestar Galactica.
“She would have lived in peace, Darrow, but you have brought her nothing but war.”
The Ash Lord using THAT phrase at Darrow turned my stomach.
I’m a little bit obsessed with Deepgrave. The 400-year-old prison is like the Azkaban of the Red Rising world, except it’s set under water, and instead of souls being sucked, it’s “sucking up sins of Old Earth and punishing the sinners of the Society — murderers, rapists, terrorists, political prisoners.” And more recently, the war criminals who weren’t put to death, thanks to Mustang abolishing the death penalty. Who else is there? Will the story ever end up back there? What if Apollonius decides to go back and free a few more (or all) prisoners? Seems like the kind of thing he’d try to pull off if it served his interests…
“I didn’t eat cockroaches to sit at home while you have all the fun.”
– Colloway, speaking like a true Howler.
“The sorrow in me is fathomless.
I killed Wulfgar.
I broke my family.
I lost my son.
For this rotted slaver.
…shit, Darrow. But, I mean… fair.
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