Some day, I’m going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull
The moment the Hound realised how dangerous and how much a killer Arya Stark is and will turn out to be. (via speakthesentanceswingthesword)
Because a 9 year old girl being a killer is so awesome11!1!111!!!
and because The Hound would totally be afraid of a 9 year old girl.
How about we NOT glorify Arya’s murderous streak. How about we NOT act like a child being in a situation where she has to kill to survive is awesome/badass/cool/something to be regarded as good in any way, shape, or form.
How about we recognize that Sandor Clegane does not see Arya as a dangerous killer, but as a damaged child..
Or, we could go further:
How about we recognize that Sandor Clegane sees Arya as HIMSELF: a terrified, damaged child stuck in a world without pity and no kindness for such creatures. A child who was forced to become a monster at a young age just to survive.
How about we take a moment of silence for Arya Stark’s lost childhood and innocence.
Hi there! Firstly, I just love your blog. I was thinking since Jon, Bran and Arya have all consciously or sub-consciously warged into their direwolves. Do you think Sansa would have been able to warg, intentionally or unintentionally, into Lady, if she had not been killed? Also, since we do not have a POV from Robb and Rickon, do you think they are able to/have warg(ed) into Grey Wind and Shaggy Dog? Thanks!
You’re very welcome. :) Regarding Sansa and warging, I have a long meta on that here, with some other details here. (Please read those posts first, as I define some terms I use in this post.) But short answer: yes, and with luck she will be able to skinchange another animal in the future, no doubt unintentionally to start.
For Robb, it’s uncertain. He definitely had a strong bond with Grey Wind, to the point that his last words are the name of his wolf (like Jon). Also, Grey Wind echoes Robb’s emotions during his conflict with Catelyn, which is a sign of the skinchanger bond. But as for actual warging — well, there are instances where other characters report Robb zoning out for hours, but that could be a coincidence. (Robb was under a lot of stress at the time.) And since he never reported wolf dreams to anyone, and didn’t have a POV, we just can’t know for sure.
Rickon also has that emotional transference bond with Shaggydog, easily visible in his appearances in AGOT and ACOK. And since Rickon is so young and impressionable, it goes both ways, with the boy becoming as savage as his wolf. But again, he doesn’t have a POV, and never reported wolf dreams or ever said he was Shaggy, so we can’t know if he was a full warg before he went off with Osha.
But has he become one since? Well, note that Bran was able to touch Jon’s mind through Ghost, but when Ghost sensed Shaggydog on Skagos he didn’t sense Rickon through him. But that may just be due to the fact that Jon only passively viewed Ghost’s pack connections, he wasn’t actively directing his wolf dreams like Bran did. So that test isn’t much use, unfortunately. But at least for Rickon, hopefully his reappearance in the next books will clarify things.
I’m very satisfied that Theon has this very clear penchant for sexual pleasure and I love the way it makes the character very unique to me. No doubt, there are plenty of lustful characters but in how many cases are they women who are shamed and punished for it, one way or another?
Not only Theon is a man, but this penchant for sexual pleasure is a pivotal part of his character. At least, I never felt it was an aspect that has been played for laugh or downplayed. In numerous instances, it serves as a key to understand Theon’s defense mechanism. He is not your typical Don Juan, not at all. And when you look at it with his whole storyline and backstory in perspective, it makes so much sense.
Often we see men who are praised for their sexual performances, and they’re sometimes seen as role models. It does not take long to notice Theon is not one of these. Much like sexually active female characters, he is shamed for it. And that is never because he can be awful to women sometimes, nope. He just shouldn’t be proud of that.
It makes me sad when people love Brienne because she’s “badass” when in reality she is, in terms of personality, one of the most conventionally feminine characters in the series. :-(
I just love her because in certain ways I can relate to her. :) I love that she is probably the most honorable and knightly KNIGHT in the sense of traditional chivalry I guess. (And how interesting it is that a female character portrays those qualities rather than a male doing so.) I love that she covers herself in armor both physically and emotionally but she is personality wise, a woman who battles her own poor self esteem and socially unacceptable physicality as much as the people she fights. I just have a lot of feels and find her very interesting and i just want to cuddle her. XD Also I’m totally not agreeing or disagreeing with your statement, considering I’ve only brushed the tip of GOT and therefore I kinda know nothing. :) <3
I just love her mixture of strength and vulnerability, and her honor…I think if anyone can make someone want to be a better person, it’d be her. :) She knocks people who doubt her on their butts, but at the same time she gives people chances, and at the same time she struggles her internal struggles. She just hits me right in the heart for several reasons. <3
So I guess I do agree on the whole, you shouldn’t only like her because she is badass, because I feel like her beating those who doubt her is only one aspect of a much greater character. :)
Oh yes - I knew you didn’t like her for merely being badass. :) but some of the things you reblogged reminded how much the show (and people) emphasizes that aspect of her.
The “real” Brienne is:
(But also wary)
And yeah, a good fighter. :)
But the show makes her much “harder” than she ever was in the books, which disappointed me greatly.
What I’m highlighting below is probably pretty obvious for the engaged reader, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. (to add - it’s also not the only political learning instance for her in ACOK)
The closing argument: I’m not saying she’s automatically fit to be queen herself, only that it’s hard to dismiss the obvious political strand in Sansa’s arc. Even in ACOK, it’s there.
Brienne is frequently described as ugly in A Song of Ice and Fire - so frequently it’s like it’s being rammed down our throats. She’s not just unattractive; she’s freakishly ugly, hide-your-eyes ugly, ugliest-woman-in-Westeros ugly. But how would she appear in a modern universe and a modern context? Is she genuinely ugly, or is it that her looks go against the particular beauty standards of Westeros in a way that they would not in the modern era? And are some of the features that make her unattractive just a product of the society she’s living in?
For now, I’ll let other people deal with content and style and character. The thing that first appealed to me about TPatQ is that it was first intended for what has turned into the first book of the “GRRMarillion”, The World of Ice and Fire. Since it was originally meant to be a sidebar for an encyclopedia article, and is purportedly related by an archmaester, I expected to rejoice and revel in the kind of details we wouldn’t get in most POV narratives. And oh, do they exist. So here’s a few of those nerdy details that I’ve noticed:
People do a lot of blame-flinging in the Song of Ice and Fire circles about certain events in the books and I don’t understand why. One of the huge ones is the whole Arya vs Sansa fighting and it usually starts around when both girls lose their wolves. ‘Oh Sansa lied she deserved to lose her wolf it proves she’s not a true northerner’ or blaming Arya for getting Lady killed instead of Nymeria or even blaming Ned for allowing the wolves to die, whatever.
I think what these people don’t quite understand is that Lady and Nymeria both needed to die or be gone. By the end of book one they would have both been driven off or killed anyway. Lady would not have helped Sansa in King’s Landing, because they would not have allowed her to KEEP Lady after they killed Eddard. Nymeria still being with Arya would just have gotten her immediately identified and killed.
It’s not symbolic of losing the north or cutting ties or whatever- I mean it could be and probably is- but also those wolves were dead dogs walking from the moment they set off South.
I don’t know if the fandom does anything about the next example, but I thought about it so I’ll talk about that too. Dany blames Mirri almost entirely for the death of her son. Well, fair, I suppose, it is implied she caused it. But on the other hand, Dany’s son was already dead the moment Khal Drogo refused to keep his injury tended to. If no blood magic had ever been used, that baby is dead because Drogo is no longer Khal and nobody’s going to raise THE STALLION WHO MOUNTS THE WORLD as a surrogate son because who wants to train their replacement? That baby was doomed from the start.
Idk I just think it’s fun to think about.
OK, today’s topic might seem a little shallow but bigger things might come out of this.
Arya’s beauty is a very controversed topic of the fandom. Some think she’s ugly, some don’t. As for me, I think she is not as ugly as she believes to be, and that her beauty might play a role in the future.
(Warning : I am not saying she will be more beautiful than Sansa/Dany/whatever lady is your favourite. This is strictly about Arya).
So set up comfortably, and be sure to have some time before you. This is gonna take a while.
I had forgotten half of the stuff Arya is learning with the FM- schooling facial features, controlling emotions, etc. and on top of that, learning at least 3 or 4 different languages and learning to see through deceptions and lies... she's really learning every skill one needs in westerosi politics. that's really interesting actually, if she were to ever become a "player" she'd be pretty good at it imo. She's already very clever and a great judge of character and proven leader...
Well, Arya will be able to speak the Common Tongue, Braavosi, High Valryian, and the languages from Pentos and Lys- that’s 5. And that’s incredibly useful as the Iron Bank of Braavos plot has illustrated that there are dealings between Westeros and Braavos at least.
Arya’s learning all the skills to theoretically become a player, which I’ve always found so funny. I mean, look at what Sansa’s learning from Littlefinger:
Petyr caught her by the wrist. “You see the wonders that can be worked with lies and Arbor gold?”…
Lies and Arbor gold, she thought. “I am Alayne, Father. Who else would I be?” Sansa, AFFC
And Arya is at a point where she can see through deception so incredibly that she can hear the differences between lies and the truth. She even is being taught which parts are lies:
It all became much easier. She learned to hear the lies, to feel them in the play of the muscles around the mouth and eyes. Arya, ADWD
Seeing through deception is remarkably useful.
And as you pointed out, Arya is an incredible judge of character- and has been since day 1.
She doesn’t trust Cersei long before any real proof arises:
“I don’t like the queen,” Arya said casually. Sansa, AGoT
She trusts Gendry, which serves her well, but doesn’t trust Roose Bolton and keeps her distance from Jaqen:
She didn’t think she should trust Jaqen. Arya, ACoK
Jaqen might be there as well. It was Jaqen who had given her the iron coin. He hadn’t truly been her friend, the way that Syrio had. Arya, AFFC
She’s very careful about trusting people:
She wished that Robett Glover and Ser Helman Tallhart would come back to Harrenhal, though; they had marched too quickly, before she’d been able to decide whether to trust them with her secret. Arya, ACoK
She sees through deception and pretty words easily enough even before THoBaW:
When she saw the guardsmen on the third pier, in grey woolen cloaks trimmed with white satin, her heart almost stopped in her chest. The sight of Winterfell’s colors brought tears to her eyes. Behind them, a sleek three-banked trading galley rocked at her moorings. Arya could not read the name painted on the hull; the words were strange, Myrish, Braavosi, perhaps even High Valyrian. She grabbed a passing longshoreman by the sleeve. “Please,” she said, “what ship is this?”
“She’s the Wind Witch, out of Myr,” the man said.
“She’s still here,” Arya blurted. The longshoreman gave her a queer look, shrugged, and walked away. Arya ran toward the pier. The Wind Witch was the ship Father had hired to take her home… still waiting! She’d imagined it had sailed ages ago.
Two of the guardsmen were dicing together while the third walked rounds, his hand on the pommel of his sword. Ashamed to let them see her crying like a baby, she stopped to rub at her eyes. Her eyes her eyes her eyes, why did…
Look with your eyes, she heard Syrio whisper.
Arya looked. She knew all of her father’s men. The three in the grey cloaks were strangers. “You,” the one walking rounds called out. “What do you want here, boy?” The other two looked up from their dice.
It was all Arya could do not to bolt and run, but she knew that if she did, they would be after her at once. She made herself walk closer. They were looking for a girl, but he thought she was a boy. She’d be a boy, then. “Want to buy a pigeon?” She showed him the dead bird. Arya, AGoT
The thought of hot food made Arya’s belly rumble, but she didn’t trust this Tom. Not everyone who spoke you friendly was really your friend. Arya, ASoS
I mean Arya sees through the trap set for her by recognizing that despite the fact that the guards are by the right ship, wearing Stark colors, they aren’t her friends. She also realizes that the Brotherhood are outlaws, leading her in the wrong direction, and that “not everyone who spoke to you friendly was really your friend.”
And makes friends and allies everywhere and acts as a leader more often than not- even when the others are bigger, older, and stronger than her.
Squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough-spoken freeriders of uncertain birth. Arya would make friends with anybody. Sansa, AGoT
Cat had made friends along the wharves; porters and mummers, ropemakers and sailmenders, taverners, brewers and bakers and beggars and whores.Arya, AFFC
I do think it’s hysterical that people think that Arya is all brawn or something. She’s 9 at the start, and 11 or so now. She’s also extremely tiny. And most of her lessons revolve around being perceptive and seeing through deception and deceiving.
It’s just ridiculous that people limit her in this way. Seeing through deception and deceiving others as she’s taught, is pretty much the number one aspect of Westerosi politics.
And people like to talk about her being hot headed and impulsive, and she definitely is at the start. But due to her considerable trauma, she is so much more controlled now. If she hadn’t been, she would have died in Harrenhal.
A broken lip taught Arya to hold her tongue. Others never learned at all. One boy of three would not stop calling for his father, so they smashed his face in with a spiked mace. Then the boy’s mother started screaming and Raff the Sweetling killed her as well.
Arya watched them die and did nothing. What good did it do you to be brave? Arya, ACoK
"Poor child," said the kindly man. "Would you like to have your eyes back? Ask, and you shall see."
He asked the same question every morning. “I may want them on the morrow. Not today.” Her face was still water, hiding all, revealing nothing. Arya, ADWD
She spends several parts standing still and unresponsive for hours:
“When you are not pouring, you must stand as still as if you had been carved of stone,” the kindly man told her. “Can you do that?”
“Yes.” Before you can learn to move you must learn to be still, Syrio Forel had taught her long ago at King’s Landing, and she had. She had served as Roose Bolton’s cupbearer at Harrenhal, and he would flay you if you spilled his wine. Arya, AFFC
I would never presume to say exactly what Arya’s future storyline will be- though I have some ideas- but people assuming that she could not possibly handle politics, diplomacy, or any and all non-physical realms really surprise me. She has most of the tools to do so already.