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Why didn't Arya ask... ( mild spoiler)


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Leto Atreides

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

Samwell about Jon Snow? I'm at the part where she shows up and saves him from 2 thugs. It seems that after everything that has happened to her since the first book, seeing a brother of the night watch was her first chance to get news from her only living relative.

#2 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:51 PM

I imagine she has several reasons:

1. She is supposed to be putting her old life behind her (though later we see she hasnt entirely)

but more importantly:

2. When has she ever been able to trust anyone? Roose Bolton turned on her brother, so it was good she never told him who she was. I forget his name but it starts with an H, he used to be one of her father's bannerman, but when she told him he took her for hostage, and so she never got to reunite with her family at Riverrun.

Why let on to anyone? She doesnt know that Jon is the Lord Commander, so to ask about any particular low level NWman would hint at who she was an not go with her made up story

#3 psychogobstopper

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

I forget his name but it starts with an H, he used to be one of her father's bannerman, but when she told him he took her for hostage, and so she never got to reunite with her family at Riverrun.

That was Harwin, whose father Hullen was Master of Horse at Winterfell. Harwin himself was one of the guards who accompanied Ned and the children to King's Landing, then was sent by Ned with Beric Dondarrion to arrest Gregor Clegane.

#4 Ser Derpstein

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:36 AM

I just read past that part, and I was wondering the exact same thing. I thought that, with Arya and Jon having been so close to one another in GoT, she would have at least mentioned Jon to Sam, maybe at least asked how he was doing. However, that would mean she would have to explain to Sam how she knew Jon, thereby revealing her identity, which she has tried to keep secret for the majority of the series. Also, as we both know, Arya is going through a bit of an "identity crisis" at this point. I really wanted her to reveal herself to Sam though. I really enjoy it when two unrelated POV characters connect. Oh well. Maybe Sam will meet Sansa next...

#5 WinterfellWoman

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:28 AM

I'm pretty sure that Sam told Arya early on in the conversation that he was headed to Oldtown, not back to the Wall. That probably played a bit into her decision as well. Why risk everything she's built in Braavos by revealing herself to Sam when there's nothing he can do for her? While we, as readers, know that Sam is one of the "good guys" and would most likely keep her secret, she doesn't. Like others have said, she's learned not to trust anyone.

#6 LadyJSnow

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:09 AM

Keep in mind that Arya grew up with vast knowledge of what type of men were on the Wall. Most are nothing like her uncle Benjen or Jon. Most are not honorable, good men. They are thieves, rapists, and murders... the type of men who would sell her to the highest bidder. She doesn't know Sam. After everything she's been through, I wouldn't trust a stranger either.

I doubt Arya wanted to reveal her identity to someone she wasn't sure she could trust.

#7 Rockroi

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:54 PM

I just call Bullshit.

Basically its a horrendous Bait and Switch.

A Bait and Switch is when the story reaches a well-earned moment where two or more characters can make a connection that either a) advances the story or b ) explains past events, but instead those characters miss that golden opportunity.

Here is an example of this Bait and Switch. They are in Dance with Dragins so I will Spoil-vision them:

Spoiler


She is supposed to be putting her old life behind her (though later we see she hasnt entirely)


Arya has not seen hide nor tail of her family in years and she thinks about them all the time. She misses them all. Arya herself makes a conscious decision NOT to throw her whole life behind when she hides Needle on within the Temple steps. You know- Needle? The sword that Jon Snow gave her? Yeah, that seems relevant. BUT NO! No... heaven forbid a character reach out to talk to another character we have already met. She has not put her life behind her. And so we must ask- how come she's Arya at certain times but is "Cat of the Canals" at others? Why would she toss aside an opportunity to learn about the family member- Jon - that she seemed to bond with the most? To say nothing of the way a normal 9 year old may have acted under the circumstances.

Just baloney. Its utterly preposterous that she would not reach out to Sam there.

When has she ever been able to trust anyone? Roose Bolton turned on her brother, so it was good she never told him who she was. I forget his name but it starts with an H, he used to be one of her father's bannerman, but when she told him he took her for hostage, and so she never got to reunite with her family at Riverrun.


Off the top of my head without having to think for longer than it took me to write this sentence, here is a list of people Arya has trusted in life-and-death situations:

Yoren
Syrio
Gendry
That Northernman who has now sworn allegiance to Bedric Dondarion (another total bullshit bait and switch- the ONLY NORTHERNMAN EVER who was not loyal to the Starks and Arya finds HIM!)
The Hound
Jaquen H'ghar
Hot Pie
The Priest at the Temple of Life and Death (or whatever that Temple is called)

So that's eight in the 4 books Arya is in; that's two characters per book that Arya gets as a protector/confidant/trainer. So, yes, other than these 8 men Arya has found absolutely nobody she could trust, with the exception of these eight men who have nothing in common, and simply want to make Arya this awesome-sauce killer. In these people Arya has told them everything from her fears, has entrusted them with her life, has killed with them, has told them her identity, has done everything but read them passages from her diary. Seriously, it’s utterly preposterous to claim that Arya cannot trust anyone. Oh sure, she bitches and moans about it until she's blue in the face, but she has a proven record of having relationships with men and boys of a variety of ages and backgrounds who help her in all sorts of cases.

But Sam? My God, not that steely-eyed killer Sam! Who would trust him? He's so crazy looking! He's so dishonest and untrustworthy! OF COURSE a 10-year old girl would avoid that maniac.

But then that same 10-year old girl would then kill the guy he was with. Oh yes, that makes total and perfect sense.

Buuullll.... shiiiiiittttt.

Its just a bait and switch. Get your hopes up that these two characters may have a connection and then, for reasons unrealistic and unclear, avoid that connection.

I can't wait for WoW when Howland Reed meets Jon Snow and the two of them spend 10 chapters talking about the price of wheat in a down economy.

Edited by Rockroi, 03 April 2012 - 11:33 PM.


#8 Le Cygne

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:58 AM

I agree, that's a big problem for me, too, for all the reasons you stated, Rockroi.

#9 Ser Barristan BadAss

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:07 AM

If you haven't finished ADWD, I'd suggest not reading the spolier above. Yeppp.

#10 sunxiaohu

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:49 AM

I am perfectly happy to accept that at the moment she met Samwell she was Cat of the Canals, not Arya Stark of Winterfell. Part of her character development is that her identity has changed so many times that even she occasionally questions who she is. In the service of the Faceless Men this comes in handy, and I believe she comes to inhabit her assumed characters more and more. Why would Cat know Jon Snow?

#11 hannahcat

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 06:31 AM

yeah, I think arya was far away from home at that point. although I agree there are quite a few "bait and switch" moments in the books.

#12 Gandalf the Grey

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:21 AM

That Northernman who has now sworn allegiance to Bedric Dondarion (another total bullshit bait and switch- the ONLY NORTHERNMAN EVER who was not loyal to the Starks and Arya finds HIM!)


/huh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':huh:' /> Roose Bolton?



Off the top of my head without having to think for longer than it took me to write this sentence, here is a list of people Arya has trusted in life-and-death situations:

Yoren
Syrio
Gendry
That Northernman who has now sworn allegiance to Bedric Dondarion (another total bullshit bait and switch- the ONLY NORTHERNMAN EVER who was not loyal to the Starks and Arya finds HIM!)
The Hound
Jaquen H'ghar
Hot Pie
The Priest at the Temple of Life and Death (or whatever that Temple is called)

So that's eight in the 4 books Arya is in; that's two characters per book that Arya gets as a protector/confidant/trainer. So, yes, other than these 8 men Arya has found absolutely nobody she could trust, with the exception of these eight men who have nothing in common, and simply want to make Arya this awesome-sauce killer.


Most of those people she had no choice to trust (either trust or die), had been around them for long enough to trust them, or had done something to earn her trust. The Kindly Man is the only one who wants to make her an awesomesauce killer.

But Sam? My God, not that steely-eyed killer Sam! Who would trust him? He's so crazy looking! He's so dishonest and untrustworthy! OF COURSE a 10-year old girl would avoid that maniac.


I found it frustrating too, but whether she trusts him or not is a plothole in itself. Overall I found Arya a less naive, more distrustful character, so why should she randomly trust a stranger.

Honestly what I thought would happen when I first read the book is a LotR style thing. All the characters separate out on their own paths and then near the end converge. I was sort of expecting Arya to either accompany Sam back to Oldtown, or run into Tyrion in Braavos /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' /> or some such unexpected thing. I think we have already started to see this converging at the end of ADWD (mainly in the North)

#13 tinyskeeveuk

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Am the only person glad they didn't connect? It just felt natural to me...

#14 SlackBladder

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:21 PM

Am the only person glad they didn't connect? It just felt natural to me...


Me too. Just because WE know Sam doesn't mean he appears any more trustworthy to Arya. For her, he is just a random night's watchman.