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Honest Question about Arya & The Tickler & Character Development (book spoilers)


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#1 Pliny

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:52 PM

I have read many a comment protesting TV Arya's choice of The Tickler as her first Jaqen kill. Many have cited that this will make it impossible for her to kill The Tickler in the inn later, saying this is a major point of character development for her.

I remember this scene, where Arya kills him in a fit of rage, and I remember cheering for her and feeling sad for her at the same time, but I need some help as to how it advances her character development. I've only read it once, and it was a few months back. The way I remember it was that it seemed a very human thing, and in a way, a very childlike thing for her to do- giving in to her emotions and all, whereas later she seems to detach and control her emotions, and separate from her identity as Arya, or Arry, or Weasel, or any of the names she's used. I am not being critical of anybody saying this is an important moment for her, rather that I must have missed its deeper importance and would like to read some other takes on it. I know many on these boards have read multiple times and given these novels much thought, and I would be happy to learn something I didn't realize.

Thanks in advance.

#2 sarah.jenice

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:51 PM

Hmmm...I actually understood the choice they made with having her chose the Tickler because he was at the forefront of her mind as someone who needed to be killed, she was probably testing Jaquen to see if he was serious, and the TV audience may not remember the Tickler after the brief time that we had with him and the time it will take for Arya and the Hound to get to the inn and kill him in 1-2 seasons from now.

On the books, I feel like the inn scene with the Hound and Arya was a display of how dark a road she was going to be traveling down. She kills in self defense and she kills to escape places earlier, but I thought her Tickler kill was pretty brutal. Don't get me wrong - I was really proud of her for taking him out and totally think he deserved it - but I do think the more she killed, the easier it became for her to eventually become a FM. Also, isn't this her first personal kill from her prayer list? That is a big step for her to take one of the lives that she has been praying to end.

I hope that helps!

#3 Iotun

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

I'm not sure how I can say that it advances her character, because I find it very difficult to quantify such things. I can't say that event x has meant that character y has amassed z amounts of said attribute, thus their character is now 'this/that'. Arya is still Arya before and after that scene.

It is a very strong scene however, and I think its a very strong visual. I'd say it shows how regardless of all her strength, Arya is a very damaged and brutalized child by now, who's had to witness some really horrible things, how deeply emotional her pain is, but also how brutally she expresses that pain given the chance. Its very much a loss of innocence moment.

Despite all that, I still think its a scene that wouldn't have worked as well in the series, simply because most of the audience, by the time that scene came up (likely Season 4) would have no way of remembering a minor character like The Tickler, who appeared years ago for a few brief moments in a single episode. And given that the plot requires Arya to now spend her wishes on minor characters, it makes sense for those minor characters to be people that we've at least been introduced to.

I still hope that they manage to do some similar scene in the future when the time comes... How about her killing Ser Meryn? It would make sense as a character who would recognize the Hound, and who Arya would hate for his involvement in her father's death and killing Syrio. By I think he's bound to be killed on the Blackwater, so.... I don't know.

#4 Lannister_Lion

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:40 PM

TV Arya is Harriet Potter.

Far too many changes are going to ruin this story.

Iron Islander Galleons?

Gah.

#5 Reposado

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:22 PM

eh, was kinda already ruined by the way the tickler actually questioned people. he was nonsensically asking if there was gold in the village when they were all in harrenhall

#6 congokong

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:05 PM

Her murdering the Tickler has nothing to do with "character development." Why would anyone say that? She had killed many people by then. It was just a fantastic and powerful scene in the books and it was very satisfying knowing the Tickler got that type of justice with Arya repeating his own repetitive words while killing him.

Of course the show ruined it though...

Edited by congokong, 01 May 2012 - 09:06 PM.


#7 Ekho

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:20 AM

Her murdering the Tickler has nothing to do with "character development." Why would anyone say that? She had killed many people by then. It was just a fantastic and powerful scene in the books and it was very satisfying knowing the Tickler got that type of justice with Arya repeating his own repetitive words while killing him.

Of course the show ruined it though...


I disagree. That little psychopathic breakdown she had there really drove home how much she was affected by the Tickler's ticklings, and showed how savage Arya can be when in a murderous mindset.

#8 Blangadanger

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:43 AM

I was a little shocked that she would name the Tickler, but given that they hardly focused on the Tickler, I seriously doubt it would have been a powerful moment on screen had she started screaming out his questions from the book while killing him two seasons from now. They still have a chance to do a similar scene however, as long as they don't change much more. If they had Jaqen kill Polliver so she could get Needle back in Harrenhal for instance, it would be a striking difference to her character, and one that many book readers would vehemently hate I would guess. Let's hope the producers are smart enough to not do that at least.

#9 Buckwheat

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:49 AM

I think they did a reasonable change here. Arya's list was too long to put in into the show wholly. Also, if they showed Tickler again two seasone later, nobody would really remeber him, so it would not make such an impact as in the books. For me, even in the books those violent villains Arya meets on her travels started to blur into one another.

#10 scurvy

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:08 PM

I think the parallel reverse paths in the book between the Hound-Arya and Breinne-Jaime are going to breakdown on the show.

Arya moved toward becoming like the Hound traveling North through the Riverlands in SoS. She was consumed with revenge like the Hound was against his own brother, not caring about kiling, etc. Jaime, traveling South along the same path but never to converge, became more like Brienne: honorable, honest, a true knight.

The travels, the rain, the captivity, the desired return to family (Arya to her mother, Jaime to his sister) were all parallels. Their personality changes culminating in Arya killing the Tickler and leaving the Hound for dead and Jaime protecting Brienne from Loras with his wits and awarding her Oathkeeper are pivitol to their characters becoming who they are leading into DwD. Arya is a dispassionate killer. Jaime is striving to be a true knight.

#11 Dontos the Slim

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

I need some help as to how it advances her character development.


It was another step in her becoming a professional killer.

While she had killed before, this was the first kill that brought her what could be considered pleasure (don't get too hung up on that word, please). All of her others had some utility to them. And to be fair, this one did as well (The Tickler presented a real threat to her in that inn had she not killed him). But there is the slightest hint that she enjoyed what she was doing.

Because, let's not kid ourselves with Arya, she's training to become/has already become a professional assassin. While that certainly is badass for an epic story's character, in reality, it's pretty sick. The Tickler in the inn scene was a way for Martin to show that turn from little noble girl to, well, sick person.

#12 Pliny

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:14 PM

I think the parallel reverse paths in the book between the Hound-Arya and Breinne-Jaime are going to breakdown on the show.

Arya moved toward becoming like the Hound traveling North through the Riverlands in SoS. She was consumed with revenge like the Hound was against his own brother, not caring about kiling, etc. Jaime, traveling South along the same path but never to converge, became more like Brienne: honorable, honest, a true knight.

The travels, the rain, the captivity, the desired return to family (Arya to her mother, Jaime to his sister) were all parallels. Their personality changes culminating in Arya killing the Tickler and leaving the Hound for dead and Jaime protecting Brienne from Loras with his wits and awarding her Oathkeeper are pivitol to their characters becoming who they are leading into DwD. Arya is a dispassionate killer. Jaime is striving to be a true knight.

That's really interesting. I had not noticed this parallel before. Arya's hardly "dispassionate" when she's taking out The Tickler, but I think I get what you are saying. Maybe the emotions she released in that kill are some of the last real child emotions, and after that she really starts to become a killer?

It was another step in her becoming a professional killer.

While she had killed before, this was the first kill that brought her what could be considered pleasure (don't get too hung up on that word, please). All of her others had some utility to them. And to be fair, this one did as well (The Tickler presented a real threat to her in that inn had she not killed him). But there is the slightest hint that she enjoyed what she was doing.

Because, let's not kid ourselves with Arya, she's training to become/has already become a professional assassin. While that certainly is badass for an epic story's character, in reality, it's pretty sick. The Tickler in the inn scene was a way for Martin to show that turn from little noble girl to, well, sick person.

I see. This makes sense as well.
She's been wronged by a lot of people, though. If this scene is really important, couldn't they substitute somebody else?

#13 Pliny

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:18 PM

Just thought of another question re: Arya's pleasure in killing-
The Night Watch singer that went to Bravos (can't recall his name at the moment) Arya killed for being a deserter. Was this kill her duty as a Stark with a Night's Watch deserter, or did she relish exacting revenge on a coward deserter of the Night's Watch? In the beginning Ned makes a big deal about a lord's duty to carry out the sentence himself, but he never enjoys it.

#14 Crown

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:27 PM

Just thought of another question re: Arya's pleasure in killing-
The Night Watch singer that went to Bravos (can't recall his name at the moment) Arya killed for being a deserter. Was this kill her duty as a Stark with a Night's Watch deserter, or did she relish exacting revenge on a coward deserter of the Night's Watch? In the beginning Ned makes a big deal about a lord's duty to carry out the sentence himself, but he never enjoys it.


It was Dareon.

#15 Targaryen Kaiser

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:38 PM

Personally, comparing to some changes like no Reeds/Tullies and possibly no Ramsey, I don't think Tickler's death is THAT big of a problem. Tickler was a good choice to kill now since he appeared only one episode before and the TV viewers still remembered him. I also liked his death in the book but frankly there's no reason to discuss this issue again and again.

#16 boojam

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:44 PM

I have read many a comment protesting TV Arya's choice of The Tickler as her first Jaqen kill. Many have cited that this will make it impossible for her to kill The Tickler in the inn later, saying this is a major point of character development for her.

I remember this scene, where Arya kills him in a fit of rage, and I remember cheering for her and feeling sad for her at the same time, but I need some help as to how it advances her character development. I've only read it once, and it was a few months back. The way I remember it was that it seemed a very human thing, and in a way, a very childlike thing for her to do- giving in to her emotions and all, whereas later she seems to detach and control her emotions, and separate from her identity as Arya, or Arry, or Weasel, or any of the names she's used. I am not being critical of anybody saying this is an important moment for her, rather that I must have missed its deeper importance and would like to read some other takes on it. I know many on these boards have read multiple times and given these novels much thought, and I would be happy to learn something I didn't realize.

Thanks in advance.


I think it's of more importance that a strange bond has grown between The Hound and Arya. He grudgingly comes to admire her 'true grit'. She's has a growing ambivalence about Sandor.
In the Tavern fight she essentially saves Sandor's life. A very odd twist that.
Between the two of them they kill three men, Polliver , Tickler and the squire (we never find his name I think), actually Arya kills the squire all on her own.
Exactly why Polliver and the Tickler are there I can't remember , there are enough ball pen brutes running about Tickler would be easy to replaced. Polliver is important since he has Needle, it's gonna be disappointing if Arya gets Needle back before retrieves from the dead Polliver.
Arya then helps Sandor to his horse ... Sandor develops an odd relationship with the Stark girls.

Later as Sandor lays 'dying' Arya actually kind of nurses him. (I would like to know why George uses boiling wine a lot, boiling wine drives off the alcohol, better to just pour on as it is!) (Or heck use boiling water, save the wine!)

George leaves it ambiguous as to why Arya does not use Needle to kill the Hound, he asks her to give him mercy, it's as if she conflicted about being cruel, she leaves him. Note he disappears from her hit list after that.
(Vague rumblings that Sandor has survived, we shall see.)
So that whole sequence is important in Arya's futher development, plus it makes a hell of a scenario.


#17 Drinking Cersei's Tears

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:50 PM

She can kill anyone at the inn. It doesn't have to be the Tickler.

#18 boojam

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

It was Dareon.


Dareon was'nt technically a NW deserter , Jon had sent him with Sam, true he became kind of worthless scalawag, but unlike the insurance man (an insurance man!) who Arya kills, tho by stealth and not sword, Dareon's death seemed kind of brutal on Arya's part.
She is taking on those attributes of a FM , tho I still don't think she will join the order.


#19 TheArrynsKnight

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:02 PM

Her murdering the Tickler has nothing to do with "character development." Why would anyone say that? She had killed many people by then. It was just a fantastic and powerful scene in the books and it was very satisfying knowing the Tickler got that type of justice with Arya repeating his own repetitive words while killing him.

Of course the show ruined it though...


I disagree with this. I think it's on of her biggest character developments in the book. Basically because she saves The Hound. She saves this savage that has been on her list for so long, where she could just ran away and let them have him. But she instead chooses to take on The Tickler because he has scarred her in some ways. So I think it is a important (actually very important) scene for Aryas' character development.

And I too am getting more and more annoyed by all the changes they are making in the second season. doesn't feel like any of the changes make it better either in any way. Altough the scenes with the rats were brutal and fitting so they showed the brutality in a rather good way.

Edited by OllieOwl, 03 May 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#20 Darth Pipes

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:40 PM

I have an idea who Arya can brutally kill at the Inn. Why not a Frey? With The Tickler dead, the only one left likely to cause that much rage with Arya would be a Frey.

Edited by Darth Pipes, 15 May 2012 - 09:40 PM.