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Arya's character complexity and her future.


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#1 repbypop

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:24 PM

I don't see where Martin is going with the character of Arya, but i think this character was a great waste during the last books. In my opinion, Arya is the most complex character in the book, and i think it's the reason why Martin struggle to find a path for the character. Besides, i don't think Arya going to become a faceless man, it's just a way for grrm to take the time to find a story for the character. But this character has many traits we don't find usually in a child her age, which make her so interesting. For example ;

1. She doesn't get scared easily

2. She's very independent person, she relies on herself and survives all her misfortunes in dangerous situations and unknown environnements

3. She's very strategic, she think quick and doesn't doubts about her judgments, she has great confidence in her ability to get things done.

4. She's very good at convincing other people, she has great communication skills and other people have recognized her intelligence (like Tywin)

5. Some people called her sociopath, but i don't think she's sociopath at all, she's just a person who see the reality of the world she lives in, and did all she can to protect herself from the bad seeds of this world. She's not naive, and she can read into people's lies and manipulation. That something Robb, Catelyn, and Ned lack, which made them so vulnerable against their opponents. Arya's mind is fit to play the games of thrones, she has great potential and she's can very threatening to her opponents.

6. She's a good person, but with unbalanced emotions (which is understandable given the situations she's going through). But overall she managed to stay a good person, even if she lack of morales and principles unlike the other Starks family members.

If she was older, like fifteen or closer to Robb's age, i think she would've been far more interesting for the story, because her traits are far too complex for her young age, and far too undeveloped for her storyline.

Edited by repbypop, 21 September 2013 - 12:28 PM.


#2 sarah.jenice

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:35 PM

I think she's with the Faceless Men to learn skills she will need to get the revenge that's been a major part of her character arc since Ned died.

It also seems like Braavos might come into play with fake Arya going there and Stannis's man going there to buy sellswords. It's not a coincidence the real Arya is there.

#3 Jon of the Dead

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:49 PM

Like the OP, I thought that Arya being in Braavos was a huge letdown. I still think that, but now I think I can see a glimpse of hope in the horizon for this plotline, or rather a reason for it:

After aSoS, Arya has very few limits when it comes to killing people. All her experiences have shown her how easy it is too take someone's life and she has become desensitized to violence. In her last aSoS chapter, she tries to sell her horse to a woman in Saltpans (?) and the woman just laughs at her. Arya thinks that she could kill her easily, but there's people around her or she wouldn't even bother, something like that.

She basically kills Dareon for bailing on Sam. Her reasons for killing are in danger of becoming more and more petty.

BUT, here's where the Faceless Men training MAY contribute to Arya's character development:

The FM have limits, they don't kill randomly. The kindly man tries to teach this to Arya, that death is no game, that death shouldn't come easily. It is highly ironic that a sect of assassins teach someone not to take life and death lightly, but I like this irony.

#4 A Man Has Said

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 01:00 PM

Where Arya is now is largely due to the teaching she had from Syrio Forel. Her lack of fear, her ability to see a situation from a tactical point of view, her general survival skills. And she had only begun training with Syrio, so Ned chose well there.

The HoBaW are teaching her along the very same lines - perceiving what's really there, rather than what you want to see. In the military it's called situational awareness. Where Syrio taught her to see with her eyes, the HoBaW taught her to 'see' without them, as the Blind Girl. Her time in Braavos is NOT just wasted material on the page.

She has seen her father killed, had her brother and mother killed when she was within minutes of reuniting with them, and heard about the 'deaths' of her other brothers. That follows the same 'shock and recovery' pattern that you see in a lot of comic book superheroes. Batman and Spiderman, to name just a couple. I think GRRM is shaping Arya up to be A Song of Ice and Fire's superhero.

#5 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:25 PM

/cool4.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool4:' />


A very nice post repbypop. I agree that Arya's is the most complex and cleverly crafted character in the ASOIAF world. While we as readers don't have many clues where Arya's arc is heading, I don't think Martin has any such issues. The problem is that she is so far removed from all the other major POV's that it is hard to predict where she will end up next. As for her being a FM, I don't believe it will truly happen. Throughout her storyline you see how she has taken up so many names, yet she remembers her her true identity as a Stark. Her powers to warg are getting stronger.

The one turning point in her arc that came was whether or not to abandon Needle completely. She chose not to. And that way her course is set.

Btw, repbypop, you should note that the Tywin-Arya interactions happened in show alone, not in the books. You should take that part out of the original post, as it compromises the credibility of the post. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#6 Martell Spy

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

She basically kills Dareon for bailing on Sam. Her reasons for killing are in danger of becoming more and more petty.


Her reason for killing him is that he's a deserter of the Night's Watch. Strangely, this killing is one of the signs that point to her not being lost or a sociopath. She's trying to imitate her father Ned, one of the goodest men ever to walk the Realm. She was probaly remembering that day Ned cut down that deserter.

I like the time in Braavos, but then I like all Arya chapters. GRRM is putting a lot of work in to turning Arya into a badass, but it's entertaining, and not just filler like some of the Brienne/Bran travelling scenes. Learning the history of the FM was awsome, especially since we are told so little about Valyria usually.

In a true Martin style twist, she will stop killing and go back to the name Lumpyhead permanently. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

Edited by Martell Spy, 21 September 2013 - 02:47 PM.


#7 Blueberry Stark

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:46 PM

Part of what I enjoy so much about Arya is the complete unpredictability of her story. When reading the first five books, I really just kept waiting for her to get to the safety of Jon at the Wall, lol. Seriously, I had no idea what the hell was happening when she ended up in Braavos training with the FM; it took me a long time even to realize that the HoBaW was training her to be a FM. I think Martin has a definitive plan in mind for Arya, and that she will eventually make her way back west and to the overall storyline. In some way, either as a FM, a Stark, a warg , or some blend of the three, Arya will be instrumental in the final battle(s) of the series.

#8 TheSilverMint

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:51 PM

Where Arya is now is largely due to the teaching she had from Syrio Forel. Her lack of fear, her ability to see a situation from a tactical point of view, her general survival skills. And she had only begun training with Syrio, so Ned chose well there.

The HoBaW are teaching her along the very same lines - perceiving what's really there, rather than what you want to see. In the military it's called situational awareness. Where Syrio taught her to see with her eyes, the HoBaW taught her to 'see' without them, as the Blind Girl. Her time in Braavos is NOT just wasted material on the page.

She has seen her father killed, had her brother and mother killed when she was within minutes of reuniting with them, and heard about the 'deaths' of her other brothers. That follows the same 'shock and recovery' pattern that you see in a lot of comic book superheroes. Batman and Spiderman, to name just a couple. I think GRRM is shaping Arya up to be A Song of Ice and Fire's superhero.


Have to agree with this /bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' />

#9 Jon of the Dead

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:52 PM

Her reason for killing him is that he's a deserter of the Night's Watch. Strangely, this killing is one of the signs that point to her not being lost or a sociopath. She's trying to imitate her father Ned, one of the goodest men ever to walk the Realm. She was probaly remembering that day Ned cut down that deserter.

I like the time in Braavos, but then I like all Arya chapters. GRRM is putting a lot of work in to turning Arya into a badass, but it's entertaining, and not just filler like some of the Brienne/Bran travelling scenes. Learning the history of the FM was awsome, especially since we are told so little about Valyria usually.


Could be, but Arya wasn't there the day Ned killed the deserter. In fact, I don't think she even knows or remembers that. Bran was the one who received Ned's talk of swinging the blade and he was the one impacted by the killing. In fact, I was expecting Bran to kill the deserters at Crasters in aDwD, but Coldhands did it first himself.

Anyway, I agree though, the killing of Dareon made some sense, but she still thought that killing someone was as easy as putting on a new pair of boots (hah), and I think the FM are trying to teach her that it isn't so.

#10 grand old duke of stark

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:59 PM

'A Man Has Said' wrote:
Where Arya is now is largely due to the teaching she had from Syrio Forel. Her lack of fear, her ability to see a situation from a tactical point of view, her general survival skills. And she had only begun training with Syrio, so Ned chose well there.

The HoBaW are teaching her along the very same lines - perceiving what's really there, rather than what you want to see. In the military it's called situational awareness. Where Syrio taught her to see with her eyes, the HoBaW taught her to 'see' without them, as the Blind Girl. Her time in Braavos is NOT just wasted material on the page.

She has seen her father killed, had her brother and mother killed when she was within minutes of reuniting with them, and heard about the 'deaths' of her other brothers. That follows the same 'shock and recovery' pattern that you see in a lot of comic book superheroes. Batman and Spiderman, to name just a couple. I think GRRM is shaping Arya up to be A Song of Ice and Fire's superhero.
=========================================================================
Well said! And the surprising directions her story/journey take reflect the results of her almost faultless instinct to make spur-of-the-moment decisions. Her wolf and her warging ability were handed to her as they were to her siblings. If she does indeed become a/the superhero, she'll be the only self-made one. Jon, Dany, Bran, even Stannis seem to have gods or magic or something supernatural predestining them or helping them. IIRC, all of Arya's interactions and guides have been human. The most extraordinary has been Jaquen, but he is still a human who can change his face. Only in the HoB&W has she had a chance to be in contact with something possibly beyond the ordinary. That is one thing that makes her so interesting: she seems a real child, but an unusually gifted one.

Someone mentioned that she wouldn't know about Ned's execution of the NW deserter. She probably did, having heard about it from Bran or someone else. And as a hyper-observant 9YO she probably knew that her lord father performed this duty on occasion. So her executing Dareon was thorougly in keeping with her family tradition. But how Arya-esque to keep Dareon's boots!

#11 Newstar

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:44 AM

She has seen her father killed, had her brother and mother killed when she was within minutes of reuniting with them, and heard about the 'deaths' of her other brothers. That follows the same 'shock and recovery' pattern that you see in a lot of comic book superheroes. Batman and Spiderman, to name just a couple. I think GRRM is shaping Arya up to be A Song of Ice and Fire's superhero.


There are a few Batman/Arya mashup memes floating around the Internet--the League of Shadows/FM parallels write themselves--so yes, I'd agree Arya's arc has a bit of that feeling to it. We're seeing what's called in comics the "origin story" for whatever it is Arya's going to become, and, like Batman, a big part of Arya's origin story involves the traumatic loss of her parents.

#12 JagLover

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:34 AM

I am not entirely sure that Arya is actually a 'good' person anymore. At this point in time she can be very friendly and warm still with people but at her core she no longer has any concept of the sanctity of human life. As above it was not her killing of the deserter that showed this most clearly, which could be seen as justice, but her internal thoughts in Saltpans.

I actually really like her Bravoos scenes, but can see how they could be viewed as wasted time, as I do not believe for a moment she will become a FM. Not because she is 'good' but because her only remaining driver is vengeance, and she cannot kill for personal reasons as a FM.

#13 Coldhands the Just

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:51 AM

I think she's going to have a mini-arc with the Iron Bank, possibly meeting Tycho Nestoris and Justin Massey there and hitching a ride with them to Westeros, finally remembering that she is Arya Stark. I also believe she will be the one to put Stoneheart out of her misery, and it makes sense since she's bound to go to the Riverlands anyway to meet up with Nymeria and her wolf army.

Who knows, maybe all of that can even happen in TWOW. I just hope her story progresses meaningfully this time. She was the highlight of ACOK and ASOS for me.

#14 ViserionsFire

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:15 PM

It also seems like Braavos might come into play with fake Arya going there and Stannis's man going there to buy sellswords. It's not a coincidence the real Arya is there.



There aren’t many Winterfell residents left alive from before the Wo5K to truly identify that Jayne Poole is Arya. Because she knew who Micken was, she has been accepted as being Arya Stark. Because she is accepted as Arya, should she meet up with Jon, revealing her as actually being Jayne Poole may discredit him in the eyes of the North.

If Jon survives and is still at the Wall when Jayne (Arya) is brought back to Castle Black, it would be interesting if Jon asked Tycho to take her with him to Bravos. This would get her far away from Ramsey and buy time to either find the real Arya or for her to surface. Also, by being away from Jon, he wouldn’t contribute to the perception of Jayne being Arya. She would be out of view and only a few would know what she looked like and those that did know would think this to be a good idea for her protection. This could also lead to a scenario where the two Arya’s meet in Bravos.

#15 silentwanderer

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:35 PM

I am not entirely sure that Arya is actually a 'good' person anymore.


I see the character as a female version of Jaime Lannister, growing up with the realization that honor may not mean much in the world they live in.

Just like Jaime, Arya is a bit of a cynic and, just like Jaime, she desperately wants to believe in something bigger than herself. Because she's a woman, she can't join the Kingsguard so she joins the Faceles men instead.

Edited by silentwanderer, 23 September 2013 - 12:40 PM.


#16 jon stark I

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:40 PM

Arya is the most complex and interesting character or she is to me.Well if we can name this game the survival of the fittest then she is certainly the fittest of all the characters.She is constantly teaching herself somethings she learns new things with each advanture.She knows different languages for example.She fits in everyplace she goes.She very cleverly disguised herself and if I may add even Lord Bolton couldn't recognize her.She never complains about her difficulties she always tries to find a way to make things better, the best example for this is her incident with Jaqen.She is still a good hearted kid she tried saving that girl when Lannisters attacked, she mourns for a butchers son whom she didn't know more then a week.She has a very sharp instict about justice and revenge.She is my favourite character.

#17 A Man Has Said

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:21 PM

I am not entirely sure that Arya is actually a 'good' person anymore. At this point in time she can be very friendly and warm still with people but at her core she no longer has any concept of the sanctity of human life. As above it was not her killing of the deserter that showed this most clearly, which could be seen as justice, but her internal thoughts in Saltpans.

I think she has just developed a very necessary survival strategy. Having seen that the sanctity of life is relative to how well equipped you are to protect it, she has made the decision that her own life has higher value than those of her enemies. The horse trader in Salpans CHOSE to be Arya's enemy by quite blatantly and openly declaring that she was going to take maximum advantage of her.

Lommy Greenhands illustrates especially well the hard choices that Arya has had to make - not because she's unfeeling, but out of necessity. Lommy's survival strategy was to yield, Arya's was to fight back when she could, and to hide ('the mouse') when it was necessary. Lommy's death was the most perfunctory, offhand and senseless we've seen. What do you think Arya learned from that?

I actually really like her Bravoos scenes,
but can see how they could be viewed as wasted time, as I do not believe for a moment she will become a FM.
Not because she is 'good' but because her only remaining driver is vengeance, and she cannot kill for personal reasons as a FM.

The fact that she will not become an FM doesn't make it a waste, because she's still gaining knowledge and being trained by them. And, as far as your earlier points, it's not just training in techniques of killing but a philosophical education as well. She's learning to appreciate the sanctity of life by learning to respect the finality of death.

#18 sgolvera

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:44 PM

It's just an idea but if Arya were to actually take the place of Jeyne Poole wouldn't that be cool. Put her right into the thick of things. She wouldn't think twice of killing Ramsay. Anyway just a thought. Really love Arya and want her to find some kind of life with peace.

#19 Welease Woger

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:47 PM

Once Arya has been trained by the Faceless Men, can she just... leave? No consequences? I mean, those guys have a strict morality about murdering, and they're training Arya in a very dangerous game. I think the priests of the HoB&W wouldn't want to have a former disciple going on a killing spree in King's Landing, they'd kill her instead. Arya may not be free to seek her revenge ever again, unless she decides to challenge her masters and face the consequences.

#20 juanml82

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:32 PM

Once Arya has been trained by the Faceless Men, can she just... leave? No consequences? I mean, those guys have a strict morality about murdering, and they're training Arya in a very dangerous game. I think the priests of the HoB&W wouldn't want to have a former disciple going on a killing spree in King's Landing, they'd kill her instead. Arya may not be free to seek her revenge ever again, unless she decides to challenge her masters and face the consequences.

Or hide from them for the remainded or her life. Arya is a wildcard. She will rejoin one of the main plots, hopefully by the first half of TWOW, but we have no idea what she'll do.