AryaUnderfoot33

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  1. Marriages to build a Westeros-wide power bloc like the Southern Ambitions approach is a really interesting question. Going through the options to marry into other regions/paramount houses: Dorne/Martells: Quentyn or Trystane with Sansa or Arya. There's less benefit in allying so far South and allying with a region that's poorer than many others. So that would be a low choice and at most you're going to be offering second-daughter Arya if other options are exhausted. She'd also like Dorne more than Sansa and there's more freedom for women, so that's a bonus. But still unlikely. The Reach/Tyrells: Robb/Margaery; Sansa with Willas or Garland - maybe Arya as a backup. I agree with other posters that the Tyrells would probably refuse Robb for Marg, they'd prefer marrying her to Renly, Edmure or Joffrey, and she'd probably dislike the North. So Sansa/Willas seems more viable, Sansa would love the Reach and he seems like a good option personally. Arya is probably a bit too young for the Tyrell boys. The Stormlands/Baratheons: Renly/Sansa, maybe Renly/Arya. Good option if the Tyrells don't get there first. I think Ned would be wary of Renly and Arya, both bc of age difference and also because of personal trauma about what happened when Lyanna-original-recipe-Arya was forced to marry the Stormlands ruler. Dragonstone/Baratheons: Bran or Rickon with Shireen. Not Robb as both he and Shireen are heirs. Dragonstone isn't as wealthy or an actual paramount house so less beneficial. Crownlands/Baratheon-Lannisters: Myrcella with Robb/Bran; Sansa or Arya with Joffrey or Tommen. Sansa/Joffrey would give a Stark as Queen (Ned and Cat weren't so stupid accepting than match after all) but again the Tyrells could get in first. Robb/Myrcella would be next best, especially with the lack of Lord paramount daughters. Ofc the personal problems with Joffrey being a pyscho come in, but on paper it's great. The Westerlands/Lannisters: Not really anyone on the table. The Riverlands: Ditto. And you're already covered as the kid's are all nieces and nephews of Edmure. The Vale/Arryns: Arya/Robin. If Robin dies, Harry/Sansa or Harry/Arya. Again, Robin stinks on a personal level, but tbh if he just whined in the corner and Arya took control of the place and acted as ruling lady it would be manageable - and certainly the Vale would be grateful for having a capable ruler. Pre-GoT Sansa would be thrilled with handsome Harry. The big question for the Starks is does Joffrey go with Marg or Sansa (his two most likely options): If he goes Marg, the best scenario for the Starks - assuming all the other families agree - would be: Robb/Myrcella - Baratheon-Lannisters covered Sansa/Willas - Tyrells covered Arya/Robin - Arryn's covered. Shireen/Bran - Baratheons of DS covered Rickon with a Northern or Riverlands girl - covering what is needed. That gives you alliances across the Crownlands, Reach, Vale, Dragonstone, Riverlands and even the Westerlands. You're only missing Dorne and the Stormlands. If Joffrey goes with Sansa, then yay a Stark is the future Queen of Westeros! But that makes Robb/Myrcella unlikely and unnecessary - and there aren't any other Lord Paramount daughters for Robb to marry. (Asha?? Though Balon wouldn't let her leave the Iron Islands. A Northern or Riverlands girl after all??) It also means a Tyrell-Stark alliance is harder, unless you go Arya with Willas or Garland - and Arya in the Reach seems like a bad idea, the Vale would be an easier and nearer option.
  2. I'd agree with @dornishdame on most of those suggestions, esp around betrothing Southern/Tully looking Robb to a Northern girl. As you said Alys and Wylla offer more practical benefit, but Meera would be a nice show of friendship. I'd think she's a bit old for Bran and suited to Robb in normal circumstances. And yes if one kid is going South is definitely Sansa. The Mormonts would actually be a great option for Jon, they're too small and isolated a house to be worth making a match with Robb/Bran/Rickon and could offend the bigger houses, but offering Jon (with lands) as a show of personal friendship to an unconventional family would work well. In general as a lot of people have said: Robb = Northern match with one of the more powerful houses; Sansa = Southern match in the Riverlands or Vale; Arya = Northern match; Bran = Could go either Northern or Southern; Rickon = Likewise, though leaning towards Northern. That gives a nice balance between strengthening relationships with your own bannerman and sustaining connections with the nearby Southern neighbours. This is of course still going on just keeping the status quo and focusing on the North, if Ned was looking at gaining more central power throughout Westeros it's a whole different game.
  3. Yeah I'd agree. Although Arya and Edric got along in the books and Ned had a crush on Ashara, for arranged, political matches a Dayne-Stark marriage makes zero sense. House Dayne is a vassal to a different ruling house at the opposite end of the entire continent. (Unlike vassal houses in the Riverlands). What use will the Daynes be to Ned? If the North is in trouble, they'll ignore their responsibilities/own alliances in Dorne and charge the entire way up to the North - past the more powerful houses Ned could have married into - to fight in unfamiliar terrain and weather? Or they're going to constantly be hanging out, and trading with the Starks from so far away? If they're both at court what political alliances/things will they both be fighting for? At most if you're going for a far-South match you'll want it to be with another paramount house: The Martells - Quentyn or Trystane with Arya or Sansa. Or the Tyrells - Robb/Margaery or Sansa/Willas. And even then it's such a great distance, there's no natural trade or borders between those houses and the North. And it seems super unlikely the Tyrells would send Marg to the North, when she's the best catch in the kingdom and could be looking at Joffrey, Renly, Edmure etc. instead. But at least if it's another ruling house you're heading towards making a ruling bloc a la Southern Ambitions with the Stark/Tully/Arryn/Baratheon combo.You won't get that with a minor Dornish house.
  4. It depends on my aims. Am I just keeping the North stable and do what the Starks have done historically and go for mostly local-ish betrothals? (Northern or at most nearby Vale/Riverlands Houses). Or in this post-Targ world, am I taking a Southern Ambitions approach and want to find matches further afield for more powerful alliances? Assuming I'm just going for the historical, local approach and at least somewhat taking my kid's personalities into account: Robb - Agree with everyone that a Northern bride would be best given a Southerner as Lady of WF was so unusual. One of the most powerful and rich vassal houses so either: Alys Karstark - If I got my act together before she was promised to the Hornwoods. Wylla Manderly - Not Wynafryd as she's heir to White Harbour in her own right so will remain there. (A second son would be better for her, if Bran was older or Sansa was a boy that would be ideal). Meera Reed - Probs more about of personal friendship, as the Reeds are important but not as wealthy/prominent. Sansa - Again, agree she'd be best to send South, but only the Riverlands and maybe the Vale houses have matched with Starks historically.(Probably bc of logistics, distance and actual usefulness). Patrek Mallister - If of an appropriate age, I can't remember it Bryden Blackwood - likewise. Follows old gods and there have been past Blackwood/Stark matches. Andar Royce - If I'm looking as far as the Vale Arya - Keep her North, both because of personality and because Sansa went South. Cley Cerwyn - as everyone said, a childhood friend and she can stay close to WF Jojen Reed - she'd love the freedom of the Neck and the Reed's acceptance of Meera's unladylike skills suggest she'd be v. happy there. Domeric Bolton - though he was a bit older. In a non-Ramsay world and after Roose died off, Arya would probably be a great person to reform House Bolton and Dreadfort. Bran - Set him up with his own cadet house with land from the New Gift, if he doesn't go South to become a knight (or does and then comes back). Could make a Northern or a Riverlands match. Bethany Blackwood - Solid Riverlands house, follows old gods. Eddara Tallhart - Daughter of good Northern bannerman. Any other daughters of decent Northern houses: Not less powerful Stark vassals like Jeyne Poole or Bell Cassel; love the idea of Meera but probably a bit old in normal circumstances; Wynafred would be ideal but again probably too old; and the Mormonts just aren't prominent/rich enough to be worth it). Rickon - I'm trying to think of either Northern or even Riverlands girls around his age? Bethany Blackwood or Eddara Tallhart if Bran doesn't get them? Jon - Like Bran, set him up with a cadet house on the New Gift (rather than making him feel the Nights Watch was basically the only option). A smaller or less powerful house like the Cassels, Pooles or even the unconventional Mormonts might accept marrying a bastard if he came with lands and connections to the Starks. Man if only Ned actually thought ahead.
  5. Absolutely! Go for it
  6. The original poster caught a ton of good details. I've always been a bit puzzled by the certainty that Gendry is definitely 5 years older, based off one thought from Arya in the heat of the moment when GRRM is known for unreliable narrators. I think 3 years older than Arya makes more sense. To add to Brienne's side: The common room was crawling with children...older here meant ten or twelve, Gendry was the closest thing to a man grown. As said before if he was five years older than 11-almost-12yo Arya he'd be 16/17 and so by Westeros standards is a "man grown." And given we know Gendry is strong for his age and takes after the big, well-built Robert, it seems unlikely Brienne is underestimating his age and thinking he's not yet a man when he's already 16+. More likely Gendry is actually around 14 but looks a bit older.
  7. ...or she could be asoiaf's Anne Neville who she has even more parallels with. GRRM rarely does easy x = x parallels, both Theon and Tyrion are versions of Richard III for instance. I've never been super persuaded that by the "Sansa is literally Elizabeth of York" argument when she has parallels with multiple historical figures, while there's undoubtedly similarities with EoY most of the discourse seems to be focused on that totally revealing Sansa's end game and (becoming Queen) rather than what's come before as much.
  8. Yeah I'm not keen on her becoming Queen - it would feel super redundant to get what she was dreaming of as a naive 11yo in book 1. And she hasn't had the training in ruling; yes she's learned politics and scheming - but actual learning or practicing being a leader the way Jon, Dany and even Bran have? No. (In the books her main training phase seems to be politics/manipulation with LF and in the show her arc is just all over the place). I'd love to see her wielding soft political power at the end, in a Kings Hand/Small Council type role like Littlefinger or Renly did (but a benevolent version working for the good of the realm obviously) or a ambassador between the North and South as she's the Stark with the most Southern connections/skills. But Sansa getting exactly was she wanted at the start after all her changes and character development seems meh.
  9. Imo Sansa gets so much hate partly because she's introduced in the context of the Starks, the closest we have to the traditional heroes of the series, so her flaws stand out more. Meanwhile other characters are much more terrible but they don't have such sympathetic foils that make them look worse. Jaime and Tyrion for example have done much more awful things than Sansa ever has, but we're introduced to them as Lannisters - the biggest "villain" house of series at least in the first book (obviously shades of grey come in) - and we view them in comparison to Cersei, Joffrey and Tywin. So of course they seem more sympathetic. Meanwhile, Sansa in GoT comes off terribly when lined up against her siblings who are all more likable and competent than she is. Her snobbishness, being blinded by Joffrey, and Cersei, desperation to go South/become Queen, viewing life as a song, not standing up for Arya/Mycah in the Trident incident*** and foolishness in betraying Ned wouldn't look nearly as bad if her other siblings weren't more Northern, sympathetic to the smallfolk, immediately able to realise Joffrey is scum and while naive, aren't as blinded by songs and fantasy. Even in ACoK/ASoS when Sansa's dealing with her hostage situation with a heck more maturity than your average 12 year old girl, it still pales in comparison to Jon infiltrating the Wildlings; Arya surviving in a war-zone, winning over assassins and escaping her own imprisonment situation; Bran ruling Winterfell and Robb leading a war effort. (Setting up Sansa as a foil for Arya was always going to make Sansa's likability an uphill battle. I mean, at least in AGoT, who are readers going to side with? The scrappy, underdog tomboy who befriends/defends commoners, beats up sadistic shithead and learns to sword-fight, or her older sister who bullies her and spends most of her narration sighing over an obviously-evil prince?) ***Not going to get in another debate about the Trident incident, but for comparison - if it had been Jon, Robb or Bran who had to tell Robert what happened between Joffrey and Arya - do you think for a second they wouldn't have backed up Arya up? Lied about what happened after watching Joffrey try to kill their little sister? Imo, it's that kind of comparison that hurts Sansa the most. There are other reasons - bias against traditionally feminine/girly characters, some sexism etc. but I think her comparison to the other Starks is a big one. If she was deliberately introduced from an antagonistic and/or not sympathetic background/context it might be different.
  10. Bahaha, "let's all go around and share a story about an interesting person we met on our journey. But don't name name guys! It's more fun this way." Yeah they did. They have literally 2 minutes of screentime together and managed to mention Sansa. Jon and Tyrion managed to discuss Sansa. But apparently, Jon - who in the books can barely go a chapter without thinking about Arya - doesn't give a crap about his little sister.
  11. Yeah, I mean maybe it could be they were both too heartbroken to mention her because they both thought she was dead, but now it's like what? Jon admittedly has no way of knowing Gendry was friends with Arya, but Gendry sure as hell knows Jon' her brother. Why wouldn't be bring Arya up as well as Ned? It's like literally everything about Arya is relevant: Jon hears she's alive, Gendry who was her closest friend returns, BwB who Arya ran away from because they sold Gendry returns, the Hound who picked up her after the Brotherhood returns....aaaaand no mention of her at all.
  12. Um, how the hell did Gendry and Jon not mention Arya??? Gendry talks about Ned, who he spoke to for all of 3 minutes but apparently forgets he spent what, months, years with Jon's little sister? And then the Hound and the Brotherhood don't mention her either? Jesus christ, you've got literally every living character who Arya travelled with in Westeros together and her name doesn't even pop up? (Except Hot Pie, who I assume was excluded because he actually likes talking about Arya).
  13. I absolutely agree that Ned's education would have been ok if the Starks had stayed in the North. Ned was a very respected and beloved warden of the North, precisely for being plain-spoken, just, honourable, "the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword" etc. All of which he passed onto his kids, particularly his sons. But yeah, the main problem - in addition to not planning his kid's futures, marriage for Robb and Sansa, a keep for Jon etc. - was that the kids didn't learn Southern ways. In which case Ned and Catelyn needed to stick with keeping the kids in the North - or at least if Sansa does go South, like the Riverlands or Vale not Kings Landing. They needed to refuse Robert's offer of handship and Joffrey-Sansa marriage. But overall Ned did a pretty impressive job given he was never raised to be Lord of WF and like you said was carrying the trauma of the rebellion and 3 family members deaths in less than a year. Idk, I think the Mycah incident was a pretty rude awakening for Arya. She grew up believing that - even if others were unjust - her family and the people of Winterfell would defend those in need and make sure justice was served. That was how she thought life worked. What happened with Mycah and Lady broke that worldview: Arya had lived nothing better than to sit at her father's table and listen to them [people of WF] talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too....Only that was Winterfell, a world away, and now everything was changed. This was the first time they had supped with the men since arriving at Kings Landing. Arya hated it. She hated the sounds of their voices now, the way they laughed, the stories they told. They'd been her friends, she'd felt safe around them, but now she knew that was a lie. They'd let the queen kill Lady, that was horrible enough, but then the Hound found Mycah.....And no one had raised a voice or drawn a blade or anything, not Harwin who always talked so bold, or Alyn who was going to be a knight, or Jory who was captain of the guard. Not even her father. Sorry for the super long quote, but I always just found that passage so evocative in terms of how Arya is reappraising the world and how she views the people she idolized and loved. Imo, it was a shift in her belief system and trust in people. While she does talk to Ned, and realizes the complexities of it - that Ned did care, that the men cared but sometimes you can't do anything - some of her innocence was still shattered. And even her conversation with Ned was about how winter was coming and the world was dangerous. And it provides an interesting contrast to Sansa. Sansa instead of - like Arya - being angry the people she idolized (Cersei, Joffrey) for their actions, pretends it didn't happen to preserve her innocent world view.
  14. Ok. What? You have two characters: One told the truth, one told a lie. A third character refuses to side with the truth. They're implicitly helping the liar more, because it means the lie gets equal weight as the truth. Sansa threw Arya under the bus, because Arya. Was. Telling. The. Truth. It wasn't that Arya and Joffrey both had fair, balanced points of view and Sansa had to choose. Arya was in the right and Joffrey was in the wrong. Sansa's lie endangered Arya and Mycah, because it was less basis to punish Joffrey or let Arya/Mycah off the hook. Two against one would have put the blame firmly on Joffrey's side in front of the entire court and the King. Not siding with the person in the wrong, doesn't discount also not siding with the person in the right. Sansa doesn't deserve a freakin' parade for not going further in her lie for Joffrey. Yes, Sansa could have made it worse for Arya and didn't. But Sansa could have made the situation better for Arya. Not by making anything up. Just the plain unaltered truth. Just "That version is true." She didn't. She lied. And that was a betrayal.
  15. Exactly. It wasn't that Sansa never loved her family, or that she didn't come to appreciate the North as time went on. But at the beginning in s1/book 1, she stood out as the Stark kid who wasn't keen on the North whose dreams were wrapped up in a Southern husband and life. (And it wasn't just that that marriage was what she'd been taught, Arya had been told the same thing and loved the North and it's people. It was down to difference in personality and interests). Tbh, Sansa's refusal to see the truth about Joffrey and Cersei stretches belief. She literally saw Joffrey cut an innocent boy's face open for fun, almost kill her sister and then Cersei has Sansa's wolf killed. She still convinces herself they're good. Then, there's a fight with Jaime where her father is almost killed and Jory is killed - who Sansa has known since childhood and is close to the family.She still thinks the Lannisters are good. Then her injured father announces they're leaving. Sansa responds by going to Cersei. I'm sorry but wouldn't she realize something was up?? Even at 11? Arya knew Stark-Lannister relations weren't good even before Ned talked to her. I do think that there were gaps in the Stark kids education, Ned had a tendency to bury his head in the snow about the futures and I'm sideyeing Catelyn as well. i.e. Why wasn't Robb betrothed? Or even Sansa? Why hadn't he at least thought about some plans for Jon, so Jon didn't feel his only option was the NW? He knew Robert was coming to offer him the Handship, maybe prepare a better excuse to say no? They expected Sansa to make a great Southern match, maybe prep her for it. The Starks kids also did seem to be a bit naive. And yes, Ned screwed up bad with the Joffrey situation and looking after the girls at KL. He should have called off the match with Sansa long before. Probably should have sent Arya back to WF after the Mycah incident. He should have had a better guardian than Septa Mordane for the girls. He should have talked to Sansa. Ned failed at managing in court. The books acknowledge that, Ned dies for those mistakes. The ultimate problem imo was Ned prepared the Stark kids for Northern life and rulership. Had they all remained in the North and out of the game of thrones things probably would have been fine. But he and Catelyn made no contingency for teaching them to survive in the South. That said, it's notable that Sansa was one who was really naive and made particularly ridiculous mistakes before all hell broke loose. (Robb made big mistakes once he was forced to become King during war but those were exceptional circumstances that anyone would struggle with, albeit, it did show the issues in the Starks upbringing and lack of political education. Sansa made mistakes in less exceptional circumstances). Why Sansa was quite so oblivious I don't know. Maybe her naivety was highlighted because she and Arya were the only one who went South. (Aforementioned, "raised in Northern ways" problem). Or like you said, maybe it was on Catelyn and Septa Mordane as they were in charge of the girls education. Why did they let Sansa labour under this belief the world was a song?(In that case, did Ned do a better job with the boys, than Cat did with the girls?) But, the thing is, even if Ned and Cat did raise the kids to be overly idealistic, the rest of the Stark kids snapped out of it pretty fast. Sansa didn't. Like @teej6 mentioned, Jon went into the NW naive and kind of a snob but after a talking to got over it. For Arya, the Mycah incident broke her own idealism about the world. There's a hugely significant moment when she reflects that none of the WF men not even her father fought for Mycah, but unlike Sansa who avoids seeing the truth Arya faces it head on and it permanently changes her worldview and that things aren't fair. She can't bring herself to talk to WF men for a while and certainly never trusts the Lannisters. (Arya having her faith in justice and caring about the smallfolk challenged, is like Sansa having her fantasies of marriage/knights/chivarly questioned. But they respond very differently). Whereas for Sansa, it literally takes her father getting beheaded to see life as it is. So while, Ned and Cat neglected aspects of teaching the kids about the dangers of the world, a lot of it's Sansa's personality.