The Ned's Little Girl

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About The Ned's Little Girl

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    With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
  • Birthday August 20

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  1. It is enough to say that, yes indeed. But there needs to be a reason to regard something as a different thing than it is on its surface.The purple serpents are a perfect example. Clearly, we don't have maids with literal purple serpents for hair so that's a clue that we readers should look beyond the literal meaning of the words, should regard that description as symbolic. Another good example is the Ghost of High Heart's description of the dead Catelyn Stark as a woman who was a fish. The words make absolutely plain that they aren't to be taken literally because a woman who was a fish is simply not a thing. Plus, on top of readers having a reason to look at the written words in a sense other than literal, the symbolism of them has to make sense. Which both of those examples above do, when the symbolism is decoded. So, my problem with interpreting "a girl in grey on a dying horse" as symbolism, rather than what the words straightforwardly say, is that there isn't any indication or reason for the reader to look at those words differently than the way they are written. They absolutely can be literally true, which the examples I gave above can not. Decoding "a girl in grey" to mean a girl who is currently residing in a city that has a lot of grey coloration is pretty tenuous and also doesn't make much sense. Same with the horse: it's either dying or it isn't. If it isn't dying, why is that word used and what state is the horse in? What does the descriptor "dying" mean, if it doesn't mean dying? And if it does mean spiritual death or becoming No-One, why is it applied to the horse and not to the girl (since Arya is the only one in the story undergoing that very process and representing her as a horse has a lot of problems with it)? I guess my question boils down to, "What reason do I have to believe that these words are symbolic, not literal?" I don't actually see a reason to believe that. It seems to me that the vision's simplest form is the truest: a girl dressed in grey clothing riding on a nearly-dead horse. Could have been Alys Karstark and already happened. Could be Jeyne Poole and is imminent. Could be Arya Stark and is yet to happen (although not in the way that was described in the OP). TL;DR I don't see any reason to read Mel's vision in any way other than literal and the examples given in the original post showing how the girl is Arya Stark in Braavos don't add up, and if the vision is regarded symbolically it makes even less sense.
  2. Stranger was Sandor Clegane's horse, so I would think any symbolic meaning about him and his name apply to Sandor more than Arya. Arya did try to steal him and almost got her face bitten off, so any spiritual connection between her and that horse is unlikely, to put it mildly. The point I'm making is that she isn't associated with horses. They're not part of her; she doesn't have any kind of extraordinary or other-worldly connection to horses like she does with other animals. Even as a point of comparison with her aunt Lyanna, Harwin didn't say Arya was "half a horse herself" as was said of Lyanna. Horses are Lyanna's spirit animal (thank you @Springwatch !), not Arya's; if they were, then an evocation of a horse as a stand-in for Arya makes sense. As they are not, the interpretation of Arya=horse fails in my opinion. Arya is associated with wolves because her wolf Nymeria is a part of her; with cats because she was a cat; with mice because she was a mouse. Those animals are part of her, integral to her being. Horses are not; they are just transportation. So a vision invoking a horse being taken to be a reference to Arya - I just don't see it. If it were a wolf (as the Ghost of High Heart said in calling her "wolf girl"), or a cat, or a mouse then yeah, I would see it. Oddly enough, I think that arguing that Mel's vision is a literal one makes it much easier to maintain that it refers to Arya, than to argue that it means Arya symbolically.
  3. Soooo.... the dying horse symbolizes Arya, despite that Arya has never been particularly associated with horses except for Jeyne Poole's childish insulting nickname "Arya Horseface" which only she ever used (even Sansa never actually called Arya that iirc; Sansa only failed to make Jeyne Poole shut up about it). And despite that Arya in Braavos (if the interpretation of "girl in grey" correctly means "girl in grey city") didn't ride about on a horse there; she walked everywhere. And despite that while Arya does identify herself with some animals (wolf obviously, cat while in Braavos, mouse while in Harrenhal), none of them are a horse. And despite that the Ghost of High Heart, who is the only one who actually got a psychic read of Arya, calls her "wolf girl" and "dark heart", neither of which are reminiscent of horses really. And how are readers supposed to read the phrase "dying horse" and interpret it to mean "not literally a dying horse, but actually something else entirely" (i.e. something that is not dying in the usual sense and also something that is not a horse in the usual sense, because it's Arya who is the one undergoing the not-death, definitely not the horse)? Because if the meaning of dying should be understood as "spiritual death" and the meaning of horse should be understood as "Arya" - thus making the girl in grey on a dying horse to be "spiritually-doomed-but-physically-alive Arya, who is simultaneously herself and the horse she's riding in on" (which is pretty amazing!) - how would a reader realize that this is the correct interpretation?
  4. How would "dying horse" be symbolic and not literal?
  5. I didn't say precisely, but what I was trying to convey was that Tyrion didn't even pay basic respect to another person who was very gruesomely killed. He doesn't need to demonstrate "love", just minimal respect. Does that help?
  6. Hmmmm... I could have sworn I was being logical. And I'm going to be even more logical and maintain that your scenario above has no textual support, so it kinda falls flat as an example. It's pretty clear from the text why Tyrion killed her. And you didn't address the other examples I gave of lack of compassion by Tyrion (other examples toward Shae, toward Masha Heddle the innkeeper) and Sweetsunray's example of Tyrion's bitter thoughts toward Benjen Stark, who had the effrontery to offer Tyrion a fur blanket to keep warm. Tyrion's selfishness and self-centeredness isn't limited to Shae. But, each to his own. I personally draw a heavy line between Tyrion's actions being "understandable" and Tyrion's actions being "justifiable". Other people don't. That's their (and my) prerogative.
  7. This is a really interesting post, because it perfectly encapsulates exactly why Tyrion is such an amazingly-written character. He has so many characteristics that make it easy for readers to see his life in the same way he does, to gloss over (in a way) all the really horrible things he does. Shae "perjured herself in court to testify against him, also putting out false tales designed to shame him publically". Of course she did! Her whole life is in service to people more powerful than her, who make her do things they want her to do, either by paying her to or by threatening her to. Sure, she always had a choice to defy them and suffer the consequences, but how many people really have the courage to actually do that? "Tyrion was enraged that, after all he'd tried to do for her (at least in his own mind) she had betrayed him." All true. On the other hand, what he'd tried to do for her only was in his own mind. It certainly didn't show in the reality of his actions. Looking at what he actually did - as opposed to what he thought he did - tells a very different story. His father had specifically forbade him from bringing Shae to Kings Landing; he did it anyway and moreover didn't even inform Shae of that so to give her a chance to rethink the idea. Then Tyrion rented a nice house for her and gave her clothes and jewels. But at the same time, he made her stay there, not go out, not see anybody, not have any friends. He had the one guy who visited her killed. If they were actually in a relationship like he was pretending, why couldn't he take her out publicly? Or live with her in the house? Or marry her? Then, when his father arrived in the city, he took all that away from her and put her to work as a servant, although still expecting her to put out for him whenever he wanted. Even though he was not paying her and had, indeed, taken away from her all that he had paid her already (the house, the clothes, the jewels). So when he finally warned her that staying with him was dangerous for her, he had also removed from her the means to escape (her payment). And Shae could only have "betrayed him" if they actually were in the relationship that Tyrion imagined and pretended they were in. They weren't. Indeed, he had reneged on the agreement that they actually did have (by taking away her payments) and as such it could be argued that she didn't owe him anything, least of all loyalty. "Killing Shae was not at all typical behavior for Tyrion." Correct, but only because he hadn't killed anyone before. But IMO it does reveal a great deal about his lack of compassion and lack of empathy. I already made my point earlier about how Shae's great crime against Tyrion was conclusively shattering his own illusions about her and that's something for which I mainly hold Tyrion responsible, not her. It isn't just Shae, either. Remember when Tyrion mocked the corpse of Masha Heddle, the innkeeper who refused him a room because she didn't have any? Does a compassionate or empathetic person do that? "...it seems pretty understandable, although still wrong." You've summed up Tyrion perfectly. He does so many things that are so very, very wrong - yet all of them are still very, very understandable. He is a brilliant and brilliantly-fascinating character. (Please don't think that I'm accusing you of making excuses for Tyrion or glossing over his faults. I really do think you nailed him but also nailed the very complex way that readers have to regard him and think about him. I appreciate your post greatly.)
  8. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play? His murdering Shae is HUGE. It shows a serious lack of compassion and it shows that lack was always the case with Tyrion. His "compassion" was surface-level all along and the "wholly different" way her treated her was to make her pretend that they were in a loving relationship, that other men wouldn't bother trying to do because they understand the true nature of the "relationship" between a whore and her client. The only thing Shae did wrong was to finally shatter Tyrion's own illusions about his own compassion, to make as clear as possible to him that she always was who she was, not who he imagined she was. That's what got her killed: Tyrion's lack of compassion toward her.
  9. I didn't say it was bad (which I specifically did not say because that is not the purpose of this topic). I said it was savage and represents how readers possibly need to re-think previous opinions about Ned's religion, which in Ned's thoughts likely didn't depict the totality of its practices and beliefs.
  10. I think it may show that the Starks and the old gods' religion is really not much like the view of it that readers would tend to get from Ned's POV. Based only on Ned's attitude, his faith is pretty vague and airy-fairy nature worship. Those visions show some pretty savage practices historically. See also: ADWD, Davos IV, where he is imprisoned in the Wolf's Den in White Harbor. "He took the Wolf's Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he'd found chained up in the dungeons. It's said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south." (This is the castellan of the Wolf's Den, Ser Bartimus, giving Davos a history lesson.)
  11. Or, possibly, she is telling the questioner what she wants him to hear.
  12. And once again, you take this infamous quote and leave out half of it. He should have fucked her bloody "before leaving her for the dwarf". That last bit is pretty darn important and significantly changes the meaning of what went before. It's almost grimly amusing how often people quote only the first half of that line but leave out the second half.... almost.
  13. How many times in the books (so far) has Sandor been drunk? Twice? (I have clear memories of two times: once at the Blackwater battle and again when he tried to induce Arya to kill him.) Is twice enough to be considered "generally" drunk? Just as a constructive criticism, casting your argument in binary terms between one extreme of "thoroughly traumatized" versus the opposite extreme of "piece of cake" isn't the most helpful way to have your points taken seriously. Just sayin'. Carry on.
  14. You just answered your own question. She couldn't tell Robert to his face because "she had no say in her marriage". P.S. Highly doubtful she was "leading him on". Remember, "she had no say in her marriage". P.P.S. Running off with another man, especially a married one, is a pretty pointed statement that she doesn't want Robert. It's a huge F-U in his direction in fact. (If she ran off willingly, that is, which we don't know yet.)
  15. I want to see none of Dunk's life, until after we see The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.