Victarion Chainbreaker

Arya's Big Hit

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I haven't watched the TV-show, but I have read threads where many believe Mel is older than she appears, and that the books give hints of that (can't point them out, though, it's been a while). It's the fire-ice, life-death, counter-illusions-with-illusions that I base my belief on that Arya and Melisandre will have a dance of their own. I admit, the leeches thing is a bit of a stretch (quite a lot of a stretch, in fact), but I was the only reason book-wise I could think of. But they might not need any past reasons, there are two books left ... at least.

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I don't think the faceless men will put up with Arya any longer after she killed Raff. I think they will now attempt to kill her because of her constant rule breaking. Arya will manage to run away to westeros, using some of the talents they taught her. But in the end, the faceless men always get their kill. I think she will survive in The Winds of Winter, but end up getting killed by a faceless assassin in A Dream of Spring.

As for her big hit after coming back to westeros, I think she will go on a revenge spree, starting first with Walder Frey, and then maybe, the Boltons, starting with Roose.   

Edited by ShimShim

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13 hours ago, ShimShim said:

I don't think the faceless men will put up with Arya any longer after she killed Raff. I think they will now attempt to kill her because of her constant rule breaking. Arya will manage to run away to westeros, using some of the talents they taught her. But in the end, the faceless men always get their kill. I think she will survive in The Winds of Winter, but end up getting killed by a faceless assassin in A Dream of Spring.

As for her big hit after coming back to westeros, I think she will go on a revenge spree, starting first with Walder Frey, and then maybe, the Boltons, starting with Roose.   

Or maybe... just maybe you're reading it wrong? That Mercy had another purpose and is returning to the HoBW completing her mummers training. Killing Raff by happenstance benefits a powerful group in Braavos. A group that might just be more involved with the HoBW than we realize. 

It was discussed earlier by @sweetsunray 

 

Arya won't be punished but rewarded by advancing to a next level in her training. Arya is about to flower and enter womanhood. Is there any better instructor in harnessing femininity than a Braavosi courtesan? George has The Black Pearl appear and reappear in several of Arya's Braavos chapters.  

During this part of her training, Arya is likely to come face to face with her old life in a very real way. Jeyne Poole is in the possession of the Iron Bank and is likely heading back to Braavos. The FM hav the real Arya and she will get to meet her Pretender. Perhaps they will even swap places and that could be Arya's way back to Westeros? If that wasn't jarring enough, the news of Jon's death will be the last nail in her FM coffin. 

I also agree with the people who say, once back in Westeros, that she will run into her dead mother who is searching for her. 

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On 9-10-2016 at 11:31 AM, Greywater-Watch said:

My point was not to re-open this discussion, but to elaborate, if this would represent a new level of Arya's training - not a technical one but how a plot works (small incident compared to huge political consequences) and thus how to select a target wisely.

1. sweetsunray said: "Arya would not know the reasons why she is to cause a scandal that makes the KL envoy look bad either with a poisoned coin and placing a "stolen" key or with the sword. She is a pawn who executes the plan, without knowing the full scope of it, and the bigger plan is the IB and FM playing a financial and political game. It's for us, the reader, to figure out the full scope."

=> it is no new step in the evolution of Arya.

Ok, regarding the "level of training of Arya". Before we can assess what George has as purpose with Aray's influence on the bigger story, we must first look back on the influence she had in the past and how aware she was of it then.

Note: before reading the rest let me first explain that I'm not implying that Arya alone is responsible for the results of certain plots. You can see a bigger narrative as a trail of domino stones. A few of those are on important locations with several splitting paths beyond it, and if that one doesn't drop you don't have the big wow-moment.

Arya saves 3 men from being burned to a crisp: Jaquen, Rorge and Biter.

  • Rorge and Biter ends up sacking Saltpan that not only wipes away Arya's last tracks that could make Westeros characters find out that she boarded a ship to Braavos, but such a war atrocity that basically everybody learns of it in Westeros. Pulling in Quite Isle characters (their leader is very angry over it, so much that he cannot forgive the lord who kept his doors closed and might show up in other arcs again, in other locations). Rorge goes completely rampant in the RL, while his actions pull in Brienne into the heart of the RL to look for the Hound and Arya. Brienne manages to kill Rorge and Gendry kills Biter. Brienne's face is half chewed by Biter, and Biter's actions basically disarmed and incapacitated her so much at the time, that Brienne can be safely apprehended and carried to Hollow Hill to stand trial before LS, who forces her to catch Jaime Lannister. Is Arya aware of this in any way? None. Will Arya ever learn of the consequences of saving Rorge and Biter? Very unlikely.
  • Jaquen recruits Arya, and continued to Oldtown (might have made a stop-over at Pyke too) and is now a character in Sam's story and what will become Euron-plot centric imo. So, whateve Jaquen will do and Gendry will end up doing/representing goes on Arya's conto for rescuing Jaquen. Is Arya aware of this in any way? None. Will she learn of it? While she'll probably be confronted with Gendry again and thus learn more of his narrative, I doubt she'll ever learn the impact she had on Westeros by saving Jaquen.

Arya chooses 2 names to be killed by Jaquen and forces him to free prisoners at HH.

  • Weese and Chiswyck are killed by Jaquen. Weese's death and Chiswyck's has no consequence to the overall bigger story.
  • Jaquen helps her free the prisoners with the Weasel Soup. While Arya's goal and hope was that the freeing of the prisoners of a coup in Harrenhal and this coup indeed took place and Shagwell and Gendry dedicate/blame her for HH being in Roose's hands, she is unaware of the fact that the coup was already planned. It would have happened anyway. It's not clear that Arya ever realizes this fact afterwards. Anyway, here we have an action and choice where she makes an effort to have an impact, but it turns out her decision did not change what was going to happen anyway. However, her participation and being hailed as the Weasel with her Weasel Soup, saves her from being naked in stocks and raped by Roose's men (basically an untouchable) and as an extension Hot Pie and Gendry live too.

Arya decides and escapes HH, taking Hot Pie and Gendry with her

  • She ends up in the BwB's hands, effectively keeping her from reaching RR and thus being taken to the Red Wedding where she would have been murdered or married to Ramsay. Hot Pie's impact at the Kneeling Inn will probably be nothing in the story, except that it might be the first seed to start an Orphan's Inn (Boy was already taken in by Husband and Sharna, Hot Pie was the second boy they took in). Gendry's has done no more than killing Biter so far (finishing off a plot that Arya started by saving him), but his role might become bigger in the hands of the politicised BwB who'll be starting to realize who he is, if some haven't already figured it out by themselves (other than Brienne). He's also used as a first guardian at the Orphan's Inn and alert to the BwB. He's probably also already used as an eye out to identify Arya if and when sparrows bring her the Orphan's Inn. And I'm sure the BwB are happy with the mending of armor he has done so far.

Arya runs out of the stables in anger, not even wanting to run away from the BwB

  • Arya ends up being taken by the Hound , making the BwB pursue him and come upon dead Catelyn, resurrected by Beric to become LS. Arya also dreams of Nymeria who pulls Catelyn out of the river in the first place. So, Arya has a big causation impact of the BwB becoming a politicised group of outlaws who kill Freys and Lannister men and seem to be prepping to hit multiple targets in the Riverlands with military and political far reaching impact for the RL and the North. Arya has had a big impact here, based on unintended decisions. Will she ever become aware how instrumental and crucial she may have been in the overall political narrative? To some respect yes. That is, I think she will learn the results, but I doubt she'll ever learn or realize how important she was to get it all going. I don't think she'll ever compltely connect the dots. Nor am I convinced she'll ever meet LS.
  • She helps to kill Polliver and the Tickler with the Hound, who ends up wounded and dying. At least some of the worst of Gregor's scum is dead. It happens at the Crossroads Inn that later becomes the Orphan's Inn. The decision to make it a base for the BwB seems partly done because it is a probable location for Arya to turn up again in their eyes if she's found alive again.
  • Of course the Hound-Arya journey sort of completes the psychological process that was already started within the Hound because of Sansa.

Arya takes the dying Hound off her list and leaves him

  • the Hound is saved and does penitence at QI as the gravedigger. He is bound to appear in the narrative again and have an impact. I would say he will have an impact in Sansa's story. Again I'm more inclined to think that Arya will learn of the results, but will not connect the dots with how her own decision may have played into that.
  • The Hound is symbolically buried and his Hound helmet is left, picked up by Rorge and now Lem, making Westeros believe that the Hound is responsible for Saltpans and other stories with Lem wearing that helm now. This I doubt Arya will ever learn about, just as she'll never imo learn of Rorge and Biter's atrocities.

Arya saves Sam from bravos and informs him of Dareon's whereabouts

  • Sam makes it to Oldtown. Personally I see indications and hints that Sam may end up being Euron's undoing unwittingly (like he becomes the Slayer, by covering his eyes and wildly stabbing in the air). I think he'll end up doing something that will destroy the Silence. She will learn of Euron, but I doubt she get the necessary info to realize how her saving Sam is one of the crucial plot points
  • Because of the fight that Sam and Dareon have, Arya as Cat of the Canals learns more about Dareon (that he isn't proclaiming himself loudly already).

Arya kills Dareon

  • this is rewarded with a step-up in her training. She's blinded and it hones her skinchanging skills enough that she starts to consciously use cats to spy on people. It's through the skinchanging that figures out the KM is the assailant with the stick and she manages to defend herself, enough that she gets her first assignment. At the time Arya certainly does not regard it or realizes it's a step up in her training, but she regards it as punishment.
  • As Blind Beth she overhears slavers talking about Hardhome. She informs the Kindly Man about it. And it seems the info was passed on for Tycho, who was already on his way to negotiatate with Stannis, in so much that Tycho is quite willing to lend the NW his ships to save people from Hardhome. It's imo not a coincidence that the Braavos ships say "only women and children". However, overall the Hardhome expedition ends up a failure for Eastwatch. I'm convinced that Arya will never learn how her passing info of this to the Kindly Man may have impacted the Hardhome narrative.

Arya kills the insurance man

  • she gets a new face and training with the mummers. While Arya gets hints how come the insurance man ended up being on the hit-list (someone he left bereft with his fraudulent insurance cons prayed for his death), she's not given the complete picture either.

Arya kills Ralf

  • trouble for the Sealord and Harrys Swyft assured. Again, I think just as with Cat of the Canals, Arya regularly spent a few days at the HoBaW to do her duties there and continue the game of 3 new things she learned, and is instructed to sort of stage a mummer's play, create a scandal. There is no way I believe that at this point in time Kindly Man would definitely tell her why or what the goal of that scandal is. But that it's presented more as a game to her - oh, the sealord and the KL envoy will be visiting the play's premiere. Well, you've seen and learned how plays are staged. Could you stage your own play that makes the sealord or the envoy look bad? A scandal? What sort of scandal could you stage? And eventually Arya comes up with several possible scandal scenario's, in which she's both the writer, director, the actor and character, but without knowing the Iron Bank are the producers.

That is indeed a step in her training. It's not a step in her awareness of who orders it, why they order it, and learning the full consequences of it, but it is a step up in writing, directing and acting out a mummer's play, pretty much all by herself. A part of the impact of her agency in the novels throughout has that been of an intuitive mover without actually knowing or ever learning its full impact. And since George has kept that up for 5 books of the 7, I don't see any sign of George's having any attention that Arya is supposed to become a strategic mover such as Varys or Littlefinger, but exactly the opposite - he's pushing her more and more to be an unwitting mover of plot. The more intuitive she acts and decides the greater her impact is.  

Some argued how Cersei already made trouble with the IB by halting repayments. Yes, absolutely. Some argue how the IB already decided to back Stannis. Yes, absolutely. My proposal of how this is a plot by the IB is not about motivating the IB itself to switch from Cersei to Stannis, but that the IB wish a very convenient scandal to denounce Cersei publically, so much that every sellsword company of Essos knows they won't get paid if they were approached by Cersei's regime to be hired. Cersei refusing to pay the IB "at present" is not enough a motive, at least publically, for the IB to break ties with her., knowing that she's heir to CR which is a mountain on a gold mine. This is what Cersei is relying on. The IB would want their money back, and she's the best assurance to get it back.

So, the IB on the one hand ends up backing Stannis "behind the stage" because of her "I won't pay now" decision, but they also require something to make Cersei and her regime into a public disgrace that no other bank will back her and sellsword companies are more likely to flock to Stannis than Cersei. And that's where the scandal comes in. Once they have Stannis's signature though, they now need a PR smokescreen to denounce Cersei and blame it all on the depravity of her regime, so they're jumping ship to someone who'll give them their money back. 

Some have also argued how nobody would care about some 11 year old actress disappearing in the canals of Braavos. In normal circumstances, I'd agree. But when foreigners come to rape and murder little girls, the public is often viscerally swayed against the foreigners. It's all about how it's framed. Anti-foreigner prejudice and spinning the tale as "it could have been your daughter!" will make people outraged over something that actually happens weekly and they turn a blind eye to otherwise. And you can bet on it that the sealord will end up wanting to spin the scandal that way to save his own political ass. All that is needed is one (actual) keyholder who threatens to have the writer Forell use his sharp pen to write a mummer's play of the Murder of Mercy.

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

That is indeed a step in her training. It's not a step in her awareness of who orders it, why they order it, and learning the full consequences of it, but it is a step up in writing, directing and acting out a mummer's play, pretty much all by herself. A part of the impact of her agency in the novels throughout has that been of an intuitive mover without actually knowing or ever learning its full impact. And since George has kept that up for 5 books of the 7, I don't see any sign of George's having any attention that Arya is supposed to become a strategic mover such as Varys or Littlefinger, but exactly the opposite - he's pushing her more and more to be an unwitting mover of plot. The more intuitive she acts and decides the greater her impact is.

I agree to your analysis of Arya's actions before the Mercy chapter. Where we differ is - both of us assuming that Raff's killing was part of a political plot devised by the Iron bank and/or the Faceless Men- Arya's role within:

1) Arya is just an unknowing pawn. (Your opinion)

2) Arya is fully aware of the whole plot. (My opinion)

I think this is possible and more probable than your scenario. I base this on Arya's remark that "this would mean trouble for the Sealord".

 

But you may be right too.

 

On ‎08‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 1:31 PM, Greywater-Watch said:

If we follow those who say that it was on the order of the Faceless Men, we must conclude that Arya in that case was well aware of the political consequences. That would have been her very first assassination in the frame of a plot.

 

Edited by Greywater-Watch

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4 minutes ago, Greywater-Watch said:

I think this is possible and more probable than your scenario. I base this on Arya's remark that "this would mean trouble for the Sealord".

There is a difference imo between knowing she's to make trouble for the sealord and envoy, and being told fully why. The jump from being told next to nothing to being told the full goal is just too big imo.

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7 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Some argued how Cersei already made trouble with the IB by halting repayments. Yes, absolutely. Some argue how the IB already decided to back Stannis. Yes, absolutely. My proposal of how this is a plot by the IB is not about motivating the IB itself to switch from Cersei to Stannis, but that the IB wish a very convenient scandal to denounce Cersei publically, so much that every sellsword company of Essos knows they won't get paid if they were approached by Cersei's regime to be hired. Cersei refusing to pay the IB "at present" is not enough a motive, at least publically, for the IB to break ties with her., knowing that she's heir to CR which is a mountain on a gold mine. This is what Cersei is relying on. The IB would want their money back, and she's the best assurance to get it back.

So, the IB on the one hand ends up backing Stannis "behind the stage" because of her "I won't pay now" decision, but they also require something to make Cersei and her regime into a public disgrace that no other bank will back her and sellsword companies are more likely to flock to Stannis than Cersei. And that's where the scandal comes in. Once they have Stannis's signature though, they now need a PR smokescreen to denounce Cersei and blame it all on the depravity of her regime, so they're jumping ship to someone who'll give them their money back. 

Some have also argued how nobody would care about some 11 year old actress disappearing in the canals of Braavos. In normal circumstances, I'd agree. But when foreigners come to rape and murder little girls, the public is often viscerally swayed against the foreigners. It's all about how it's framed. Anti-foreigner prejudice and spinning the tale as "it could have been your daughter!" will make people outraged over something that actually happens weekly and they turn a blind eye to otherwise. And you can bet on it that the sealord will end up wanting to spin the scandal that way to save his own political ass. All that is needed is one (actual) keyholder who threatens to have the writer Forell use his sharp pen to write a mummer's play of the Murder of Mercy.

So is it your suggestion that the IB is placing all of its eggs in the "Stannis" basket?  Because that sounds foolish on their part.  Stannis is currently stuck in the frozen North with minimal to non-existent political support.  I see their support of him as more of a contingency plan, and as a way of pressuring the Lannisters to to begin repayment.  And. lo and behold!, the Lannisters have sent their Treasurer to negotiate.  I see no reason at this point for the IB to cause Cersei's regime any trouble.  If the negotiation fail, maybe.  But not now.  Also, I fail to see how the actions of a single bodyguard, whose actions are easily disavowed, would lead to the conclusion that her regime is depraved.

And that's assuming he is believed responsible for the killing in the first place.  I don't think he will be suspected of killing Mercy.  I think Mercy will be suspected of conspiring with someone else to murder him.  And this will cause trouble because Braavos is dependent on trade, and the foreigners it brings, and having prominent visitors (like a member of a dignitary's party) murdered looks bad.  It's also possible that Swyft might see it as an attack on him, which could hurt the negotiations.  I see no reason to instigate anti-foreigner opinion, nor do I think something like this would.  Braavos is a major seaport.  There are many foreigners, including traders, sailors, and a couple of sellsword companies running around.  Pretty sure they have dealt with guys a lot worse than Raff.  Whose history they will likely be unaware of in any case.

On 10/8/2016 at 4:18 PM, sweetsunray said:

Lack of preparation? A play having been written, the sealord and envoy visiting the theater during the premiere night, when the sealord never visited that theater before ever in his life. What we do not have is Arya discussing it all beforehand with the kindly man the way she did with the insurance man. We've already seen them go through that, no need for George to write that out. Heck it's more cliffhanger this way (and was originally intended to be part of aDwD), so that people fear Arya's in trouble now.  Plus other pupils are being used as spies to give info on the envoy, if the IB didn't pass it on already. But obviously some prep went into it, since she has several coins on her that she explicitly does not put together with the other money coins. The sealord and envoy certainly weren't there by chance. If an 11 year old can take out the insurance man with a guard, then why could she not be trusted to create an issue with the envoy?

Not that it really matater, but the sealord is not in attendance.  The envoy is occupying the Sealord's box, which the sealord has never been in.

I was referring to preparation and planning on Arya's part, of which there is none.  She lacks even basic information on her supposed targets, including that fact that he has bodyguards in the first place.  She has no idea whether any of them understands Braavosi, or whether any of them would be interested in an underage girl.  (If you are going to seduce someone with an underage girl, this would appear to be essential information).  And they did not trust her to take out Insurance Man by herself.  Her first plan was resoundingly rejected, in fact.  So I see no reason why they would entrust her with sole unsupervised planning for what would be a very high-profile operation.

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 0:26 PM, TOM of the North said:

Daenerys Targaryen

Now this would be a twist.

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8 hours ago, Nevets said:

So is it your suggestion that the IB is placing all of its eggs in the "Stannis" basket?  Because that sounds foolish on their part.

Foolish, just like they negotiated a bit too easy with Jon for loans with the NW? And send one of their guys tramping through snow to look for Stannis starving at a crofter's village at ice lakes and brought him gifts (Ironborn hostages)?

 

8 hours ago, Nevets said:

And. lo and behold!, the Lannisters have sent their Treasurer to negotiate.

An oaf: Harrys Swyft who won't be paying up anytime soon either. At least this one doesn't cough blood. No, the envoy is sent to get even more gold from the IB. Harrys Swyft isn't there to negotiate on repayments, but to get money from the IB for the monarch who stopped paying the IB.

Quote

“Longer than you’d like,” the old man replied. “If he goes back without the gold the queen will have his head.

 

Quote

 I see no reason at this point for the IB to cause Cersei's regime any trouble.

When the Golden Company broke its contract with Myr and sailed for Westeros with a young man claiming to be a Targ. With the Ironborn attacking the Reach. With the Queen completely alienating her allies and spends more time on sending people to look and hunt a dwarf. The IB's envoy in KL did more than just sit with Gyles Rosby. He would have listened and watched in the city, and see the writing on the wall. Or are you saying that Cersei will actually repay the Iron Bank any time soon? Do you believe Cersei will begin repayments? She will not. Even when that firebrand is finished, she'll always be annoyed and come up with some excuse not to pay. And the Iron Bank knows it. The Iron Bank aren't beggars, who shake in their boots worried about insulting a queen who insulted them already and refused to pay and is plainly mad, untrustworthy and too arrogant to know what's good for her, and now sends an envoy to get more money?

So, yes, they're putting their eggs in one basket called "Stannis" because they're more realistic about the fact that Cersei will never pay the IB, even though she could than you seem to be. There is no use in backing a monarch who has a mountain of gold, and thus could pay if she wanted to, but will never want to pay. Before long you have other monarchs waiting in line to send envoys begging for more gold while having halted repayments.

 

9 hours ago, Nevets said:

And that's assuming he is believed responsible for the killing in the first place.  I don't think he will be suspected of killing Mercy.  I think Mercy will be suspected of conspiring with someone else to murder him.  

Of course he will be believed responsible for the killing. You have a smiling, waving, chaste child who doesn't even allow her fellow colleagues to touch her breasts, and a hulk of a guy who enjoys raping and murdering and misses those times. As motive goes in the public's eye: the child actress doesn't know Westeros or much of the common tongue.

Quote

Mercy was a happy soul and a hard worker, but seldom timely. [...] She was made for eating fruit, for smiling and joking, for working hard and doing as she was told.

“No.” Mercy had been born and bred in Braavos, how could she know some Westerosi? She had to think a moment. “It’s only… well, he’s fair to look on, don’t you think?” He was, in a rough-hewn way, though his eyes were hard.

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” she sang sadly. A foolish, giddy girl she’d been, but good hearted. [...] Mercy still had some lines to say, her first lines and her last, and Izembaro would have her pretty little empty head if she were late for her own rape.

Mercy has no motive to conspire. Big hulky Westerosi who likes raping and killing just for the heck of it has all the motive to killa girl child - just because he can.

Quote

And this will cause trouble because Braavos is dependent on trade, and the foreigners it brings, and having prominent visitors (like a member of a dignitary's party) murdered looks bad.  It's also possible that Swyft might see it as an attack on him, which could hurt the negotiations.

:lmao: you do know you're talking about the "secret city" right? A city that kept its existence and its location secret for centuries, and still lived on trade. But hey, keep believing that Braavos are the beggars here, who are shaking in their boots if some oaf sent to negotiate for more delay on repayments ends up being insulted. You seem to think Braavos and the Iron Bank are fools who "hope" that this time Cersei means to pay, because look, wow she sent the blue rooster to us.

Quote

 I see no reason to instigate anti-foreigner opinion, nor do I think something like this would.  Braavos is a major seaport.  There are many foreigners, including traders, sailors, and a couple of sellsword companies running around.  Pretty sure they have dealt with guys a lot worse than Raff.

A seaport divided into 2. There's the foreigner port and there's the national port. This gives an indication that Braavos tries to keep foreigners separate and away from the main part of the city.

From the Mercy chapter

Quote

Daena shrugged. “He’s very old. Not so old as the other ones, but… he could be thirty. And Westerosi. They’re terrible savages, Mercy. Best stay well away from his sort.”

Quote

 Whose history they will likely be unaware of in any case.

Not for long. Harrys comes out and sees one of his guards is missing. The colleague evidently loathed Raff and will be very quick to make it look how untrustworthy Raff was to cover his own ass, how dutiful he is and Raff just a vile murderer and child rapist.

 

9 hours ago, Nevets said:

Not that it really matater, but the sealord is not in attendance.  The envoy is occupying the Sealord's box, which the sealord has never been in.

My bad: 5 keyholders and Harrys Swyft with the Black Pearl to come and watch the premiere about the evil dwarf of KL in and next to the Sealord's box.

9 hours ago, Nevets said:

I was referring to preparation and planning on Arya's part, of which there is none.  She lacks even basic information on her supposed targets, including that fact that he has bodyguards in the first place.  She has no idea whether any of them understands Braavosi, or whether any of them would be interested in an underage girl.

She knows the envoy is to be there and keyholders. She knows she has to stage something that will lead to scandal. The coins she puts in a separate pocket suggest poisoned coins, and thus one of the scenarios is for one person to drop dead. The key she puts away suggests planting of evidence, a scenario to implicate a keyholder. And the sword is a scenario to murder someone and leave a lot of bloody evidence. What we see is the last day of her Mercy identity of an apprenticeship of months with the mummers. She's gone through scenarios with the kindly man - some that would have been shot down, some that seem good. Of course she knows there will be bodyguards. That's to be expected.

The bodyguards understanding Braavosi and being interested in an underage girl is irrelevant. This is Arya's own altered plan, because she recognized Raff and wanted him implicated. She changed things. It doesn't seem it was even supposed to happen away from the theatre.

 

Quote

 

. “My lords,” she said, “do you speak Braavosi? Oh, please, tell me you do.”

The two guardsmen exchanged a look. “What’s this thing going on about?” the older one asked. “Who is she?”

“One of the mummers,” said the pretty one. He pushed his fair hair back off his brow and smiled at her. “Sorry, sweetling, we don’t speak your gibble-gabble.”

Fuss and feathers, Mercy thought, they only know the Common Tongue. That was no good. Give it up or go ahead. She could not give it up. She wanted him so bad.

 

 

 

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@sweetsunray antother exceptional response. I really appreciate the detail and breaking it all the way down. It's no wonder George said he could write a whole novel on just Braavos. The writing is so great. 

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16 hours ago, Nevets said:

I was referring to preparation and planning on Arya's part, of which there is none.

 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

She knows the envoy is to be there and keyholders. She knows she has to stage something that will lead to scandal. The coins she puts in a separate pocket suggest poisoned coins, and thus one of the scenarios is for one person to drop dead. The key she puts away suggests planting of evidence, a scenario to implicate a keyholder. And the sword is a scenario to murder someone and leave a lot of bloody evidence. What we see is the last day of her Mercy identity of an apprenticeship of months with the mummers.

Sweetsunray's essay is close to flawless.

To Nevets: An additional remark from my side. You may have the impression of Arya having no control of the situation. That is because you read the thoughts and see the reactions of Mercy for most part of the Mercy-chapter. Arya has become so good in changing her identity, that even her thoughts become those of the character she is impersonating at the moment. Or did you not wonder why Mercy has to be taught by Daena about sigils on the clothings of the Westerosi envoy and his guardsmen? When you read about Mercy's hope that the Westerosi guardsmen would speak Braavosi, it is MERCY, not Arya you hear thinking. "Fuss and Feathers", by the way, is an expression used by Mercy, not by Arya.

To Sweetsunray: Had I not been convinced before of Arya's being a well informed part of a complex political plot - now, after reading your essay,  I would be :rolleyes:.

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@Greywater-Watch and @DutchArya

The whole chapter is layer after layer of a mummer's play:

  • Izembaro's play written by Forel is obviously a mummer's play
  • Merci is a mummer's play, as it's a false identity acted by Arya for months
  • She performs a mummer's play for Raff and has him be an actor as well (teach him to say his line)
  • The murder is a mummer's play to cause trouble for the sealord and envoy: hence a fabricated scandal. If the scandal is fabricated then that means that Braavos citizens, envoy and King's Landing will believe something happened that never actually happened. We the readers are actually the sole witnesses of what really went down. Given the portrayal of the fake personna Mercy and that of Raff, and both people going missing, with a big pool of blood in Mercy's room, the logical conclusion is that everybody will think Raff killed Mercy and left to join a sellsword company.
  • We are fed a mummer's play by George - making it seem as if Arya just went rogue, when in fact she completed her mission, albeit also accomplishing the removal of a name from her list, and adapted one of the possible scenarios to suit her own needs without botching up the overall mission.

Harrys Swyft will have to return to KL without "the gold" and will lose his head ;)

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On 12/11/2016 at 4:58 AM, sweetsunray said:

@Greywater-Watch and @DutchArya

The whole chapter is layer after layer of a mummer's play:

  • Izembaro's play written by Forel is obviously a mummer's play
  • Merci is a mummer's play, as it's a false identity acted by Arya for months
  • She performs a mummer's play for Raff and has him be an actor as well (teach him to say his line)
  • The murder is a mummer's play to cause trouble for the sealord and envoy: hence a fabricated scandal. If the scandal is fabricated then that means that Braavos citizens, envoy and King's Landing will believe something happened that never actually happened. We the readers are actually the sole witnesses of what really went down. Given the portrayal of the fake personna Mercy and that of Raff, and both people going missing, with a big pool of blood in Mercy's room, the logical conclusion is that everybody will think Raff killed Mercy and left to join a sellsword company.
  • We are fed a mummer's play by George - making it seem as if Arya just went rogue, when in fact she completed her mission, albeit also accomplishing the removal of a name from her list, and adapted one of the possible scenarios to suit her own needs without botching up the overall mission.

Harrys Swyft will have to return to KL without "the gold" and will lose his head ;)

Your analysis has me reading and re-reading the chapter and seeing everything in a completely different light. It seems far more plausible to me that Arya is actually working under the parameters set by the FM than what I'd originally thought, which was that she was just disobeying orders. I try not to overanalyse the material but by doing so I sometimes don't delve in far enough.

 

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On ‎11‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 11:28 AM, sweetsunray said:

@Greywater-Watch and @DutchArya

The whole chapter is layer after layer of a mummer's play:

  • Izembaro's play written by Forel is obviously a mummer's play
  • Merci is a mummer's play, as it's a false identity acted by Arya for months
  • She performs a mummer's play for Raff and has him be an actor as well (teach him to say his line)
  • The murder is a mummer's play to cause trouble for the sealord and envoy: hence a fabricated scandal. If the scandal is fabricated then that means that Braavos citizens, envoy and King's Landing will believe something happened that never actually happened. We the readers are actually the sole witnesses of what really went down. Given the portrayal of the fake personna Mercy and that of Raff, and both people going missing, with a big pool of blood in Mercy's room, the logical conclusion is that everybody will think Raff killed Mercy and left to join a sellsword company.
  • We are fed a mummer's play by George - making it seem as if Arya just went rogue, when in fact she completed her mission, albeit also accomplishing the removal of a name from her list, and adapted one of the possible scenarios to suit her own needs without botching up the overall mission.

Harrys Swyft will have to return to KL without "the gold" and will lose his head ;)

I find it hard to believe that a single, isolated murder by a single bodyguard of a girl whose occupation, lifestyle, and history will raise questions will cause a great scandal.  or what the purpose of the scandal would be.  It's already missing two useful ingredients: an abused body, and a grieving family.   Come to think of it, where is her family.  And why is such a young girl living by herself anyway?  Who is she, really?   If any of these questions get asked, the scandal could fizzle before it even gets a chance.  And they're probably used to foreigners, including ones even worse than Raff.  A whole bunch of murders might cause trouble.  Just one?  I doubt it.  And this is to, what?  Cause the negotiations to fail?  Given that they seem to be buttering up Swyft (taking him to a play that demonizes his boss's enemy and having a courtesan accompany him suggests red-carpet treatment), they seem interested in keeping things going, at least for a time.  While this is an interesting suggestion, I fail to see enough evidence to believe in it.  I still think it is more likely that Arya is acting on her own volition than the FM orders.   

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8 hours ago, Nevets said:

I find it hard to believe that a single, isolated murder by a single bodyguard of a girl whose occupation, lifestyle, and history will raise questions will cause a great scandal.  or what the purpose of the scandal would be.  It's already missing two useful ingredients: an abused body, and a grieving family.   Come to think of it, where is her family.  And why is such a young girl living by herself anyway?  Who is she, really?   If any of these questions get asked, the scandal could fizzle before it even gets a chance.  And they're probably used to foreigners, including ones even worse than Raff.  A whole bunch of murders might cause trouble.  Just one?  I doubt it.  And this is to, what?  Cause the negotiations to fail?  Given that they seem to be buttering up Swyft (taking him to a play that demonizes his boss's enemy and having a courtesan accompany him suggests red-carpet treatment), they seem interested in keeping things going, at least for a time.  While this is an interesting suggestion, I fail to see enough evidence to believe in it.  I still think it is more likely that Arya is acting on her own volition than the FM orders.   

1. It is stated multiple times what Mercy is to her boss, colleagues, sailors she meets: sweet, smiling, friendly, hard working, chaste, air-head, tends to be late. Her history is mentioned too: born and bred Braavosi.

2. She has better than a grieving family: she has a whole theater full of actors as colleagues, a theater that is especially fond with the more common people of Braavos. And instead of a body you have a whole lot of blood in her room.

3. That was already responded to. I gave youa quote of her colleague specifically voicing the opinion that Westerosi are "savages". And I explained how the separation of two harbors indicates that Braavos uses a type of separatism to keep the foreigners out of the "proper" city.

4. Also already answered to you before, and again a fact you completely ignore. You try to present this as negotiations of Cersei resuming repayment. Swyft isn't there to negotiate repayments, but to get more money. Yes, the Iron Bank wants those "negotiations" to fail, because they don't want to give gold to an envoy of a queen who has stopped repaying the bank.

5. So, what if they seem to give him red-carpet treatment? If you want to present yourself as the abused one of two parties through a scandal, then red carpet treatment fits perfectly. It's like a husband who plans to murder his wife, who takes her out in public and plays the loving, doting husband. We have the IB sending a man to Eastwatch, then to CB and then trudging through snow, lending his boats to the LC of the NW, buying hostages free and giving gifts to a king freezing his ass off gnawing on dead horse in a crofter's village, who signs the contract in blood and sends one of his men along with Tycho (again traveling through snow blizzards) to buy sellsword armies with the money.

And then you have the oaf Swyft in the company of the Black Pearl being given a ticket to a mummer's show where one of the actrices happens to be training there for her FM studies, who that very day goes to work preparing for more than just a normal work day.

It sounds to me that the whole banker's red carpet treatment of Swyft should ring alarm bells when you compare at what length Tycho is willing to go in order to reach and talk with Stannis. Tycho's help is actual aid - what is needed. Red carpet is just show. Outwardly they don't have to pay more than a few tickets. They probably had the Sealord pay for it.

6. Believe what you want Nevets. I've let go of the idea that debate can convince the opponent of anything for 16 years now. But I address the points of what you seem to think is critique to let those who have not yet made up their mind to decide for themselves, such as  @The Bear and other forum readers. I debate for the audience, not to change your opinion, and so far it seems your "critique" has helped to present my case before the audience in a manner that has had satisfying results - they reread the Mercy chapter and discover that a lot of what is written before Arya seeing Raff indicates it was Arya's last day as Mercy from the get go, that a murder was planned off-stage/back-stage, that trouble between Swyft and Sealord were planned, that Arya seems to carry hidden alternative murder weapons with her and evidence to be planted, and that Raff was the lucky scapegoat and gift for Arya in it all. When people re-read the chapter and come to the conclusion that there is more than just "oh lookie Raff, I'm gonna kill him, and now I'm in trouble", then I'm happy. So thank you :D

 

Edited by sweetsunray

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10 hours ago, The Bear said:

Your analysis has me reading and re-reading the chapter and seeing everything in a completely different light. It seems far more plausible to me that Arya is actually working under the parameters set by the FM than what I'd originally thought, which was that she was just disobeying orders. I try not to overanalyse the material but by doing so I sometimes don't delve in far enough.

 

:thumbsup: When I first learned of the idea I did the same as you. On a first read you're rushing through to get to the murder, and everything before that seems unimportant, especially because you have nothing to relate it to. You're not given an explanation on the key or the extra coins in a hidden pocket when she puts them away, and you're not told by the end of chapter what they were for... so you forget about those. The chapter is full of loose bits and ends that seem completely irrelevant to Arya murdering Raff, so you forget them. But George wrote them in anyhow. Once you consider the FM had something planned that evening, that she was on the job, on a premiere of a play about KL with Swyft in the company of keyholders and the Black Pearl, all those "loose ends" don't seem so "loose" anymore at all. 

I'm not the one who came up with a "it's a FM job". There were people who suggested it earlier. Some think it is an internal Braavos political game to discredit the Sealord (a type of coup through scandal). Some like I think it's a job for the Iron Bank. Some think that despite there having been a plan that evening, that Arya still botched it by killing Raff. Me? I think that once two people go missing - an air-head smiling girl of 11  who's little and thin, and a hulk of a soldier Westerosi savage - and all they have is a huge pool of blood in the room there's just no way people will think the child killed the adult male.

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54 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

1. It is stated multiple times what Mercy is to her boss, colleagues, sailors she meets: sweet, smiling, friendly, hard working, chaste, air-head, tends to be late. Her history is mentioned too: born and bred Braavosi.

2. She has better than a grieving family: she has a whole theater full of actors as colleagues, a theater that is especially fond with the more common people of Braavos. And instead of a body you have a whole lot of blood in her room.

3. That was already responded to. I gave youa quote of her colleague specifically voicing the opinion that Westerosi are "savages". And I explained how the separation of two harbors indicates that Braavos uses a type of separatism to keep the foreigners out of the "proper" city.

4. Also already answered to you before, and again a fact you completely ignore. You try to present this as negotiations of Cersei resuming repayment. Swyft isn't there to negotiate repayments, but to get more money. Yes, the Iron Bank wants those "negotiations" to fail, because they don't want to give gold to an envoy of a queen who has stopped repaying the bank.

5. So, what if they seem to give him red-carpet treatment? If you want to present yourself as the abused one of two parties through a scandal, then red carpet treatment fits perfectly. It's like a husband who plans to murder his wife, who takes her out in public and plays the loving, doting husband. We have the IB sending a man to Eastwatch, then to CB and then trudging through snow, lending his boats to the LC of the NW, buying hostages free and giving gifts to a king freezing his ass off gnawing on dead horse in a crofter's village, who signs the contract in blood and sends one of his men along with Tycho (again traveling through snow blizzards) to buy sellsword armies with the money.

And then you have the oaf Swyft in the company of the Black Pearl being given a ticket to a mummer's show where one of the actrices happens to be training there for her FM studies, who that very day goes to work preparing for more than just a normal work day.

It sounds to me that the whole banker's red carpet treatment of Swyft should ring alarm bells when you compare at what length Tycho is willing to go in order to reach and talk with Stannis. Tycho's help is actual aid - what is needed. Red carpet is just show. Outwardly they don't have to pay more than a few tickets. They probably had the Sealord pay for it.

6. Believe what you want Nevets. I've let go of the idea that debate can convince the opponent of anything for 16 years now. But I address the points of what you seem to think is critique to let those who have not yet made up their mind to decide for themselves, such as  @The Bear and other forum readers. I debate for the audience, not to change your opinion, and so far it seems your "critique" has helped to present my case before the audience in a manner that has had satisfying results - they reread the Mercy chapter and discover that a lot of what is written before Arya seeing Raff indicates it was Arya's last day as Mercy from the get go, that a murder was planned off-stage/back-stage, that trouble between Swyft and Sealord were planned, that Arya seems to carry hidden alternative murder weapons with her and evidence to be planted, and that Raff was the lucky scapegoat and gift for Arya in it all. When people re-read the chapter and come to the conclusion that there is more than just "oh lookie Raff, I'm gonna kill him, and now I'm in trouble", then I'm happy. So thank you :D

 

@sweetsunray I can honestly say you are offering a completely new outlook on this chapter and you do a fine job explaining the details. Dunno why there is any resistance when your conclusions are all very logical? You have a lot of patience!  

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11 hours ago, Nevets said:

1) I find it hard to believe that a single, isolated murder by a single bodyguard of a girl whose occupation, lifestyle, and history will raise questions will cause a great scandal.  or what the purpose of the scandal would be.  [...] 

2) And this is to, what?  Cause the negotiations to fail?  Given that they seem to be buttering up Swyft (taking him to a play that demonizes his boss's enemy and having a courtesan accompany him suggests red-carpet treatment), they seem interested in keeping things going, at least for a time.  While this is an interesting suggestion, I fail to see enough evidence to believe in it. 

3) I still think it is more likely that Arya is acting on her own volition than the FM orders.   

ad 1) This is a justified remark. However, taking into consideration

  •  the - at present -  tense relation between Braavos (the Iron Bank) and Westeros' government (Cersei)
  • the highly official occasion (honoured guests, public event, important witnesses)
  • we are talking of Braavos which appears to me being more prickly about the killing of natives by foreigners than e.g. Volantis or Kings Landing (just my feeling, no textual evidence)

       I think a scandal as a consequence is more probable.

ad 2) Sweetsunray explained this well enough. Here I think it hard to doubt.

ad 3) Also a justified remark, there has been a long thread about this topic. I think, that it is orchestrated by the FM (possibly on request of the IB), is a very probable scenario, because it is supported by textual hints (also well summarized by sweetsunray). But it is possible that Arya acted all on her own.

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10 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

6. Believe what you want Nevets. I've let go of the idea that debate can convince the opponent of anything for 16 years now. But I address the points of what you seem to think is critique to let those who have not yet made up their mind to decide for themselves, such as  @The Bear and other forum readers. I debate for the audience, not to change your opinion, and so far it seems your "critique" has helped to present my case before the audience in a manner that has had satisfying results - they reread the Mercy chapter and discover that a lot of what is written before Arya seeing Raff indicates it was Arya's last day as Mercy from the get go, that a murder was planned off-stage/back-stage, that trouble between Swyft and Sealord were planned, that Arya seems to carry hidden alternative murder weapons with her and evidence to be planted, and that Raff was the lucky scapegoat and gift for Arya in it all. When people re-read the chapter and come to the conclusion that there is more than just "oh lookie Raff, I'm gonna kill him, and now I'm in trouble", then I'm happy. So thank you :D

I too am writing not to change your opinion on the subject, but simply to provide an alternate viewpoint on the subject, and to push back against what I think are unfounded theories.  If readers take a closer look and decide to disagree with me, so be it.  I, too have become far more familiar with the chapter through this debate, although I still come to different conclusions than you do about what is going on.  I sometimes feel as if we are reading two entirely different stories, albeit ones with the exact same words. :D

Ah, well, once more into the breach.  

12 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

1. It is stated multiple times what Mercy is to her boss, colleagues, sailors she meets: sweet, smiling, friendly, hard working, chaste, air-head, tends to be late. Her history is mentioned too: born and bred Braavosi.

And it won't occur to anyone that she is really leading a double life, playing a part?  Which, it turns out, she actually is ;).  The fact that nobody heard of her before she joined the theater troupe could lend credence to this idea.

 

11 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

You try to present this as negotiations of Cersei resuming repayment. Swyft isn't there to negotiate repayments, but to get more money. Yes, the Iron Bank wants those "negotiations" to fail, because they don't want to give gold to an envoy of a queen who has stopped repaying the bank.

If Swyft isn't willing to offer them any concessions, all they have to do is laugh in his face and send him back home.  No bank is going to lend money to a deadbeat creditor without something in return, and everybody will know that.  I would expect them to insist on either some sort of collateral, or possibly a guaranteed revenue stream (presence in a customs house, perhaps?).  In any event, the terms would likely be onerous, and the negotiations unpleasant.  Thus the attempt to make him happy.  Although I do not entirely negate the notion of the IB or other parties deliberately sabotaging the negotiations.  I don't actually thbink Swyft will literally lose his head if he fails, although he might be out of a job.  I think that was either hyperbole or joking on the part of the guards.  

11 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

they reread the Mercy chapter and discover that a lot of what is written before Arya seeing Raff indicates it was Arya's last day as Mercy from the get go, that a murder was planned off-stage/back-stage, that trouble between Swyft and Sealord were planned, that Arya seems to carry hidden alternative murder weapons with her and evidence to be planted, and that Raff was the lucky scapegoat and gift for Arya in it all.

This is where I run into real trouble.  I have reread the chapter, and re-reread it, and while there is certainly some weird stuff in it, I don't see any of what you suggest.  Prior to her meeting with Raff, the only thoughts I get are that she is enthusiastic about her first speaking part, and that a VIP will be visiting the theater, although I do get an indication that she is having identity issues.  

About the contents of her pocket, it says "the blade, like her other treasures, did not belong to Mercy."  This would suggest that the blade, and the other secret contents, belong to her, and are precious to her.   Exactly what they are, I'm not certain.  

I do not think the coins are similar to the one she used to kill the Insurance Man.  That was specially done, with a short-lived poison that was designed to be undetectable.  Not the sort of thing she is likely to be using again.  I actually suspect they are coins like the one Jaqen gave her, which I believe are a sort of FM identity token to indicate the bearer is with the FM.  Not something you put in with your pocket money.  It could also be her savings, which she wants to keep hidden to protect from theft.

The key is probably something to do with the HoB&W.  Most likely, it opens a secret entrance so she doesn't have to go through the front door.  It could also access a vault of some sort within the temple. Even if it were a keyholder's key, there are, according to the World Book, around a thousand keyholders.   As for the blade, it is possible that it is Needle, although I don't know if it would fit in such a pocket. The blade used to kill Raff came from her sleeve, which would be way too short for Needle to fit  In any case, I find it hard to imagine that Arya would be willing to be unarmed.

On 11/11/2016 at 3:45 AM, sweetsunray said:

This is Arya's own altered plan, because she recognized Raff and wanted him implicated. She changed things. It doesn't seem it was even supposed to happen away from the theatre.

So you agree that this is not a FM devised plan.  Because I have been saying that all along :D.  And even if she is part of a plot, the fact that she changed it so drastically could cause problems, since the scenario wouldn't be the same, and might be perceived differently from what was intended.  So, even if she is "on the job", she could be in trouble.

I do not entirely reject the idea that she is part of a plot.  I simply fail to see any actual indications that she is.  No passing thoughts of some other task she has to do.  No unexplained conversations with her mentor, Izembaro.  (Actually, no interaction at all.  Not even a "hello").  She even has to do everything in-between her duties at the theater.  And her only thought about causing trouble for the sealord is at the very end of the chapter.  

And the trouble will come, I believe, because of the mysterious disappearance, and possible death, of a member of a foreign envoy's party, who was apparently lured away by a mysterious girl.  The lack of any bodies combined with lots of blood will lead to a lot of questions and finger-pointing.  Swyft will probably think the attack is an intimidation technique, and the Braavos will likely be embarrassed by the whole affair, as it makes Braavos look unsafe.  And, yes, they could try to spin it as you suggest, although I think would be more likely to be ass-covering than trying to create a scandal.

I don't think the FM will immediately punish her or kick her out.   I do like the idea of the FM sending her to a courtesan (and a possible meeting with Jeyne Poole).  This could be presented as either training, a lateral transfer, or some combination , similar to her blindness, which had multiple purposes.  However, whether or not she was part of any plot, I think GRRM is setting the stage for her departure from the FM and Braavos.  And, I must say, I won't be sorry to see her go.  I don't like or trust the FM, and think at this point that they are bad for her.  Plus, she can't really progress as a character while separated from the rest of the story and subject to the dictates of the FM.  And if this story is going to get finished anytime soon, character progression is a must.

 

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Only thing I feel I can add here is that a lot of people are talking about her disappearance after the murder.

The last line of the chapter speaks of her returning to finish the play and do her part or else "Izembarro (sp?) will have her head". Don't know about the duality compared to the guard saying the same thing about Swyft, but whatever.

Sounds to me like she has attempted to give herself a "hide in plain sight" alibi before saying her "last" lines.

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