False Aegon

Why has Arya lost her edge?

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Since she escaped from the Red Keep in A Game of Thrones, Arya's character has been almost totally defined by her relentless termination to stay alive and stay free. That even gave her a violent edge. She had no trouble giving Jaqen names to kill, and did some killing of her own. So what is it about the Hound that has her so cowed? She has dozens of opportunities to kill him, or to escape without killing him. Why does she lose her nerve each time? I understand that part of the narrative purpose is to make Sandor a more sympathetic character... but certainly Arya doesn't trust him or forgive him. And it's not like she couldn't survive out there on her own, she has lots of experience doing just that. It's almost like she's a scared little girl again, and I'm interested in other people's ideas about why.

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20 minutes ago, False Aegon said:

Since she escaped from the Red Keep in A Game of Thrones, Arya's character has been almost totally defined by her relentless termination to stay alive and stay free. That even gave her a violent edge. She had no trouble giving Jaqen names to kill, and did some killing of her own. So what is it about the Hound that has her so cowed? She has dozens of opportunities to kill him, or to escape without killing him. Why does she lose her nerve each time? I understand that part of the narrative purpose is to make Sandor a more sympathetic character... but certainly Arya doesn't trust him or forgive him. And it's not like she couldn't survive out there on her own, she has lots of experience doing just that. It's almost like she's a scared little girl again, and I'm interested in other people's ideas about why.

Actually, she has little experience entirely on her own, mainly in KL right after her escape.  And that was a very perilous existence.  Otherwise, she was mostly with Yoren, at Harrenhal, or with the BwB, situations in which she was m ore or less taken care of.

Initially, when Sandor takes,her, he keeps her prisoner by wrapping her in a blanket at night and keeping watch during the day.  No opportunity to leave there.  Once she finds out he's taking her to her mom, their interests coincide; reunification with her family.  Even after the Red Wedding, he is trying to get her to her family.

After the Red Wedding, it was probably better for her to stay with Sandor.  She had no real place to go, and didn't know how to find the BwB or Acorn Hall, for example.  For a 10 year-old to be alone in such an environment for any real length of time would have been the height of folly.  Essentially, she stayed with him because there was no better option and he was a big guy with a sword who had no intention of harming her.  And he was still interested in reuniting her with family, albeit for money.

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In addition to what Nevets said about their interests being in line:

"Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." Ned in Bran I AGOT.

Arya takes the sayings of her father on justice very seriously, and in the end decided that Sandor did not deserve death.

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 8:21 PM, Horse of Kent said:

In addition to what Nevets said about their interests being in line:

"Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." Ned in Bran I AGOT.

Arya takes the sayings of her father on justice very seriously, and in the end decided that Sandor did not deserve death.

I'm not too sure about that. At their parting, Arya could have given him the gift of mercy, but instead she walks off and leaves him to a long, agonizing death. Not a terribly noble thing to do. Killing him, after all, would have fulfilled both her hit list and whatever she felt she owed him for trying to do right by her, albeit for his own selfish motivations.

And as far as we know, Arya never heard that speech from Ned, only Bran.

As with all things Arya, of course, it's complicated.

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1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

I'm not too sure about that. At their parting, Arya could have given him the gift of mercy, but instead she walks off and leaves him to a long, agonizing death. Not a terribly noble thing to do. Killing him, after all, would have fulfilled both her hit list and whatever she felt she owed him for trying to do right by her, albeit for his own selfish motivations.

And as far as we know, Arya never heard that speech from Ned, only Bran.

As with all things Arya, of course, it's complicated.

Sandor may have wanted mercy but Arya couldn't bring herself to kill him. First of all in this chapter GRRM brings our attention to the fact she has taken him off her list:

Quote

Sandor moaned, and she rolled onto her side to look at him. She had left his name out too, she realized. Why had she done that? She tried to think of Mycah, but it was hard to remember what he’d looked like. She hadn’t known him long. All he ever did was play at swords with me. (ASOS, Arya XIII)

 

After his injury she spends her time trying to convince herself that she should kill him, rather than just killing him.

Quote

But maybe it would be better if she killed him herself. She had killed the squire at the inn and he hadn’t done anything except grab her arm. The Hound had killed Mycah. Mycah and more. I bet he’s killed a hundred Mycahs. (ASOS, Arya XIII)

 

Sandor realises that she can't bring herself to killing him, so tries to make her angry by bringing up Mycah.

Quote

"Go on, do it.” When Arya did not move, he said, “I killed your butcher’s boy. I cut him near in half, and laughed about it after.” (ASOS, Arya XIII)

 

Then he appeals to her sense of Northernness, through the reference to wolves, which is even less successful. She barely bothers to respond to that one before leaving. 

Quote

But when she mounted, he said, “A real wolf would finish a wounded animal."... "You shouldn't have hit me with an axe,” she said. “You should have saved my mother.” She turned her horse and rode away from him, and never looked back once. (ASOS, Arya XIII)

Given how important her identity is to her, that should have been a persuasive argument. As the Ned quote to Bran says, a true Northerner should carry out their own justice, and do so cleanly rather than taking relishing it. This is something that Arya takes to heart, her killings are efficient leaving - the victim in little pain. We can see that Sandor's statement does cause her to think about her family, as the reply is about the Red Wedding. As it was so ineffectual, not even causing her to linger, that would indicate there is something else in her Northern sense of justice that said she should not kill him.

 

Although there is no direct evidence he told Arya this, Ned's moral code is something he takes great care in imbuing in his kids. Given that he feels no need to inform Robb and Jon in the same way he informed Bran, it seems apparent that they've heard that speech before, probably many times. And although Ned maybe would not have thought this something Arya needed to know, she keenly listened to all the lessons in rulership that Ned gave to Jon and Robb, and, in times of need, recalls them frequently.

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Hold on a minute...

Quote

Whenever her father had condemned a man to death, he did the deed himself with Ice, his greatsword. “If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look him in the face and hear his last words,” she’d heard him tell Robb and Jon once. (ACOK, Arya VII)

Arya has heard that lesson before.

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On ‎24‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 0:29 AM, False Aegon said:

So what is it about the Hound that has her so cowed?

I think it has also to do with Arya's capability of the "true seeing", such as Syrio Forel taught her.

Even if there is no direct reference in the text (Arya does not have thoughts about the "true seeing" when thinking about Sandor Clegane), she learns a lot of elements that show, that Sandor Cleganes reputation is worse than his deeds. See for example during Sandor Clegane's trial by the Brotherhood without Banners, where the only accusation that stands is the murder of Mycah.

And comparable to Tyrion, Sandor Clegane's deformation - the half-burned face - makes him appear even more guilty and cruel to other people. But Arya is able to look through ("true seeing" I would call it) this and not to judge Sandor upon that.

Apart from that, Arya is clever enough to weigh the (dis)advantages of being with or without Sandor, a lesson which I believe she learned from her escape from the Brotherhood without Banners before.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 4:16 PM, Horse of Kent said:

Sandor may have wanted mercy but Arya couldn't bring herself to kill him. First of all in this chapter GRRM brings our attention to the fact she has taken him off her list:

 

After his injury she spends her time trying to convince herself that she should kill him, rather than just killing him.

 

Sandor realises that she can't bring herself to killing him, so tries to make her angry by bringing up Mycah.

 

Then he appeals to her sense of Northernness, through the reference to wolves, which is even less successful. She barely bothers to respond to that one before leaving. 

Given how important her identity is to her, that should have been a persuasive argument. As the Ned quote to Bran says, a true Northerner should carry out their own justice, and do so cleanly rather than taking relishing it. This is something that Arya takes to heart, her killings are efficient leaving - the victim in little pain. We can see that Sandor's statement does cause her to think about her family, as the reply is about the Red Wedding. As it was so ineffectual, not even causing her to linger, that would indicate there is something else in her Northern sense of justice that said she should not kill him.

 

Although there is no direct evidence he told Arya this, Ned's moral code is something he takes great care in imbuing in his kids. Given that he feels no need to inform Robb and Jon in the same way he informed Bran, it seems apparent that they've heard that speech before, probably many times. And although Ned maybe would not have thought this something Arya needed to know, she keenly listened to all the lessons in rulership that Ned gave to Jon and Robb, and, in times of need, recalls them frequently.

Yeah, I get all that, but I'm still not convinced that she couldn't bring herself to kill him. He was going to die either way (barring some miracle, of course), so at that point her options were to kill him quickly or let him suffer. She chose the latter because it was the more fitting judgement for all that he had done, not that he had redeemed himself. If she had truly forgiven him, she would have given him the mercy.

 

On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 4:25 PM, Horse of Kent said:

Hold on a minute...

Arya has heard that lesson before.

Good catch. I stand corrected.

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6 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Yeah, I get all that, but I'm still not convinced that she couldn't bring herself to kill him. He was going to die either way (barring some miracle, of course), so at that point her options were to kill him quickly or let him suffer. She chose the latter because it was the more fitting judgement for all that he had done, not that he had redeemed himself. If she had truly forgiven him, she would have given him the mercy.

 

Good catch. I stand corrected.

If she is still so angry that she wants to leave him to suffer in more pain than her culture expects, why has she taken him off her list? More to the point, why does GRRM think this is a useful thing to tell us if it were to be contradicted and more so shortly afterwards? I don't think she has forgiven him, just come to the opinion that his crimes are not sufficient for a death sentence.

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On ‎10‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 2:54 PM, Horse of Kent said:

If she is still so angry that she wants to leave him to suffer in more pain than her culture expects, why has she taken him off her list? More to the point, why does GRRM think this is a useful thing to tell us if it were to be contradicted and more so shortly afterwards? I don't think she has forgiven him, just come to the opinion that his crimes are not sufficient for a death sentence.

I think that in the final analysis, when presented with the decision to either kill him quickly or let him suffer, arya has determined that the hound is not worthy of her sympathy. So her decision not to kill him is not because she is doing something honorable or humane, but subjecting him to a) the fate that he deserves and b ) the one that he has brought on himself.

From a character development perspective, it shows that arya is indeed conflicted, but from that point on she follows the dark path that leads her to the HoBaW. It's a path that I'm afraid will not end pleasantly for arya if she chooses to continue on it. But like I said, she's complicated, so who knows what will happen.

How can arya think that leaving the hound in that state -- mortally wounded and all alone -- is not the equivalent of a death sentence? She is deciding how he will die, and she opts for the more agonizing method. I don't see how anyone could square that with an honorable or just decision if she has decided that he has redeemed himself in some way. That's like Mel or Selyse arguing that their sacrifices should be honored and enthusiastic about being burnt alive.

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9 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

I think that in the final analysis, when presented with the decision to either kill him quickly or let him suffer, arya has determined that the hound is not worthy of her sympathy. So her decision not to kill him is not because she is doing something honorable or humane, but subjecting him to a) the fate that he deserves and b ) the one that he has brought on himself.

From a character development perspective, it shows that arya is indeed conflicted, but from that point on she follows the dark path that leads her to the HoBaW. It's a path that I'm afraid will not end pleasantly for arya if she chooses to continue on it. But like I said, she's complicated, so who knows what will happen.

How can arya think that leaving the hound in that state -- mortally wounded and all alone -- is not the equivalent of a death sentence? She is deciding how he will die, and she opts for the more agonizing method. I don't see how anyone could square that with an honorable or just decision if she has decided that he has redeemed himself in some way. That's like Mel or Selyse arguing that their sacrifices should be honored and enthusiastic about being burnt alive.

I'm not sure how you can equate choosing not to interfere with actively burning someone alive. A better comparison would be with doctors unwilling to euthanise terminally ill patients due to moral qualms. Arya is not deciding the manner of his death, but whether he deserves to die at her hands. She has a remarkable ability to choose who should die and who should not, so it is not especially surprising that Sandor survives.

Later Books spoiler:

Spoiler

Arya has little choice but to go to the FM and never shows any real inclination to become no-one, so that is hardly a fair point of criticism.

 

Edited by Horse of Kent

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14 hours ago, Horse of Kent said:

I'm not sure how you can equate choosing not to interfere with actively burning someone alive. A better comparison would be with doctors unwilling to euthanise terminally ill patients due to moral qualms. Arya is not deciding the manner of his death, but whether he deserves to die at her hands. She has a remarkable ability to choose who should die and who should not, so it is not especially surprising that Sandor survives.

Later Books spoiler:

  Reveal hidden contents

Arya has little choice but to go to the FM and never shows any real inclination to become no-one, so that is hardly a fair point of criticism.

 

So I gave the whole sequence a reread just to see if I missed something on my first dozen or so passes, and I honestly can't tell where you are getting some of this.

First off, Arya never takes Sandor off the list. The entire section you quoted earlier goes like this:

She is running through her list and it made her feel queer to leave Polliver and the Tickler off, as well as Joffrey, which gets her to thinking about Sansa and the Imp. And then:

Sandor moaned, and she rolled onto her side to look at him. She had left his name out too, she realized. Why had she done that? She tried to think of Mycah, but it was hard to remember what he'd looked like. She hadn't known him that long. All he ever did was play at swords with me. "The Hound," she whispered, and, "Valar morghulis." Maybe he would be dead by the morning.

So right there, you can see he is firmly on the list; she just got sidetracked for a moment thinking about Sansa.

 

Earlier, we see her thinking about killing him, but she doesn't -- not because she has reconsidered his inclusion on the list, but because she had nowhere else to go, no family to take her in, no clear options. Plus, for much of that time she is dead inside and just doesn't care anymore.

Then, just before the fight at the inn:

The Hound sat on the bench closest the door. His mouth twitched, but only the burned side. "She (Cersei) ought to dip him (Tyrion) in wildfire and cook him. Or tickle him till the moon turns black." He raised his wine cup and drained it straight away.

He is one of them, Arya though when she saw that. She bit her lip so hard she tasted blood. He's just like they are. I should kill him when he sleeps.

So here she is again thinking about killing him. No sign whatsoever that she has decided that he does not deserve to die and that she shouldn't be the one to do it.

 

Then, at the end, after he goads her with Mycah and Sansa:

A spasm of pain twisted his face. "Do you mean to make me beg, bitch? Do it! The gift of mercy ... avenge your little Michael..."

"Mycah." Arya stepped away from him. "You don't deserve the gift of mercy."

Then she saddles up, tells him he shouldn't have hit her with the axe and he should have saved Cat, and then rides off without looking back.

So, sorry, but I don't see anything anywhere that suggests she has reconsidered her opinion of him or that she is unwilling to kill him. She leaves him to a fate worse than death: long, suffering, agonizing death.

 

 

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On 24/10/2016 at 8:57 AM, Nevets said:

Actually, she has little experience entirely on her own, mainly in KL right after her escape.  And that was a very perilous existence.  Otherwise, she was mostly with Yoren, at Harrenhal, or with the BwB, situations in which she was m ore or less taken care of.

Initially, when Sandor takes,her, he keeps her prisoner by wrapping her in a blanket at night and keeping watch during the day.  No opportunity to leave there.  Once she finds out he's taking her to her mom, their interests coincide; reunification with her family.  Even after the Red Wedding, he is trying to get her to her family.

After the Red Wedding, it was probably better for her to stay with Sandor.  She had no real place to go, and didn't know how to find the BwB or Acorn Hall, for example.  For a 10 year-old to be alone in such an environment for any real length of time would have been the height of folly.  Essentially, she stayed with him because there was no better option and he was a big guy with a sword who had no intention of harming her.  And he was still interested in reuniting her with family, albeit for money.

This. Because at the end of it all, all they really had was each other.

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7 hours ago, Livesundersink said:

This. Because at the end of it all, all they really had was each other.

She didn't consciously choose to stay with Sandor after the Red Wedding. Rather, that event knocked the fight out of her. She had trouble connecting before, and after. And only slowly found back to herself.

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12 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So I gave the whole sequence a reread just to see if I missed something on my first dozen or so passes, and I honestly can't tell where you are getting some of this.

First off, Arya never takes Sandor off the list. The entire section you quoted earlier goes like this:

She is running through her list and it made her feel queer to leave Polliver and the Tickler off, as well as Joffrey, which gets her to thinking about Sansa and the Imp. And then:

Sandor moaned, and she rolled onto her side to look at him. She had left his name out too, she realized. Why had she done that? She tried to think of Mycah, but it was hard to remember what he'd looked like. She hadn't known him that long. All he ever did was play at swords with me. "The Hound," she whispered, and, "Valar morghulis." Maybe he would be dead by the morning.

So right there, you can see he is firmly on the list; she just got sidetracked for a moment thinking about Sansa.

That explanation makes no sense. There is no reason why GRRM would include Arya momentarily forgetting to name Sandor, it would just be confusing in a scene about his 'death'. Sandor is missing for a reason. Arya asks herself why, and her next thought is about how her memory and attachment to Mycah is fading, not that she got sidetracked. Those two things are clearly linked. She does not like the answer she finds, probably thinking her list should include someone who killed her friend, so sticks him back on again this time. This incident reveals a hesitation from Arya about his status on the list that would be incredibly out of place if she were just about to go beyond her usual standards, by leaving him to die in pain.

 

12 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Earlier, we see her thinking about killing him, but she doesn't -- not because she has reconsidered his inclusion on the list, but because she had nowhere else to go, no family to take her in, no clear options. Plus, for much of that time she is dead inside and just doesn't care anymore.

Then, just before the fight at the inn:

The Hound sat on the bench closest the door. His mouth twitched, but only the burned side. "She (Cersei) ought to dip him (Tyrion) in wildfire and cook him. Or tickle him till the moon turns black." He raised his wine cup and drained it straight away.

He is one of them, Arya though when she saw that. She bit her lip so hard she tasted blood. He's just like they are. I should kill him when he sleeps.

So here she is again thinking about killing him. No sign whatsoever that she has decided that he does not deserve to die and that she shouldn't be the one to do it.

Clearly said in anger at his comments. Does she ever try and kill him at this point? No. If anything this shows that she has separated Sandor from 'them' (The Tickler and Polliver).

 

12 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Then, at the end, after he goads her with Mycah and Sansa:

A spasm of pain twisted his face. "Do you mean to make me beg, bitch? Do it! The gift of mercy ... avenge your little Michael..."

"Mycah." Arya stepped away from him. "You don't deserve the gift of mercy."

Then she saddles up, tells him he shouldn't have hit her with the axe and he should have saved Cat, and then rides off without looking back.

So, sorry, but I don't see anything anywhere that suggests she has reconsidered her opinion of him or that she is unwilling to kill him. She leaves him to a fate worse than death: long, suffering, agonizing death.

Why does Sandor think she needs goading? It's because he can tell she is hesitant about killing him. As so often happens when faced with a difficult truth, Arya lies to herself. She can now pretend it is not what she would perceive as weakness that made her leave Sandor, but anger.

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10 hours ago, Horse of Kent said:

That explanation makes no sense. There is no reason why GRRM would include Arya momentarily forgetting to name Sandor, it would just be confusing in a scene about his 'death'. Sandor is missing for a reason. Arya asks herself why, and her next thought is about how her memory and attachment to Mycah is fading, not that she got sidetracked. Those two things are clearly linked. She does not like the answer she finds, probably thinking her list should include someone who killed her friend, so sticks him back on again this time. This incident reveals a hesitation from Arya about his status on the list that would be incredibly out of place if she were just about to go beyond her usual standards, by leaving him to die in pain.

It speaks directly to how she views the man. She has not changed her opinion of him, she has not removed her from her list, she has not decided that he does not deserve to die...

Sandor is not missing from the list. Arya just started ruminating on not having Polli, Tick and Joff on the list anymore, which gets her thinking about Sansa, Mycah and flying away, etc.. Then she realizes she forgot to include Sandor, and then promptly includes him again before ending the prayer with a Valor M. It was nothing more than a momentary slip that she immediately corrects, and it serves to merely illustrate the ongoing confused state of her thoughts. Why does his momentary exclusion from the list speak volumes about her true state of mind, but his prompt return to the list does not?

Nowhere in the text is there any indication that she thinks maybe she's misjudged the man, maybe it wasn't all his fault, he was just obeying his orders...

Now note that at his death:

She wondered how far this Saltpans was, and whether she could find it by herself. I wouldn't have to kill him. It I just rode off and left him, he'd die all by himself. He'll die of fever, and lie there beneath that tree until the end of days. But maybe it would be better if she killed him herself. She had killed the squire at the inn and he hadn't done anything except grab her arm. The Hound had killed Mycah. Mycah and more. I bet he's killed a hundred Mycahs. He probably would have killed her too, if not for the ransom.

Needle glinted as she drew it. Polliver had kept it nice and sharp, at least. She turned her body sideways in a water dancer's stance without even thinking about it. Dead leaves crunched beneath her feet. Quick as a snake, she thought. Smooth as summer silk.

His eyes opened...

So once again we have her debating whether to kill him or not, then she draws her sword and starts psyching herself up for the deed by reciting Syrio's lessons, just like she always does whenever she is attempting something serious. The irony is, the only reason she didn't kill him was because the Hound started up with her again and she decided that a quick death was too good for him. If he had just kept his trap shut, he would have had his mercy.

So again, sorry, but the text could not be more clear: Arya was ready, willing and able to kill him, but in the end decided that he wasn't worthy of it.

 

11 hours ago, Horse of Kent said:

Clearly said in anger at his comments. Does she ever try and kill him at this point? No. If anything this shows that she has separated Sandor from 'them' (The Tickler and Polliver).

How can you possibly say this shows she has separated Sandor from "them" when the text has her thinking, literally, "He is one of them."???

My point was that Arya flips back and forth from wanting to kill him to not wanting to kill him to wanting it again at least half-a-dozen times in those two chapters. And as shown in the quote above, she does start to move in for the kill the very next night after she has these thoughts at the inn.

 

11 hours ago, Horse of Kent said:

Why does Sandor think she needs goading? It's because he can tell she is hesitant about killing him. As so often happens when faced with a difficult truth, Arya lies to herself. She can now pretend it is not what she would perceive as weakness that made her leave Sandor, but anger.

OK, so she's hesitant. Sandor is a very large and powerful man, even when mortally wounded. The point is, she has still made up her mind to kill him, so there is no way to argue that she has rejected this course of action because their experiences together have her thinking he does not deserve to die. If she felt this way, why has she drawn her sword? Why is she prepping herself with her fighting lessons? Why is she in her fighting stance?

So what you are arguing now is that even Arya doesn't know she has reconsidered her feelings toward him? She leaves him to die in agony, but it's really because she has decided, unbeknownst to her, that he's really not all bad? As noted above, she is already certain he'll die of fever if she just leaves, so again I'll pose the question: In what way does this show that she no longer wants him dead?

Honestly, I think you are reading way too much into that one line about Mycah and ignoring the literally dozens of examples in which she expresses her desire to kill him, not to mention the moment in which she actually starts to do so.

 

 

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13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

It speaks directly to how she views the man. She has not changed her opinion of him, she has not removed her from her list, she has not decided that he does not deserve to die...

Sandor is not missing from the list. Arya just started ruminating on not having Polli, Tick and Joff on the list anymore, which gets her thinking about Sansa, Mycah and flying away, etc.. Then she realizes she forgot to include Sandor, and then promptly includes him again before ending the prayer with a Valor M. It was nothing more than a momentary slip that she immediately corrects, and it serves to merely illustrate the ongoing confused state of her thoughts. Why does his momentary exclusion from the list speak volumes about her true state of mind, but his prompt return to the list does not?

Then why the line about forgetting Mycah? That would be even more incredibly out of place in this formulation of events.

 

13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So once again we have her debating whether to kill him or not, then she draws her sword and starts psyching herself up for the deed by reciting Syrio's lessons, just like she always does whenever she is attempting something serious. The irony is, the only reason she didn't kill him was because the Hound started up with her again and she decided that a quick death was too good for him. If he had just kept his trap shut, he would have had his mercy.

So again, sorry, but the text could not be more clear: Arya was ready, willing and able to kill him, but in the end decided that he wasn't worthy of it.

 If Sandor's goad was so important in this scene why does she not even bother to respond to it? She talks about the Red Wedding before leaving, not Mycah.

Quote

"You shouldn't have hit me with an axe,” she said. “You should have saved my mother.” She turned her horse and rode away from him, and never looked back once. (ASOS, Arya XIII)

 

13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

How can you possibly say this shows she has separated Sandor from "them" when the text has her thinking, literally, "He is one of them."???

My point was that Arya flips back and forth from wanting to kill him to not wanting to kill him to wanting it again at least half-a-dozen times in those two chapters. And as shown in the quote above, she does start to move in for the kill the very next night after she has these thoughts at the inn.

Because it is something Arya thinks when she is angry. It is hardly inaccurate of GRRM to include someone saying something they do not mean when angered. If you are looking to insult someone then saying 'you are just like the rest of them' isn't much of an insult if it is an acknowledged fact that they are indeed 'one of them'.

 

13 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

OK, so she's hesitant. Sandor is a very large and powerful man, even when mortally wounded.

If Arya was only concerned about him retaliating, why does she not immediately kill him after Sandor says...?

Quote

"Go on, do it.” (ASOS, Arya XIII)

Instead...

Quote

Arya did not move. (ASOS, Arya XIII)

 

 

Quote

The point is, she has still made up her mind to kill him, so there is no way to argue that she has rejected this course of action because their experiences together have her thinking he does not deserve to die. If she felt this way, why has she drawn her sword? Why is she prepping herself with her fighting lessons? Why is she in her fighting stance?

So what you are arguing now is that even Arya doesn't know she has reconsidered her feelings toward him? She leaves him to die in agony, but it's really because she has decided, unbeknownst to her, that he's really not all bad? As noted above, she is already certain he'll die of fever if she just leaves, so again I'll pose the question: In what way does this show that she no longer wants him dead?

Honestly, I think you are reading way too much into that one line about Mycah and ignoring the literally dozens of examples in which she expresses her desire to kill him, not to mention the moment in which she actually starts to do so.

Whenever she has consciously reconsidered whether or not he deserves to die she represses it, not wanting to be what she would consider as weak by letting him off. When just reaching the point at which she would kill him, she has no option but to think about it and reconsiders her actions. We have the subconscious exclusion of him from her list and her unnecessary caring for his injuries to show that a softer attitude towards Sandor has been taken.

It is not even like we don't have clear textual evidence, that you acknowledged yourself, of her attempting to persuade herself:

Quote

I wouldn't have to kill him. If I just rode off and left him, he'd die all by himself. He'll die of fever, and lie there beneath that tree until the end of days. But maybe it would be better if she killed him herself. She had killed the squire at the inn and he hadn’t done anything except grab her arm. The Hound had killed Mycah. Mycah and more. I bet he’s killed a hundred Mycahs. (ASOS, Arya XIII)

Why is she telling herself that she would not have to kill him if she is perfectly happy to do so? This is before Sandor goads her, so you cannot claim that he persuaded her that he deserves a worse fate.

The argument to suggest Arya has reconsidered goes far beyond that one Mycah quote, though it is the clincher that you haven't even attempted to explain away. 

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From those on Arya's death list, we know that the Tickler and Raff the Sweetling were killed by Arya without pity or mercy; full of fury (the Tickler) and cold-hearted (Raff the Sweetling).

We also know that Arya (except at the gates of the Twins) always checks on her own survival possibilities and tries to keep risks low.

The Hound lying in front of her, dying, not able to keep on his feet anymore does no longer pose a risk to her, nor is he a useful companion for protection any longer.

She had a similair occasion when Sandor Clegane had fought Beric Dondarrion in the cave and was wounded but alive after this single battle: There Arya was (nearly) out of risk and absolutely determined to kill Sandor Clegane, only hindered by one of the Outlaws wringing the dagger from her fingers.

So, if Arya does not instantly kill him now, there must be a reason.

And this can only be that she pities him and/or reconsiders his guilt starting to weigh his good (protecting or at least not harming Sansa and Arya) and bad deeds (killing Mycah). She knows him much better now having travelled the Riverlands with him for months.

 

Oh, by the way, even if this is not the place to comment on the TV-Show:

I think that this part (Sandor/Arya) was excellent in the Show and Arya leaving Sandor dying, one of the highlights. It captures, I think, very well the relation between Arya and Sandor and how it develops just like I see it in the books.

Edited by Greywater-Watch

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 0:51 PM, Horse of Kent said:

Then why the line about forgetting Mycah? That would be even more incredibly out of place in this formulation of events.

For the exact reason stated in the text: she didn't know him very long, it was a long time ago, and she has undergone momentous events in her life since then. She is sad that she can not longer remember him clearly, not that she doesn't think the Hound should pay for his death.

On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 0:51 PM, Horse of Kent said:

 If Sandor's goad was so important in this scene why does she not even bother to respond to it? She talks about the Red Wedding before leaving, not Mycah.

She does respond to it, directly:

"Do you mean to make me beg, bitch? Do it! The gift of mercy ... avenge your little Michael ..."

"Mycah." Arya stepped away from him. "You don't deserve the gift of mercy"

Then she saddles the horse and mounts up, and he says: "A real wolf would finish a wounded animal."

Which gets her thinking about real wolves finding him and what they do to dogs, and then we get the line about the axe and her mother. And then she rides off.

 

On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 0:51 PM, Horse of Kent said:

Because it is something Arya thinks when she is angry. It is hardly inaccurate of GRRM to include someone saying something they do not mean when angered. If you are looking to insult someone then saying 'you are just like the rest of them' isn't much of an insult if it is an acknowledged fact that they are indeed 'one of them'.

At no time, in any of Arya's POV's of this period, does she think to herself, "gee maybe I had the Hound all wrong. Maybe he's not all bad." Each time she considered her feelings, she is certain he should die; she just doesn't know how or when, or whether it would be good or bad for her. At no time, ever, does she think that he no longer deserves it. Please provide the text if I am wrong.

 

On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 0:51 PM, Horse of Kent said:

 

If Arya was only concerned about him retaliating, why does she not immediately kill him after Sandor says...?

Instead...

Because she did not trust him. As I said, he is a very large, powerful man, even in his weakened condition, and he is also wearing armor and is sitting up against a tree with his sword by her side. If she gets too close with Needle in her hand, what's to stop him from killing her first?

 

On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 0:51 PM, Horse of Kent said:

Whenever she has consciously reconsidered whether or not he deserves to die she represses it, not wanting to be what she would consider as weak by letting him off. When just reaching the point at which she would kill him, she has no option but to think about it and reconsiders her actions. We have the subconscious exclusion of him from her list and her unnecessary caring for his injuries to show that a softer attitude towards Sandor has been taken.

It is not even like we don't have clear textual evidence, that you acknowledged yourself, of her attempting to persuade herself:

Why is she telling herself that she would not have to kill him if she is perfectly happy to do so? This is before Sandor goads her, so you cannot claim that he persuaded her that he deserves a worse fate.

The argument to suggest Arya has reconsidered goes far beyond that one Mycah quote, though it is the clincher that you haven't even attempted to explain away. 

She never reconsiders whether or not he deserves to die, consciously or otherwise. She never once thinks that she would be weak by not killing him. She never expresses in thought or deed that she based her final decision on pity or mercy -- in fact, she flatly states the exact opposite. She does not exclude him from her list, again consciously or unconsciously -- her mind wanders a bit as she recites it, and then says his name last just before the final valar morghilis. She does not unnecessarily care for his injuries because she still needs him to get to safety: he is the only person for leagues around who can attest to her identity.

In fact, the quote that you reposted proves my point exactly: she convinces herself that she no longer has to kill him because he'll die all by himself. But nowhere in there does she think to herself, "I shouldn't kill him because I misjudged the man." And as I stated earlier, the text clearly shows that she was about to kill him, and only changes her mind again when she decides that he is not even worthy of that.

There is no clincher in that one thought about Mycah. If you want to say she had a momentary notion that her judgement was wrong, fine, but then the text clearly states that she immediately rejects that thought and in the end is all set to kill him but decides to let him suffer instead.

 

But I will give you points for creativity: even though the theory is refuted by the POV's own thoughts and actions, we can ignore all that because she doesn't know how she really feels. So now we can say that Dany actually loves slavery, her own thoughts nothwithstanding, because Doreah was a slave and she made good use of her. Cersei really adores Tyrion, she just doesn't know it -- she gave him that kiss one time, so that's all the proof you need.

I've been on this board for a number of years, and I can tell you that this is also how stuff like the Corn Code are born, or the fact that, say, Jon will use the word "shimmering" to describe that Wall in GoT, and then three novels and ten years later, Brienne uses the same word when looking over the Bay of Crabs, so obviously GR is slyly signaling a link between Jon and Brienne, or the Wall and crabs, that only the smartest readers will detect. It certainly couldn't be that here is a finite number of descriptive words you can use in a 100,000-word series.

So with that being said, and since there is no way to refute the notion that even Arya does not know what she is thinking, I'll bow out. It was nice chatting with you. Maybe we can pick it up again if Arya and the Hound ever meet again.

Happy reading.

 

 

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On ‎11‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 8:33 AM, Greywater-Watch said:

From those on Arya's death list, we know that the Tickler and Raff the Sweetling were killed by Arya without pity or mercy; full of fury (the Tickler) and cold-hearted (Raff the Sweetling).

We also know that Arya (except at the gates of the Twins) always checks on her own survival possibilities and tries to keep risks low.

The Hound lying in front of her, dying, not able to keep on his feet anymore does no longer pose a risk to her, nor is he a useful companion for protection any longer.

She had a similair occasion when Sandor Clegane had fought Beric Dondarrion in the cave and was wounded but alive after this single battle: There Arya was (nearly) out of risk and absolutely determined to kill Sandor Clegane, only hindered by one of the Outlaws wringing the dagger from her fingers.

So, if Arya does not instantly kill him now, there must be a reason.

And this can only be that she pities him and/or reconsiders his guilt starting to weigh his good (protecting or at least not harming Sansa and Arya) and bad deeds (killing Mycah). She knows him much better now having travelled the Riverlands with him for months.

 

Oh, by the way, even if this is not the place to comment on the TV-Show:

I think that this part (Sandor/Arya) was excellent in the Show and Arya leaving Sandor dying, one of the highlights. It captures, I think, very well the relation between Arya and Sandor and how it develops just like I see it in the books.

She does start to kill him. She has Needle in hand and she is reciting Syrio's lessons like she always does when the stakes are high.

The Hound is dying in front of her, but he is not dead and he poses an enormous risk to her. Even weakened, he is still capable of killing her with his bare hands.

Yes, there must be a reason, but it is a huge leap in logic, and completely contrary to the text, to say that she now pities him because of their experiences together. She never once expresses those kinds of thoughts to herself -- each debate over killing him centers on practical considerations like where will she go and who will believe that she is who she says she is.

The more logical explanation is that she continues to despise him, continues to believe that he is a monster who deserves to die, but decides to let him linger and suffer instead. If she now pities him, why is she condemning him to the more painful, agonizing death?

I agree that that scene was Maise Williams at her finest. Unlike virtually everyone else in the cast, she has a remarkable propensity to impart a wealth of thoughts, feelings and emotions without saying a word or moving a muscle. A nomination is not enough; she deserves the Emmy.

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