Rickard of House Rakkoon

Where is the love?

240 posts in this topic

27 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

One of my favorite Arya x Gendry scenes because Arya doesn't grasp what Gendry is feeling.

When he thought Arya was lowborn like him, he thought he had finally found a real connection with an equal, especially with a girl he thinks is pretty.  It's a very cute, chaste chemistry at this point.  It's when he finds out she's highborn that he feels the crushing reality that she's beyond his reach.  Arya herself doesn't care about class distinctions, which is a wonderful thing about her; however, people like Gendry don't get the privilege of ignoring them.  There's harsh consequences if they do.  So when she suggested he could serve her family in Winterfell, it's salt in the wound.  She clearly wants him to stick around, but she inadvertently stepped on a landmine.  Gendry knows full well they wouldn't have the kind of intimate friendship or even romantic relationship he would want.  There's only getting "burned" for reaching above his position which would be no different serving the Starks.  

And yet, Gendry will stick around at the inn at the crossroads as the orphans collect there, probably hoping that someday Arya will turn up among them.  :wub:        

Yes, it's sad, but it's an amazingly well-written. In asoiaf, You read about adventures and tragedy, and magic but also you have time to read about people's feelings and circumstances. I love these two!

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12 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

Yes, it's sad, but it's an amazingly well-written. In asoiaf, You read about adventures and tragedy, and magic but also you have time to read about people's feelings and circumstances. I love these two!

I like them too.  I like that Gendry has his own mind about things and he's not just motivated by his feelings for Arya.  I like that George gave them real opposing goals instead of the cliche romance problem of "stubbornness" keeping two people apart.  Arya naturally wants to go home to Winterfell and her family.  Gendry has been told all his life where he's going and what he's going to do.  For once he can exercise a choice over if or who he wants to serve.  But their values are very much aligned.  Arya has a very strong sense of justice and fairness, especially when it comes to the how highborns administer justice.  So does Gendry.  

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"A smith can find a welcome most anywhere. A skilled armorer even more so. Why would you choose to stay with us?"
Arya watched Gendry screw up his stupid face, thinking. "At the hollow hill, what you said about being King Robert's men, and brothers, I liked that. I liked that you gave the Hound a trial. Lord Bolton just hanged folk or took off their heads, and Lord Tywin and Ser Amory were the same. I'd sooner smith for you."

Aside from how problematic the Hound's trial was, it's the first time Gendry has seen anyone (a highborn like Beric) take time to evaluate guilt of an accused crime.  He doesn't want to just serve the most prestigious family.  He wants his life and work to serve something he believes in.  Arya is of course still a child who has suffered so much rejection and loss already that she reads this as abandonment.  He's not truly "her pack" and she doesn't need him, but I can't think of anyone else aside from Jon that accepted her as much as Gendry.  He knows her true identity and still likes her whether she's dirty and disguised as a boy or in a dress and smelling nice.  Of course, Arya is on her journey of being faced with obliterating Arya Stark to escape her pain, but that's clearly not going to happen.  Once she reclaims herself and heads back to Westeros, I think she'll be ready to meet Gendry again.   And Gendry is now with Brienne who knows his parentage and can potentially train him for "knighthood" so maybe he can accept himself a bit better ;)   

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1 hour ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

One of my favorite Arya x Gendry scenes because Arya doesn't grasp what Gendry is feeling.

When he thought Arya was lowborn like him, he thought he had finally found a real connection with an equal, especially with a girl he thinks is pretty.  It's a very cute, chaste chemistry at this point.  It's when he finds out she's highborn that he feels the crushing reality that she's beyond his reach.  Arya herself doesn't care about class distinctions, which is a wonderful thing about her; however, people like Gendry don't get the privilege of ignoring them.  There's harsh consequences if they do.  So when she suggested he could serve her family in Winterfell, it's salt in the wound.  She clearly wants him to stick around, but she inadvertently stepped on a landmine.  Gendry knows full well they wouldn't have the kind of intimate friendship or even romantic relationship he would want.  There's only getting "burned" for reaching above his position which would be no different serving the Starks.  

And yet, Gendry will stick around at the inn at the crossroads as the orphans collect there, probably hoping that someday Arya will turn up among them.  :wub:        

Or when they have a tiff over him not being her brother.

Arya betrays there how she does not want to think of him as a brother (she's not into incest), though she's hardly self-aware yet why she doesn't want to think of him as a brother. Meanwhile he can't help desiring to want to be "family" and he'd be over the moon if she would speak and think of him as often as she mentions Jon. And how much this tiff has nothing to do with sibling feelings is in evidence when he next threatens to ring that girls' bells.

And as they finally head for Riverrun where she has that other brother whose king and thousands of men, he decides to get knighted...a hedge knight has a tiny better shot at it than a castle's armorer. It's so perceptible to the adults around them, that the men warn him he's got more chance of ending up on a noose than winning himself a princess. (which totally gets over her head, because she always tends to forget she's a princess now) He so wants to "earn" it.

Instead of parting with her at RR, she's carried off by the Hound, who appears to take her to the Twins (relief), then the horror of finding out about the RW and how she might have gotten killed, relief again about the Hound and a boy murdering men of the Mountain at the Inn, horror again over Saltpans, and then the trail ends there. No wonder he's angry all the time, and how he won't stay too far from the Inn.

 

When she shows up at the inn, I doubt he'll ever voluntarily stray from her side again, no matter how many crab apples she throws at his head for it. First thing I see Gendry do, first chance he gets, is swear his sword to her. If he thought seeing her king brother marry her off to some lordy-lord was his worst nightmare, then a year of imagining several times the cruel ways she could have been killed likely taught him otherwise.

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40 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I like them too.  I like that Gendry has his own mind about things and he's not just motivated by his feelings for Arya.  I like that George gave them real opposing goals instead of the cliche romance problem of "stubbornness" keeping two people apart.  Arya naturally wants to go home to Winterfell and her family.  Gendry has been told all his life where he's going and what he's going to do.  For once he can exercise a choice over if or who he wants to serve.  But their values are very much aligned.  Arya has a very strong sense of justice and fairness, especially when it comes to the how highborns administer justice.  So does Gendry.  

 

And that's something I really love about these (and asoiaf in general). it feels more real and authentic. Also, the imcomprehension between both parts (but also Deep understanding and chemistry together). It feels so real bc of this but it  also is "poetic" at the same time. 

40 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Aside from how problematic the Hound's trial was, it's the first time Gendry has seen anyone (a highborn like Beric) take time to evaluate guilt of an accused crime.  He doesn't want to just serve the most prestigious family.  He wants his life and work to serve something he believes in.  Arya is of course still a child who has suffered so much rejection and loss already that she reads this as abandonment.  He's not truly "her pack" and she doesn't need him, but I can't think of anyone else aside from Jon that accepted her as much as Gendry.  He knows her true identity and still likes her whether she's dirty and disguised as a boy or in a dress and smelling nice.  Of course, Arya is on her journey of being faced with obliterating Arya Stark to escape her pain, but that's clearly not going to happen.  Once she reclaims herself and heads back to Westeros, I think she'll be ready to meet Gendry again.   And Gendry is now with Brienne who knows his parentage and can potentially train him for "knighthood" so maybe he can accept himself a bit better ;)   

This!! Oh I'd love to read that!!!!!!

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35 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Or when they have a tiff over him not being her brother.

Arya betrays there how she does not want to think of him as a brother (she's not into incest), though she's hardly self-aware yet why she doesn't want to think of him as a brother. Meanwhile he can't help desiring to want to be "family" and he'd be over the moon if she would speak and think of him as often as she mentions Jon. And how much this tiff has nothing to do with sibling feelings is in evidence when he next threatens to ring that girls' bells.

She is not totally aware but I like how we can read her mind.

 

35 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

And as they finally head for Riverrun where she has that other brother whose king and thousands of men, he decides to get knighted...a hedge knight has a tiny better shot at it than a castle's armorer. It's so perceptible to the adults around them, that the men warn him he's got more chance of ending up on a noose than winning himself a princess. (which totally gets over her head, because she always tends to forget she's a princess now) He so wants to "earn" it.

Instead of parting with her at RR, she's carried off by the Hound, who appears to take her to the Twins (relief), then the horror of finding out about the RW and how she might have gotten killed, relief again about the Hound and a boy murdering men of the Mountain at the Inn, horror again over Saltpans, and then the trail ends there. No wonder he's angry all the time, and how he won't stay too far from the Inn.

 

When she shows up at the inn, I doubt he'll ever voluntarily stray from her side again, no matter how many crab apples she throws at his head for it. First thing I see Gendry do, first chance he gets, is swear his sword to her. If he thought seeing her king brother marry her off to some lordy-lord was his worst nightmare, then a year of imagining several times the cruel ways she could have been killed likely taught him otherwise.

 

Oh, and that's something I'd like to read. And which would be Arya's reaction to this.....would she understand his feelings for her this time? How would their dynamics be?

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32 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Arya betrays there how she does not want to think of him as a brother (she's not into incest), though she's hardly self-aware yet why she doesn't want to think of him as a brother. Meanwhile he can't help desiring to want to be "family" and he'd be over the moon if she would speak and think of him as often as she mentions Jon. And how much this tiff has nothing to do with sibling feelings is in evidence when he next threatens to ring that girls' bells.

:lmao:Compounding the irony is that the prostitute in question is actually his half-sister.  She doesn't really have a clue what bell-ringing actually means.  She only had the vaguest idea that a brothel is "an inn with girls."  It really isn't any wonder that most of the signs of how Gendry feels about her goes right over her head.  

So the parallels between Arya/Gendry and Sandor/Sansa become a little more pronounced.  Both guys not only too lowborn but also have stigmas attached to them.  Both become "outlaws."  Both seem on a path toward earning knight hood, or hedge knighthood rather.  The sisters are both too young and naive that they miss the signs.  Frustration ensues.  Bell-ringing and singing a song.  While they both have their tiffs, they actually share their core values.  Justice/fairness and what true knighthood means.  Both guys voluntarily turn their backs on the sisters.  In their separation they hear the horror stories and imagine the worst:  marrying the Imp and the RW and Saltpans, not realizing the other was actually not harmed during that period by either Tyrion or the Hound.  They face regret over that decision and as you say will likely not voluntarily stray again if/when they are reunited.   

36 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

It's so perceptible to the adults around them, that the men warn him he's got more chance of ending up on a noose than winning himself a princess.

I had forgotten this!

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"You must be a lackwit, boy," said Lem. "We're outlaws. Lowborn scum, most of us, excepting his lordship. Don't think it'll be like Tom's fool songs neither. You won't be stealing no kisses from a princess, nor riding in no tourneys in stolen armor. You join us, you'll end with your neck in a noose, or your head mounted up above some castle gate."

Oh hey look a tourney reference ;) Well it is actually like Tom's songs.  Both sisters have songs related to them.  "My Feather Bed" and "Florian and Jonquil" among others.  We get told so often life isn't like a song by terrible people, that the story is begging to have a song-like twist in the resolution of this act of the story.  I can't help but think this passage has applications to both sister's stories.  Nooses definitely relate to LS and the BwB as we expect to see Arya crossing paths with them again.   And we've definitely seen heads mounted on castle gates in Sansa's pov.  Don't want to derail the thread on to that, but I think it's worth noting how often the "low born scum" and unusual types end up being the truest knights.  Things will actually end up probably being the opposite of Lem's meaning.  

     

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1 hour ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

 I like that Gendry has his own mind about things and he's not just motivated by his feelings for Arya.  I like that George gave them real opposing goals instead of the cliche romance problem of "stubbornness" keeping two people apart.  Arya naturally wants to go home to Winterfell and her family.  Gendry has been told all his life where he's going and what he's going to do.  For once he can exercise a choice over if or who he wants to serve.  But their values are very much aligned.  Arya has a very strong sense of justice and fairness, especially when it comes to the how highborns administer justice.  So does Gendry.  

Yup I like that too. He made the helmet for himself, how he talks of Thoros and swords and mentions Tobho gave him some sweet steel to make his own in the smithy. (a clue that Arya completely misses out on, thinking he's talking about how he loves to make swords, rather than actually wielding one).. I do think he's partly motivated to jump at the chance of becoming a knight and be someone for a tiny sliver of chance with the princess, but it coincides with a motivation he already had back in KL, before Ned met him. Ned sees it in him, which is why he tells Tobho that if Gendry ever wants to turn fighter, to send him to Ned. He also sticks by his value - he wants to fight for the common people, not for a king who's "foraging" and hurting common people. Well, then at least.

After the Red Wedding and Saltpans that changes though. Beric's dead.

He shows commitment to Arya's ghost and memory. The Orphan's Inn is filled with Arya reminders: the blood stains on the floor that can't be scrubbed away, Willow (tree girl) who bosses him around. And his first taste of revenge in spearing Biter. Protecting orphans in contrast to when he argued that Weasel was a hurdle, and that one tiny chance of hope that Arya may turn up there one day... such a tiny chance, and yet he doesn't want to leave the inn for long.

52 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

And which would be Arya's reaction to this.....would she understand his feelings for her this time?

She'll likely call him a stupid bull for it.

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Posted (edited)

21 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

She doesn't really have a clue what bell-ringing actually means.  She only had the vaguest idea that a brothel is "an inn with girls."

Initially she doesn't really understand it. But when she sits there alone for a while and sees the men going upstairs with the ladies, and the kissing and the frolicking in laps, she has some notion what it means. And while she tells herself he can ring his half-sister's bells as much as he wants, it has nothing to do with her, the lady doth protests too much.

21 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

So the parallels between Arya/Gendry and Sandor/Sansa become a little more pronounced.  Both guys not only too lowborn but also have stigmas attached to them.  Both become "outlaws."  Both seem on a path toward earning knight hood, or hedge knighthood rather.  The sisters are both too young and naive that they miss the signs.  Frustration ensues.  Bell-ringing and singing a song.  While they both have their tiffs, they actually share their core values.  Justice/fairness and what true knighthood means.  Both guys voluntarily turn their backs on the sisters.  In their separation they hear the horror stories and imagine the worst:  marrying the Imp and the RW and Saltpans, not realizing the other was actually not harmed during that period by either Tyrion or the Hound.  They face regret over that decision and as you say will likely not voluntarily stray again if/when they are reunited.   

Agreed.

There's also a reverse-parallel. Gendry chooses not to smith or fight for Robb but for Beric, while Sandor aims to get recruited by Sansa's brother. But Robb gets killed so there goes Sandor's chance in his mind, while Beric gives up his life for Arya's mother and now Gendry's watching orhpans and smithing for Arya's mother.

21 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Oh hey look a tourney reference ;) Well it is actually like Tom's songs.  Both sisters have songs related to them.  "My Feather Bed" and "Florian and Jonquil" among others.  We get told so often life isn't like a song by terrible people, that the story is begging to have a song-like twist in the resolution of this act of the story.  I can't help but think this passage has applications to both sister's stories.  Nooses definitely relate to LS and the BwB as we expect to see Arya crossing paths with them again.   And we've definitely seen heads mounted on castle gates in Sansa's pov.  Don't want to derail the thread on to that, but I think it's worth noting how often the "low born scum" and unusual types end up being the truest knights.  Things will actually end up probably being the opposite of Lem's meaning.

Lem knows nothing, even if he's the knight of skulls and kisses. ;)

Gendry stealing a kiss from the princess :leer:

Sandor already stole one, a very chaste one, in "stolen armor" and Sansa doesn't even know it. :ph34r: (we think)

Edited by sweetsunray

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Ned sees it in him, which is why he tells Tobho that if Gendry ever wants to turn fighter, to send him to Ned. He also sticks by his value - he wants to fight for the common people, not for a king who's "foraging" and hurting common people. Well, then at least.

That's a good catch.  Both "suitors" have in a way been inadvertently evaluated by the father, Ned.  Gendry has pride and dignity even facing the Hand of the King and resists feeling obliged to part with something deeply personal to him (his helm) just because a lord takes interest in it.  The whole scene is incredibly intrusive to Gendry's personal space and he really held his own despite it.  He's definitely earned Ned's respect.  At Robert's deathbed, Ned vows to protect "his children" as his own, but he's really thinking of Robert's bastards.  Ned truly won't be able to protect them, but it's interesting to note the implication is Ned intends on making Gendry his son so to speak.  It was Joffrey originally who was to be the son-in-law, but since he isn't Robert's the son-in-law position can go to another. ;) But maybe he has LS to look forward to as a MIL. :lol:

Quote
"Good," he said, smiling. "I will give Lyanna your love, Ned. Take care of my children for me."
The words twisted in Ned's belly like a knife. For a moment he was at a loss. He could not bring himself to lie. Then he remembered the bastards: little Barra at her mother's breast, Mya in the Vale, Gendry at his forge, and all the others. "I shall … guard your children as if they were my own," he said slowly.

 One of Ned's issues with Robert is that he didn't see Lyanna for who she truly was.  Robert prefers to be constantly flattered.  As soon as Lyanna's steel side came out he would have soured on her too.  Gendry could not be more opposite.  He sees the Arya for exactly who she is and while they can butt heads, he accepts her as she is.

Then there's the Tourney of the Hand (or for the hand?) told through Ned's POV.  In his own thoughts, Ned makes a pretty clear distinction between Gregor and Sandor, which a lot of people don't do.  He sounds actually sympathetic when he thinks about the rumors surrounding the fate of the unknown Clegane sister, their father, and how Sandor left home.  I think it's important that the tourney is shown through Ned's eyes, because even though Sansa is spellbound by Loras, her father sees her unfiltered reactions to the Hound.  She "knew [he] would win" showing she roots for him even for the time being she still has her adolescent crushes.  Then he witnesses Sandor not only saving Loras from his brother, but also not taking advantage of the Mountain's bare head, showing that he has a sense of honor.  Even though Ned thinks there will be a final showdown between Loras and Sandor, as you noted in your essays, the end result is there is no true competition between them.  Loras steps aside willingly and gives the victory to Sandor.  After the winner is declared, Ned learns that Loras had in fact cheated by riding a mare in heat and is only alive because of an honorable act from someone who wasn't even trying to compete at the time. 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Gendry stealing a kiss from the princess :leer:

I could see that if they decide to do a little sparring.  :fencing: At the point of his blade no less.  Back for round two of their wrestling match! 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Sandor already stole one, a very chaste one, in "stolen armor" and Sansa doesn't even know it. :ph34r: (we think)

He'll be back for round two as well.  You bet against the Hound, you lose.  As with Loras and the tourney, it won't be the "tricks" that win the day, but an honorable and heroic act :)

I have so many JonCon / Rhaegar thoughts now too, but I gotta make dinner!  Bleh. TBC...

           

Edited by Blue-Eyed Wolf

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On 19/07/2017 at 7:06 AM, Eurybia said:

I think the Stark kids all love each other very much, which I know is not romantic love obviously but still deep and true. Also, Ned and Cat started as duty, but I believe they really loved each other ("Ned loved my hair" makes me cry very time).

Loras deeply loved Renly. Jeyne Westerling's love for Robb and her defiance in the face of her family and the Lannisters is incredibly moving, imo. Ellaria and Oberyn is also one of the great relationships in the series, and I love how she loves him deeply but still wants to break the cycle of vengeance. Jaime and Brienne's feelings for each other can be debated, but is to me one of the most important relationships in the books because of how they develop and how they change both characters.

I dunno, I think there is a lot of love throughout ASOIAF. Of all sorts, and mostly sad in some way, but no less true or moving.

^ This. There's buckets of love, sprinkled all across the various plots and subplots and taking wildly different forms, from the mature love that exists between Ned and Catelyn or Elaria and Oberym to the immature, all-consuming love Loras holds for Renly (driving him to do things such as butchering random people when Renly is murdered or wanting to don his armour during Blackwater, very courtly and extreme)

ASoIaF isn't the Princess Bride when it comes to romantic love, but the emotion certainly exists in the story, in many facets and flavours. It probably wont be a story where two people save the world through the power of "wub", but that's not a bad thing.

On 19/07/2017 at 10:08 PM, cpg2016 said:

Rhaegar didn't love Lyanna, he forcibly abducted and raped her.

Please provide the text quotes that support your theory. And no, the speculations of some characters long after the fact, who where not even there to witness the events doesn't count. (For the record I don't think they loved each other, but there's room for more possibilities than just abduction and rape, interpretations that give Lyanna more power and influence on the events)

On 20/07/2017 at 4:36 PM, cpg2016 said:

No, that's what the very strong implication is.  Lyanna is riding through the Riverlands on her way home when a party of armed men show up and demand she come with them. 

 No that's your interpretation with a bit of fanfiction tacked on.

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I'm LOVING this discussion of Arya & Gendry and Sansa & Sandor. Really interesting and I agree there are parallels between the two relationships. 

I usually look at SanSan from the perspective of Sansa, as I'm interested in her story of developing her own agency especially in regards to her choice of lover/husband. Being her own free choice and her rejecting the role society had laid out for her. Sansa's story centres around her sexual awakening and her developing the independence of thought and deed which their culture denies women. 

 

But Sandor is in a way a traditional suitor, the lowly knight striving against all odds to win the princess's hand.  I guess the twist is that it will actually be up to her if she gives it and not decided for her by others. I have often pointed out that with Sansa GRRM is doing the opposite of the traditional fairy tale. No princesses as prizes here. Sansa's going to be the aggressor when they meet back up in my opinion. She's been developing this fantasy around him, in which she thinks he's already made the first move and kissed her. Dreaming of him in her bed and attaching a lot of sexuality to this imagined kiss. So when she see's him again I think she will be far bolder than earlier Sansa would have behaved. She's learnt how to be bastard brave in the Vale, and she's learning how to use her flirting skills in a more sexually suggestive manner. Hanging out with the sexually assertive Randa Royce etc.  

With regard to Arya & Gendry, I love the idea of them having a second sparring match, this time sword practice and this time a kiss occurring. I think with these two it is he who has to get over the social constraints of their positions. 

So for SanSan, it is a problem of nice girls don't and with Gedrya (is that a thing? can it be it's quicker to type.) it is a case of, a man as low as I could never.... 

Likewise, each has a mirror in the fact that Arya does not give a shit about social norms and polite societies opinions and neither does Sandor. Each disdains of cultural expectations. Refusing the title of Knight, pointing out that it is all lies and pretence. Or refusing the role of a proper lady, rejecting the expectations of her class and her sex by forming friendships and relationships with the low born and taking up a sword. 

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1 hour ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

But Sandor is in a way a traditional suitor, the lowly knight striving against all odds to win the princess's hand.  I guess the twist is that it will actually be up to her if she gives it and not decided for her by others. I have often pointed out that with Sansa GRRM is doing the opposite of the traditional fairy tale. No princesses as prizes here. Sansa's going to be the aggressor when they meet back up in my opinion. She's been developing this fantasy around him, in which she thinks he's already made the first move and kissed her. Dreaming of him in her bed and attaching a lot of sexuality to this imagined kiss. So when she see's him again I think she will be far bolder than earlier Sansa would have behaved. She's learnt how to be bastard brave in the Vale, and she's learning how to use her flirting skills in a more sexually suggestive manner. Hanging out with the sexually assertive Randa Royce etc.

You might be interested in @Blue-Eyed Wolf's theory on a bunch of hedge knights that Sansa meets in the last aFfC chapter: https://sweeticeandfiresunray.com/2017/07/13/their-gallantry-is-yet-to-be-demonstrated-shadrich-morgarth-and-byron/

1 hour ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

With regard to Arya & Gendry, I love the idea of them having a second sparring match, this time sword practice and this time a kiss occurring. I think with these two it is he who has to get over the social constraints of their positions. 

A second sparring? I think that would be the upteenth time.

Round 1: Gendry gets back from his bath at the inn, and tells her to leave the three prisoners alone, and how they scare him. Next thing she does: Arya challenges Gendry to a sword fight at the inn, meanwhile she notices his hair is wet and that he has "deep blue eyes". They spar with words, how he'll beat her and might end up hurting her, but eventually he accepts, because he doesn't know something clever to say back. Just then the Gold Cloaks arrive, and as they lie beneath the hedges, she's simultaneously concentrating on the convo going on between the Gold Cloaks and the men going to the Wall, shushing him, and thinking how his hair smells of soap. The scene ends with the Bull telling her his name: Gendry.

 
Quote

 

Arya scuffed at the ground with her foot, but she let the Bull lead her around to the front of the inn. Rorge's laughter and Biter's hissing followed them. "Want to fight?" she asked the Bull. She wanted to hit something.
He blinked at her, startled. Strands of thick black hair, still wet from the bathhouse, fell across his deep blue eyes. "I'd hurt you."
"You would not."
"You don't know how strong I am."
"You don't know how quick I am."
"You're asking for it, Arry." He drew Praed's longsword. "This is cheap steel, but it's a real sword."
Arya unsheathed Needle. "This is good steel, so it's realer than yours."
The Bull shook his head. "Promise not to cry if I cut you?"
"I'll promise if you will." She turned sideways, into her water dancer's stance, but the Bull did not move. He was looking at something behind her. "What's wrong?"
"Gold cloaks." His face closed up tight. (aCoK, Arya II)

 

 

She's the aggressor here. Gendry gives in, so Arya wins the verbal match. Swords come out. He's got a longsword, cheap steel, but real. She's got Needle, good steel, but with the second round, it's "not realer than his" (because that's when they sparr over having cocks, and that she doesn't have one). So, Arya - Gendry verbally sparring: 1 / 0

The water dancing is heavily alludes to the Swan princess / Black swan ballet.

Round 2: They sparr again first with words about Gendry knowing she's actually a girl, after the battle at the holdfast where Yoren and most people they were with got killed. This time, Gendry gets the better of her at least with words, when he starts m'ladying her and how his master taught him his proper courtesies. Not able to win with words, she shoves him.
 
Quote

 

"She's no use," Gendry repeated stubbornly. "Her and Hot Pie and Lommy, they're slowing us down, and they're going to get us killed. You're the only one of the bunch who's good for anything. Even if you are a girl."
Arya froze in her steps. "I'm not a girl!"
"Yes you are. Do you think I'm as stupid as they are?"
"No, you're stupider. The Night's Watch doesn't take girls, everyone knows that."
"That's true. I don't know why Yoren brought you, but he must have had some reason. You're still a girl."
"I am not!"
"Then pull out your cock and take a piss. Go on."
"I don't need to take a piss. If I wanted to I could."
"Liar. You can't take out your cock because you don't have one. I never noticed before when there were thirty of us, but you always go off in the woods to make your water. You don't see Hot Pie doing that, nor me neither. If you're not a girl, you must be some eunuch."
"You're the eunuch."
"You know I'm not." Gendry smiled. "You want me to take out my cock and prove it? I don't have anything to hide."
"Yes you do," Arya blurted, desperate to escape the subject of the cock she didn't have. "Those gold cloaks were after you at the inn, and you won't tell us why."
"I wish I knew. I think Yoren knew, but he never told me. Why did you think they were after you, though?"
Arya bit her lip. She remembered what Yoren had said, the day he had hacked off her hair. This lot, half o' them would turn you over to the queen quick as spit for a pardon and maybe a few silvers. The other half'd do the same, only they'd rape you first. Only Gendry was different, the queen wanted him too. "I'll tell you if you'll tell me," she said warily.
"I would if I knew, Arry . . . is that really what you're called, or do you have some girl's name?"
Arya glared at the gnarled root by her feet. She realized that the pretense was done. Gendry knew, and she had nothing in her pants to convince him otherwise. She could draw Needle and kill him where he stood, or else trust him. She wasn't certain she'd be able to kill him, even if she tried; he had his own sword, and he was a lot stronger. All that was left was the truth. "Lommy and Hot Pie can't know," she said.
"They won't," he swore. "Not from me."
"Arya." She raised her eyes to his. "My name is Arya. Of House Stark." (aCoK, Arya V)

 

 

Now, it's Gendry challenging to show her "sword". She can't and she tries to make it an equal "I'll tell you if you'll tell me" but he has nothing to tell, so reveals herself... verbally. (it's almost a verions of I'll show mine if you show yours, which is what children do)

Arya-Gendry verbally sparring: 1/1

Round 3 follows immediately after Round 2, with Gendry pressing his advantage

 
Quote

 

"I . . . you're highborn then, a . . . you'll be a lady . . ."
Arya looked down at her ragged clothes and bare feet, all cracked and callused. She saw the dirt under her nails, the scabs on her elbows, the scratches on her hands. Septa Mordane wouldn't even know me, I bet. Sansa might, but she'd pretend not to. "My mother's a lady, and my sister, but I never was."
"Yes you were. You were a lord's daughter and you lived in a castle, didn't you? And you . . . gods be good, I never . . ." All of a sudden Gendry seemed uncertain, almost afraid. "All that about cocks, I never should have said that. And I been pissing in front of you and everything, I . . . I beg your pardon, m'lady."
"Stop that!" Arya hissed. Was he mocking her?
"I know my courtesies, m'lady," Gendry said, stubborn as ever. "Whenever highborn girls came into the shop with their fathers, my master told me I was to bend the knee, and speak only when they spoke to me, and call them m'lady."
"If you start calling me m'lady, even Hot Pie is going to notice. And you better keep on pissing the same way too."
"As m'lady commands."
Arya slammed his chest with both hands. He tripped over a stone and sat down with a thump. "What kind of lord's daughter are you?" he said, laughing.
"This kind." She kicked him in the side, but it only made him laugh harder.

 

 

He is mocking her, and because she has to resort to physical agression, this means Arya-Gendry sparring: 1/2

Round 4: the Smithy tussle at Acorn Hall. It's actually Gendry who initiates it, when he snaps the smith's tongs at Arya's face.

Quote

 

"I was talking about Thoros." Gendry reached out with the tongs as if to pinch her face, but Arya swatted them away. [...] "Riverrun." Gendry put the hammer down and looked at her. "You look different now. Like a proper little girl."

"I look like an oak tree, with all these stupid acorns."
"Nice, though. A nice oak tree." He stepped closer, and sniffed at her. "You even smell nice for a change."
"You don't. You stink." Arya shoved him back against the anvil and made to run, but Gendry caught her arm. She stuck a foot between his legs and tripped him, but he yanked her down with him, and they rolled across the floor of the smithy. He was very strong, but she was quicker. Every time he tried to hold her still she wriggled free and punched him. Gendry only laughed at the blows, which made her mad. He finally caught both her wrists in one hand and started to tickle her with the other, so Arya slammed her knee between his legs, and wrenched free. Both of them were covered in dirt, and one sleeve was torn on her stupid acorn dress. "I bet I don't look so nice now," she shouted. (aSoS, Arya IV)

 

 
Arya-Gendry sparring: 2/2:lmao:
 
I'm not counting the actual tiffs after this, because those are not just sparring anymore. They're actual angry or jealous arguing over hurt feelings in those cases by the both of them: But it's definitely set up as "to be continued" imo :lmao:
And I agree, he's the one who's to get over the social constraints. He's the one who has to kiss her. 
9 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Likewise, each has a mirror in the fact that Arya does not give a shit about social norms and polite societies opinions and neither does Sandor. Each disdains of cultural expectations. Refusing the title of Knight, pointing out that it is all lies and pretence. Or refusing the role of a proper lady, rejecting the expectations of her class and her sex by forming friendships and relationships with the low born and taking up a sword. 

:agree:

 

 

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Love is only thing Doran Nymeria Martell fulfilled in his life and you forgot to mention it.

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22 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I'm LOVING this discussion of Arya & Gendry and Sansa & Sandor. Really interesting and I agree there are parallels between the two relationships. 

I usually look at SanSan from the perspective of Sansa, as I'm interested in her story of developing her own agency especially in regards to her choice of lover/husband. Being her own free choice and her rejecting the role society had laid out for her. Sansa's story centres around her sexual awakening and her developing the independence of thought and deed which their culture denies women. 

 

But Sandor is in a way a traditional suitor, the lowly knight striving against all odds to win the princess's hand.  I guess the twist is that it will actually be up to her if she gives it and not decided for her by others. I have often pointed out that with Sansa GRRM is doing the opposite of the traditional fairy tale. No princesses as prizes here. Sansa's going to be the aggressor when they meet back up in my opinion. She's been developing this fantasy around him, in which she thinks he's already made the first move and kissed her. Dreaming of him in her bed and attaching a lot of sexuality to this imagined kiss. So when she see's him again I think she will be far bolder than earlier Sansa would have behaved. She's learnt how to be bastard brave in the Vale, and she's learning how to use her flirting skills in a more sexually suggestive manner. Hanging out with the sexually assertive Randa Royce etc.  

With regard to Arya & Gendry, I love the idea of them having a second sparring match, this time sword practice and this time a kiss occurring. I think with these two it is he who has to get over the social constraints of their positions. 

So for SanSan, it is a problem of nice girls don't and with Gedrya (is that a thing? can it be it's quicker to type.) it is a case of, a man as low as I could never.... 

Likewise, each has a mirror in the fact that Arya does not give a shit about social norms and polite societies opinions and neither does Sandor. Each disdains of cultural expectations. Refusing the title of Knight, pointing out that it is all lies and pretence. Or refusing the role of a proper lady, rejecting the expectations of her class and her sex by forming friendships and relationships with the low born and taking up a sword. 

I think Arya is the only highborn character who genuinely regards members of the lower classes as equals.  There are certainly highborn characters who view the lower classes sympathetically, like Daenerys, or Catelyn, but it wouldn't even occur to them that they were not ordained to rule them, and the latter were ordained to obey them.

That said, within a society like Westeros, I think a marriage between Arya and Gendry would be impossible (unless he were enobled). 

 

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@sweetsunray Ah! I had quite forgotten about their first duel.  Yes to be continued is written all over their story and I am glad we have confirmation that they will meet back up.  

@SeanF I don't think they'd marry It is all in their song,

 “My featherbed is deep and soft,
and there I’ll lay you down,
I’ll dress you all in yellow silk
and on your head a crown.
For you shall be my lady love,
and I shall be your lord.
I’ll always keep you warm and safe,
and guard you with my sword.

And how she smiled and how she laughed, the maiden of the tree.
She spun away and said to him, 
no featherbed for me.
I’ll wear a gown of golden leaves,
and bind my hair with grass,
But you can be my forest love,
and me your forest lass.”

Arya doesn't want to be wed, and she doesn't want a castle or a Feather Bed. I don't think she'll go back to being a Lady in the traditional sense. I think she'll have a relationship with Gendry. But keep it on her terms. He has to accept that if he wants her he has to set aside his notions of class structure & the right way of doing things. 

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8 minutes ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

@sweetsunray Ah! I had quite forgotten about their first duel.  Yes to be continued is written all over their story and I am glad we have confirmation that they will meet back up.  

@SeanF I don't think they'd marry It is all in their song,

 “My featherbed is deep and soft,
and there I’ll lay you down,
I’ll dress you all in yellow silk
and on your head a crown.
For you shall be my lady love,
and I shall be your lord.
I’ll always keep you warm and safe,
and guard you with my sword.

And how she smiled and how she laughed, the maiden of the tree.
She spun away and said to him, 
no featherbed for me.
I’ll wear a gown of golden leaves,
and bind my hair with grass,
But you can be my forest love,
and me your forest lass.”

Arya doesn't want to be wed, and she doesn't want a castle or a Feather Bed. I don't think she'll go back to being a Lady in the traditional sense. I think she'll have a relationship with Gendry. But keep it on her terms. He has to accept that if he wants her he has to set aside his notions of class structure & the right way of doing things. 

What I could envisage is Arya simply abandoning her class background, becoming, say, a  professional assassin, or sellsword,  in which case she could do as she pleased.

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36 minutes ago, SeanF said:

What I could envisage is Arya simply abandoning her class background, becoming, say, a  professional assassin, or sellsword,  in which case she could do as she pleased.

Absolutely. I don't think her siblings would turn their backs on her. So she would be able to come and go as she pleased at WF, and likely have a pretty decent standard of living. But I don't think she will definitely go back to being a High Born Lady once she returns to Westeros. At least not in the traditional sense. And I'll be honest I don't think she'll survive the series. 

It might even be that Gendry has to give up his new found status as a Baratheon (thinking if he were to be offered legitimisation) in order to be with her? 

 

 

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Well after the RW, she imagines finding the the BwB again and riding along side Gendry as an outlaw like Wenda the White Fawn.  Oh, but that's stupid Sansa stuff right out of the stories :rolleyes: uh huh.  I agree, if she has an endgame with him I think it will be utilizing both their talents and values by defending the smallfolk.  She has acceptance that she has always longed for and a purpose that is fulfilling to her character.  

I don't think Sansa is any different. I think the story is clearly moving away from arranged marriages that uses either of them for their claims.  It didn't seem like it in the beginning, but both girls really have the willfulness to resist that fate.  

Quote

Septa Mordane sniffed in disapproval. "A noble lady does not feed dogs at her table," she said, breaking off another piece of comb and letting the honey drip down onto her bread.
"She's not a dog, she's a direwolf," Sansa pointed out as Lady licked her fingers with a rough tongue. "Anyway, Father said we could keep them with us if we want."
The septa was not appeased. "You're a good girl, Sansa, but I do vow, when it comes to that creature you're as willful as your sister Arya." She scowled.

Oh yeah, they'll be way more alike in the end ;)   IMO, there's a possibility that Sansa's husband might take her family name to keep the next generation of Starks going.  "She's not a dog, she's a direwolf."  Wives taking the husband's last name is not automatic according to George.  IIRC, there is one precedent for the above happening, but I need to look it up.  Would be a rare event in the story of an outsider wanting to be a Stark and actually becomes one.           

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I wouldn't go that far. Whilst Arya enjoys the company of those across the social spectrum and can often be blind to the impact it has on those below her on it, she is still very proud of her Stark identity. I'd say, to paraphrase Varys, she sees leadership of the North as a Stark duty, rather than a Stark right. Whoever ends up ruling Winterfell in the end, I can see Arya staying there trying to make a positive difference to the people of the North. I doubt any of the surviving Starks would force her into society's expectations against her will - so staying should not be a problem if she lives.

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Arya and Gendry are the classical example of two people who become friends because of arbitrary circumstances. Like, you playing with the neighbor's children because they are living next door, you hanging out with your classmates because they are your classmates. But those kind of friendships are contingent upon you being part of the same circles, club, environment, etc.

All Arya and Gendry have in common is that the Lannisters look for them and that they have to survive in an enemy environment. They belong to different classes, follow different professions, and have different views on gender roles.

The chances are about zero that Arya wants to spend her life as the wife of an armorer just as the chances are about zero that Gendry would want to be the husband of a female sellsword or assassin (or live as the lowborn husband/paramour of a Stark at Winterfell). Gendry is very much his own man. He doesn't compromise. And neither does Arya.

Not to mention, you know, that Gendry is already a man by the standards of this society while Arya is still very much a child. Any woman Gendry would be interested in would be an actual woman, not a little girl. Should Gendry ever meet Arya he would be horrified by what she has become and done, and rightfully so. And I'm pretty sure she wouldn't exactly like the zealous follower of R'hllor he has become.

This whole thing has no future even if it was a romance (which it clearly never was).

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