Rickard of House Rakkoon

Where is the love?

240 posts in this topic

18 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

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/

Keeping this here to carry it through the thread. 

18 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

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.

 
 

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.
 
 

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 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.

 
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. 

:agree:

 

 

(Ugh! The quoter hates me again) 

All of this Gendry-speak where he repeats things like "as my lady commands" always reminds me of the princess bride "as you wish". (For fun)

 

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2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

All of this Gendry-speak where he repeats things like "as my lady commands" always reminds me of the princess bride "as you wish". (For fun)

It does! Except she's the one who's skilled in fencing and poison. But she'd need Gendry to tackle the giant :lmao:

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2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Keeping this here to carry it through the thread. 

(Ugh! The quoter hates me again) 

All of this Gendry-speak where he repeats things like "as my lady commands" always reminds me of the princess bride "as you wish". (For fun)

 

I read that Martin likes this movie a lot!

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

That's actually a common thing in real life, no?

 

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14 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

That's actually a common thing in real life, no?

Sure, and you usually have nothing in common with such people if there is nothing else connecting you. Like, common interests, hobbies, things you like to do together, etc. Arya-Gendry have nothing of that sort. And they are lacking both sexual and romantic attraction in any real sense. Arya simply was too young in ACoK/ASoS. They both moved on. If they meet again they would have to reconnect/begin again from scratch. But Gendry is not the kind of man who want to hook up with a woman like a, say, 14-year-old Arya.

In fact, there are very few men in this series who want to hook up with Arya after they learn who and what she has become. Her family might no reject her (Bran and Sansa also lived through a lot of cruel things, and Catelyn might even approve of her murders) but the idea that they would enjoy her company or feel romantically attracted to her (Jon) doesn't sound very convincing to me.

In addition, there are not exactly many hints that Arya gives a shit about romance, love, and sex - at least not at this point of her life. And while there is no doubt that she will master the art of faking love, affection, and pleasure - just as she already mastered the ability to fake sexual attraction and the art to seduce much older men - I very much doubt she is ever going to feel anything real in the love department or be particularly to explore that aspect of life. A girl as traumatized as Arya is never going to believe anyone ever again that they love her, protect her, help her, etc. How could she? She was betrayed/abandoned/failed by anyone she ever trusted in life.

Even if she didn't not become a professional assassin for the remainder of her life - and that sounds as the most meaningful profession she could do with her fucked-up life - she would remain emotionally broken and traumatized her entire life.

Any sort of mundane relationship and 'normal life' sounds completely ridiculous in light of the things Arya went through. 

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41 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

<snip>

Any sort of mundane relationship and 'normal life' sounds completely ridiculous in light of the things Arya went through. 

From the realistic point of view we could think of child soldiers in our own world. Wars happen, wars end, and the children have to adapt as best they can. Some get help with rehabilitation, some don't - but I bet most of them make an effort to have a normal life.

But I don't think the books are meant to be read strictly realistically. In fantasy, being an assassin is a respectable profession, with no mental trauma involved. Not to the assassin anyway.

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39 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, there are very few men in this series who want to hook up with Arya after they learn who and what she has become. Her family might no reject her (Bran and Sansa also lived through a lot of cruel things, and Catelyn might even approve of her murders) but the idea that they would enjoy her company or feel romantically attracted to her (Jon) doesn't sound very convincing to me.

But instead he will shack up with his tyrannical aunt who has young girls tortured and 163 people crucified en masse? Right.

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14 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

From the realistic point of view we could think of child soldiers in our own world. Wars happen, wars end, and the children have to adapt as best they can. Some get help with rehabilitation, some don't - but I bet most of them make an effort to have a normal life.

There are statistics on that kind of thing, and they are not positive. And we all know that even adults have issues with that. Veterans usually struggle to reintegrate back in civilian life.

14 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

But I don't think the books are meant to be read strictly realistically. In fantasy, being an assassin is a respectable profession, with no mental trauma involved. Not to the assassin anyway.

Arya is clearly traumatized. She is broken. We see that in every single of hers since, well, ACoK. I could see her making a living as an assassin (or even as a Mistress of Whisperers) but that doesn't mean she becomes whole again. Far to the contrary, actually. Just as it is completely illusionary that Sandor is ever going to get a proper normal being. That is not going to happen.

14 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

But instead he will shack up with his tyrannical aunt who has young girls tortured and 163 people crucified en masse? Right.

Sure, why not? He didn't grew up with that aunt, you know. And he might not yet even know that he is her nephew when he starts fucking her. 

And Jon is actually crueler stuff than Daenerys. He is willing to murder the hostages he took from the wildlings. Dany didn't had the stomach to do that. And torture and execution are common things in that world.

What makes Arya ugly is that she is just murdering people with impunity because she can. That's not something a child (or an adult) is allowed to do in this world, especially not insidiously by using poison, the promise of sex, etc. If a Braavosi or Westerosi authority had caught Arya she would have hanged. And rightfully so.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, and you usually have nothing in common with such people if there is nothing else connecting you. Like, common interests, hobbies, things you like to do together, etc. Arya-Gendry have nothing of that sort. And they are lacking both sexual and romantic attraction in any real sense. Arya simply was too young in ACoK/ASoS. They both moved on. If they meet again they would have to reconnect/begin again from scratch. But Gendry is not the kind of man who want to hook up with a woman like a, say, 14-year-old Arya.

Gendry is romantically attracted to her, and we can see this in many chapters. Arya is not really aware of her feelings (in my opinion she doesn't want to acknowledge them) but she clearly finds him attractive, cares about and likes him. 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, there are very few men in this series who want to hook up with Arya after they learn who and what she has become. Her family might no reject her (Bran and Sansa also lived through a lot of cruel things, and Catelyn might even approve of her murders) but the idea that they would enjoy her company or feel romantically attracted to her (Jon) doesn't sound very convincing to me.

In addition, there are not exactly many hints that Arya gives a shit about romance, love, and sex - at least not at this point of her life. And while there is no doubt that she will master the art of faking love, affection, and pleasure - just as she already mastered the ability to fake sexual attraction and the art to seduce much older men - I very much doubt she is ever going to feel anything real in the love department or be particularly to explore that aspect of life. A girl as traumatized as Arya is never going to believe anyone ever again that they love her, protect her, help her, etc. How could she? She was betrayed/abandoned/failed by anyone she ever trusted in life.

Even if she didn't not become a professional assassin for the remainder of her life - and that sounds as the most meaningful profession she could do with her fucked-up life - she would remain emotionally broken and traumatized her entire life.

Any sort of mundane relationship and 'normal life' sounds completely ridiculous in light of the things Arya went through. 

People who are traumatised can recover from that, and her arc is not done, is not that she will remain like this all her life. A person with ther strength, that at this point of her life and her young age is still able to genuinely befriend people andt think about her family is not completely broken. And it's her family and/or friends who will make her change her path again.

And romance not being her number one priority doesn't mean she can't experience that.

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3 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

Gendry is romantically attracted to her, and we can see this in many chapters. Arya is not really aware of her feelings (in my opinion she doesn't want to acknowledge them) but she clearly finds him attractive, cares about and likes him. 

They like each other, perhaps as brother and sister or very good friends. But there is nothing sexual or romantic to any of that. Arya is still ten years old in ACoK, and Gendry isn't exactly looking for children as potential lovers. He seems to have entertained the idea of getting together with Arya if the circumstances were different, etc. but he is quite aware that this is never going to happen.

3 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

People who are traumatised can recover from that, and her arc is not done, is not that she will remain like this all her life. A person with ther strength, that at this point of her life and her young age is still able to genuinely befriend people andt think about her family is not completely broken. And it's her family and/or friends who will make her change her path again.

Her path or arc is irrelevant. Her family and friends (what friends does she have?) cannot unmake or make her forget her experiences. The traumas Arya went through are usually worst if children of her age suffer them. The fact that she survived them didn't make her 'stronger'. It twisted her and reshaped her into the person she now is. Just as it happened with Sandor and Littlefinger. Neither of those characters is going go back to their old self just because he gets a hug or cries in the arms of his or her loved ones.

Actions do have consequences.

3 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

And romance not being her number one priority doesn't mean she can't experience that.

She is the character who is the least likely to have a proper romance:

1. She is still eleven years old. We don't need more pedo sex (Dany-Drogo) in this series.

2. She has no interest in romances.

3. She has other interesting things to do.

Giving her a romance would cheapen her story. And it would feel very awkward considering her age. If she wasn't as traumatized as she is she could have some crush at the age of 12-13 but she is traumatized. And she never liked the whole girl thing anyway. She was always the kind of person who would only follow 'her heart' if emotion and desire would actually overwhelm her (like it may have been with Lyanna). Chances that she is ever going to find herself in such a situation at the age of 11-12 (and she is not going to get much older than that in this series) is simply not very likely.

If we had a 16-18 years old Arya I could see a romance taking place if she met the right person. But I still cannot imagine what kind of person Arya could really feel attracted to or feel safe with. Perhaps she could reach a point where she takes the sexual pleasure from others she might crave when/after puberty hits her very hard. But I don't think we are going to see that happening, either.

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31 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

What makes Arya ugly is that she is just murdering people with impunity because she can. That's not something a child (or an adult) is allowed to do in this world, especially not insidiously by using poison, the promise of sex, etc. If a Braavosi or Westerosi authority had caught Arya she would have hanged. And rightfully so.

Leaving aside the ludicrous and baseless claim that Arya has only killed people cause she can, rather than seeking justice nobody else can be bothered with...

So Dany crowning herself Queen makes it all alright? The Dothraki would ship Dany back to the Dosh Khaleen and the cities of Slavers Bay would do much worse to if they could get their hands on her, but that does not make her trying to help the slaves unjustified. As far as Arya is concerned she is the last of the Starks, so it falls to her to carry out Northern justice. That it turns out she is not is no more of an issue than Aegon living to supersede Dany as the Targ claimant.

Basically, using what is deemed legal or illegal in a corrupt, feudalistic society where self-interest almost always triumphs over justice is not a solid base for one's morality.

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24 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Leaving aside the ludicrous and baseless claim that Arya has only killed people cause she can, rather than seeking justice nobody else can be bothered with...

Murder isn't justice. And Arya having a list doesn't make it right, either. There is no doubt that Chiswyck and Raff deserved to be punished, but this doesn't mean it was her place to do that. Nor had she certainly had no right to kill Dareon, the Bolton soldier, the insurance guy, or Weese.

24 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

So Dany crowning herself Queen makes it all alright? The Dothraki would ship Dany back to the Dosh Khaleen and the cities of Slavers Bay would do much worse to if they could get their hands on her, but that does not make her trying to help the slaves unjustified. As far as Arya is concerned she is the last of the Starks, so it falls to her to carry out Northern justice. That it turns out she is not is no more of an issue than Aegon living to supersede Dany as the Targ claimant.

'Northern justice'? That cold-blooded and insidious revenge, unworthy of the rules of the society she lives in. Nobody with honor would kill the way Arya does, just as no self-respecting person would pull off what Wyman Manderly did. Feeding Walda her own kin is just disgusting.

Arya doesn't avenge her house, by the way. She arbitrarily kills people who wronged her personally or people she felt close to. Raff, Chiswyck, and the Tickler had to die because they mistreated her and the people she happened to travel with. But it is not up to her to decide that they deserve to die for their crimes.

24 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Basically, using what is deemed legal or illegal in a corrupt, feudalistic society where self-interest almost always triumphs over justice is not a solid base for one's morality.

This has nothing to do with morality. It is simply a fact that this is not as twisted or corrupt a world where everybody can draw up a list and then kill the people on it because he or she feels wronged by those people. People - especially the noble people on that list - deserve a trial and the right to defend themselves. But this most likely also extends to the commoners. 

Nobody in this world deserves to be gutted by an eleven-year-old psychopath.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Snip

Very interesting. I see the reasons why people think that Gendry and Arya are meant to be. But I agree with your points. 

Not that I really care about Gendry and Arya. But it isn't clear for me what their arcs might be. I don't think that Arya really wants to be a sellsword or an assassin. She's becoming one because of the circumstances. 

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On 20/07/2017 at 9:54 PM, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I think there is and the story isn't over yet.  Let's not confuse some problematic aspects to relationships as necessarily invalidating "real love."  <snip>   

 

On 21/07/2017 at 0:39 PM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

There is a lot of love in the book series, both the main ones and the additional texts. I think the mistake a lot of people make is thinking love is only what they think it is. I see this a lot. <snip>

I agree with both of these so much. Real love is there in the books for everyone to see. Love is not the romanticised, idealistic concept that we often like to see it as (especially in fiction). In real life, love is always mixed with other emotions, attitudes and ideas. Duty, passion, respect, jealousy, protection, fear, dedication, sadness, happiness, the desire to control each other and the will to be free from one another. Love is never just love, because in order to love someone you need to have a reason. And this is also why love is not all that there is to life (apart from when you have that first teenage crush, then it's bigger than life), it's connected to the everyday life and everything around us. GRRM really has done a great job in portraying this.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

3. She has other interesting things to do.

Giving her a romance would cheapen her story. And it would feel very awkward considering her age. If she wasn't as traumatized as she is she could have some crush at the age of 12-13 but she is traumatized. And she never liked the whole girl thing anyway. She was always the kind of person who would only follow 'her heart' if emotion and desire would actually overwhelm her (like it may have been with Lyanna). Chances that she is ever going to find herself in such a situation at the age of 11-12 (and she is not going to get much older than that in this series) is simply not very likely.

How can a romance cheapen a story?

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Nobody in this world deserves to be gutted by an eleven-year-old psychopath.

And, btw, what are these other interesting things she has to do? If you consider her a person with no empathy towards the other (a psychopath ( who she isn't bc she befriends people and has feelings for them) and she just kills people (who nobody else would kill apparently.....?) then, what is interesting in her story?

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Murder isn't justice. And Arya having a list doesn't make it right, either. There is no doubt that Chiswyck and Raff deserved to be punished, but this doesn't mean it was her place to do that. Nor had she certainly had no right to kill Dareon, the Bolton soldier, the insurance guy, or Weese.

Why not? On what criteria should licenses to dispense justice given out? If you are basing it on who holds the most power in the feudal society, then it is, as GRRM has gone to great lengths to show us in this series, ripe for abuse. I would much rather someone who genuinely cares about separating the guilty from the innocent than someone who decides according to self-interest. Also, as I pointed out above and you have spectacularly failed to address that this would equally bar Dany.

 

Quote

'Northern justice'? That cold-blooded and insidious revenge, unworthy of the rules of the society she lives in. Nobody with honor would kill the way Arya does, just as no self-respecting person would pull off what Wyman Manderly did. Feeding Walda her own kin is just disgusting.

You appear to be blaming Arya for something someone else has done and tarring whole societies by the action of one person. It is turning into a bit of a habit for Dany and her fans.

Is Arya honourable? No, she would rather do what is right than what is honourable. Much like Jaime in killing Aerys to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

 

Quote

Arya doesn't avenge her house, by the way. She arbitrarily kills people who wronged her personally or people she felt close to. Raff, Chiswyck, and the Tickler had to die because they mistreated her and the people she happened to travel with. But it is not up to her to decide that they deserve to die for their crimes.

Arya must have very high levels of empathy if she felt very close to that girl Chiswyck raped who she never met or the family of the man whom the insurance salesman defrauded who she never met. So strange that you then call her a psychopath. It is almost like she cares about justice as a concept, not just for herself.

 

Quote

This has nothing to do with morality. It is simply a fact that this is not as twisted or corrupt a world where everybody can draw up a list and then kill the people on it because he or she feels wronged by those people. People - especially the noble people on that list - deserve a trial and the right to defend themselves. But this most likely also extends to the commoners. 

Four of the six main characters have had people executed without a trial. It is incredibly hypocritical to single one of them out, especially when they are the one who goes to the greatest lengths to ensure that they are guilty and would almost certainly give a hearing if they were in a position to do so (not that it would do them any good when the evidence is damning).

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@Lord Varys While I too worry about Arya's future, I don't necessarily consider it as necessarily as bleak as you do.

For one thing, her non self-defense body count isn't all that high (I consider Harrenhal guard and the Tickler as essentially self-defense.  they were certainly done from necessity.)  And Insurance Man was ordered of her; and even then she was pressured.  I will admit to being uneasy about her murders of Dareon and Raff, especially the ease with which she did them, but I don't she is entirely lost - yet.  Further association with the FM will probably only make matters worse, though, so I expect her to leave quickly if GRRM has any real plans for her.  Time with a courtesan could be interesting and beneficial for her.  That is certainly a possibility, especially if the FM decides she isn't cut out to be an assassin (she isn't).

I agree with you about Arya and Gendry.  they really have nothing in common.  Different backgrounds, educations, and life experiences (even before the war).   I do expect her to become sexually active after she gets her moonblood, though.  I can see her targeting Gendry, and him running away.  He will not want to have anything romantic with a 12-year old highborn.  That is trouble.  I think he sees her as more of a sister than anything romantic, anyway.

If she does have sex (or romance), I expect it will be with someone her own age - a squire or someone similar.  I felt she got along well with Edric Dayne, so I could see her with him or Podrick, or somebody like that.   And I will keep an eye out for blonde 14 year old squire types in her (and Sansa's) story.  (Tyrek is out there someplace).

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Posted (edited)

On 7/28/2017 at 6:42 AM, 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. 

Agreed. I really love both stories (Sansa/Sandor and Arya/Gendry) because of that. Also Jaime/Brienne is great.

I always love your take on sexuality. Yeah, Sansa is so working herself up sexually about Sandor, she's gonna jump him.

Rethinking Romance will continue, I just wanted more material to finish SanSan and J/B. Meanwhile, I put lots of SanSan stuff here.

Also he's got Beauty and the Beast parallels in Sansa/Sandor and Jaime/Brienne (I am waiting for more parallels, too):

  • Sandor is Sansa's Beast, Jaime is Brienne's Beast (they trade roles in that Brienne the Beauty is Beastly on the outside)
  • Joffrey was Sansa’s prince, Renly was Brienne’s prince
  • Both Beauties, Sansa and Brienne, receive roses from men they reject (Loras and Red Ronnet) in their thoughts and dreams for their respective Beasts, Sandor and Jaime
  • Florian and Jonquil and true knights come up with both Beauty and the Beast pairs, too
  • Sandor tells Sansa there no are true knights, Jaime tells Brienne there are no true knights; then both men are true knights
  • Both Beauty and the Beast pairs have key rescue scenes; Sandor rescues Sansa from rape, Jaime rescues Brienne from rape
  • Sansa thanks Sandor after the rescue, Brienne thanks Jaime after the rescue; both remember the rescues
  • There’s a sexy symbolic deflowering scene for both Beauty and the Beast pairs; Blackwater for Sansa/Sandor, the sword fight for Jaime/Brienne; both scenes are filled with sexual symbolism (both men pull daggers on the women)
  • Sansa thinks many times about Sandor’s cloak, and he gives it to her twice, and she keeps it in a cedar chest; Brienne dreams of the time Renly gave her the kingsguard cloak, but then she dreams of Jaime giving her the cloak instead
  • Both Beauty and the Beast pairs miss each other after they are separated ("I wish the Hound were here" and "Would that Jaime had come with me" and much more)
Edited by Le Cygne

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37 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

How can a romance cheapen a story?

Because her story simply isn't about romances.

37 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

And, btw, what are these other interesting things she has to do? If you consider herself a person with no empathy towards the other (a psychopath ( who she isn't bc she befriends people and has feelings for them) and she just kills people (who nobody would kill apparently.....?) then, what is interesting in her story?

Killing people, of course.

Arya is a psychopathic killer. I recently read a book about actual psychopaths (both criminal psychopaths and functioning psychopaths) and it is just flabbergasting how well Arya's traumas and experiences fit together with the development of a psychopathic murderer. Psychopaths have a lower level of empathy but they still have emotions, and they also don't have to be born that way - they develop into psychopaths and murderers, mostly by suffering/witnessing extreme levels of violence, abuse, and humiliation at an early age. Arya's entire journey in ACoK seems to be a textbook case of shaping a child into a psychopathic murderer. You have a decent person who is forced to suffer through a lot of abuse and injustices, feeling completely helpless and impotent in the process (as a mouse at Harrenhal). And from there she develops into a murderess, getting off of the feeling of complete power over life and death. First through Jaqen and now with her own hands.

That's what she is about now. And this is not going to go away simply because she is united with her family or returned to Winterfell.

43 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Why not? On what criteria should licenses to dispense justice given out? If you are basing it on who holds the most power in the feudal society, then it is, as GRRM has gone to great lengths to show us in this series, ripe for abuse. I would much rather someone who genuinely cares about separating the guilty from the innocent than someone who decides according to self-interest. Also, as I pointed out above and you have spectacularly failed to address that this would equally bar Dany.

This is just about common sense. A murderess running amok in a Dexter-like fashion is not good. It is ugly and horrible and intolerable in any society. It may be acceptable in war but Arya doesn't really kill people in war, or does she?

Arya doesn't care about justice, either. She is not blind. She kills people she, personally, wants to kill because she, personally, think they deserve it. That isn't justice, that's murder, plain and simple.

43 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

You appear to be blaming Arya for something someone else has done and tarring whole societies by the action of one person. It is turning into a bit of a habit for Dany and her fans.

Daenerys has nothing to do with that. Telling the Great Masters to choose 163 people from among the ranks to crucify wasn't justice, either.

I happen to like Arya as a literary character because I also happen to like revenge stories and psychopathic murderers. But that doesn't mean I defend her as a person, just as I'd never defend a psychopathic murderer in the real world. Claiming she doing alright or she isn't all that bad, etc. just because there are some shreds of humanity left in her doesn't help. It is ignoring the obvious.

43 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Is Arya honourable? No, she would rather do what is right than what is honourable. Much like Jaime in killing Aerys to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Killing Aerys didn't save anyone. Not even killing Rossart saved anyone. Jaime wanted to kill those people. He could have just knocked out both Rossart and Aerys, no? He could have arrested them, he could have distracted Aerys to prevent from ever learning that Rossart was dead, etc. This isn't a moral dilemma where you have to murder to save a bunch of other people. It is a situation where murder was one of many possible ways to prevent the catastrophe.

But this has nothing to do with Arya. Arya never saved anyone but herself with her murders.

43 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Arya must have very high levels of empathy if she felt very close to that girl Chiswyck raped who she never met or the family of the man whom the insurance salesman defrauded who she never met. So strange that you then call her a psychopath. It is almost like she cares about justice as a concept, not just for herself.

Back then she was still somewhat more normal than later on. And she is a child. You don't have to be an overly empathic child to be affected by somebody being raped in your immediately vicinity. But the Arya of ADwD most certainly could (and would) ignore such a thing if that's what she wanted to do.

43 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Four of the six main characters have had people executed without a trial. It is incredibly hypocritical to single one of them out, especially when they are the one who goes to the greatest lengths to ensure that they are guilty and would almost certainly give a hearing if they were in a position to do so (not that it would do them any good when the evidence is damning).

I'm not singling characters out. If you want I can call out those people for their crimes, too. However, unlike Jon, Dany, Tyrion, etc. Arya doesn't have the right to judge or execute/kill anyone. She is just a little girl.

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59 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:
  2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Murder isn't justice. And Arya having a list doesn't make it right, either. There is no doubt that Chiswyck and Raff deserved to be punished, but this doesn't mean it was her place to do that. Nor had she certainly had no right to kill Dareon, the Bolton soldier, the insurance guy, or Weese.

@Horse of Kent, disregard this, I meant to quote only @Lord Varys, but I wanted the above part of his post. 

Sooooo... I remember another discussion not that long ago - iirc in one of the recent Jon hate threads - where you said that if someone is a criminal they can expect to be killed by anyone, that that's how this society works. But now you're saying that even though Chiswyck and Raff "deserved to be punished", and there's no doubt that they are criminals, it wasn't Arya's place to do it. So, which one is it? 

 

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