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Lady Dacey

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  1. Even though Arya is often reiterating her “choice” to stay at the HoBaW, I believe we are not meant to take her words (the words she utters to the priests) at face value. Her inner monologue gives away that the crucial reason for her to stay is that she believes she has nowhere else to go and no one else to resort to. I read Arya’s time in the HoBaW as a metaphorical form of captivity, and I believe many literally clues support my interpretation, for example the fact that the temple is windowless. Windows are very, very important in Arya’s story: she often enters and escapes places through them, instead of using the doors avaliable (the “easy” or “expected” way to get in and out); she often stares through windows, and there is always something important about this scenes: she meets Jon by the window of the covered bridge, she longs for Winterfell looking through the window in her room in King’s Landing, she witnesses the arrival of the Mad Huntsman carrying the captured Hound through a window... These are just some example from the top of my head. Maybe after finishing this project I’ll dedicate a topic to common motifs in Arya’s journey… Anyway. On liminal places and self-inflicted death: death is a necessary step before re-birth. This is a theme in the books, of course, but Arya’s journey is full of very important clues on the subject… in ACOK Arya is awoken by the silence that comes from the death of Pread, who had been coughing all night. She then helps with the burial of Pread and tosses acorns over his grave, with the stated hope that an oak tree may grow to mark the place of death. New life is nourished with his dead body. (On a side-note, of course this also ties with the belief of the Old Gods religion that when you die you become one with nature, living in the streams and wind and trees, which we have seen firsthand is a simple truth in the mystical world of ASOIAF in the Vyramir prologue). Later in ASOS Arya will wear the infamous acorn dress and become “the maiden of the tree”, which further strengths her path of death and rebirth. Yeah, I guess we can interpret Arya’s stay in the HoBaW as the self-inflected death from which she can be reborn. It never occured to me that this connects Arya with Jon... There is just so much to explore. Arya's burned hand is also her right hand (she had Needle drawn in her left hand and holds the candle above her head with her right hand).
  2. Arya IV AGOT / The Blind Girl ADWD As we know, AFFC and ADWD were originally meant to be one book, and this is why I think it’s fair to consider parallels between “The Blind Girl” and Arya IV. It’s hard to compare these two chapters because Arya IV only spans a few hours, while The Blind Girl develops the plot a whole lot and does a ton of world building, but there are parallels to be found none the less. More importantly, while in AGOT Arya is a sheltered nine-year-old highborn girl escaping a castle, and she ignores the circumstances that have caused her father’s downfall – when we get to ADWD Arya is a savvy elven-year-old spy-in-training. Therefore, I find it is fair to compare what is happening in King’s Landing around the time Arya IV takes place, even though we don’t see those events through Arya’s eyes, with what is happening in Braavos while blind Beth in wandering the city. If we look at Arya’s character, I believe these two chapters are a lot about resilience. Arya is facing her first big trial in Arya IV, and what a trial it is: escaping the Red Keep after witnessing her father’s men dead or fighting for their lives, then killing a boy and having to deal with that on top of it. She manages to escape against all odds, because of her inner discipline, careful consideration of the situations she faces and her ability to keep calm and focused. In The Blind Girl Arya goes through what is the most exhaustive trial she has encountered yet as a consequence of vaing killed Dareon: she is blind and often beaten. Once again we see she power through. Arya IV in AGOT starts all fun and excited: Arya is getting better at the water dance and believes she is going to Winterfell soon. Things quickly turn sour when Lannister men come to get her and she has to leave Syrio, sure he is about to die. The Blind Girl starts on a different tone, it’s melancholy and the pace is much slower. What do these chapters do have in common? Exploring the five senses: “Look with your eyes” is a crucial lesson Arya learns early on in her journey never to leave her again. Her careful consideration of situations or “looking with her eyes” is what saves her when she can recognise that the men wearing Winterfell attire by the Wind Witch aren’t really her father’s men, for example. This lesson comes up many many times throughout all the book in the series. Arya relies a lot in her ability to see, but she doesn’t develop the other senses Syrio alluded to until she becomes blind for real in the HoBaW. It isn’t easy and Arya suffers a lot before she discovers the how to use her other senses, but she finally does learn a lot: This knowledge she only comes to aquire in The Blind Girl is hinted at as a possibility in Arya IV. Syrio is very explicit about using all senses, but whereas we do witness Arya "looking with her eyes" many times, the other senses are mostly forgotten untill she loses her sight. Stick fighting: We get detailed description of stick-fighting in both chapters. Though Arya trains with Needle a lot throughout the series, she usually doesn’t have anyone to practice with. The only two occasions she describes herself engaged in what is a swordfight of sorts are in Arya IV and The Blind Girl. In ADWD, this is what we get: Sorry for the long quotes, but I feel they are earned. Syrio says left but goes right, and he is trying to teach Arya not to hear his commands, but to see (and foresee) his movements. The kindly man laughs behind Arya, but he isn’t there, which means when it comes to this fight Arya can’t trust her ears either. The two scenes have several similarities and echoes, with all the “left” “right” “left” “right” and the deceiving opponent, for example. One thing that stands out to me is, together with the lefts and rights, is the clacking onomatopoeia (which isn’t present in any of Arya’s chapter in the entire series) makes this two scenes very resonant of one another, even if they are paced somewhat differently. Martin is very intentional with his uses of figures of speech, and onomatopoeia is a very singular one, that tends to make readers feel really “inside” a scene even if there isn’t a lot of detailed description or atmosphere building beforehand. It’s almost as if we actually hear the sound of the sticks hitting each other around us as we read. Arya the warg: The resonance between Arya IV and The Blind Girl could not be more in our faces than Arya thinking she is “only a little girl with a wooden stick”. Martin could have gone with “a practice sword”, “a wooden sword” or “a stick sword”, but he chose to leave the sword out and call it a “wooden stick” on this instance. Arya is feeling small and paralyzed, after all, even Syrio, who was a water dancer, didn’t make it alive. How could a little girl with a wooden stick manage to stay alive then? It is by becoming a cat. Martin chooses to word it so that we don’t get “she pretended she was the cat” (that would have been fitting with the Cat of the Canals chapters) but “she was a cat”, which is fitting for the chapter in which she skinchanges into a cat for the first time. Cats signal a promotion in this pair of chapters: Syrio Forel becomes the first sword of Braavos because he can see a common braavosi cat for what it was, and Arya gets her eyes back after she see through a common braavosi cat who it was that was beating her. It is warging a cat that Arya gets to move on from blind Beth, moving to the next stage of her training, while in the Red Keep it is being a cat that Arya overcomes her fear and starts to move again. There is a scary possibility posed here: if they catch her they will kill her. This begs the question: what would the priests of the HoBaW do should they find out Arya is a skinchanger? Candle and stick: When discussing Arya III and Cat of the Canals, I brought up that the phrase “she was blind” is unique to that pair. Arya is “blind” in the third chapter when she descends into the tunnels under the Red Keep, the hall after “the room with the monsters”. In Arya IV, aftet she finally overcomes her fear and begins to make plans to escape the castle, Arya first goes to the stables, where she finds dead men, among them a groom she used to play with, Desmond and Hullen. She retrieves Needle and some other possessions, and tries to saddle a horse, but a stable boy comes in her way, and in trying to defend herself using her sword, she kills him. After killing the stableboy, Arya chooses to go back to the dark hall where she’d been blind the chapter before. Only this time, before Arya goes into the hall, she snatches two candles from the Sept. At first I thought this was odd and didn’t line up with her being blind in The Blind Girl, but then I realized I was wrong. While the candle does give her the confidence she needs to cross the windowless hall, it makes her much more vulnerable than the last time she was there: A candle in the darkness will create a halo of light around the bearer, which will make possible to see within its reach. A stick serves a similar purpose, allowing blind people to perceive obstacles within a close perimeter. While the stick helps Arya to move around, just like the candle did, it also makes it impossible for her to go about without being heard. Even with light in her hands, Arya is symbolically blind when she crosses the hall to leave the castle behind. The candle proves an useful tool none the less, so Arya does not blow it out. Memories and smiles: Immediately after Arya thinks about blowing off the candle, this ensues: We get a long and adorable memory of Arya playing with her siblings in the crypts, the one where Jon is covered with flour, and it concludes like that: In The Blind Girl we witness this scene: I have no idea what this means, but I’d feel remiss if I didn’t include it. Is Arya being compared with the old woman? Is Martin saying that in leaving the Red Keep Arya was symbolically dying? Or that Arya will only die when she is very old? I’m lost guys, but it does feel like these two passages resemble each other in an intentional way. The sealord and the mermaid: There are two events that don’t take place during Arya IV in AGOT, but just before and immediately after, in Eddard XIV and Sansa IV respectively, I feel are being paralleled in The Blind Girl. Do I even have to start? This whole situation has been compared with Robert Baratheon dying in AGOT a thousand times by a thousand readers. I’m tired now to write about it… But it’s there. This is a bit of a stretch, but I propose the mermaid stands for Jeyne Poole. While the new Mermaid is the daughter of a Prestayn’s serving maid, and we know Prestayn be a noble house, Jayne is the daughter of the Stark’s steward. Petyr Baelish, who is connected with the braavosi galley The Merling King, takes charge of Jayne, who is then a twelve year-old. In the Cat of the Canal chapter Arya tells us that Merling Queen walks about Braavos with her Mermaids, young maidens in the blush of their first flowering who hold her train and do her hair. Of course, same as the Mermaids are being trained to become courtesans, Jeyne will be trained in a brothel to become Ramsay’s bride.
  3. Sorry for annoucing I'd post something and then disappear, real life has been crazy and held me away for longer than I'd hope. Before I post Arya IV, I'd like to elaborate a little on the lovely post @Seams has shared, i'm very much convinced the bolded is a thing, but it may as well not be a thing... so it's very helpful that you bring more parallels to light to help us figure out if the pattern I spotted is real, and if it isen't, if there is any pattern at all. Please do not stop bringing up anything! It is relevant if you think it is and I really like it when different posters work together. Your contributions have been so very valuable, do not presume to withold your thoghts from us! It's not just in the movments that Arya resembles this tom in the chapter in question. This kiss feels very significant to me and I'm not sure why, so I figured I'd explore it a little bit. Just like Arya kisses the tom imediately before it escapes, Ned kisses Arya on the brow before he dismisses her from his chambers. I believe GRRM is really working to make us think of the connections between Arya and this cat/cats with this chapter(s). Kissing on the brow is not very common in the novels and Ned kisses Arya's brow twice, once in his POV and once in Arya III Just to roll with it a little: other brow kisses include Catelyn (she wants to kiss Rob on the brow but doesn't, she does kiss her father on the brow and witness her brother do the same); Daenerys and Drogo (only after Drogo is injuried and helpless); Tyrion greeting Myrcella; Shae and Tyrion (which could be meaningful for the interpretation of their relationship, because brow kissing seems to be very related to family and fraternal love otherwise); Tyrion and Penny; Ellaria and Doran; and finally Cersei and Tommen. Cersei and Tommen jump to my eyes because they are another pair of parent and child in the Red Keep, like Ned and Arya, and specially because both times she kisses his brow kittens are mentioned: AFFC, Cersei IX AFFC, Cersei X So rich! I believe there is a lot to make from the Jon/Arya being guided by cats. Are cats reliable animals? mine too! This is great stuff. I believe it's no coincidence that "dragon eggs hatching" and "the princess is with child" come up in these two chapters We know the two events (Daenerys becoming pregnant and later being able to hatch dragons) are deeply connected. That Arya becomes a metaphorical or symbolic dragontamer is very interesting. I have stated before I believe she will be our first Stark POV to see or interact with dragons, and not only because of geographical reason, but mainly literary reason.
  4. I mean to post Arya IV / The Blind Girl later tonight. @Nevets is it ok if I tag you? You made to comparison between Arya III and The Blind Girl, so I would like to invite you the read my take on it.
  5. Arya III AGOT / Cat of the Canals AFFC This is the third essay I post on parallels in Arya’s chapters from the first and the last two books. A Feast for Crows doesn’t have a third “Arya” chapter, instead Cat of the Canals is told by Arya’s POV. The author is constantly playing with the theme of identity in the series, and hidden, fake and changing identities are common. Although Arya has taken several alias before impersonating Cat, hereto that hadn’t had an effect on her identity as Arya of House Stark, and never showed in inner monologue. It seems useful to compare her trajectory with Sansa’s, who has always been Sansa until being dubbed Alayne, the first and so far only fake identity she took on. The first chapter titled “Alayne” precedes that of Cat, and Sansa doesn’t ever reference herself by her given name, from the first word to the last. Arya, on the other hand, even if she is used to take on identities, struggles with being Cat fully, finally elapsing at the end of the chapter. Cat(s): Animal symbolism is rich in ASOIAF. There are the house sigils of wolf and lion and bear, the personal sigils of mockingbird and blackfish, the feral characters like the Hound and the Bull. Many readers have noted that cats are important animals in Arya’s story, like birds are for Sansa. The association with the (semi-)domesticated feline first appears at third Arya chapter of AGOT. It’s unmistakable, as the action is all about chasing cats. Following the parallels we have been exposing, it is no coincidence that this association will be reinforced in the chapter that should have been “Arya III” but is instead called “Cat of the Canals”. She actually makes this connection herself in the AFFC chapter, when she thinks her favorite cat in Braavos was: Changing identities: I find it very interesting and deliberate that Arya actually pretends to be someone else for the very first time in the story during "Arya III", much before Yoren dubs her Arry: when Arya accidentally bumps into Myrcella and Tommen while chasing cats the royals mistake her for a boy and she immediately goes to one knee, taking the identity of a commoner as not to be recognized. When faced with either revealing herself or escaping, she chooses to keep her disguise up and runs away from two Lannister’s guards in order not to bring shame on her sister or Septa. Cat of the Canals, obviously, is the first Arya POV chapter that doesn’t use her name as a title, instead using the new identity she has taken, which indicates that “changing identities” has been taken to a new level now. That this upgrade happens in what was supposed to be “Arya III”, the chapters in AGOT she first ever took a new identity, does not feel like a coincidence to me. Nightmares: In common, both chapters also have the descriptions of nightmares right at their beginnings: Talk about foreboding! Arya is a magical character from the very start, and there are many reasons to believe this dream is premonitory on some level. The getting lost and exploring of the deeper levels of the Red Keep that she dreamed about happens in this very same chapter, and Ned’s voice fading to nothing might signal his death. I haven’t touched upon it so far and probably won’t in the coming essays, but windows are an extremely important motif in Arya’s story, and their absence in the walls in her dream might mean so much it would be fruitless to start an analysis of that here (but very fruitful somewhere else I reckon). In AFFC that is what we get: Probably not premonitory, but a flashback from the night of the Red Wedding, the nightmare is strikingly similar to the one in AGOT. There might be a case in saying that this dream in premonitory too, regarding a reunion with Lady Stoneheart and Lem or someone else wearing the Hound’s helm (even though LSH wouldn’t be able to scream). Whatever you believe to be the case, the resemblance can't be put aside. The major element in common here has to be her parents’ voices she can’t reach, a very strong and scary thing in itself, but there are others: the blood on her surroundings, the way the writing of sequence is paced, how she is helpless in the end. (Also, although Arya frequently had “wolf dreams” and sometimes states having had a bad dream, you know the only other time she has nightmare that is actually described in the books? That would be ASOS, Arya III.) The place she inhabits: Another interesting thing about this pair of chapters is the setting in which they happen. The Red Keep features heavily in Arya III in AGOT, being compared on text to an “endless stone maze”. Arya describes the ways she takes while following the cat she is chasing, and then when trying to escape Myrcella’s and Tommen’s guards. Similarly, Braavos is the star of the Cat of the Canals chapter, being described to detail by Arya. This attention to her surroundings isn’t present in other Arya’s chapters. We don’t get the detailed description of Acorn Hall, Lady Smallwood’s castle, nor one of the village she and Sandor spend weeks at while in the mountains of the Vale, for example. Winterfell isn’t described that much in Arya’s POVs except for the mention of the covered bridge, and is presented to us by other Starks, and we see the Kingsroad through Sansa’s eye, not Arya’s. Even Harrenhal, where she spends weeks/months, doesn’t get the same level of scrutiny as the Red Keep and Braavos do, only more vague descriptions of how big is and how grotesque it looks. The scum of the streets: Something that stands out as an echo between “Arya III” and “Cat of the Canals” is the presence of mummers, sorcerer and other such figures. While Arya was in the dark tunnels, she overheard a confusing conversation between Varys and Illyrio Mopatis. There were references to jugglers and sorcerers and magic, and oh so much precious information for us readers that Arya is oblivious to the importance. Even if she doesn’t understand it all, she is worried about it and when she gets back to the castle she is actually tries to report back what she heard to her father. She is unsuccessful, and Ned dismisses her worries, believing the men to be mummers. It is in the Cat of the Canals chapter that we see Arya finally interacting on page with true mummers and “magicians”. We also see her bringing back information to the kindly man every time she goes back to the temple after having left. In contrast with Ned, the priest actively listens to everything she brings to his attention, and tries to extract what is true information. If only Ned had been so careful… Well, we wouldn’t have a story to obsess over. Also, in both chapters we get a passing Daenerys mention that is quickly dismissed, first by Ned as a mummer’s show and later by Arya herself as a sailor’s tale. I’ll say once again, and I’m aware this getting boring now, but that’s my job here: these are the only two times the Targaryen queen is cited in Arya’s POV in the entire series. Ritualized cleanse: Arya finally leaves the dark hall, after overhearing a conversation between two unknown figures, through a sewer into the river. Instead of going straight back to the castle she chooses to strip and clean herself, swimming until she feels clean. This is the first account we have in the books of Arya bathing of her own free will. We know later up the Kingsroad she will avoid bathing not to be discovered in her disguise as a boy, and after that she will dread being submitted to bathing because of the girly garments that usually accompany it. The only other time ever we see Arya bathing alone and willing is precisely in the Cat of the Canals chapter, when she arrives at the HoBaW and rids herself of Cat’s identity before becoming the acolyte. The King’s Landing river scene and the House of Black and White scenes are similar on many levels, and we get her taking off soiled and smelly clothing to “emerge” clean afterwards. In Braavos Arya let’s Cat go as she bathes, and I believe a case could be made for Arya shedding the identity of the “ragged dirty smelly boy” Tommen took her for to go back to the Red Keep as Arya Stark of Winterfell, her clothes dry and ready to assert her identity to the gold cloaks. Cheeky personality: After the long walk back to the castle, Arya is held outside by two gold cloaks that are guarding the gate she means to cross. She is annoyed by, but not scared of, the way they treat her: The self-assured way Arya interacts with the guards in the postern gate of the Red Keep really resonates very strongly with Cat’s personality. Or, on the contrary, as it has been suggested before by many readers, Cat is Arya Stark’s alter-ego; it’s the skin she feels most comfortable in among all the ones she claimed throughout her journey and the one that most resembles her true personality. I bet you Arya would have called the cold cloaks “camel cunts” if she already knew how to curse back in AGOT. Exploring the world: Another thing to consider is that Arya leaves the Red Keep for the first time in her third AGOT chapter, and walks through King’s Landing to get back to the castle. It’s probably the first time she wandered about an actual city unchaperoned, ever. Although Arya left the HoBaW for the first time at the end of the Arya II, it is only in the Cat of the Canals chapter we get Arya wandering around Braavos. I feel a sense of expanding horizons present in both chapters. Black brothers: I believe one of the most important parallels I’ll address in this set of chapters regards the Night’s Watch. It is in Arya III AGOT that Arya for the first ever interacts with a black brother, when she meets Yoren. Although Arya isn’t aware of it, Yoren’s death made it possible for Dareon leave Eastwatch and go to Braavos in the first place, as the singer was assigned by Jon Snow to take up the role of recruiter that used to be Yoren’s. Yoren had other roles as well, including that of Arya’s protector. There are a lot of things about Yoren’s and Dareon’s characters that are worth exploring, but for the sake of this work on Arya’s arc I will not dwell on that. I want only to stress it’s important to understand that in the story they act as foil for each other, working as inverse parallels to subvert expectations, and at the same time show just how much Arya has changed: While Arya can’t stop herself from rambling to Yoren, she has learned not to share all of her thoughts by the time she meets Dareon. To go blind: Back in AGOT, after her encounter with the royals, Arya manages to escape. She finds herself in a “pitch-dark cellar”, and when her eyes adjust she finds dragon’s skulls there. She tries to steady herself and overcome how frightened she is, but eventually leaves the room, frantic and afraid. From there she gets into a hall so dark she can’t see at all: This is her first experience in complete darkness. Of course, in the last line of the Cat of the Canals chapter, Arya becomes blind for real: I wanted to know just how many times the phrase “she was blind” shows up throughout the entire series, no matter what POV – and it’s just a few (link). I imagine many people liken this experience of walking in the dark and overhearing conversations a lot more with Arya’s first chapter in A Dance with Dragons, The Blind Girl. I used to too, but after careful rereading and comparing, I’ve come to a different conclusion. There is a reason Martin delivers the “she was blind” line here, and deals with being blind in the next chapter, and I hope to explore it in the next essay. It’s also curious, and maybe foreshadowing, that in AGOT Arya III, while trapped in the dark windowless hall, in the height of her despair but trying to calm herself and go on, she asserts: This applies to being blind, most obviously. But I put forward that it might apply to her stay in the HoBaW too, and to her apparent commitment to becoming faceless. On tone: Both chapters start with a light hearted tone, with Arya telling us she has caught all but one of the cats that live in the Red Keep in AGOT, and describing her daily life as Cat of the Canals in AFFC. If you love Arya the way I do, moments like that are a rare delight to read. We experience Arya being spontaneous and enjoying herself, being resilient but upbeat about it, and taking pride in her accomplishments. We walk around Braavos wearing Cat’s skin together with Arya in AFFC, and chase the “true king of the castle” with her in AGOT. It is the one cat she chases on page, the last one after she’s conquered them all. And we see her catching it and kissing it and losing it… Like she loses Cat in the end. The cat (Cat) desapears in "the blink of an eye".
  6. Welcome to our thread @The Sleeper. I definetely agree with you. On both second chapters Arya comits to obey and to comply with rules that are set by authority figures (her father and the kindly man). That's true indeed. I believe there are enough plot points that aren't recurring though, that come up in each pair I've selected, to make my point. Alas, it might not be true. After posting all the individual analysis I'm planning on a summary I hope will be helpful to clarify if I'm on to something or not. I hope to post Arya III / Cat of the Canals later today, and I hope you enjoy it.
  7. It is very hard for Arya to part with part with Nymeria in AGOT, and it’s impossible for her to give up Needle completely in AFFC. Arya decides she can’t throw Needle in the canal. When she is hiding it, this is the passage we get: And while Needle is hidden safely behind a rock, Nymeria was chased off with rocks for her own safety. @Lollygag this is what I was talking about on the other thread!
  8. I love that you opened my eyes to the Ice/eyes connection over a year ago. And even being aware of it, I did not pick up on the beautiful: It seems almost as if all things Arya is giving up for the House of Black and White are things she has in the past given up for her fathers and family, which in my mind only reinforces her identity as a Stark. I don't need any more evidence to convince me that Arya is not actually becoming no one, but it's a nice connection to make. I'm excited to get there and have your input on what I've come up with! How could I not? Absolutely yes! I think Arya is the most likely Stark kid to first see a dragon on page.
  9. I agree with that. I've been on the camp of the "no one told" hypotesis for a while now. There is no "snitch". it's a reasonable possibility. I believe this is one amongst many ways Doran could have found out... We'll wait and see. But thanks for the well written thread on this topic. I really enjoy the Dornish characters and I like it when the Dornish plot gets the love and attetion it deserves
  10. that's how I've been feeling. It's frustrating... I see it's there, and I believe there is a reason behind it, but I can't figure it out. Maddening. Thanks for sharing those links! I'm excited to read them. I think this relates to what @It_spelt_Magalhaes brought up about Arya being persistent like the water that shapes the stones (água mole), and her overall Tullyness we don't talk about as much as we should.
  11. Arya II AGOT / Arya II AFFC Arya II in AGOT opens with a dinner scene. It takes place a long time after Arya I, and a lot has happened: the royal party journeyed down the King’s Road, Mycah and Lady were killed, and Nymeria was chased off. We learned about all of that through Sansa’s and Eddard’s points of view. The chapter is concise when compared with Arya II in AFFC, but there are several parallels between them. On communication and isolation: When we get to be inside Arya’s head again, she is mourning, feeling very sad and depressed. She is isolated, even if she is among other people: she states her sister won’t talk to her unless father makes her, and she doesn’t want to talk to the household guards because she accounts them responsible for letting Mycah be killed and not avenging him: When she feeling isolated, Arya longs for her brothers. At the beginning of Arya’s second chapter in AFFC, we are unsure of how much time has elapsed, but Arya has become accustomed to a routine. She situates the reader, describing where she is and who lives in the HoBaW, and even though there are other acolytes and servants there it is clear they don’t even try to talk to her, and she feels isolated, not being able to communicate with anyone except the Kindly man, who knows the common tongue. Needle: In AGOT, sad because she remembers Mycah, Arya feels the need to cry and stay alone, in the safety of her room. She refuses to open her door when Fat Tom and Septa Mordane try to reach for her, but is finally able to speak with her father about what she is feeling. He seems to be the only one who understands her. He comes in her room to find needle in her hands: Needle is discovered in both chapters: it is upon arriving in her room that Ned finds out about Needle, and it is watching Arya in her cell that the Waif finds Arya practicing with Needle. She does as she is bid, and it’s interesting to see some inversions at play here. In one instance, Arya surrenders Needle, but gets to keep it, and that is what kick-starts her training, or “needlework” as she comes to think of it. After the kindly man tells her to, she rids herself of all the stuff she had, but she can’t bring herself to surrender her sword again. She keeps it hidden, parting way with it for a while, which puts a stop in her needlework for the first time, but is what kick-starts her training as an acolyte of the HoBaW. After Ned enters Arya’s room, he begins a conversation with her that touches upon many topics. In Arya II in AFFC we get various snippets of conversations between Arya and the kindly man, and several times Ned’s words seem to echo, somewhat distorted, in his. Lies: Sansa lied and Arya lied, both out of fear of what would happen to them and their loved ones if they told the truth. Lies will become one of the most import things in Arya’s Braavos arc, we know. It comes up many times, it’s true, but it does so for the first time at Arya II, and it’s the one time the nature of lies is discussed. In AFFC Arya finds out that she cannot lie to kindly man: What she doesn’t want: Another parallel between the conversations that take place in these chapters is that in both of them Arya refuses stereotypical women’s roles that are assigned or offered to her: The first time she flared, the second she was wordless. Ned disapproves of Arya’s tone and behaviour, and briefly threatens to break Needle, but goes on to give Arya a different option: compliance. He is very honest with her about it. The kindly man ultimately reaches the same end as Ned, though by different means. He subtlety manipulates Arya into adhering to the HoBaW rules after she refuses the offers to leave temple. Heart, Strength and Obedience: When Arya assures Ned she will be obedient and that she can be strong, she gets Needle back. When Arya says to the kindly man that she can obey, and that is strong and hard, she is allowed to stay in the HoBaW as a servant. Another thing that repeats in these two conversations is the heart mention. Even though it’s brief and passing, it is of extreme importance to Arya’s decision each time. Her identity as a Stark, as Ned’s daughter, or in other words the Stark blood flowing through her heart, is crucial for her decision to assert to her father she will comply with his rules. Martin could have chosen to have Ned tell Arya “the same blood flows through both your veins” which is actually a more common way of expressing kinship, so I don’t think “heart” is there gratuitously. He is using her heart to express her connection to her family and her Stark identity. In AFFC it is Arya’s grief, the “hole where her heart should be” that drives her to stay in the HoBaW. "The hole inside of her" (link) comes up for the first time when she is mourning the loss of her mother and brother and the loss of hope to ever be reunited with her family as well. In Arya II, AFFC, it comes up again as believes she has nowhere else to go, and that is crucial for her to make her decision to stay and shed her identity as Arya of House Stark to try and become no one. Of course I could never not mention the fact the “lone wolf” speech that Ned gives in Arya’s second AGOT chapter is repeated word for word in Arya’s second chapter in AFFC (link). Learning as reward: Another plot-point that repeats between the two chapters is the introduction of the figure of a tutor. At the end of Arya 2, AGOT, we are introduced to Syrio Forel, who is going to teach Arya the Braavosi water dance. In Arya 2, AFFC, the Waif becomes Arya’s teacher on the braavosi language and the lying game, and she actively compares what she is learning now with the lessons she once had from Syrio. It is no coincidence that she begins each of these trainings after promising to obey and actually showing compliance. In AGOT she apologizes to Mordane under her father’s watchful eyes before being taken to her lesson, while in AFFC she lets go of her personal belongings before beginning her training as an acolyte. Beauty: Beauty or lack thereof, and what that means, is a theme in itself in ASOIAF, and of course it should come up in Arya’s arc as well. What is unusual, though, that the word itself is very scarce in her chapters – she usually goes for words like “pretty”, “handsome” and “nice”. Beautiful/beauty only show up a few times (link) in Arya’s chapters throughout the books. From her own POV the word is used to describe Sansa, Gendry’s helm, the braavosi courtesans, her wolf dreams and the candle she sees when she gains her vision back. She witnesses someone using the word even less often, once in the dungeons when Varys is describing Margaery, and once in the title of one of Tom’s songs. When it comes to Arya’s own appearance, beauty comes up only twice, and it’s in AGOT Arya II and AFFC Arya II: Among the offers the kindly man has for Arya, one is to become a courtesan and “having songs sung about your beauty” – making it sort of a call back, as it’s the first time that such a thing “is said of Arya”: Rocks separate Arya and her loved ones: Arya parted ways with her direwolf Nymeria on the Kingsroad, but we only learn about it in Arya II: It is very hard for Arya to part with part with Nymeria in AGOT, and it’s impossible for her to give up Needle completely in AFFC. Arya decides she can’t throw Needle in the canal. When she is hiding it, this is the passage we get: And while Needle is hidden safely behind a rock, Nymeria was chased off with rocks for her own safety. Back to the beginning, dancing this time: The arc itself, the way each chapter beings and ends is full of similarities. In AGOT, we first see Arya in the small hall eating with the Wintefel men at the trestle tables, and the chapter ends in the small hall again, only this time the trestle tables have been dismantled and the benches shoved against the walls: The place we are talking about in AFFC is metaphorical, but the chapter starts and ends with Arya’s list. If we take a look at state of mind, we have a clear transition, in both chapters, from an opening with a sad and isolated Arya to an end with Arya on the same place again but happier, dancing. In King’s Landing, Arya is doing something she enjoys for the first time since Mycah was killed, while in Braavos Arya is allowed to leave the windowless HoBaW for the first time since she got there. Death: Death is a theme that is always present when we consider Arya’s arc, of course. She is heavily associated with it in many ways through the novels. Even if it’s something that comes up time and time again, it seems to me that it’s no coincidence Arya’s second chapters show so much of it. They are actually all about death, in a very clear, unambiguous way. It’s not on a symbolic level, like in other moments of Arya’s story, but in our faces. The constant presence of the guilt Arya feels over Mycah means there is a lot of death looming over her second AGOT chapter, and Ned talks to Arya about his siblings’ early graves. The second chapter from Arya’s POV in AFFC opens with Arya’s prayer for death, and we learn about her routine with the dead and dying the HoBaW. If we look at the five chapters as a whole, there is a clear pattern when dealing with death and I intend to explore that in a sort of conclusion, after posting the five analysis. A tiny detail: On an imagery level, I find it interesting that we see detailed descriptions of the rich and fancy food Arya eats in both second chapters – thick sweet pumpkin soup and ribs crusted with garlic and herbs in King’s Landing; mussels and muskfish, frogs and turtles, mud crabs and leopard crabs and climber crabs, eels and lampreys and oysters, with sea salt, pepper corns, garlic and even saffron in the House of Black and White. This sort of description isn’t common for Arya’s chapters, and though I will concede she usually doesn’t eat that very well, there are other chapters where rich, tasty dinners could have had more attention and never did, so I think maybe it's not a coincidence?
  12. This is beautiful. Arya is very sotringly associated with water and I really like the saying you brought up. As Arya navigates situations that repeat again and again (tanto bate) she might unlock just what she needs to overcome the chellanges she faces (até que fura). She is maleable, and not rock hard. I want to look at it with optimism too. Thank you so much for contributing. Obrigada!
  13. That's a new angle for me, thank you! I'm sure @Seams will be interested. Glad you see it that way!
  14. https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q="three+hours"&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=acok&scope[]=asos&scope[]=affc https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q="two+hours"&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=acok&scope[]=asos&scope[]=affc https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q="four+hours"&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=acok&scope[]=asos&scope[]=affc https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q="five+hours"&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=acok&scope[]=asos&scope[]=affc https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=minutes&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=acok&scope[]=asos&scope[]=affc they are keeping track of time. I don't know how they do it, but they do.
  15. I guess I could say Arya is the favourite for me. I love so many of them, but I just love her more. I know it's a weird thing to say of a child assassin, but I identify with her a great deal. Well, not nowadays, but I recognize my nine-year-old self in her feelings and actions. I'm absolutely sure Arya and Sansa would not quibble over trivial things after meeting again, but that does not mean it will be a simple reunion. I really don't know what's in store for us, I'm hopeful for a warm and trusting relationship though.
  16. I always find weird when someone in the books say they did a cetain thing for x hours. I mean, HOW WOULD THEH KNOW? Do they have sun watches?? I don't think so.
  17. Good to know! My thoughts on Arya's second chapters in AGOT and AFFC are coming later today or maybe tomorrow.
  18. Hi there @Nevets. Thanks for joining us and sharing your thoughts. I see the differences between the interactions in each chapter, of course. Denyo isn't Sansa, Terys isn't Mordane. I'm not claiming they are perfect representations of each other by any means. There are subtleties I don’t think I can capture very well in my writing, but I like to believe I improve the more I do it. The text I posted here today about Arya I was written months ago, and I was rusty… Maybe I could’ve/should’ve rewritten it with more attention to detail and analysis, and shared more of my own process and reasoning, I don’t know. I do see a larger pattern of paralleling. It’s fine if you don’t, but I invite you to hang around and read the other pairs. Then, going back, the stuff that seems too thin now might make some sense. Or not, and that absolutely okay too, of course. The essay that compares Arya IV and The Blind Girl is the longest I’ve written so far, and maybe my favourite. Arya III and Cat of the Canals are full of similarities too. Arya actually goes blind in Cat of the Canals, not The Blind Girl – but I prefer to leave this particular discussion for another day. I would love to have you here when I post the essays on chapters III and IV so we could go over them together and see what we can find.
  19. If you want to demonstrate parallels, I sugest you stick with two events we have fairly enough knowledge about. Of course we can use the concrete parallels we do find to infer what is going to happen or what has already happened, but what you are working with can not be called a parallel... Because we don't know the exact circunstances of Lyanna's death, no parellel that relies on how she died to make a point makes a lot of sense to me. If, on the other hand, one would show several parallels between two stories, working with canononic material, and then infer what could have happened to one or what will happen to the other, that makes more sense.
  20. Oh, I'm aware that most readers realize the story is full to the brim with parallels, and that many have dedicated analysis of those they found and judged relevant. There are parallels between Arya's and Sansa's arcs, between Arya's and Bran's, between Bran's and Jon's, Jon's and Daenerys's, and also many more between events in the past and the present, between songs and real life, etecetera, etecetera. The one thing I couldn't find os anyone commenting on the first and last (so far) of Arya's chapters. I'm talking specifically about those ten chapters, and how things come up when we look at them in pairs. It's uncanny, really! And I've looked for such parallels in other Arya's chapters and did not find them, nor in other POVs, I could not find anything that followed a pattern as systematic and strict as the one I found in Arya's five pair of chapters. I'm familiar with your work on the titled chapters, and I really enjoyed your essay on the Cat of the Canals, even If I don't agree with all of your conclusions.
  21. It is an honor to hear / read that coming from you. Thank you Teneryo Terys is a minor character, certainly much less proeminent than the other braavosi you brought up, but I believe there is merit in looking deeper at him. The Chaptain-Tradesman os the owner of the boat Titan's Daughter, and in that he has the role of 'her' father figure and/or protector. Septa Mordane is a tutor, but also a mother figure and protector to Sansa (but not to Arya)... Who desguises as Alayne, Baelish's daugther. There is the aparently small detail that they both frown at Arya, but I've come to the conclusion that this os very deliberate. I invite you to use the search engine at asearchoficeandfire for "frown" in Arya's POV in the entire series and see If you agree with me. How do you think what we know about Terys could inform us on Mordane? Any thoughts? I will try to dig this deeper. I love this. Love It. Thanks for sharing. I will be looking into It.
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