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Everything posted by Wintersshewolf

  1. Does anyone know if the ibook annotations are listed among the So Spake Martin? If so, what year are they under?
  2. I'll be honest. I stopped at: This is the crux of almost every debate I see on this series. People make the mistake of applying modern values onto this medieval society. That requires ignoring the novels completely. We are talking about ASOIAF not my country or any other. I'm guessing your stance is going for a "If the character has the legal right to commit murder then it's OK" argument since you're focusing on what gives Arya the "right" to execute criminals. *sigh* By that logic, Joffrey, Tywin, and anyone employed by them (Boltons and Freys incuded) have the right to commit all the murder and rape they want because they're the legal king and Hand. By that same logic, Robb and Stannis are completely wrong in all they do because they don't have the "right". And that's why this stance makes no sense. As far as Arya goes, I never spoke of her "right" to do this. I spoke of her motivation which is in line with the values of her culture, especially since there is no true justice to be found in her war torn country right now. If Jon, Robb, or Ned found Dareon in the same circumstances, his head would have rolled.
  3. Dareon was a victim of Northern and Westerosi justice. Arya, like Ned, Robb, Jon etc., happens to be a product of that society and her execution of Dareon is an example of the values instilled in her. She is pro-execution and anti-Nights Watch deserter, like the majority of her countrymen. That combined with her trauma over seeing so much injustice go unpunished has led to her taking justice, as she was taught, into her own hands. It's honestly baffling how this isn't understood as part of the universe of the novels. Ned Stark cuts off the head of a deserter who was telling him the truth about the Others and his mental state is not in question. Military leaders and soldiers participate in murder against innocent people and their mental states aren't questioned. Stannis burns people because a witch told him to and he's regarded as the second coming of Christ while his mental state isn't questioned. Jaime solves every problem with murder, attempted murder, or the threat of murder and he's a wonderfully redeemed man with no mental conditions. Yet, Arya upholding the values of her culture by killing people who broke the law is the end of the world? This repeated argument requires ignoring 99.9999% of these novels.
  4. I agree, Mercy feels like an opening chapter to me. In her last ADWD chapter, she was assigned to the theater group and now this one shows how she's become an integral and nearly essential member with helping everyone. Since the series isn't about this group and her time with them is about the skills she can gather, it makes sense that not much time would be spent with them.
  5. No. Arya isn't just a proxy for anything. Whether Jon and Arya will become romantic or remain exceptionally close siblings might be up for debate, but there is no rational way to interpret Arya as being "just" anything when it comes to Jon. She certainly isn't a stand in for the whole family. That would assume that he cares about her on equal level with everyone else, which he himself specifically thinks isn't true. He misses her the most and we can see the difference between how he feels about her supposed marriage and how he doesn't care about Sansa being in the same situation. Threats to Sansa have already come. They didn't phase him. Jon cares about his family on differing levels. Arya is at the top. Also, in mentioning Jon's initial choice on leaving the Watch in AGOT, you forget that it wasn't just for Robb: This wasn't a struggle only about deserting for Robb, this was about Ned, Robb, Arya, and Bran as well. It's specific in his thoughts. Note that Sansa is also in danger, while Bran (and Rickon) isn't. Yet these are the ones who take priority in his thoughts. Jon Snow has favorites and he is not subtle about it. This topic really got off track, didn't it.
  6. Arya isn't anything close to a psycho in the novels or the outline, so they're the same on that front. But it's clear that the trajectory has changed otherwise.
  7. We don't know how, if, or when he will be resurrected though. And if his resurrection is less impactful than Cat's, what's the point? GRRM is a writer who allows his characters to experience consequences and he has said in interviews that he doesn't believe in bringing characters back unless there is a high cost. I do wonder what Gendry's significance might be. Since Varys put in the effort to save his life and Yoren tried to protect him as well as he protected Arya, it could be something for something more than we already know.
  8. I can only guess that you didn't read it because it makes perfect sense. It spells out very clearly why Arya is playing a lowborn girl. I can try to spell out what the essay is saying again and maybe you'll be able to understand this time, otherwise I don't know. This is pretty simple and clear. Anyway lowborn people do not have the same education that highborn people do. That means their speech pattern is different. GRRM hammers this home to us with the exchange between Theon and Roose: GRRM, without subtly of any kind, spells it out to us that people with a highborn education know that "My lord" is a two word phrase while lowborn people say "M'lord" like it's one word. Not only does George play with this repeatedly without fully explaining it to us in other conversations between characters from different classes, he provides this very scene specifically to draw attention to the difference. This exchange itself is probably a hint that Roose has since realized too late that he had Arya in his possession in ACOK since her pronunciation of "My lord" was also emphasized during their first conversation. You can also look at the difference in castle educated Jon Snow and lowborn Slynt. Slynt is trying to demand respect and deference from Jon by insisting he use his title of lord. Given the difference in their upbringing, Slynt thinks the term is the one word "m'lord" while Jon gives the correct pronunciation of "my lord". Since this happens repeatedly, GRRM is well aware of what he's doing. The “Please, m’lord, I am still a maiden,” said by the character Arya plays clearly establishes that the character is also lowborn like Shae. Sansa is not lowborn. Therefore, Sansa is not a candidate for this character. It might not be Shae. It could be an original character created for the play. But the character is clearly influenced by her testimony. I hope you were able to understand this time. There's really reason you shouldn't. There's a thing called poetic license. Most historical adaptations do not follow the known information by the letter. Multiple events that happened months or years apart might be condensed into one scene. This happens with all of Shakespeare's history plays, which the Bloody Hand is based off of. If Arya's character is raped and murdered in one scene, that might be Phario combining events to fit everything into one two hour production. Anyway, the only maiden Tyrion is accused of raping is Shae. Sansa wouldn't be considered a rape victim since she is his wife and this society doesn't acknowledge marital rape. No one said Sansa isn't in the play. She could be the character Daena is playing. She's probably also a villain alongside Tyrion since she is believed to be working with him. The Tyrells and Lannister men in the Riverlands all publicly proclaim that Sansa was the poisoner or that she was working with Tyrion in the plot. This means it is public knowledge that she's supposedly involved in the crime. She wouldn't be depicted as a victim who had only one scene total. As you point out yourself, she's the daughter of a confessed traitor, former Hand of the King, and Lord Paramount. She's also the sister of a traitorous king (from their perspective). That means Sansa's role in the play is not as tiny as the role Arya's playing. She wouldn't have only a few line and be raped and murdered in one moment. She would be a major character as Tyrion's wife and co-conspirator. At the very least, she would have a supporting role in the play, not just one scene. I don't understand why there's such a strong insistence on Sansa only having tiny, bit role ending in death.
  9. Oh I agree. The cat is definitely Balerion. I just found it interesting that he was called the black bastard, which Jon is also referred to as, and the true king of the castle, which is a possibility for Jon. It's not strong foreshadowing. Just an interesting parallel/commonality of phrasing. Though with Jon dying and coming back badly (his resurrection must be worse than Cat's since it would be lame otherwise) I wonder if romance is in the cards for him at all.
  10. Like I said, it's nothing overt. There's just enough there IMO to say that the groundwork was lain even if GRRM has developed the story away from that idea.
  11. Huh? Arya is still very much alive physically and inside. Here's a post with a lot of textual evidence: But just a few things that give me pause about them: Arya catches and kisses the black cat who is called the black bastard and the true king of the castle, a couple times Jon compares Arya to Ygritte who he has a sexual relationship with, Arya compares Jon to Gendry who she has romantic undertones with, the blushing and touching in the Needle scene, the gifting of Needle as possible phallic undertones, Jon equating Arya with his heart, the memory of her laughter warming him on the way North, I want my bride back, Jon thinking of one of the last things he said to Arya as he died for her, etc. It's not necessarily overt, but the groundwork is definitely lain for the possibility.
  12. Since there seemed to be evidence for a Jon and Arya romance in the novels even before the infamous original outline came out with them as the main love story of the series, does anyone still think this is the plan going forward or have the characters not aged up fast enough to get there? I can go either way on it since I do see the foreshadowing and the intensity of Jon's affection for Arya which seems to dictate the type of women he is attracted to. On the other hand, GRRM seems to dither on the topic here. It could be that he's upset that some aspects of his ending were released, including not just Jon/Arya but Jon's parentage. But he might have also developed the story away from everything in that outline that hasn't happened yet in some way.
  13. There is a need to correct the wiki because it is impossible for the character Arya is playing to be Sansa since the character she is playing is clearly lowborn due to the word choice of m'lord rather than the highborn pronunciation of my lord. Sansa also wouldn't be depicted as a victim since she is considered a co-conspirator by the rest of the world due to her escape afterward. As for Shae not being a maiden, we readers knows this, but the wider world of Westeros does not. Her public testimony is that she was a maiden before Tyrion raped her. I linked to an essay addressing this in my main post, but I can add it here: This is one of the few lines Arya has in the play and it easily establishes her character’s place in the Westerosi class system. The fact that she says “m’lord” instead of “my lord” shows that the character is a commoner. In fact, while addressing class issues in this series, George R. R. Martin actively uses the difference between those two pronunciations. For instance, look at this exchange between Jon Snow (who is a highborn bastard with a noble upbringing) and Janos Slynt (the son of a butcher with a commoner’s education): Given the amount of attention Martin draws to the class differences associated with the two pronunciations, the use of “m’lord” clearly indicates that the character Arya plays is a commoner. Since Sansa is a highborn girl with a noble upbringing, this alone rules her out. She would never be scripted as calling anyone “m’lord”. If that wasn’t enough to make that clear, the other details of the role should. The Bloody Hand is a play that vilifies Tyrion and is a nod to Shakespear’s Richard III. Given that this play depicts Tyion’s story using the lies and propaganda of his enemies, it does not make sense that the play’s version of Sansa would be depicted purely as a victim of his, especially one that is raped and murdered. The prosecution in Tyrion’s trial in A Storm of Swords was not only about proving his guilt, but also Sansa’s. The Lannisters, Lannister supporters, and anyone else believing their story sees her as the villain too. Here’s one version of her involvement that’s floating around: So instead of just being the unwitting poison mule she’s tricked into being in the novels, the story is that Sansa took an active part in the murder. A propaganda play like The Bloody Hand would not show her as a victim. It certainly wouldn’t depict her as the victim of rape. Now, let me start by saying that, had Tyrion had sex with Sansa during their marriage, that would have 100% been rape in my view and hopefully to any other modern reader. I also realize that other characters in the novels probably assume that they did have sex. But despite that, the sexist laws and norms of the society depicted in this series do not recognize marital rape as actual rape. Therefore, these lines could not possibly be Sansa’s since the characters would not see her as a victim, but as a partner in her husband’s crimes. They also wouldn’t see her as a rape victim who was murdered since marital rape is not recognized in this world and Sansa is assumed to be alive on the run. So, which character does fit the description of the one Arya plays? Shae. Or an original character Phario created who was inspired by Shae. The character Arya will play in The Bloody Hand is the small role of a virginal rape victim who is murdered by Tyrion. This just happens to fit Shae’s testimony at the trial (which became public knowledge) as well as her ultimate murder (the aftermath of which was seen by several guards and servants before Cersei could have her removed). Here’s Shae’s testimony: And as you can see, it matches up pretty well with the lines from Arya’s role: Both present maiden girls who are commoners (that m’lord again) raped by Tyrion. We don’t know what the general public thinks happened to Shae. Or if they even care. But it is possible that at least rumors of her murder on the night of Tywin’s murder got out given all the witnesses who saw her at the crime scene. Even if Arya isn’t intended to be playing Shae specifically, the similarities between her role and Shae’s testimony make it clear she is at least playing a character inspired by Shae’s story.
  14. If GRRM was an author who wrote in a straight line with no twists and no complex characters, you would be right. But thankfully that's not true. Arya's list is coping mechanism. It's a response to all the evil and injustice she has seen since leaving Winterfell. It's far from the beginning or end of her story and character arc. Again, if killing criminals/enemies/people who will kill you if you don't kill them first harms the mental health of a character, Ned, Robb, and Jon must have been suffering from some severe mental illness.
  15. Whoa, the way evil acts are excused because those acts are "legal" is astounding and probably the point GRRM is trying to get to here. These people are getting away with their crimes because they are part of the group within the story that has used murder, torture, and rape to get into a position of power. By that reasoning, Joffrey was right in every single thing he did since he was the king and he dictates the law. That's the problem. That's what's leading Arya to become a vigilante. Terrible people are getting away with committing evil acts. The Trident incident is what opens her eyes to this reality since she is shocked that the people she trusted to protect her and enforce justice are doing nothing in the face of the maiming and murder of an innocent boy.
  16. Yep. Since Loras murdered Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce, both of whom were innocent, and there is no discussion on his mental state, we already know that had he extended his murders to a deserter, there would be no critique of him.
  17. This is probably the actual heart of the issue when it comes to vilifying Arya. She is a girl who doesn't fit the role her society has tried to groom her for and even modern readers seem to interpret that as the highest sin of all. If Arya did exactly the same things as she does in the books but was male, there would be no one trying to vilify her anymore than they might Robb or Jon, who have far higher kill counts and are less concerned with the guilt of all the people they're killing. It's not a girl's role to step out of the role men decided she should force herself to fit into. And I'm not saying anyone should vilify Robb or Jon. Just using them as an example to make a point.
  18. So committing murder when it's "legal and accepted" doesn't have an impact on the mental state or on a person's humanity, but the same act does if it's dubious whether it's legal or not? It wasn't legal for Ned to revolt against Aerys, so every murder he committed during Robert's Rebellion was illegal. Does that impact his mental state or humanity while the murders he committed in the Greyjoy Rebellion are fine since the king said it was legal? Since Joffrey approved of his grandfather terrorizing the Riverlands, does that mean the murders and rapes committed there were fine and the mental state of the men committing those crimes are alright since the king has deemed it legal? This line of reasoning just doesn't add up. As for age, kids are taught about and exposed to murder pretty young. That's why we have Sansa and Jeyne casually discussing where the Mountain's severed head should be placed in AGOT. That's why Jon and Robb are veteran execution attendees at 14 while Bran is brought in at 7. Squires are brought to war as children. Podrick killed in battle at 12 while Edric Dayne was in danger of being killed or having to kill at the same age. Murder is a common part of life in Westeros, so it won't have the same impact it would on a modern child of the same age. Given the culture Arya is raised in, killing bad people is normal and accepted, as is killing people in war. Each of the people she has killed committed a crime, threatened her survival, or did harm to others. If Arya starts killing innocent people at random, then I will be worried about her humanity. As it stands, she does worry about what killing people means about her, seeing herself as an adult because of it and worrying that her family won't want her anymore outside of Jon. If anything, that self reflection shows that she isn't even close to too far gone. Compare that to the characters who don't have a second thought about the murders they've committed, meaning that they were certain they were right, regardless of how little they knew about the person whose life they took.
  19. So all the people who kill in war and perform executions suffer mental and emotional trauma and have murdered their own humanity? Given that Ned killed people in two wars and performed executions regularly for years, that would mean he was suffering from extreme mental illness and had no humanity left in him at all. But we know that's not true. Arya's actions are emulating the values of her society, so they wouldn't impact her the same way it would impact someone making the same choices in a society that didn't glorify murder in war and normalize executions.
  20. I'm wondering if the FM are going to become more directly involved in different plotlines and Arya is a part of that. There are contradictions in her training and the way Jaqen went out of his way to test/recruit her. It just all seems very strange. I think something larger is going on that they haven't told her. Maybe they are testing her for something greater than an acolyte. With the dead rising, it seems like the HOBAW would take a side. Since they see death as a gift, creating zombies could be seen as sacrilegious.
  21. lol "next killing spree"? Arya hasn't even gone on one killing spree. She has a far lower kill count than most of the other characters. There seems to be some misunderstanding about what's going on in Arya's chapters because she isn't even close to madness. Unless every character is mad.
  22. I've been wondering if Arya's "failures" have actually been her passing the tests. They're presenting obstacles and putting temptations in her path (I believe they sent the Westerosi envoys to the play in Mercy) to see how she will respond. Essentially I'm not convinced that they're telling her the truth in what their goals are for her.
  23. Executing Dareon was about Arya's cultural values. She has been taught that there are no men more dangerous than Night's Watch deserters since their lives are forfeit. We might not agree that he deserved to die, but I also don't agree that the deserter Ned began the book executing deserved death either. But we're from completely different backgrounds than these characters. Ned, Jon, Robb, and everyone in the North would agree with her actions. In the chapter where she's given the assignment and fulfills it, Arya clearly puts a lot of thought into judging whether this man deserves to die, even trying to speculate that his paranoia would make him welcome death. What puts her over the edge into agreeing to kill him though is the fact that he cheats widows. This isn't just about continuing her studies. If it was, there are multiple other choices she would have made differently.
  24. If Arya was a sociopath or psychopath, that would mean nearly every character in the series is as well. She's not killing at random like a serial killer or torturing for pleasure like Ramsay. Like Ned, Jon, Robb, etc, she is killing to stay alive or because the person is a criminal. Even with the insurance salesman, she had to find a reason he deserved to die which was that he was cheating widows and orphans out of the money they were owed. The death penalty is the norm for Westerosi culture, as is death in war. She's absolutely retaining her identity and holding onto the values Ned instilled in her is part of that. Regarding the Ghost!Jon scene, Arya is older than Bran and thought she was protecting "the baby" lol I do sometimes wonder if that scene was foreshadowing Arya having to face wight!Jon.
  25. I definitely think there's someone skinchanging the black cat, who is probably Princess Rhaenys' Balerion. I mean: I don't know who is doing it (maybe Varys?), but I do think that cat is leading somewhere. A thought I've been having about skinchanging is the possibility that that ability isn't just in specific Northerners or the children of the forest, but what if it's a Valyrian skill as well? F&B heavily suggests that dragon riders are bonded to their dragons the same way the Starklings are to their wolves. Skinchanging would explain why their emotions are connected and how they know where they are going while they're flying. Once the dragons were gone, there's a possibility that some of them extended their skills to other creatures. If so, Rhaenys' essence might have remained in Balerion. The first time we hear about the cat, is when Varys brings him up saying he's wondered whatever happened to him. Its a strange detail to bring up unless he knows exactly what happened to him. Another reason I think the black cat/Balerion will be important is that Arya thinks of the cat even in Braavos. It could be setting up her re-entry into the Red Keep (possibly through the sewer she left through) and skinchanging Balerion as a second pair of eyes.
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