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Rara Avis

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  1. Dragons should have been great equalizers when it comes to power, and it's pretty annoying that they aren't. You absolutely cannot dismiss a person who controls a dragon, not matter what's between their legs. With dragon you're a superjet in a world where people fight with sticks. It's one thing to transport real life sexism into fantasy setting - some people are still annoyed by it, but I like real world parallels, - but another when you have obvious in-setting basis to lessen it in great measure and still contrive ways to keep it up. Not saying it would have trickled down to other people, but Targ ladies should have been seen as exceptional, much like Targ incest. Physical differences really pale in comparison to having vs. not having a dragon or the size of said dragon. and yet we end up with paralles to Salic law. ETA: I'm not one of those easily offended people but I have to agree that 3 insane female rulers for 2 shows is a bit much. Sansa isn't a good counterpoint since we've no reason to be sure she won't go nuts - wouldn't even be shocking given what she's been through. Her biggest achievement so far in the story was feeding man to his dogs, which, deserving as it was, doesn't exactly scream sanity.
  2. If the OP and others claim that Arya has a mental illness, they should provide the name of the specific mental illness. We could then consult DSM and see if it fits. Just a random thought: while I personally consider the murder of insurance man disturbing because it is done on the word of asassin death cult, can you really claim that it's unlawful? You can say that about Dareon, bc Arya has no jurisdiction to execute deserters on foreign land (in the North, her actions would be considered perfectly legal), but Faceless Men and their activities seem to be totally accepted by Braavos government, they operate in the open, have open temple, everyone knows about them, including officials. They aren't allowed to just come up to people and execute them the open, but as long as it's done under the guise, there is no reprocussions towards the organization, despite everyone being aware of their actions. Thus their killings appear to be an accepted by the government (thus lawful) and culturally approved activity. Morals are different debate to legalities, but I thought it was interesting and somewhat ironic.
  3. Yes, please show where she shows clear signs of delusions and distorted perception of reality. An example of insane person would be, say, a man I've read about in a book about schizofrenia, who poisoned his beloved daughter thinking that stuff he poured into her food would save her from aliens. He thought he was protecting her. Anyway, I think those who believe that only insane or psychopathic people are capable of killing or getting used to killing others live in a la-la land. The amount of war crimes far outweights number of clinically insane or psychopathic people who are an extreme minority. At least Arya isn't out there raping women and throwing kids on spikes - all the actions of "normal" people under the guise of shared responsibility. We're not a naturally nice species. Humans are parochially altruistic - we naturally divide people into "our" group and successfully "other" the rest. Giving empathy to people "like us", and zero to others. Of course, there will be always people who are cut above others in empathy (like Jon), and below that line. What's tragic about Arya is that she used to belong to first group, and she still feels for people, clearly, but yes, she's on a dark path currently, getting too comfortable with killing. I feel like it's natural in her circumstance but disturbing none the less. She's hurt and angry person with murderous skills, being manipulated by death cult - potential for bad things to happen is high. One doesn't have to agree with all her actions not to see her as insane or evil, it's not a dichotomy. Most characters do things I disagree with, and in the fucked up Westeros of now most people have to make unpleasant choices or die.
  4. Wow, the quality of discussion here have deteriorated over the years... There were always waves of obsessive hatred towards some characters here (Catelyn and Sansa, a classic, then Dany, etc), but at least those post felt genuine, instead of some trollish bait with zero arguments. On topic: if you think Arya is insane, then what punishment we're talking about? Insane people are the ones who have distorted perception of reality (psychopaths aren't insane, for example) and thus aren't responsible for their actions. Anyway, people who go through serious trauma can react in variety of ways - you can break down, go catatonic... or you adapt, accept your reality as something relatively normal, get used to it. Arya has very strong psyche, so she manages to adapt quite successfully. But the world she has to adapt to is cruel world where you have to be capable of quick violence to survive - and she's a survivor, for better and for worse. So she became hardened, desentisized to violence and death - all entirely natural reactions for someone who wasn't broken by what happened before. Like with soldiers, where some become "broken men" (who could get healthy again with proper treatment, but will probably die ignobly in Westeros) and others get used to death and killing over time. They can still develop PTS(D) and of course they are traumatized, but in a way that allows to survive in their enviroment.
  5. He certainly couldn't use sadist since there isn't Marquis de Sade in this world, IIRC. GRRM's not the best at it, but it would be completely asinine. Violent madness sounds less like person having sadistic streak and more like becoming completely unhinged, like violent episode of madness, incoherent, attacking everyone. He'd probably kill or near kill Rhaella if that was the case.
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