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Jon & Arya - hints and overall significance of their relationship (including part 3)


Ice Turtle

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Seriously, guys, I think that any chance for Jon/Arya ended when GRRM chose to skip the 5 year gap. She simply won't be old enough for any romance with her brother-cousin, and in my opinion, not enough time will have elapsed.




In the entire series, only 3 years have passed. We've only two more books. Of course, GRRM could go for a cheesy epilogue but I hope he doesn't go down that (well-trodden) road.


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Ice Turtle, I think you've done a great job laying out all of the points and you've almost sold me. I agree that Jon is going to end up with a Stark daughter I just lean towards Sansa being the most likely because the incest factor wouldn't feel like it's as much of a thing but you make really good points about the strength of the bond between Jon and Arya to the point where it does sort of seem like it's leading somewhere.



When I think of what we know of the original outline I think that we should at least admit that Jon/Arya is a possibility. If nothing else I think people who continue to claim that GRRM would never write any Starkcest are in denial because in that outline Jon and Arya were going to fall in love while still thinking that they're brother and sister.



I agree that the line about Jon saying 'What do you know of my heart? What do you know of my sister?' seems significant.






“You,” Ned said, kissing her lightly on the brow, “will marry a king and rule his castle, and your sons will be knights and princes and lords and, yes, perhaps even a High Septon.”



The quote seems a little strange considering that the king is married and has children and the crown prince is betrothed to Arya's own sister. Which signals foreshadowing to me.





Regarding this quote, I always thought that it was supportive of Jon/Sansa because of the way Arya corrects Ned and tells him that he's describing Sansa. I think he was unknowingly describing Sansa and I think that Sansa is probably the YMB(Q) that Cersei fears.



I'm on the fence now but at the moment it seems like Jon will run into Sansa before he runs into Arya.


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I just had this thought about the whole Tyrion/Jon rivalry because of Arya, it has basically been replaced with Jon/Ramsay. Ramsay married fArya, Jon's adwd arc revolved around saving Arya, basically GRRM just replaced Tyrion with Ramsay. In the outline it's also written that Tyrion will travel overseas and fall in love with Arya, I guess he had always planned Arya to be MIA from Westeros. He hasn't changed all that much from the outline from what I see.

Yes, I noticed it too, to be fair we do not know with certainty if Tyrion was exiled beyond the sea only that he exiled, though Hardhome ships might be a clue of how Arya was originally supposed to travel to Essos if that was indeed planned.

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Seriously, guys, I think that any chance for Jon/Arya ended when GRRM chose to skip the 5 year gap. She simply won't be old enough for any romance with her brother-cousin, and in my opinion, not enough time will have elapsed.

In the entire series, only 3 years have passed. We've only two more books. Of course, GRRM could go for a cheesy epilogue but I hope he doesn't go down that (well-trodden) road.

You make it seem as if it was problem specifically related to Jon/Arya ship. If Arya by the end of the series will be too young to have a romantic relationship with Jon, she will be too young to have a romantic relationship with other characters too. It is fair opinion, but do you really believe that Arya will remain asexual till the end of the series?

I have no hard proof, but from GRRMs interviews I have a feeling that he feels that he had written himself into the corner when it comes to Stark kids age, especially in Arya's case. But I have a faith in him, that he will write himself out of it. The first book for example contains a little longer period of time than the others.

Ice Turtle, I think you've done a great job laying out all of the points and you've almost sold me. I agree that Jon is going to end up with a Stark daughter I just lean towards Sansa being the most likely because the incest factor wouldn't feel like it's as much of a thing but you make really good points about the strength of the bond between Jon and Arya to the point where it does sort of seem like it's leading somewhere.

When I think of what we know of the original outline I think that we should at least admit that Jon/Arya is a possibility. If nothing else I think people who continue to claim that GRRM would never write any Starkcest are in denial because in that outline Jon and Arya were going to fall in love while still thinking that they're brother and sister.

I agree that the line about Jon saying 'What do you know of my heart? What do you know of my sister?' seems significant.

Regarding this quote, I always thought that it was supportive of Jon/Sansa because of the way Arya corrects Ned and tells him that he's describing Sansa. I think he was unknowingly describing Sansa and I think that Sansa is probably the YMB(Q) that Cersei fears.

I'm on the fence now but at the moment it seems like Jon will run into Sansa before he runs into Arya.

One of my main complains against Jon/Sansa is that it seems absolutely random. GRRM devotes almost no time to their relationship, though they lived in one family for years. Jon is absolutely indifferent to Sansa's betrothal to Joffrey or her marriage to Tyrion. GRRM meant the incest factor be a thing at least when the motivations of the characters are concerned.

I think Arya claiming it is Sansa, not her, is GRRM planning to make his characters eat their words in the future. Besides at the time the description did fit Sansa as the only girl in the Seven kingdoms who was supposed to marry the future king and have his babies. No foreshadowing there, just stating of the fact.

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Regarding this quote, I always thought that it was supportive of Jon/Sansa because of the way Arya corrects Ned and tells him that he's describing Sansa. I think he was unknowingly describing Sansa and I think that Sansa is probably the YMB(Q) that Cersei fears.

I'm on the fence now but at the moment it seems like Jon will run into Sansa before he runs into Arya.

Arya corrects Ned because what he is saying is what Sansa always wanted, a handsome prince, a castle, to be a Queen. She's betrothed to Joffrey after all. Arya is right, that is the fate that seems destined for Sansa. It makes no sense given the circumstances, there are no princes or Kings for Arya to marry. So saying that its Sansa is just factually correct at that point. Its a case of dramatic irony at least when he wrote it. Life doesn't turn out as expected and Arya may get what Sansa wanted. That doesn't mean it will be a happy ending.

I don't see how Jon is headed to meet either of them right now. He's dead. By the time he wakes up the positions of the characters may have changed dramatically. Sansa currently has no plans to go to the Wall. Arya wants to go the wall but can never quite get there.

I will say that just because it doesn't 'feel less icky' doesn't mean its evidence it will happen. There is no real foreshadowing of Sansa marrying Jon (there are parallels between her Vale story and Jon in Winterfell but I think that is about deconstructing her privilege) nor is there any real relationship building. She says she misses Jon who she also says she hadn't thought about in 'ages'. She thinks of him as being better than no brother at all basically. I don't feel like there is any real momentum to that end. Whereas the bond between Jon and Arya is so strong, so repeated, it has to have a pay off. I'm interested in the theory that Jon will be the betrayal for love but so far there is nothing set up for that beyond Dany seeing the blue rose in the wall of ice.

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Great post Ice Turtle. I always felt that Jon and Arya would end up together. Their's is the most strong and endearing relationship in the series for me. And with the initial draft in GRRM's letter I'm almost convinced that Arya is going to be Jon's queen. There is no logical reason for Ned telling Arya that she'll marry a king other than it being foreshadowing from GRRM. And I don't think when it happens it will be perverse or inappropriate in anyway as I have faith in GRRM's storytelling skills.

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I AM an avid Arya/Gendry Shipper. Come at me boys! I can take ya! :box:

But at the same time, its silly not to look at things from different perspectives. I can totally understand having all that in the first book if it was done with the outline in mind. However, if its dropped I don't get why it has carried on being emphasised. Why is Jon comparing the girl he loses his virginity to, to his sister, 4 times?! Every girl he seems to like gets some sort of comparison to Arya.

It is more simple than that. Jon never left Winterfell before going to the Wall, always interacted with traditional lady type of girl, except for Arya. Ygritte was the first woman he met that was different, more active and willfull, other than Arya. It is only natural he would compare the two of them. Meera also reminded Bran of Arya.

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^Shows how deep their relationship is.



Finally caught up with this thread. Ice Turtle, you have done an amazing job with putting all the hints together, thank you for your time. :)



The foreshadowing is very strong; I don't really think age will affect his decision, he did write 'Mercy' despite her age after all, not many people had a problem with the way she was portrayed, they didn't even bother to sympathise with her and jumped on the 'badass' bandwagon. Arya's story-line is also speeding up fast compared to other POVs. Like mentioned above, the rivalry is still in the books, just Ramsay instead of Tyrion. Arya will most probably hit puberty in TWOW. More people seem to be accepting of the idea of these two after the release of the original outline.


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he's going to marry a stark, but it's going to be Sansa. that's why they've never been close. and that's why they will end up betrothed. aside from the fact that it's less creepy, sansa's been living a bastard's life ever since her father died. whatever apathy she felt about Jon, has withered away, because he's her last piece of home.



the connection between Jon and Arya is about Arya basically being a carbon copy of her aunt, Jon's mother. Arya is going to end up dead, with needle in her hands, sadly.

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You make it seem as if it was problem specifically related to Jon/Arya ship. If Arya by the end of the series will be too young to have a romantic relationship with Jon, she will be too young to have a romantic relationship with other characters too. It is fair opinion, but do you really believe that Arya will remain asexual till the end of the series?

Yes. Why does Arya have to be sexual before the end of the series? Does Rickon have to get sexual too? Can't Arya be an awesome character without pairing off?

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Regarding evidence of closeness, I'll just say again: I love my sister, but I don't love my sister. Closeness doesn't imply the need to get in someone's pants.

No one is implying that at this point in the books Arya and Jon have romantic feeling towards each other. But their feeling/closeness towards one another is oft reminded and is central to their characters. GRRM keeps mentioning this for a reason IMO. And when Jon sees Arya next, he'll probably know by then that she is not his sister. And when that happens what's to say that his feelings won't change. And Arya has a mind of her own and does not abide by anyone's rules. Why shouldn't or couldn't she fall in love with Jon, especially if she knows he's not her brother?

And in his initial draft, GRRM had Arya falling in love with Jon thinking he was her half brother. I don't think GRRM has any qualms about a Jon/Arya relationship, even if they grew up thinking they were siblings. And also, Alfie Allen once made some rambling incoherent statement about GRRM telling him who Jon's mum was and then going off tangent about incest and how it was acceptable in medieval times. I think he may have been referring to the Jon and Arya relationship.

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the connection between Jon and Arya is about Arya basically being a carbon copy of her aunt, Jon's mother.

I believe Jon and Arya's initial closeness was caused in part by Arya's similarities to Lyanna and Jon's need for a mother like figure. That being said if they do develop a romantic relationship it can easily be viewed as Jon having an slight Oedipus complex.

Also what makes you think Jon would be attracted to Sansa? I know Sansa is interested in the knight/hero types, so she could potentially be attracted to him, but Jon likes wilder women like Ygritte and Val.

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he's going to marry a stark, but it's going to be Sansa. that's why they've never been close. and that's why they will end up betrothed. aside from the fact that it's less creepy, sansa's been living a bastard's life ever since her father died. whatever apathy she felt about Jon, has withered away, because he's her last piece of home.

the connection between Jon and Arya is about Arya basically being a carbon copy of her aunt, Jon's mother. Arya is going to end up dead, with needle in her hands, sadly.

All men must die, but first they live.

It is not only that Sansa and Jon were not close, it is that author gives their relationship no attention. There seems to be some tension in their relationship, but Jon devotes more though to Rickon than Sansa and Sansa never thinks about him at all if she isn't reminded by someone. We never see them interact in their POV. That is definitely not how you treat future romance between two major characters.

Small correction Sansa has been living bastard's life since she is in Vale. Ned died three books earlier than that.

As most Sansa fans would remind you, Sansa has some similarities with Lyanna too - love for songs for example. Not that I think it matters either way as Jon never knew his mother.

Yes. Why does Arya have to be sexual before the end of the series? Does Rickon have to get sexual too? Can't Arya be an awesome character without pairing off?

First sentence in the books about Arya is: "Arya is already in love." Though of course it is not about romantic love at the time, I think GRRM is hinting at something with this introduction. Arya is a very passionate person and she will hit puberty within the time span of books. Rickon is notably younger and a non POV with barely any lines.

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It is known that the story was supposed to go the Arya/Jon way. But at this point GRRM could have changed it all, thus I don't know


whether it makes sense at all to discuss this into detail.



Btw, it is only considered incest if either siblings or parents-children have sex. If you are cousins, it is biologically (and juristically )fine. Look it up.


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It is known that the story was supposed to go the Arya/Jon way. But at this point GRRM could have changed it all, thus I don't know whether it makes sense at all to discuss this into detail.

What do you suggest we should discuss? Who might win in a fight against Khal Drogo?

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I believe Jon and Arya's initial closeness was caused in part by Arya's similarities to Lyanna and Jon's need for a mother like figure. That being said if they do develop a romantic relationship it can easily be viewed as Jon having an slight Oedipus complex.

Also what makes you think Jon would be attracted to Sansa? I know Sansa is interested in the knight/hero types, so she could potentially be attracted to him, but Jon likes wilder women like Ygritte and Val.

Arya doesn't seem to be a mother-like figure to Jon. She may be similar to the child Lyanna, but there is nothing "mother-like" in her relationship with Jon. Jon thinks of her as his "little sister", he is very protective towards her, they also share jokes and understand each other's feelings, but Arya is not a mother-figure to Jon. If Jon's feelings ever turn romantic towards her, I don't think it will be because she reminds her of his mother (how could she?). It is true that he likes brave, independent-minded girls like Lyanna, but I don't see the Oedipus complex here at all.

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Arya doesn't seem to be a mother-like figure to Jon. She may be similar to the child Lyanna, but there is nothing "mother-like" in her relationship with Jon. Jon thinks of her as his "little sister", he is very protective towards her, they also share jokes and understand each other's feelings, but Arya is not a mother-figure to Jon. If Jon's feelings ever turn romantic towards her, I don't think it will be because she reminds her of his mother (how could she?). It is true that he likes brave, independent-minded girls like Lyanna, but I don't see the Oedipus complex here at all.

OK maybe I didn't word that the right way. I am very well aware that Arya does not "mother" Jon in any way. What I meant to say was that Jon unintentionally seeks women with his mother's qualities. You know how sometimes daughters like guys that remind them of their dads and sometimes sons like girls that remind them of their moms? That's the idea I was trying to get across, but in Jon's case since he never knew Lyanna his preference would be a result of a him having a subconscious Oedipus complex? I'm not if that's redundant lol. But on the other hand it could also be explained by Jon inheriting Rhaegar's taste in women.
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About the Oedipus-idea... the type we are attracted to is usually formed in our childhood, and most of the time based on the father or mother (like or opposite). This usually starts quite early in childhood already, when children are still toddlers. If there is no father or mother, this may be substituted to other people we may perceive as an emblem of characteristics and who take care of us. Another "type-imprinting" process that occurs is based on the mental injuries we experience in early childhood. The people who reject us become an imprint of sought after resolution. If we can make a person akin to the ones who wounded us like us, love us later in life we attempt to psychologically heal the old, early wound in this indirect manner.



In a way Cat is the closest thing to Jon's mother, and yet she's not at all. It results into an ambiguous "imprinted" model for him. He resolves this ambiguity in Arya. While she's said to be of Lyanna's nature, she also is Cat's daughter - blunt, impetuous, headstrong, initiative taker, action directed - but doesn't look like Cat. In Arya he finds the qualities that he acutally might admire in Catelyn but that also hurt him. In that way, Arya becomes a resolution to his hurtful relation with the woman who is the closest thing to a mother for him, and at the same time an emblem to imprint as a type of woman.



Within Ygritte we have on the one hand Arya's character (which are the qualities of Cat that both hurt him but he admires equally) but also her fire kissed hair which he would associate with Catelyn Tully. She would thus be his full emotional resolvement with his painful relationship with Cat, without him ever having to admit it has anything to do with Cat.



It's possible that Jon falls in love with Arya, but it's also possible that Arya is simply his type-imprint.


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OK maybe I didn't word that the right way. I am very well aware that Arya does not "mother" Jon in any way. What I meant to say was that Jon unintentionally seeks women with his mother's qualities. You know how sometimes daughters like guys that remind them of their dads and sometimes sons like girls that remind them of their moms? That's the idea I was trying to get across, but in Jon's case since he never knew Lyanna his preference would be a result of a him having a subconscious Oedipus complex? I'm not if that's redundant lol. But on the other hand it could also be explained by Jon inheriting Rhaegar's taste in women.

I do know that but I feel that for Jon to have even a subconscious Oedipus complex he needs to know something about his mother, you now something the girl reminds him of. Now, whatever she knows about Lyanna, it will be information (from Ned) about a young girl, not about a possible mother figure.

Nevertheless, Jon has a sort of mother image.

Yet he dreamed of her at times, so often that he could almost see her face. In his dreams, she was beautiful, and highborn, and her eyes were kind.

We are not told what sort of face he could "almost see", but the image seems to be a very typical image of an idealized woman, and still too vague in comparison with his real memories of Arya. Anyway, he thinks of Arya in very different terms (it's not her beauty or kindness that he typically recalls). The adult women Jon seems to be attracted to are similar to Arya (and Lyanna) in some ways, but hardly similar to this idealized mother image. Ygritte doesn't strike him as beautiful at first, she is definitely not highborn, and she is lively and funny rather than kind. Val is beautiful, but "not a princess", and "lethal" and "playful" rather than "kind".

It is possible that Jon inherited his father's taste in women... But I think he has inherited the very qualities he values in women: He himself is brave, independent, a sort of maverick, who can think for himself and has a certain thirst for adventure at least initially. These qualities are not so conspicuous in the case of men as in the case of women, but Jon's character is still very strongly defined by these characteristics, and these are the qualities he looks for in women as well.

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