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Maester AZ

My theory about Arya's blindness

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So I just finished the chapter where Arya, wait I'm sorry, BETH, regains her sense of sight. Maybe it's because I find the magical parts of A Song of Ice and Fire to be somewhat annoying and detract from the more serious parts of the story, I don't think her blindness had anything to do with her drinking the weird liquid when she first joined the Faceless Men. Instead, I think her blindness was a manifestation of a conversion disorder of sorts, where extreme psychological trauma manifests itself as severe physical symptoms with no physiological cause able to be found. I think joining up with the Faceless Men, who to me are basically an elaborate death cult, forced her to face the reality of what happened to her family, and that manifested itself in the form of her conversion disorder. As she trained with the Faceless Men and the memories of her life in Westeros began to fade, she dealt with her trauma, and as a result, she regained her sight once her psychological trauma began to fade. In terms of drinking the liquid that took away her sight and the one gave it back to her, I think that's due to the placebo effect (Google it if you need to). Anyone else agree with my theory about Arya's blindness, or am I on my own here?


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I don't agree. You lost me in your second sentence. This is a fantasy series, it sounds like you are trying to turn it into something it's not. If you think magic takes away from the story then I think you read the wrong series. Just my opinion.


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Don't know if you're on your own, but I don't agree. I believe it was the potion. In this world, I believe, potions and magic work. Genetics also work differently in their world as opposed to ours in my opinion. I also believe the seasons being weird are also because of magic instead of some natural phenomena of planetary movement. I consider magic to be an interesting and serious aspect of this world. All my opinion.



I use placebo on myself. It works even when you know. Magic feathers and such... brain's a pretty wild thing.


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She drinks the milk every night the whole time she is blind. Then she outs the Kindly Man as the one who has been hitting her, and she doesn't drink the milk that night. When she wakes up she can see. Awfully strange coincidence if you ask me.



But you don't have to have a magic potion to induce blindness. There's a drug called Atropine that can make you go blind temporarily, and it's derived from the real plant called Nightshade, coincidentally. So it is reasonable to assume that the milk is a perfectly natural substance, like milk of the poopy.


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It appears to me that the blindness is a stage of training that all aspiring Faceless Men must go through. In one of Arya's chapters in AFfC, when she is still new to the House of B&W, she notes how one of the other acolytes there is blind. It's described there how the blind acolyte's other senses are very keen, and during Arya's chapter we get a lot of description of how sensitive her other senses become as well, e.g. being able to tell men from women and recognizing people just by their footsteps.

It seems the blindness is a tool for heightening the other senses, and also giving one time to do a lot of thinking about themselves and their commitment to the House. The Kindly Man explicitly states that they took her sight, and would give it back if she asked (but by asking would thereby end her training in the guild).

I found it really interesting how the loss of her sight also led to the heightening of her warg powers, a parallel with Bran and how the loss of his ability to walk initiated his awareness of his warg powers. It was through the blindness that Arya initiated her ability to warg at will, in a waking state, and with the cat instead of her familiar wolf. I can't wait to see how her abilities could be integrated with the Faceless training.

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Yeah, you sound like an English professor trying to decipher why Shakespeare made the sky a light blue, rather than a baby blue, when it was probably because he just liked light blue. I dont think GRRM goes full psychoanalysis on all his characters, and he definitely writes fantasy, even if you yourself dont like the "magical parts"; so if you cant tell, I think Arya's blindness is supernatural because GRRM made a supernatural world, not a logical one.

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