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Stormourne

Arya Stark - An Unprovoked attack?

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7 minutes ago, John Meta said:

I will say that, if Jon Snow would've actually died and not come back; I would definitely have stopped watching the series at that point.

 

7 minutes ago, Illiterati said:

But his arc was designed by the writer, the same writer that killed him off.  If GRRM feels that Arya's arc ends at Braavos and Waif as Arya's arc begins, then that's what it is.  Arya's arc, then, was to go to Braavos, fill in the Waif with enough of her history to portray her, and fail and die.

Maybe I'm weird but this entire thing was part of the appeal of the series for me. The indiscretion of killing off characters.

I don't believe the Waif is Arya, personally, but if that was were GRRM wanted to go, then that's where we're going. It's not bad writing. It's what makes it unique. 

I mean, in real life a lot of people don't survive to see whatever 'arc' they had, finished. 

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2 minutes ago, Illiterati said:

But his arc was designed by the writer, the same writer that killed him off.  If GRRM feels that Arya's arc ends at Braavos and Waif as Arya's arc begins, then that's what it is.  Arya's arc, then, was to go to Braavos, fill in the Waif with enough of her history to portray her, and fail and die.

An arc is not just the stuff that happens to a character though, it's a progression. In Braavos, Arya is learning new skills that she has yet to put to use - she's very much for things to do and unresolved plotlines with a number of characters, not least of which being her reunion with the rest of her family and Nymeria. She's been struggling with her loss of identity and purpose in life this entire time and she has yet to conclusively declare herself truly a no one or reclaim her name of Arya Stark. If she died in Braavos it would be with pretty much all her plotlines unresolved where Ned had no unfinished business left. 

Just like when Jon died - I don't think anybody was surprised to see him resurrected as it was so obvious he had stuff left to do and basically died in the middle of executing his plans.

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1 minute ago, Dawn of Fyre said:

There was no chance that Jon Snow would have stayed dead, though. Ned Stark served his purpose. His arc ended on the executioner's blade. His death caused the North to declare independence and name Robb King. The whole Stark plot started from that injustice. So, thematically, Ned Stark's death was necessary. 

The Red Wedding was also necessary. Robb should not have slighted the Frey's and his men paid for it. His arc ended with a dagger in the heart, and that propelled Arya's arc. These events were necessary. These deaths had meaning. I know you're diapointed that they died. But their arcs ended the moment they died. There is a genuine sense of realism in the early seasons.

Everyone's arc ends the moment they die. :D

I do see what you're saying, though.  In my mind, if GRRM had chosen to kill off Arya and have using her likeness by the faceless men be their way of inserting into the game, I think it could be reasonably argued that her arc had run its natural course, as well.

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8 minutes ago, falcotron said:

I thought the Wheel of Time series was finished a few years ago, and, even though the last book was written by another guy, he was working from thousands of pages of notes Robert Jordan wrote up in case he died, and a lot of people were happy with it, except for something about the publishers holding back the e-book until they got enough sales of the hardback, or something like that?

(Personally, I stopped reading that series pretty early—it's just not my thing—but I remember people talking about it a lot at the time.)

I read the first book, loved it. Then when I realised the main character would end up in a harem with three girls, I dropped that shit fast.

I know the concept a soul mate is... grasping at air. But in fiction, I don't want a hero who can't help but love multiple women. To me, that just shows that he/she does not truly love them, only parts of each individual. And if you combined the parts that he/she loves into the one person, that would be his/her "soul mate".

*Sigh* Other than that, the series isn't too bad. Just high Fantasy with cliche tropes. 

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1 hour ago, John Meta said:

I don't think I'm leaving that out. To be clear, I agree that Arya is not acting like a seasoned diplomat. If she did, that wouldn't be consistent with her character. When I say she is acting appropriately, I am meaning, appropriate to who she is right now. I'm not saying, she is a model of diplomatic etiquette and protocol, I'm saying her actions are an appropriate extension of her character.

Arya is acting with anger, Sansa with fear. The big difference in this is that now their antagonist is someone they do care about. After seeing them interact with antagonists they don't care about and how they handle that, now we see the tension increase as they have to struggle with their past as sisters, and their present; and the journeys both have made to bring them back to the state of rivalry.

Right, Arya doesn't know any of this. All she knows is that Littlefinger the Lannister conspirator who plotted to kill her other brother, is now aiding Sansa. That Jon has been drawn away South (where Starks go to be betrayed and murdered), that Sansa has taken his place, that the northern lords (save Lyanna) are turning on Jon, that Sansa is suprised Arya is at Winterfell, that Sansa is (apparently) hiding messages which declare her loyalty to the Lannisters, that every time Arya tries to read Sansa in conversation, Sansa immediately becomes defensive. That Sansa claims people do unfortunate things when they are afraid.

All of the above justifies Arya's suspicion of a potential Lannister conspiracy in her home.

Saying "we need Littlefinger's men" is an answer. All traitors will have answers. It doesn't ease suspicion when you don't know what is a lie and what isn't. All Arya knows is the facts. Sansa's "answers" aren't facts; they are answers which may or may not be lies.

It is not her being "wrong" it is her coming to a conclusion based on the information; her being "highly suspicious": innocent people can be suspects when circumstantial evidence provides suspicion. This happens all of the time.

 

Arya doesn't know this. That is a problem, people seem to think Arya knows what the audience knows, but she doesn't.

And you can't determine if a person is being honest by talking to them, unless you have facts which can corroborate their answers, showing they are being truthful. Arya does not have these facts, and so talking with Sansa would be like talking with Littlefinger. It would not alleviate suspicion whatsoever.

 

This is a really, really strong post.

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7 minutes ago, Pandean said:

 

Maybe I'm weird but this entire thing was part of the appeal of the series for me. The indiscretion of killing off characters.

I don't believe the Waif is Arya, personally, but if that was were GRRM wanted to go, then that's where we're going. It's not bad writing. It's what makes it unique. 

I mean, in real life a lot of people don't survive to see whatever 'arc' they had, finished. 

Oh I'm not meaning to say nobody should like the way this is written; no not at all. I get that it can be seen as "realistic" that these characters are killed in a Red Wedding. That is not my issue; my issue is that these characters who meet a "realistic" fate shouldn't be a focus in the story. I'm not saying, there should not be a Red Wedding, and Rob and Cat should not be characters. I am saying the events can happen, but there's no reason for them to be "onscreen" - this should all be peripheral events, and I should only be following the characters that do NOT die. It's not the events and characters I am calling problematic; it is the narrative; the fact that the writer is having me follow around characters for a LONG time, only to suddenly end the investment.

It's as if someone writes a movie where in the middle of the second act, the protagonist dies. Cue credits. The writer may say "I was wanting to make it realistic; people often die" and maybe an audience may enjoy the movie. But my response is going to be, well, you succeeding in crafting a "realistic" movie, and in the process made a bad movie.

Also, I'm not talking about Ned's death, or, really any other situation except the Red Wedding since that's the only place I see a problem with an unresolved character arc for a central "main" characters. And I'm not really saying it is objectively bad writing, nor that I disliked the way these things were written to come about: I'm only speaking from a point of contention as what does/doesn't create a "possible" category of something that might be called "bad writing"; and that is a main character having an unresolved character arc. Because we were talking about whether or not there is "bad writing" and in order to be clear I had to address what is being evaluated, by what means.

Like I said, I wanted to avoid this subject about the Red Wedding precisely because I knew what would happen; but he called it out (and well, he was right to do so) and forced my hand. Killing off Arya would be, to me, a good example of bad writing, and I stand by that; but then, as he alluded, I'd also have to propose the Red Wedding in the same category because it's the same category. Which unfortunately, I've had to do. And that's what I get.

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22 minutes ago, John Meta said:

Oh I'm not meaning to say nobody should like the way this is written; no not at all. I get that it can be seen as "realistic" that these characters are killed in a Red Wedding. That is not my issue; my issue is that these characters who meet a "realistic" fate shouldn't be a focus in the story. I'm not saying, there should not be a Red Wedding, and Rob and Cat should not be characters. I am saying the events can happen, but there's no reason for them to be "onscreen" - this should all be peripheral events, and I should only be following the characters that do NOT die. It's not the events and characters I am calling problematic; it is the narrative; the fact that the writer is having me follow around characters for a LONG time, only to suddenly end the investment.

It's as if someone writes a movie where in the middle of the second act, the protagonist dies. Cue credits. The writer may say "I was wanting to make it realistic; people often die" and maybe an audience may enjoy the movie. But my response is going to be, well, you succeeding in crafting a "realistic" movie, and in the process made a bad movie.

Also, I'm not talking about Ned's death, or, really any other situation except the Red Wedding since that's the only place I see a problem with an unresolved character arc for a central "main" characters. And I'm not really saying it is objectively bad writing, nor that I disliked the way these things were written to come about: I'm only speaking from a point of contention as what does/doesn't create a "possible" category of something that might be called "bad writing"; and that is a main character having an unresolved character arc. Because we were talking about whether or not there is "bad writing" and in order to be clear I had to address what is being evaluated, by what means.

Like I said, I wanted to avoid this subject about the Red Wedding precisely because I knew what would happen; but he called it out (and well, he was right to do so) and forced my hand. Killing off Arya would be, to me, a good example of bad writing, and I stand by that; but then, as he alluded, I'd also have to propose the Red Wedding in the same category because it's the same category. Which unfortunately, I've had to do. And that's what I get.

But in ASOIAF and GoT there are multiple protagonists and antagonists. It's on a grand scale. So it's not like a movie where there is a single protagonist. The series is on such an epic, sweeping scale. And it's not 'cue credits' either. We actually see the fallout of a lot of things happening. The fallout of the Red and Purple Weddings, of the explosion in the Sept of Baelor, of Ned's death, etc.

I don't mean to be rude but if you want to follow a series where the main characters don't die, Game of Thrones might not be the series for you.

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39 minutes ago, Pandean said:

 

Maybe I'm weird but this entire thing was part of the appeal of the series for me. The indiscretion of killing off characters.

I don't believe the Waif is Arya, personally, but if that was were GRRM wanted to go, then that's where we're going. It's not bad writing. It's what makes it unique. 

I mean, in real life a lot of people don't survive to see whatever 'arc' they had, finished. 

Reality is Unrealistic

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9 minutes ago, Pandean said:

????

In real life people die all the time with their affairs not in order, from unpaid bills, through personal drama to regretted missed opportunities. It's unfortunately very plausible that IRL someone might die well before finishing their training or resolving their personal issues, but if that would happen in fiction it would come across as unrealistic bad writing. It makes no sense for Arya to be dead because she's a fictional character with an unresolved plotline.

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2 hours ago, John Meta said:

But again, I can't really right off recall the Braavos events. You may be right, I'd need to watch it again. But if what happens is she gets stabbed and is later healed; I'm not seeing that as 'bad writing' especially if the actress is feeding her some healing elixir in a fantasy setting.

So, you haven't even watched the scene (had you watched it you would inevitably remember it), and you're explaining us that in your view it's not bad writing, while this scene is so shockingly incoherent that it provoked a huge storm of discussions on all the medias devoted to the series?

If you have the time please watch this:

It's interesting, although it's too long…

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2 hours ago, Dawn of Fyre said:

I read the first book, loved it. Then when I realised the main character would end up in a harem with three girls, I dropped that shit fast.

I know the concept a soul mate is... grasping at air. But in fiction, I don't want a hero who can't help but love multiple women. To me, that just shows that he/she does not truly love them, only parts of each individual. And if you combined the parts that he/she loves into the one person, that would be his/her "soul mate".

*Sigh* Other than that, the series isn't too bad. Just high Fantasy with cliche tropes. 

Eh ... what?

I'll assume you're talking about Jon, but who's in this harem of three girls besides (presumably) Daenerys?

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7 minutes ago, Kytheros said:

Eh ... what?

I'll assume you're talking about Jon, but who's in this harem of three girls besides (presumably) Daenerys?

Ah, I was talking about The Wheel of Time, since the quote I was commenting about was referring about the WoT. :P Jesus, I would absolute hate the idea of a harem in Jon Snow's narrative. :S Anyway, I had digressed and my earlier comment had nothing to do with GoT.

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2 hours ago, John Meta said:

Oh I'm not meaning to say nobody should like the way this is written; no not at all. I get that it can be seen as "realistic" that these characters are killed in a Red Wedding. That is not my issue; my issue is that these characters who meet a "realistic" fate shouldn't be a focus in the story.tegory. Which unfortunately, I've had to do.

You're right that GRRM has definitely broken one of the standard rules for this kind of fiction. But you can't just call that bad writing. If you were teaching a freshman composition class and one of your students did it, then yes, it would be bad writing. But in professional fiction, there are three kinds of stories that break one of the rules:

  1. Crap written by novices who don't realize they're breaking a rule.
  2. Experiments that the author discards (or that they publish, but nobody likes it), because they broke the rule to see what would happen but then failed to drive the story forward to work it out.
  3. Stories that work not just despite breaking one of the rules, but because of it.

The very fact that you've stuck with it through 7 seasons and/or 5 books implies that it's the last one.

There are (at least) two obvious problems breaking this rule causes: it raises the base tension level, which gives you less dynamic range to work with, and it makes it harder for readers to get attached to your other characters after you've pulled the rug out from under them before. A badly written story wouldn't even try to solve those problems. A failed experiment would try to solve them, but wouldn't find anything new as a result. ASoIaF has definitely solved those problems—as proved by the fact that you're still invested in Jon Snow, but also worried about him. But I think it's also hit on things that are new—at least in modern epic fantasy (GRRM admits that he borrowed ideas from everything from television scripts to the Iliad)—in trying to deal with them. For example, this story often shifts directly from one kind of tension to another (as in the chapters/episodes leading up to and covering Blackwater), which is something a lot of fantasy writers have copied in the last two decades.

Of course GRRM isn't a perfect writer, and some of the problems with these books could be labeled bad writing. But not following the standard formula for which characters to follow, I don't think that's bad writing, it's an experiment that worked.

(Or at least it seems to have so far. Obviously he's having problems drawing the story to a close, and part of the reason may be a consequence of this choice. For example, look how many fans think it would be "cheap" if Jon and Dany get married because Dany doesn't deserve a happy ending if Robb didn't get one. That's a problem that Tolkien and Rowling never had to deal with.)

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40 minutes ago, Dawn of Fyre said:

Ah, I was talking about The Wheel of Time, since the quote I was commenting about was referring about the WoT. :P Jesus, I would absolute hate the idea of a harem in Jon Snow's narrative. :S Anyway, I had digressed and my earlier comment had nothing to do with GoT.

Ah. Wheel of Time. I tried to read that series ... but couldn't make myself finish it. Not sure if I'll ever give it another attempt.

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1 hour ago, TheValonqarThatWasAzorAhai said:

I think they mashed up Arya, Soneheart, and maybe the Ghost of Winterfell this season.  If you look at it this way, Arya this season makes sense.

That's an interesting way of looking at it, actually.

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5 hours ago, John Meta said:

 

Okay I didn't really want to go there, but you're calling it out. Honestly, and this is just my own opinion for now (maybe others can provide something to make me think otherwise) - but I'm not really sure about Martin's writing in that regard. First have to acknowledge that the writing of book events on the show will generally follow the writing from Martin's books in regards to major events like Ned's death, the Red Wedding, Jon stabbed by the Watch. The show itself, I can't cite the writers for bad writing if they are faithfully following what, I think may be bad writing by Martin. Wait! Hold on! Hear me out here.

When I watched the show, and those events occurred, I seriously asked, who is writing this nonsense? And the answer would not be, the show writers; but George Martin. The reason I say, I'm not sure this is good writing is precisely because he is having me invest so much time in characters, only to kill them off with no arc completion, no real relevance of their own to the overall plot of the story. It's like a man telling me a story about a character, and half way through the story, "and then he is suddenly killed; the end" I would respond, "Your story is a bad story; why did I just sit here for days on end listening to a story with no completion of character arc? You have wasted me time."

I should not even be following Rob Stark or Catlyn Stark at all. They should be minor characters who are killed offstory, and I only see the impact it has on the characters who do not die. Such as Jon Snow getting a raven "father beheaded for treason" "Brother killed, mother killed" etc. and I learn what impact it has on the main characters. So, that's why I say what I say about Arya.

But that is my feeling on that. Ned is somewhat more understandable since the main characters (his children) were actually in the scenario when it occurred. But when the Red Wedding occurred? Honestly, my reaction was, "Thanks for wasting 40 hours of my life following two characters for no reason" and when Jon Snow was stabbed, I was one of the people that actually said "I'm done. I'm not wasting my time following stories that have no purpose" BUT then I thought "Wait. There's no way you write a character called 'Jon Snow' who lives at 'Castle Black' with a white wolf called 'Ghost' and just kill him. He'll be back. So I continued.

BUT I will still claim killing Arya offscreen would be terrible writing, and in fact that the Red Wedding was not what I would call "good writing" since all it did was leave main characters with an unresolved arc that I had invested in for many many many hours. For no reason. But that is on Martin, not the show writers.

Neds death and the Red Wedding were both wonderful writing from GRRM.

The fact of killing people off before their story completes is NOT bad writing, it is realistic. Lots of people die before their time, don't reach their potential or finish their story.

Ned was a critical supporting character and while he appeared as a main character POV in book 1/season 1, it was never his story. That doesn't mean the time spent reading theough Neds chapters (or Catelyns) was wasted or insignificant. Ned had a huge impact on the plot that started the story off and also was a primary influence on not just one, but several of the main characters who the story is about (Jon, Arya, Sansa, Bran). 

Unresolved arcs does not equate to bad writing.

In fact, Im pretty sure Neds arc, both in the show and books is going to remain far better writing than some of the arcs in the show that DO get resolved. 

The entire winterfell plot is horrendous writing period...and Arya (my favourite character) is acting in a way that doesnt make sense for her character purely because of horrible writing.

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26 minutes ago, Gaz0680 said:

Neds death and the Red Wedding were both wonderful writing from GRRM.

The fact of killing people off before their story completes is NOT bad writing, it is realistic. Lots of people die before their time, don't reach their potential or finish their story.

Ned was a critical supporting character and while he appeared as a main character POV in book 1/season 1, it was never his story. That doesn't mean the time spent reading theough Neds chapters (or Catelyns) was wasted or insignificant. Ned had a huge impact on the plot that started the story off and also was a primary influence on not just one, but several of the main characters who the story is about (Jon, Arya, Sansa, Bran). 

Unresolved arcs does not equate to bad writing.

In fact, Im pretty sure Neds arc, both in the show and books is going to remain far better writing than some of the arcs in the show that DO get resolved. 

The entire winterfell plot is horrendous writing period...and Arya (my favourite character) is acting in a way that doesnt make sense for her character purely because of horrible writing.

I think Arya's reaction and suspicion does make sense, just not the way she is going about it. Unless there is a twist in the next episode, the argument can be made that while her concerns are genuine, the way she went about confronting Sansa is in direct opposition to what she learned in Braavos.

So, the way she was written in her actions makes little sense, not in the way she feels about Sansa. Would you agree?

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Robb's arc was also in its final stages at the Red Wedding. He had gone from an untested boy lord trying to fill some very big shoes in the unquestioned King in the North, winning the respect of his bannermen and crowning himself with glory on the battlefield. He starts with matching South to confront the Lannisters and save Ned and his sister's, and he ends up being forced to march back home, the war against Lannisters lost, Sansa still a prisoner and Jaime freed by Catelyn. He's come the full circle. Now I loved Robb and was devastated reading the RW, but it's also clear that while he would have won back the North and could have marched South again it would just have been a rehash of what we've seen him do before and if he instead went against the white walkers it would make Jon redundant as a character.

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