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Forlong the Fat

On Arya's Arc, and Others'

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I want to point out what I thought was a bright point in this episode. As I've mentioned in previous threads, we can trace Arya's journey from the decision to go home, rather than to kill Cersei, through a number of steps in reclaiming her humanity. It was appropriate for The Hound, a person who tried but was thwarted in developing a life based on anything other than revenge, to warn her away from that path. This was nicely summed up with the single word uttered by her, "Sandor," a human name we have almost never heard, affirming her humanity and his. And her journey within this episode, from stepping in front of mothers and children seeking shelter to pointlessly kill Cersei , to risking her own life to help the very same people, was nice. 

We also saw what comes along with human feeling--vulnerability. Leaving the Red Keep, feeling the horror of death around her, she became as vulnerable as we have seen her. That vulnerability relates in some ways to Dany's descent; she opened herself to Jon and the North, risked herself, her children, and her people, and was utterly crushed. Like Sandor at the victory feast in the last episode, she found herself with nothing despite winning. Victory was entirely hollow, and there was nothing left for her but blood and fire.  

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16 hours ago, Forlong the Fat said:

The Hound, a person who tried but was thwarted in developing a life based on anything other than revenge, to warn her away from that path.

This is one of the best scenes of the whole series for me. So touching, these two rough warriors having a gentle encounter and Sandor saving her from a similar path of bitterness and wasted life.

16 hours ago, Forlong the Fat said:

This was nicely summed up with the single word uttered by her, "Sandor," a human name we have almost never heard, affirming her humanity and his

Yes, using his first name for the first time was very nice. 

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Arya was handled well in this episode, and having her live through all the horror, and almost becoming a victim herself, obviously prepares for what she is going to do next. Hint: She's an assassin and Dany is the one who almost killed her. (I don't know why people don't immediately realize this.)

I also liked Jaime's end. He has been handled very well throughout, thanks to GRRM's writing. He is like a heroin addict, addicted to Cersei despite her horrible nature, and he knows it. But he can't help himself. He also knows he has done horrible things himself along the way, so he doesn't deserve better. He could never adapt to another life. As they said in the first season, it is not so much love as it is that they, the twins, are pretty much the same person.

It was very fitting that he died with her. It was very fitting that he repeated the "No one else but us matters" mantra as they were dying. And that in his company, she finally showed softer emotions and fear.

It was also a beautiful farewell between Tyrion and Jaime. Real poetry. Tyrion risking his life, and losing his brother, because he could do no other.

If it hadn't been for the pesky detail of Dany becoming a Terminator this would have been a good episode.

Now I hope Seaworth will tell Tyrion that he went to check the tunnel, and the dingy was gone. And, "Jaime was a strong man, even with only one hand. If anyone could make it across the Narros Sea, it's him."

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Posted (edited)

Do we think her choice of life means she will go after Daenerys? 

Have to say, I'm not quite sure what her choice means yet. I'm hoping its where we get the Nymeria allusion fully. That she will finally stop her wandering, burn her ships and find a place to live and die.

But the 'what is west of westeros' thing still terrifies me. If she ends up alone in the sunset sea I will be furious and yet I can't see why that would happen when its loving relationships with other people that have reconnected her to her humanity

Edited by AryaNymeriaVisenya

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3 hours ago, Jarl Halstein said:

I also liked Jaime's end. He has been handled very well throughout, thanks to GRRM's writing. He is like a heroin addict, addicted to Cersei despite her horrible nature, and he knows it. But he can't help himself. He also knows he has done horrible things himself along the way, so he doesn't deserve better. He could never adapt to another life. As they said in the first season, it is not so much love as it is that they, the twins, are pretty much the same person.

At first I was really disappointed with Jaime's arc, but then I also thought about the comparison to the struggle of an addict and I think it is really fitting. Of course it is disappointing for an outsider to have to witness Jaime fall back in his development, but that is exactly what can happen in a rehabilitation - they can make so much progress, build a new life for themselves and as an outsider you think the situation is handled and suddenly addiction just takes over again and pulls them back in . Also this feeling of no self-worth he shows fits that really well. And it actually displays a more complex and therefore also more human development than just "bad guy turning good". It opens the door to a so much more elaborate outlook on the question of what makes a person good or bad or what being a good or bad person even means.

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Arya's arc is to kill the queen.

 

I did not like the last scene with the horse.  It was purely artistic, pointless.  I know they wanted perhaps to foreshadow something but it completely unnecessary.

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