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Moral of each characters story?

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49 minutes ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

The story of Walder Frey was really that of the Rat Cook, who because of the Red Wedding was guilty of violating guest right, the sacred laws of hospitality. The gods, angry with this terrible crime, turned him into a rat and forced him to eat his own young.

If you look at how the Freys were portrayed visually, you'll see how much like rodents their faces were meant to appear.

That's why this all happened.

Sure, I know the story. But isn't that really just an extreme fable? An exaggerated story to make the importance of guest right clear? Kind of like Sodom and Gomorrah. And like that, it was the gods who judged and enacted punishment.

But Arya is able to take on this divine intervention & moral authority all by herself - how did she earn this? She, unlike the gods, also punishes an entire house line, not just the primary offender of guest right. It seems extreme and horrible rather than triumphant.

On top of that, I can't help but draw a parallel between Arya & Dany, the Freys & KL. It's different colored apples, but still worth comparing. Arya killed the entire Frey house due to actions of it's leader, Walder. Dany killed nearly everyone in KL due to the actions of it's leader, Cersei. But the show tells us that Arya's actions were awesome badass, but Dany is basically Planetos Hitler. Ugh. They are BOTH evil, disgusting actions...aren't they? 

 

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1 hour ago, WeDoNotKneel_HailMance said:

Sure, I know the story. But isn't that really just an extreme fable? An exaggerated story to make the importance of guest right clear? Kind of like Sodom and Gomorrah. And like that, it was the gods who judged and enacted punishment.

But the show tells us that Arya's actions were awesome badass, but Dany is basically Planetos Hitler. Ugh. They are BOTH evil, disgusting actions...aren't they? 

 

There is some difference between Freys an KLs slaughters. Arya gathered not all the Freys, but only those she thought had a part in RW (they all cheered when she reminded them that moment). And she didn't poison women and children. Of course there are probably some innocents who died then, but not so many. 

If Dany had burnt the red keep only after the bells rang, it could be compared. But she decided before that to burn alive people she knew were innocent (children had no part  in Missandei death)

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1 hour ago, WeDoNotKneel_HailMance said:

But Arya is able to take on this divine intervention & moral authority all by herself - how did she earn this? She, unlike the gods, also punishes an entire house line, not just the primary offender of guest right. It seems extreme and horrible rather than triumphant.

The Rat Cook was forced to eat his own children. That punishes not just him but also his children.

Many oral legends we learn of earlier in the story are eventually acted out as the story unfolds. This is by deliberate design not by casual accident, even though the purpose and mechanism connecting the legend and its realization are for now left to our imagination; many possible theories are plausible.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2019 at 6:47 AM, a_song_of_ice_and_fire said:

Just wondering what you would say was the moral and what did message each character arc and story was hope to tell us?

Any analysis of the moral and message behind each character's arc in the show is unlikely to make much sense, or at least not half as much sense as we wish for. I fear the attempt risks mistake and misunderstanding — and, ultimately, disillusionment and disappointment.

For one thing, doing so one character at a time in isolation from the overall messaging underlying the entire work taken as a whole may lead to missing the forest for the trees. It is probably better to decide what the story's overarching themes are and then looking to see how those apply to individual characters. That’s probably a safer path to extract out moral lessons from what we've seen.

But much more importantly, the morals and messages of individual character arcs can be reliably understood only by reading and analysing the books, not the show.

That's because there are too many gaps and too much inconsistency in how the show's portrays each character's journey for us to have any confidence that we can use what we've seen to draw accurate inferences about the motifs, morals, and messages that George Martin meant for us to come to understand.

Even if George explicitly told the showrunners what his tale’s motifs were and how these applied to the arc of each and every character arc we follow for any length, we have no reason to conclude that the showrunners understood what George was saying well enough to not only chose to portray these but also to succeed in doing so. All this seems extremely suspect, and yet you can draw no conclusions unless it is true.

The showrunners had many goals in mind in creating this show, including keeping it alive long enough to complete its run. It to me appears manifestly unlikely that providing clear and consistent life-lessons to be gleaned by analysing the overall journey of this or that character was ever a goal that was high in their list of priorities.

Edited by CrypticWeirwood

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1 hour ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

 

The showrunners had many goals in mind in creating this show, including keeping it alive long enough to complete its run. It to me appears manifestly unlikely that providing clear and consistent life-lessons to be gleaned by analysing the overall journey of this or that character was ever a goal that was high in their list of priorities.

You raise excellent points regarding the potential futility in trying to answer the main question raised by this thread. It's hard to disagree with you.

But then, if we can't draw moral or meaning from character arcs or the show as a whole, I can't help but feel empty and sad that I ever bothered to invest time or feeling into this show.

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On 5/24/2019 at 11:01 AM, WeDoNotKneel_HailMance said:

Arya's traumas and subsequent journey turned her into a selfish murderous psychopath who was cheered with every act of violence. Revengeful violence - its not like she brought Walder Frey to face justice and be judged by trial, or even that she sentenced him to death to his face and then cut his head off. She baked his children into a pie and murdered ALL the Freys... this should horrify us, but instead the show presents it as triumph. You say that she learned "Its not your place to take revenge, it will only consume you" however, that's really not what was presented to us. She got revenge on everyone she wanted to get revenge on (except Cersei who died anyways), and there are zero consequences for this revenge. As tallTale mentions,  it would have been satisfying to see her experience moral change as a result of tragedy...but that tragedy never happens. Also, in S7-S8 she weirdly had a family loyalists view (pack survives, lone wolf dies) for a brief time but then later abandons everyone to become a sailor.

Honestly, the show message about Arya is that she's an awesome power girl badass and that revenge is really rewarding, but I find this horrifying, because she appears to be an extremely troubled person as a result of trauma, and we're told her violence is an effective path to overcoming her trauma  & achieving greatness. To me, its a disgusting message. 

 

I'm not sure that Arya would have been able to bring Walder Frey to face justice and be judged by trial.  I also don't think that Walder Frey necessarily deserved either; after orchestrating the murder of almost all of his guests.  I don't think that Arya killed any of the Frey women and children; with the possible exception of the woman whose face she wore to serve in the hall.  

I agree that Arya has been psychologically damaged by her traumas and subsequent journey.  But I think that the last two episodes of Season 8 offer hope that Arya can recover, at least to some extent.  Sandor's last words to her seem to have had a strong effect on Arya - instead of continuing her mission to kill Cersei (and probably dying in the attempt), Arya tries to save some of the panicked residents of King's Landing.  She  sees, as she did during and after the Battle of Winterfell, death on a grand and horrible scale; and essentially rejects it and chooses life instead (harkening back to Syrio's words:  "What do we say to the God of Death?  Not today").  I think Arya's decision to sail for parts unknown is both a return to her childhood love of adventure and perhaps a recognition that Winterfell, beloved as it is, is too small for her now.  She has saved what's left of her family, but they and she are grown up now and have different directions to travel.  

 

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Dany: If you justify violence and atrocities based on absolute beliefs in your ability to judge righteousness eventually you will be able to justify any level of cruelty as being for the greater good. 

Jon: Knowing enough to know that he "knows nothing" and isn't one to decide what is just and good for everyone else and how dangerous it is to believe you are. 

Jamie: Nobody is completely good or completely evil. Jamie spent the whole show doing both great and evil things and one great evil act like attempting to kill Bran cancelled out his goodness, and selflessly fighting the army of the dead didn't cancel out his evilneess. 

Tyrion: You can't serve both idealism and justice as hopeful as you might want to be. 

Arya: Revenge is a path that has no future. 

 

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First of all, yes, there might be some moral to some arcs. It's a great and thought-provoking story with complex characters. On the other hand, it's a novel, it's about "human emotions at conflict" as GRRM stated. 

Do not try to get too much moral in every arc. GRRM is not a traditional good-vs-evil writer, he wanted grey nuanced characters and so his characters do not tell the traditional good-vs-evil morals and cannot be summed up to nice-to-read aphorisms with an humanistic, esoteric or religious quality. Instead try to see REAL LIFE and WHAT REALLY happens. 

MAJOR MOTIVE AS MORALE

The Song of Ice and Fire is about the Stark children and how they prevail in a dangerous world and beat the main threats of Ice (Others) and Fire (Daenerys and her dragons).

I see an underlying motive of how children can change the world and how important childhood imprints a person. This true for the Stark children as well as for Daenerys and other characters as Tyrion (the "monster"), Petyr Balish (only the "Littlefinger") or Varys (castrated as child).

With focus on the Stark children we have one clear moral that is good for an aphorism. It's about family, trust and sticking together in times of hardship: "The pack survives." 

INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS

Bran -- This is difficult. I sincerely hope that the books will clear up his story line a lot better. Children of the Forest, the Others, the Three-eyed raven... my goodness. Maybe it is about how important history and remembering are?

Daenerys -- For me the most important moral is how brainwashing children into any political, ideological or religious stuff will influence (and potentially mess up) their whole life. Secondly, being blindly focused on one single goal make you blind for the real world. Thirdly, without friends, family, good advisors is won't work. You need a team, allies, not just a dragon. Fear alone is not going to work.

Arya -- In the beginning it is about resilience and toughness and how hate and vengeance can be a driving force to survive and go on. Eventually, it is about dropping vengeance and focusing on a life that is worthwhile to live.

The Hound -- Closely connected to Arya's arc the Hound shows us the opposite: Living only for hate or vengeance will waste your life. I believe this is one of the most straight-forward, traditional morals in the show. This one is very clear. 

Sansa -- If you want to prevail, you need to learn how to play the game. Also, hardship can be a good teacher of life.

Tyrion -- In the beginning it is about a sharp mind can be as good a tool as a strong body. Eventually, however, I see more something like "smartness alone is not enough".

Cersei -- One of the major issues might be that prophecies can be self-fulfilling and mess up your entire life. Live your life instead of just trying to escape from something.

Jaime -- "Things we do for love", that is his essence. Love can block you, can make you fail, can make you blind. Love is not purely positive, but can be dangerous as well.

Jon -- "Love is the death of duty" and how honor and pragmatic decisions can be opposites. Honor is depicted to have to sides and not always being the best of motivations and compass.

 

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Tywin: Sometimes an amoral, cold-hearted authoritarian is exactly who needs to be in charge.

 

Tormund: It's ok if you rape and pillage for years, as long as you are charming about it, people will love you.

 

All the Starks+Jon: Stay in your lane.  Even if a rig is trying to force you out of it.  Flip them off, lay on the horn and stay in it.

 

Tyene Sand: Bad Pussy.

 

On 5/24/2019 at 8:47 AM, a_song_of_ice_and_fire said:

Arya - Theres more to life than vengeance, sometimes people will get punished themself for their bad actions, its not your place to take revenge, it will only consume you, instead focus on the things in life you love doing and live.

Vengeance is also what allowed her to survive, so I think it deserves more credit than that.

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18 minutes ago, legba11 said:

Vengeance is also what allowed her to survive, so I think it deserves more credit than that.

Am I the only bloodthirsty idiot here who had a moment of: wtf, she punking out?!

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4 hours ago, legba11 said:

Tormund: It's ok if you rape and pillage for years, as long as you are charming about it, people will love you.

 

Ha-ha, yes, that's right...

 

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Posted (edited)

Ned - honor is a virtue that will get you nowhere. 

Stannis - honor will make you rigid and unlikable. And being unlikable gets you nowhere.

Robb (books) - honor is full of contradictions. One action can be both honorable and dishonorable simultaneously.... also, duh,  honor will get you nowhere.

Jaime - same as Robb.

Jon - honor is the death of love.

 

Basically, GRRM hates honor.

Edited by Dokivi

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Posted (edited)
On 5/28/2019 at 6:49 AM, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

Am I the only bloodthirsty idiot here who had a moment of: wtf, she punking out?!

I had the same WTF, she punking out moment? But only because it was a mad queen style HARD LEFT TURN out of nowhere. They could have added a couple of scenes w/ Arya & The Hound on the road to KL where they're discussing it and Arya is conflicted, or where The Hound is trying to convince her that violence & revenge usually end in death ("if you stay with me all the way to the red keep, girl, you'll end up dead, or worse, you'll end up like me & my terrible brother"). 

Like, remember in S6 when The Hound was thinking about being a changed man after talking w/ Septon Ray about how violence is a disease? Oh wait, nope, the writers didn't remember that either. 

Edited by WeDoNotKneel_HailMance
typo

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4 minutes ago, WeDoNotKneel_HailMance said:

I had the same WTF, she punking out moment? But only because it was a mad queen style HARD LEFT TURN out of nowhere. They could have added a couple of scenes w/ Arya & The Hound on the road to KL where they're discussing it and Arya is conflicted, or where The Hound is trying to convince her that violence & revenge usually end in death ("if you stay with me all the way to the red keep, girl, you'll end up dead, or worse, you'll end up like me & my terrible brother"). 

Like, remember in S6 when The Hound was thinking about being a changed man after talking w/ Septon Ray about how violence is a disease? Oh wait, nope, the writers didn't remember that either. 

Yep. Just another moment where the show story failed me and I was left to flounder through symbolism and pretty music to give me emotional cues to why Arya's helplesness is a return to humanity.

You see her helping, or trying to help people and you compare to the aloof young woman who barely talked to anyone and looked like a void being after 'wanting to see what it's all about' or whatever she told Gendry 'Rivers'.

Oh, she human now?

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59 minutes ago, Dokivi said:

Basically, GRRM hates honor.

Well, at least honor is not depicted at the most important virtue. There are downsides of honor in real life, too. It is a nice part of GRRM's grey-nuanced details to avoid black-and-white in virtues as well.

19 minutes ago, WeDoNotKneel_HailMance said:

They could have added a couple of scenes w/ Arya & The Hound on the road to KL where they're discussing it and Arya is conflicted,

Yes, the show condensed it, rushed it, but it is possible to understand the intention. My goodness, yes, it is rushed, but we are supposed to think along, too. In books this is sometimes cherished: The necessity to think, to fill gaps, to understand the points.

12 minutes ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

Oh, she human now?

She was always human. Hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness, tough and soft, all these are human. Arya had a period of hate and vengeance and became callous to killing and focused on surviving and killing those who wronged her and her family. But Arya never lost humanity, she didn't murder the insurance guy nor Lady Crane, she immediately turns to Winterfell after learning from Hotpie that she still has family after all. The Sandor/Arya scene was the final turning point for her to leave the path of vengeance and turn away from wasting her life like Sandor did.

I think it is easily possible to understand this arc -- even if the show is rushed.

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7 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

She was always human. Hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness, tough and soft, all these are human. Arya had a period of hate and vengeance and became callous to killing and focused on surviving and killing those who wronged her and her family. But Arya never lost humanity, she didn't murder the insurance guy nor Lady Crane, she immediately turns to Winterfell after learning from Hotpie that she still has family after all. The Sandor/Arya scene was the final turning point for her to leave the path of vengeance and turn away from wasting her life like Sandor did

Language barrier.

I meant humanity as a return to a more balanced state, where the callousness of an assassin can be countered by some of the liveliness she had before.

Also, just because she did not kill innocents in those moments, can you be absolutely sure she only killed the 'bad' Freys?

She was traumatized and needed the impulse to make peace with what her path would cost her.

If you saw that clearly through her return home, where she continued to falter in that balance by committing to her List, but also not killing people present on it?

Kudos. 

I needed more.

Sandor the candid brought his kid to murder town. But then he gave her a moral lesson. In more than one scene, please?

 

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3 hours ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

Also, just because she did not kill innocents in those moments, can you be absolutely sure she only killed the 'bad' Freys?

Of course not. Arya did a kind of overkill with the Freys. She became callous to killing and wanted revenge and did so in a grand manner. But not because she turned into a psychopath in the real sense of the word. She knew what she did and she wanted the cheering men of House Frey to die.

3 hours ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

 She was traumatized and needed the impulse to make peace with what her path would cost her.

Agreed. She went through a lot of hardship and was traumatized and could really get away from her path f hate and revenge. Her family helped a little but the Sandor/Arya scene was her final turning point.

 

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You can make up anything your want in your head. Isn't that all that matters?

D&D are just making a casual show with tits and dragons for the views. Better they shut up and let reviewers and forum dwellers invent their silmarillion. There is a lot as usual of copying LOTR. Martin liked the ending of LOTR. They tried to do something similar.

 

The wheel keeps on turning, that is the end.

Jaime > right back where he starts.

Danny > another crazy targ in power that gets stabbed.

Jon > back to the wall and beyond.

Sansa and Bran > In power as wished and fated from the beginning even after all that.

Bron > Same old Bron.

Davos > starts as counselor to a king then another then another... 

Tyrion > quickly becomes hand then hand then hand again as the wheel turns.

Cerci > Everybody hates her except her brother and in the end > exact same place, even pregnant again of him.

Arya > adventurous chick that runs around exploring and tomboying, exactly like it ends.

 

It goes around and around and after all those episodes, the peasants die and the protagonist end up same place/as expected.

 

 

 

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