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Arya's mental illness


Rondo
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3 hours ago, Quoth the raven, said:

Arya is so much worse in Dance than she was when she met the Dayne boy. She took offense when none was intended.  Nothing the boy said deserved an angry response.

Didn't he imply that Ned and Ashara Dayne were lovers?  A child might be expected to take umbrage and come to the defence of their parents' reputations.  Adults might too.

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When I think of potential role models for Arya, Brienne comes to mind.  She is in the Riverlands, a likely landing spot for Arya, and is actively searching for her and her sister in order to keep them safe.  Which means that if they meet one another, Brienne will likely attach herself to Arya.

As a female warrior, and one who has killed, Brienne would be a source of fascination for Arya, and someone she might admire and respect.  And Brienne is at the top of the list of morally good people in this series.

We got lots of character buildup for her in Feast.  She's going to be important, and being mentor and protector for one or both Stark girls makes sense.

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On 6/22/2022 at 5:55 AM, Quoth the raven, said:

A positive role model!  She's not gonna find that among the Starks.  It's gonna take more than a role model to change her mind.

Out of curiosity why do you think she didn't kill Sandor when he was injured after the fight with Polliver and The Tickler?  After all he was one of the first names on her list.

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14 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

Out of curiosity why do you think she didn't kill Sandor when he was injured after the fight with Polliver and The Tickler?  After all he was one of the first names on her list.

Because he regained consciousness, and she was shaken by having to look him in the eye and hear his last words. Otherwise I think she would have killed him.

Also she thought he was going to die anyway. He was close to death and fading fast.

Also (and I don't know how genuine this was to her, maybe not at all) - when the killing was suggested to her as a mercy, a kindness; she switched to the 'tougher' option. Honestly I don't think she had time to think this through - she was steeling herself to be strong and a wolf, but we don't see her wrestle through the moral issues, and we still don't. She must do, but the narrative hides this from us.

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On 6/20/2022 at 4:37 PM, James Arryn said:

To me the murder of Daeron was a crucial descent. It was straight up murder, wrong on every level; legal, moral, ethical, and political. No one with modern sensibilities should defend it. It would be straight up murder with worrying indications if an adult did it. The fact that it was a child is deeply, deeply disturbing and I scratch my head wondering at the number of people who rationalize it. 

No one reads these books with modern sensibilities in mind. If we did, we'd have to condemn all authority figures, including  the most benign, as irredeemable tyrants. Arya's killing of Dareon fits entirely with the setting's moral, ethical and political outlook. As for the legal point of view, don't make me laugh. Arya is only in her current position because so many powerfull people trampled over all the laws of the realm, both written and unwritten. If she now has taken the law in her own hands, she's still more devoted to upholding it than the majority of those who are actually supposed to uphold it. Not to mention that she's currently being trained to be an assassin - do they also uphold the law?

 

On 6/20/2022 at 4:37 PM, James Arryn said:

Snip a long exposition of irrelevant hypothetical scenarios and dubious equivocations.

And all of this won't change the fact that if Ned or Jon had executed Dareon (which they most certainly would) no one would consider it wrong, let alone question their sanity. The double standards involving Arya (and other female characters for that matter) are beyond aggravating.

Edited by GMantis
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On 6/17/2022 at 4:24 PM, Kalikrates said:

Arya is a very disturbing character who is very easy to hate. That explains why many book readers don’t like her. I never found myself liking Arya. Her fans try to rework the story but there is no excusing the murders of Dareon and the old man. They had done her no wrong. They were just in between Arya and what she wanted.  Killing people, who were not a threat, had done nothing wrong to her is bad. Arya’s sanity has been damaged. I get that. Insanity is an accepted reason to get out of capital punishment. It means she’s still crazy. 

In reality, Arya is consistently one of the most popular characters in the series (see for example the two surveys carried out in 2010 and 2015). And the reason for that are all her positive qualities, including (but not limited to) her bravery, determination, loyalty to her family and friends and her readiness to defend those weaker than her. The killing of Dareon is in fact one of the times when these characteristics come to the front: by killing the faithless Dareon who's abandoned both his duty to the Night's Watch and his companions, she asserts both her outlook about the importance of loyalty and her determination to uphold the values of her family. It's no wonder that she reasserts her identity after killing him and it's one of the best signs that she'll never become an assassin but will eventually return to the life of Arya Stark.

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On 9/26/2021 at 5:16 PM, Rondo said:

Arya Stark is on track to murder a lot of people who opposed her family.  She composed a list of her future knife targets.  She joins a cult of murderers in order to learn their work.  Part of the initiation into this gang involved the murder of an old, insurance vendor.  Which she carried out in cold blood.  She killed a Nightswatch bard named Dareon with her rapier.  Arya is on track to become insane, if she isn't already.  She suffers from a serious mental disorder and kills with little to no guilt.  

Arya and Lyanna are compared by Ned as having the same wolf's blood.  This temperament, being hypersensitive and having quick tempers made them biologically vulnerable to mental illness.  The trauma endured is the catalyst that drove Arya to her mental illness.  The teachings of a cult of people who worshiped the god of death and who delivers death without passion is as unhealthy an education as a person can get.  

Mr. Martin is crafting entertainment.  I have to admit, it would not interest me to read about a ten year old happy child playing with Lego blocks.  We already have that in Tommen.  Arya Stark is his extreme version of a crazed little girl who is suffering from mental illness and insanity.  Ofcourse she is not going to count the hairs on a mule's ass kind of insane.  No way.  That's comedy and not extreme enough.  I do not root for Arya Stark.  I am not a fan of Arya Stark.  But I will admit that I find her chapters a little more interesting now because of her madness.  You don't even get to watch a 10 year old this mentally ill on the television.  

I do not expect a change of character direction for Arya Stark.  She had a chance to pick a different way of living before killing the old insurance vendor.  She instead chose revenge.  Jon's last thoughts before dying was sending her a telepathic message to "stick em with the pointy end." He is telling her to murder Bowen Marsh and the leaders of the Nightswatch.  That can't be good.  She will murder a lot of people when she hears Jon's message and finds him dead.  Karma will come back and put an end to Arya but not until she has killed many.

Some of her future victims do deserve punishment.  Ramsay is without good and deserve punishment.  But there are those who were forced to play the game of power who do not deserve her wrath.  They were just on the opposite side of the playing field.  The ghost of HH saw a bloody future for Arya.  It's clear to me that there will be collateral damage and many innocents will die while Arya goes through with her murderous plan.  

How and who will stop Arya?  Somebody will.  

 

One person on her Hit List will fight back and send her soul to the wolf.  

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On 6/20/2022 at 6:37 AM, James Arryn said:

To me the murder of Daeron was a crucial descent. It was straight up murder, wrong on every level; legal, moral, ethical, and political. No one with modern sensibilities should defend it. It would be straight up murder with worrying indications if an adult did it. The fact that it was a child is deeply, deeply disturbing and I scratch my head wondering at the number of people who rationalize it. 

The people in-universe do not have the same luxury we do, to sit in comfy armchairs and preach about how unmodern it is, and how people think we should view it through a modern lens. I scratch my head wondering why people rationalize viewing it from a sterile, self righteous POV. 

For in-universe perspectives, any and all deserters from the NW are to be executed. From a political view in universe, no one will care, besides a few in the NW, about some uppity peasant's death in Braavos. From a moral standpoint, you'll need to recall that this is a medieval/early modern world (people obviously didn't run around amok murdering people, but that's not what Arya does. She carefully, and sparingly IMO kills who she feels deserves justice or that she absolutely has to kill in order to accomplish a goal  (i.e, escaping  Harrenhal) :Raff, Chiswyck, Dareon, the squire, the old insurance guy.) Right and wrong is going to be different, and there's no CSI to find a killer. 

I find it laughable that people try to view something that clearly cannot be viewed without condemnation of many elements, if viewed through a modern POV. I prolly screwed up phrasing it, but that's fine. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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On 6/23/2022 at 2:08 PM, Springwatch said:

we don't see her wrestle through the moral issues, and we still don't. She must do, but the narrative hides this from us.

This.  You can't be a psychopath or remorseless murderer of innocents if you spare someone out of some level of empathy and start to question your certainties. She also leaves him off her list at one point and when she realises it she wonders why and puts his name back on.  We don't get to see deep cognitive processes and reflection as she is after all still a young child but she's not a lost cause.  She's brutalised and traumatised but the core of her value system came from Ned and Catelyn and is still there.

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3 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

For in-universe perspectives, any and all deserters from the NW are to be executed. From a political view in universe, no one will care,

How about we take Ned Stark's perspective on this thing? What would he say if he heard all the details, the deeds of her daughter and the reasons behind it? What would her mother think? What would Jon Snow think, or Robb Stark? Anyone ever close to her? 

When Ned Stark talked to Bran about carrying out King Robert's justice, he said a man shouldn't find joy in it. Meanwhile Arya set herself and the purpose of her life to kill and avenge people.

Children of the age of 11 don't process things up the way adults, or elderly people do. They don't realise the weight of death because they are yet to fully understand it. Arya doesn't really understand what death is as of yet. 

Are we to trust the judgment of an 11 year old when we question adult's decisions all the time? I mean in the books.

She's a victim of the catastrophies happening around her. No proper adult or parent figure would tell her the way to deal with her problems is to make a death list. I do not question her responsibility in this, because she simply isn't at fault for what she's been a subject to and what she reflects back because of that, but saying this is totally right is just a lie.

And no, she isn't insane, but she's living a life of insanity and madness, which could very well lead in that direction, and I hope it won't. (It won't)

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18 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

How about we take Ned Stark's perspective on this thing? What would he say if he heard all the details, the deeds of her daughter and the reasons behind it? What would her mother think? What would Jon Snow think, or Robb Stark? Anyone ever close to her? 

As a loving father Ned Stark would take into account everything that's befallen Arya and while he wouldn't approve of the way she killed Dareon, he would understand her motivation, especially since he himself would undoubtedly have executed Dareon. Her mother would be horrified, but more of the danger that Arya ran in killing Dareon, while understanding why Arya would want to kill people. Jon Snow would certainly not criticize Arya - he lover her too much for that, plus he would wholeheartedly agree with her that Dareon deserved to die and would understand that when killing him, she was trying to act like a Stark - a motivation he would be wholly sympathetic to. Robb Stark would likely disapprove, but then that doesn't say much - he was not particularly close to Arya and had a far more rigid view of the role of women than Jon, so much of his outlook would be colored  by prejudice.

18 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

When Ned Stark talked to Bran about carrying out King Robert's justice, he said a man shouldn't find joy in it. Meanwhile Arya set herself and the purpose of her life to kill and avenge people.

This is not even close to being true. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family. Creating a list of people she wished to kill was a way to deal with her trauma rather than something she actively pursued.

Edited by GMantis
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1 hour ago, GMantis said:

 

This is not even close to being true. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family. Creating a list of people she wished to kill was a way to deal with her trauma rather than something she actively pursued.

You can thank Yoren for putting that idea in her head.

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7 minutes ago, GMantis said:

I don't see the connection. Yoren was dead when she created her list.

Shoot; I must be confusing the show and the books because Yoren suggests the list to her there.

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5 hours ago, GMantis said:

As a loving father Ned Stark would take into account everything that's befallen Arya and while he wouldn't approve of the way she killed Dareon, he would understand her motivation, especially since he himself would undoubtedly have executed Dareon. Her mother would be horrified, but more of the danger that Arya ran in killing Dareon, while understanding why Arya would want to kill people. Jon Snow would certainly not criticize Arya - he lover her too much for that, plus he would wholeheartedly agree with her that Dareon deserved to die and would understand that when killing him, she was trying to act like a Stark - a motivation he would be wholly sympathetic to. Robb Stark would likely disapprove, but then that doesn't say much - he was not particularly close to Arya and had a far more rigid view of the role of women than Jon, so much of his outlook would be colored  by prejudice.

This is not even close to being true. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family. Creating a list of people she wished to kill was a way to deal with her trauma rather than something she actively pursued.

I think her family would be horrified that she is killing people, by choice, at the age of 11.  They would probably understand and accept her actions in Westeros, as they were a matter of necessity.  But Dareon was a murder she carefully planned and carried out purely by choice.  He was a threat to no one.  That is not normal behavior for an 11 year old and I think even Jon would be bothered.  He would likely be pleased that Dareon was dead, but not that Arya had done it.

Fortunately, Dareon is her worst act, and an understandable one.  He was a deserter, a capital offense where she's from, and had betrayed Sam, who she liked, and her brother Jon.  She still has a moral compass, albeit a bit wobbly, and I have hope for her.

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On 9/26/2021 at 11:16 PM, Rondo said:

Arya Stark is on track to murder a lot of people who opposed her family.  She composed a list of her future knife targets.  She joins a cult of murderers in order to learn their work.  Part of the initiation into this gang involved the murder of an old, insurance vendor.  Which she carried out in cold blood.  She killed a Nightswatch bard named Dareon with her rapier.  Arya is on track to become insane, if she isn't already.  She suffers from a serious mental disorder and kills with little to no guilt.  

Since when does murder have anything to do with insanity. She's a type of person most commonly referred as a psychopath. She does not feel remorse or guilt. The most worry she has is "what would my mother think".

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7 hours ago, GMantis said:

This is not even close to being true. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family. Creating a list of people she wished to kill was a way to deal with her trauma rather than something she actively pursued.

I think you just simply said the truth here. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family, and the list was a way of dealing with her trauma. But that's not the case anymore, she stayed and is staying at the HOBAW because that's what she wants to, altough she could've returned to her family already.

7 hours ago, GMantis said:

As a loving father Ned Stark would take into account everything that's befallen Arya and while he wouldn't approve of the way she killed Dareon, he would understand her motivation, especially since he himself would undoubtedly have executed Dareon. Her mother would be horrified, but more of the danger that Arya ran in killing Dareon, while understanding why Arya would want to kill people. Jon Snow would certainly not criticize Arya - he lover her too much for that, plus he would wholeheartedly agree with her that Dareon deserved to die and would understand that when killing him, she was trying to act like a Stark - a motivation he would be wholly sympathetic to. Robb Stark would likely disapprove, but then that doesn't say much - he was not particularly close to Arya and had a far more rigid view of the role of women than Jon, so much of his outlook would be colored  by prejudice.

Half of this is wrong, the other half doesn't make sense. 

I began writing down examples to draw a similarity between them, but I realised how gross it is that I have to go into such details. It's insane, actually. But to say something that's actually an argument, I think you have a one-dimensional understanding of what good parenting is, based on your comment. And it's just funny how you think her family would be fine with this, when even Arya herself used to think how bad would her mother think of her if she knew the things she did.

Let's agree to disagree tho, I have no interest in having this conversation, it just makes my head hurt.

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38 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I think you just simply said the truth here. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family, and the list was a way of dealing with her trauma. But that's not the case anymore, she stayed and is staying at the HOBAW because that's what she wants to, altough she could've returned to her family already.

Talk about being wrong! Arya can't return to her family. She only has Jon left and no one is travelling to the Wall any longer. She has no choice but to stay with the Faceless Men.

38 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Half of this is wrong, the other half doesn't make sense. 

I began writing down examples to draw a similarity between them, but I realised how gross it is that I have to go into such details. It's insane, actually. But to say something that's actually an argument, I think you have a one-dimensional understanding of what good parenting is, based on your comment. And it's just funny how you think her family would be fine with this, when even Arya herself used to think how bad would her mother think of her if she knew the things she did.

Let's agree to disagree tho, I have no interest in having this conversation, it just makes my head hurt.

Arya also thought her mother wouldn't want her back because she was dirty and her hair was not brushed, so it's clear that her understanding of what her mother thought of her is somewhat inaccurate, to say the least. The Catelyn Stark that dreamed of strangling Cersei and advised to Robb to torture Theon to death is not going to condemn her daughter of wanting people to kill people. As for her father, his understanding of good parenting means that he won't be willing Arya too harshly for what he himself would do without hesitation, which is part of the traditions and culture of their people and when considering what Arya has went through. Again, like most critics of Arya's actions, you're judging her by modern standards, when you'd never dream of doing so for other characters.

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56 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I think you just simply said the truth here. Arya's purpose in life was to return to her family, and the list was a way of dealing with her trauma. But that's not the case anymore, she stayed and is staying at the HOBAW because that's what she wants to, altough she could've returned to her family already.

Half of this is wrong, the other half doesn't make sense. 

I began writing down examples to draw a similarity between them, but I realised how gross it is that I have to go into such details. It's insane, actually. But to say something that's actually an argument, I think you have a one-dimensional understanding of what good parenting is, based on your comment. And it's just funny how you think her family would be fine with this, when even Arya herself used to think how bad would her mother think of her if she knew the things she did.

Let's agree to disagree tho, I have no interest in having this conversation, it just makes my head hurt.

She can't return to her family.  They're gone!  The only reason she took passage to Braavos was because she had run out of options.  And at this point she feels she has no other realistic options than staying with the Faceless Men.  If Sam had been headed for the Wall, she would have joined him in an instant.  But he wasn't.

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