A cloud of ravens was pouring from the cave, and he saw a little girl with torch in hand, darting this way and that. For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya… madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle. Tears filled [his] eyes and froze there.

The Stark Kids and the Crypt at Winterfell

The crypts at Winterfell are very significant in my opinion. They hold the “dead kings of winter” and their swords, various late Starks, and great history. It is both associated with death (the fallen members of House Stark) and the pride and past of the Starks. Ned talks about walking them as he had “a thousand times before” in AGoT. The place is treated as almost as sacred as the godswood in many ways.

In fact, Catelyn more or less associates the crypts with where the Starks draw power:

Let the kings of winter have their cold crypt under the earth, Catelyn thought. The Tullys drew their strength from the river, and it was to the river they returned when their lives had run their course. Catelyn, ASoS

And Ned remarks that it is the place of the Starks:

“Ah, damn it, Ned, did you have to bury [Lyanna] in a place like [the crypt]?” His voice was hoarse with remembered grief. “She deserved more than darkness…”

“She was a Stark of Winterfell,” Ned said quietly. “This is her place.” Robert with Ned, AGoT

A lot of important visions, moments, and the like revolve around the crypt. Now, I’ve seen this interpreted in multiple ways (I know at least some people theorize that there is something of great value, like Lightbringer, hidden underneath them,) but I’m not going to address that type of speculation here. I just want to talk about the kids (including Jon) and their connections to it. Moreover, what the crypt seem to represent.

(Note: for instances of multiple Stark kids, I’m just going by the POV as it makes it simpler except obviously in cases of Rickon/Robb.)

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I decided to create this topic to discuss if it is possible to redeem Arya (if yes then how?).

I, for example, think that if she meets a strong and honourable man who will love her (maybe even Gendry), then that man can make her stop being a serial killer (even forcibly if needs be), and save her.

what isn’t wrong with this?!

I am literally in shock at how repulsive, stupid, and utterly infuriating this is.

For starters, let it be known that all a traumatized, orphaned, abused, PTSD-suffering young girl needs is a “strong and honorable man who will love her… [to] save her”. All we need is men to save us from ourselves, amirite ladies?! “Forcibly if need be”, because that’s what abuse victim, former slave, and perpetually-without-agency Arya also needs, not just a man to set her straight, but a man willing to force her to do as he wants.

Great message, thanks a lot for that one.

Second, do you not understand the concept of “redemption” or “serial killer”? 

Serial killer:

A person who murders 3+ people over a period of > 30 days, with a n inactive period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification. x

From the time period (over the course of 2+ years, she’s killed 7 plus the people she fought Lorch’s men, which we don’t have a number on as Arya’s fighting for her life) to the reasoning (“psychological gratification”? there’s nothing gratified about Arya’s dreams and shame over the deaths, not to mention most every one are life or death,) this is just absurd. Not to mention that the term “serial killer” can’t possibly be applied in this fantasy world. Ned’s a serial killer then, so is Jaime, Robert, Robb, countless individuals. This is a series where death is often used as justice and it’s a freaking warzone everywhere.

And redeem Arya? Redeem Arya?! From what? Killing in self-defense/for her life and also killing a couple of the worst scum of the series.God, please save us from the evil killer of such great folks like Raff the rapist Sweetling or sadistic I-get-off-on-your-pain torturer the Tickler or nasty deserter who forfeited his life by law and would have been killed by Ned/Jon had they had the ability to Dareon. You’re right, these are the guys who need the defense; their lives deserve it.

Arya needs a man to see the error of her ways, for sure. Like lol wasn’t that Raff such a great guy, how could she want to kill him? Sure he killed kids, raped girls, and laughed at people’s pain, but like he’s the real victim here, don’t forget.

Forget the more innocent people who’ve been killed, attempted to be killed or are just desired to be killed by characters such as Catelyn, Jaime, Tyrion, Cersei, Brienne, Ned, Jon, Dany, and so on. When they do it, it’s not really killing- even if the people dead by their hands aren’t depicted as the irredeemable abusive trash that Arya takes on- they have their reasons. With Arya, she’s just a psychopathic irredeemable serial killer. 

Arya is the one in need of redemption, obviously, how dare she possibly want to kill rapists, torturers, and/or sadistic murderers who delight in hurting people after being the victim of countless incidents of abuse, trauma, pain, suffering, and the like for years.

"Why don’t you just kill me like you did Mycah?" Arya had screamed at him. She was still defiant then, more angry than scared.

He answered by grabbing the front of her tunic and yanking her within an inch of his burned face. “The next time you say that name I’ll beat you so bad you’ll wish I killed you.”


At the top she found a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In the center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.
—  Arya Stark, A Feast For Crows

anonymous said:

Hi, when Bran is trying to find a name for his direwolf he reffer at Nymeria (the queen that inspirate Arya) as a "stupid witch queen" or something. Is there any evidence that she was a witch or it was just a random thing to say?

You know, I discussed this briefly way back when my blog was just getting started out. Here’s the quote:

Arya named hers after some old witch queen in the songs… Bran, AGoT

Now, there are several possibilities to explain this. One is the simple explanation that GRRM had some early installment weirdness going on and hadn’t completely fleshed out Queen Nymeria’s story. Assuming that this is not the case, there are a couple of compelling possibilities:

  1. Queen Nymeria had some (as of yet unknown to the readers) magical/witch-like qualities. GRRM intends to shed more light on that later and just hasn’t, or didn’t find it necessary for us to know more than she was thought magical.
  2. Sexism. A lot of women in power, especially when you leave places that have women there like Dorne, in the ASoIaF world face incredulity, disbelief, and horror at the idea that a woman can command men. Sorcery or magical properties are justifications. No, a woman can’t command and rule men, are you crazy?, it’s just she wasn’t an ordinary woman, she was magic!@!! Duh. It’s more acceptable that a sorceress could enthrall men into her command or even just the fact that she’s not human. You see this a lot in history. (There’s some fascinating Ancient Japanese history about ruler pairs where the man was an ordinary man while the woman was always magical/divine I could tell you…)
  3. Bran just doesn’t know the story of Queen Nymeria. “Some old witch queen in the songs” doesn’t imply that it’s a story he remembers well. This is probably just an indication of the different types of stories each Stark kid is interested in. All of the Stark children have appreciation for stories/songs, Bran likes the monster/fighting ones, Arya likes ones with famous female heroines and adventures, Sansa likes romance and true love, Jon likes battle/conquerors stories, ect. While Nymeria’s tale is exciting, it’s less like the ones that Bran cares so much about and fits the profile of the ones that Arya loves well. It could just be adding onto their characters here. I’ve already spoke about how Nymeria’s storyline/name has meaning for Arya’s storyline but also all the direwolf names have significance and are telling of the kids. This could just be a moment of establishing (as this is page 55 of the series) the characterizations of Arya and Bran.
  4. Nymeria was from Essos, involved with the Valyrian dragonlords (well, she was fighting and then running from them.) A lot of Westerosi characters, in particular Bran, seem to look at Essos as some magical place. When Maester Luwin tries to convince Bran that magic doesn’t exist in ACoK, Bran says, “And there are mages and warlocks in the east…” This implies that stories of Essos and magic are interrelated in Bran’s mind. Maybe the idea of a foreign figure (from this supposed magical place) who did great things would just naturally be assumed a “witch” for Bran.

These are all possibilities, though I think 1 is less likely than the others. In fact, multiple could be at play here (like 2-4 all could be true and applicable.)

If I had to guess, I would say it’s that, a combination of possibilities 3 and 4 with a dash of 2. Bran doesn’t know the story well but associates the east with magic and maybe the sexism of the society just supports that. 

As to whether there are any real indications that Queen Nymeria had magical properties, not really. We don’t know that much about her really, at least not enough to say conclusively whether or not she had magical abilities or this was just a throwaway line. 

Keep in mind that the information we have on Queen Nymeria (through the text and GRRM) isn’t conclusive or consistent.

Arya had named her after the warrior queen of the Rhoyne, who had led her people across the narrow sea. Arya, AGoT

Forget Bran claiming she’s a witch, Arya (who should be a reliable source for the reader since she’s a huge fan of her stories) claims she’s a warrior. But then GRRM says this:

Nymeria was a war leader but not a warrior — that is, a commander rather than a combatent. [source, 2001]

So if you’re confused, I can hardly blame you. 

I think Queen Nymeria was a work in progress for GRRM during AGoT. Her initial conception (probably because it had something to do with reflecting Arya and her future at the time, I think GRRM considered making Arya more of a warrior at the start of the series and has kind of changed since) was that she was a warrior and maybe a witch queen. At this point, she seems to be neither- just a super smart, badass leader of thousands who commanded but didn’t fight herself (i.e. perhaps has battle tactics rather than battle skills.)

From what I gathered, Queen Nymeria was not magical at all. She was just a strong, determined, incredible leader with maybe some warrior tendencies and likely some superb battle tactics skills.  

Edit: (thanks to saeratargaryen for the tip) There is also the possibility that Bran associates Nymeria with the fabled Rhoynish water wizards:

Art and music flourished in the cities of the Rhoyne, and it is said their people had their own magic—a water magic very different from the sorceries of Valyria, which were woven of blood and fire…

When Rhoynish water wizards called up the power of the river and flooded Volon Therys. Half the city was washed away if the tales can be believed…

 So long as the army remained beside Mother Rhoyne, the prince declared, they need not fear the dragons of Valyria; their own water wizards would protect them against the fires of the Freehold…

Thousands burned, but thousands more sheltered in the shallows of the river, whilst their wizards raised enormous waterspouts against the foe’s dragons.

and most importantly given she’s Princess Nymeria at this time:

It was said the Mother Rhoyne herself whispered to her children of every threat, that the Rhoynar princes wielded strange, uncanny powers… [source]

Of course, considering Nymeria didn’t believe they could win against the dragonlords, it doesn’t sound like she had that much faith in the water wizards. It doesn’t seem that she was one of them. Maybe she was thought to have (or did have) the powers the princes had. Interesting in that they are water powers, which goes well with the ice motif of the Starks.

AU Drabble
Brandon the Builder II and the Mistress of Whisperers

The boy who was once called Bran the Broken eventually became known as Brandon the Builder the Second. What he did wasn’t easy when he emerged from Beyond the Wall after the Long Night and rebuilt not just Winterfell, but the entire North brick by brick, stone by stone. Cruelly ravaged by the invasion of the Others more than any other part of Westeros, the North was also fighting starvation and a greyscale outbreak by the time the sun rose again. Some whispered of the strange powers he had, and spoke of how he learned dark arts Beyond the Wall. If the young king was troubled by these rumours, he did not show it.

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yeah way to go hbo, let’s finish these stupid books faster, so that we can move on to the core of d&d fanfiction (x)

it’s not like living inside the house of black and white actually changes your life no no