My emotions during the first few Arya chapters in A Storm of Sword: Part 2.

First, Sandor Clegane has captured her and she can’t seem to get away and she’s not very well and he’s frightening her:


Then, he’s taking her back to Riverrun for the money and she’s going to be with her Mother again!


Then, he starts taking her to the Freys and it just feels bad because everything about the Freys does…






And then he hits her in the head with an axe and the chapter stops and we don’t know what the fuck has happened:



two sides of the same tully-born coin: sansa and arya as cat and uncat

WARNING: Contains some pretty major spoilers.

A day ago when I asked for something to write Arya meta about I received a flawless anon suggesting this one and I have quite literally been thinking about it ever since. I’ve examined Sansa/Arya parallels before, but now we’re adding a third layer to the mix: their lady mother. 

Let’s begin with the parallels between Sansa and living, breathing, lady-love-of-my-heart Cat. I’ve said before and I will continue to say that, contrary to popular belief, Arya is almost as if not equally like Cat as Sansa is. However, for the purpose of this meta, I’m going to focus more on the actual story progressions of the Stark ladies, rather than the personality traits that all three ladies have in common.

There have always been similarities between Cat and Sansa, both in the minds of characters and of the fandom. They look very much alike, they’re both “proper ladies”, they both move away from home to be married, etc. In the minds of Littlefinger and Lysa, it’s even to the point where mother and daughter are basically the same person.

Beyond the most basic similarities, however, one can examine the character arcs of Cat and Sansa following the execution of Ned. Both of them experience a monumental, entirely life-changing loss beyond simply losing a loved one. Cat describes Ned as the “rock her life was built on”, and indeed, for most of her life he has been her constant. Even before his death, his imprisonment changed everything. Her son undertook the massive responsibility of freeing Ned through warfare, which, although it arguably did not make Robb a “man”, certainly aged him. Cat’s life is turned upside-down with her husband’s execution; the prospect of simply returning home with all of her children intact suddenly becomes a distant hope rather than a realistic possibility. She is suddenly transient, nearly constantly traveling with Robb. Everything that was a part of her day-to-day-life is snatched away from her by the war. In Sansa’s case, her father’s execution by Joffrey, who was supposed to be her golden prince, ends her childhood and strips away her naiveté. She no longer has the life she lived in Winterfell or the life she dreamed for herself; she is a prisoner, a victim of constant abuse, and is unable to trust anyone but herself.

These earth-shattering changes in the lives of Sansa and Cat slowly turn them both harder and colder. Cat says that her heart is “turning to stone” and Sansa’s thought process after Joffrey’s wedding is reminiscent of that sentiment, with the “porcelain, ivory, steel” idea. Both women are incapable of giving into whatever grief they experience, for if they do they know they will be crushed by it. Both of them have their parts to play: Cat must appear unendingly strong, and Sansa must be whatever she needs to be to stay alive. Both of their stories reach a type of end point with a sort of death: Cat, of course, is kind-of-killed at the Red Wedding, and when Sansa leaves and becomes Alayne Stone, she constantly reminds herself that Sansa Stark, the child, the heir to Winterfell- is dead. (At least for now.)

Now on to Cat and Arya. Arya, like Cat, is mostly transient following AGoT. Both of them are motivated by the desire to reunite with their family; Cat constantly begs Robb to stop the war, sends Jaime after her daughters, etc. Arya, of course, is constantly working towards reaching Riverrun, and later the Twins, in order to be with her mother and brother again. Their paths violently converge at the Red Wedding, at which point their stories begin running an even more parallel course.

Right after the chapters in which the Red Wedding is actually occurring, a lot of people believed both Arya and Cat to be dead. This made sense, of course, considering Cat had her throat slit (ugh) and for a moment it seemed as if Sandor Clegane split Arya’s head open with an axe. Before the end of the book, however, we find out that they are both alive in the traditional sense- hearts still beating, brains still functioning. Nevertheless, both of them have suffered a death of sorts. Obviously Lady Stoneheart is not the Catelyn Tully Stark that we knew, and following the RW Arya decides to complete shed her former identity and set off to create a new life elsewhere. Arya Stark of Winterfell is, in a sense, dead- the same way that Sansa Stark is dead. Furthermore, both Cat and Arya experience an interim period between their “death” and their “rebirth”. Cat is legitimately dead for days before Beric Dondarrion revives her. Arya is unconscious for a long time and continues to wander before the point at which I think she truly becomes her new self- when she shows Jaqen’s iron coin to the ship captain and says valar morghulis.

Following their respective rebirths, both Cat (now Stoneheart) and Arya have become ruthless. They still retain a sense of justice from their old lives and they still carry the memory of their family with them. Stoneheart kills anyone associated with the people who destroyed her family, and Arya still kills people who break the laws she was raised by (see: Dareon, whom she killed partly due to his desertion of the Watch.) Neither of them kill out of a specific grudge against their victims, but rather due to some higher calling. Stoneheart’s mission is to kill all Freys, Lannisters, and Ironmen, regardless of their age or innocence in the murder (or in the case of Bran and Rickon, purported murder) of her children. Arya kills on orders from the Faceless Men, without any personal interest or bias. Finally, both Arya and her mother are now part of some greater guild, both with members who are connected to an earlier time in their lives. Cat leads the Brotherhood without Banners, to which Harwin, a former Winterfell guardsmen, belongs. Arya begins training in the House of Black and White, a league of which Jaqen, who had helped her previously, was a member.

My hopes for the endings of all of these women are a convergence between all four sides: Cat, Uncat, Sansa, and Arya. My hope is that Sansa and Arya will eventually regain their identities, and I desperately hope Stoneheart- though she is in many respects a zombie- will regain some of her humanity and live long enough to see at least one of her children again. If all three do so, then once again we will have Catelyn Stark, and then Sansa Stark and Arya Stark- who, as always, are two sides of the strong, wonderful coin that is their mother. 

Sansa and the game of thrones

Earlier today I received a message telling me that Sansa would never be a queen so here I am refuting that.

Excuse me, but why is most of the fandom still stuck on the Sansa we met in AGoT? Did you read the rest of the books? Or even the end of the first one? Seriously, the moment that Sansa’s father died in front of her I believe that the naive girl- or rather, innocent girl- was nearly extinguished completely. In that horrible moment, the true nature of the world and of King’s Landing, of the court she had so long dreamed of, was revealed to her. Undoubtedly, Sansa still wanted to believe that her fancies of gallant knights and golden princes were still real and possible, but in her heart of hearts I think she saw that the beautiful façade of court life only hid the true, hideous nature of politics- of the game of thrones.

And we see this new Sansa basically immediately. God, do you know how much courage it took to live what Sansa Stark lived through? Constant humiliation, physical and verbal abuse, the loss of her entire family? She is incredibly brave. Remember “or maybe he’ll bring me yours”? I gush about that line constantly and no one understands exactly why. Sure, it’s a badass line, but why is it significant?

Jeez, I can scarcely put it to words. In my mind, this is when Sansa began turning to “steel”. This is Sansa, very suddenly not the little girl who dreams of being a real southern lady but instead someone who is remembering with all clarity who she is and where she comes from. This is Sansa, of House Stark. Sansa in this moment is an incarnation of the north, remembering. And that’s why I love this scene so much despite how very heartbreaking it is. Sansa’s threat is very simple; it’s not an exclamation or a hysterical warning or a furious curse. It is a quiet, simple challenge that is somehow a thousand times more menacing than anything she could have screamed. Joffrey is all despicable cruelty and malice; Sansa’s reply is nothing more than a quiet alternative to the gory end to her family that he suggests. She is all subtlety, à la Tyrion Lannister. And what skill is more valuable in the game of thrones than such deadly subtlety? 

And Sansa keeps this up. After all she experiences, she learns to choose who to trust very carefully and, perhaps even more importantly, when to keep her mouth shut. She literally prays for Joffrey’s death every day, but whenever she is asked how she feels about him she tells a very convincing, well-rehearsed lie to the contrary, always insisting that “she loves him with all her heart”. Every day she spends in King’s Landing as no more than a well-fed prisoner is a lesson. And this education only continues when she escapes to the Eyrie. First of all, she’s learning from the master of all masters: Littlefinger. She’s learning that patience is required before striking back (as in the brewing plan to take back Winterfell) and how to use words to win over the favor of those who hold power (Robert Arryn). 

So, in my opinion, Sansa is growing incredibly adept at playing the game of thrones. But ultimately, the thing that will make her a great ruler after using the aforementioned skills to win her throne is her good heart. Her political smarts combined with her ultimate kindness will make her a wise and well-beloved queen. And she deserves it.

Winterfell belongs to her by rights, and I shall not be swayed from this point of view.

if you think about it the stark words are just fucking bizarre

all the other houses have mottos that pertain to their values or make them seem impressive or something alone those lines- “growing strong”, “hear me roar”, “family duty honor”, etc.

and then there’s just house stark


1.) Growing Pains//La Roux [And I’m crying out for change; you say it’s growing pains]

2.) Piece of Me//Britney Spears [Guess I can’t see the harm in working and being a mama] 

3.) Fight Song//The Republic Tigers [Evacuate now, cause this storm’s out for blood; build a shelter for your kind and protect the ones you love

4.) Commissioning a Symphony in C//Cake [With money you squeezed from the peasants, to your nephew you can give it as a present

5.) Fly//Nicki Minaj [They start coming, and I start rising, must be surprising, I’m just surmising; I win, thrive, soar, higher, higher, higher…

6.) Life on the Nickel//Foster the People [You got to push, got to shove; I’ve got to eat before they eat me

7.) Three Wishes//The Pierces [We’d be so less fragile if we’re made from metal, and our hearts from iron, and our heads from steel

8.) I Wonder//Kanye West [And I wonder if you know what it means, to find your dreams come true

9.) Spiralling//Keane [Cause now I only see my dreams in everything I touch, feel their cold hands on everything that I love; cold like some magnificent skyline, out of my reach but always in my eye line now

10.) It’s Working//MGMT [But if I try to feel at all, I am deceived

11.) A Rush of Blood to the Head//Coldplay [He said I’m gonna buy a gun and start a war, if you can tell me something worth fighting for]

I’m sorry I’m obsessed with her okay

(well not really)

But seriously why do people think that Cersei is just a power-hungry monster? She only plays the game of thrones because she must; it’s not as if she’s a Littlefinger-type, who plays the game solely for the enjoyment of doing so. She doesn’t think she’s all clever and whatnot. She knows she’s not the best player in the game. Why do you think she’s constantly paranoid? Because she knows there are those who might outwit her. She was forced to play the moment she married the king, because what else would she do? Sit back and be passive and let the men around her control her? NO. She is a lioness and that was not in her nature