Rhaenys was the youngest child
of the 3 Dragons that conquered Westeros and second daughter of Aerion
Aegon had a deep love and
affection for Rhaenys and was far more detached with Visenya. So the fact that
Jon feels deeply for Arya is an advantage that we can’t ignore.
Rhaenys’ personality is
described as: Playful, curious,
IMPULSIVE, and given to flights of fancy.
These are descriptions that
would describe Arya. There are many moments in the books where Arya’s wolf-blood
is on display: her impulsive and curious nature has her exploring new
things, meeting new people and doing what she wants. Whereas, Sansa is sterner, reserved, follows
the rules and minds her courtesies. It seems like she will grow to be even colder
and sterner as the story unfolds. Nothing
*Dancing: Arya is a water
dancer, just like her needlework, she does it a different way. Arya’s water
dancing is like ballet. She is completely enthralled by this style of
sword-fighting. Rhaeyns was a fan of Poetry and she also “supported many a
singer, mummer, and puppeters.” Arya
is literally working her mummer skills, living and working amongst them, and
absolutely loves it. An interesting note: Arya remembers fondly learning
the speeches in “The Conqueror’s Two Wives” (about Aegon & his sister wives). As
Mercy, she enjoyed working in the plays and memorised other actors’ lines for
no reason other than her enjoyment.
Arya has the strongest
connection to wolves and still has her direwolf and is deeply connected to golden-eyed
Nymeria. Arya is a warg and a skin-changer. There are credible cases to be made
that Arya could one day ride a dragon herself, skin-changing one or with the
help of Bran.
Out of the 3 Dragon conquerors,
Rhaeyns was the most connected to her dragon.
Rhaenys and her
Dragon Meraxes: “It was said that Rhaenys spent more time on dragonback than
her brother and sister combined, for above all things she loved to fly.”
not only has a connection with actual Dragons and calls them “old friends”,
but she also wants to grow wings and
fly. Arya says wants to see a “dragon”. GRRM uses dragon imagery in
Arya’s chapters. She dreams of seeing a Dragon while remembering Old Nan’s
tales, which happen to be the truest foretelling of things to come.
interesting: GRRM includes an image of Arya gazing at Blarion the Black Dread,
which just so happens to be Aegon the Conquer’s dragon. The only other major
characters that are alive in the asoiaf that are also depicted in GRRM’s book
TWoI&F were Jon & Dany.
ARYA & RHAEYNS BOTH WANT TO TRAVEL WEST OF WESTEROS
not only is Rhaeyns the most connected to her dragon and spends the most time
on dragonback, she also said she wanted
to fly on her golden-eyed Meraxes and cross the Sunset sea and discover what is
West of Westeros. *squealing*
Rhaeyns is also an adventurer at heart, brave and independent.
Arya (like her heroine Nymeria)
will never be a battlefield warrior like Visenya. Nymeria was a commander and
leader of her people. This is similar to Rhaenys, who was more a strategist than a combat warrior. Rhaeyns
also has a vengeful side as we saw with her attack on Storm’s End,
wrought vengeance upon the attackers of Orys, robbed them of familiar territory
to use in the future, and struck a healthy dose of fear into the stormlords,
who warned King Argilac of the dragon and her rider.”
When Rhaeyns tried to take
Dorne, going on her own the first time, shows how much trust Aegon put in her,
and how powerful she was with Meraxes. Rhaenys was fearsome as she threatens
Dorne with bloody retribution, Rhaenys replied, “but we will come again, princess, and the next time
we shall come with fire and blood.”
*SPYING: Arya’s talents in this area are well documented
with her training in the HoBW. She also demonstrates early signs of being an
excellent spy BEFORE arriving to Braavos. When she was a prisoner in Harrenhal
reading Roose’s letters or climbing a huge tree at the God’s Eye lake to scout miles
ahead for help. Rhaenys also used this ability, “Spying from dragonback, Rhaenys
could report the movements of the Storm King’s host without Argilac himself
having any way to counter her scouting (as he might have with traditional
Rhaenys focused on building
allegiances and paid particular attention to the smallfolk (A common trait shared with Queen Alysanne Targaryen) and
a strong link with the Stark child most linked with the smallfolk. Even before
everything went to hell, a highborn Arya at Winterfell valued people for who
they were, she was curious to listen to their stories and learn about their
lives, and saw no class and just saw them as human beings. Arya has a natural
charm, friendly and connects with people instantly:
“Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya
liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children,
rough-spoken freeriders of uncertain birth. Arya would make friends
everything Arya went through in the Riverlands, being a prisoner at Harrenhal,
with the Hound and the BwB and her training with the FM… The Arya we knew in
Winterfell is still under there, charming as ever and a magnet for the
Cat had made friends along
the wharves; porters and mummers, ropemakers and sailmenders,
taverners, Brewers and bakers and beggars and whores. (Cat of the Canals, A Feast for Crows)
[Merry’s] girls were nice as well; Blushing
Bethany and the Sailor’s Wife, one-eyed Yna who could tell your fortune from a
drop of blood, pretty little Lanna, even Assadora, the Ibbenese woman with the
mustache. They might not be beautiful, but they were kind to her. (Cat of the Canals, A Feast for Crows)
Arya even risks her own life to save a 3 year
old lowborn orphan girl from burning alive in the flames. Before this moment,
she ran into this battle screaming, “Winterfell! Winterfell! Winterfell!”
Arya’s treatment and regard for Northmen are well pointed out in the books. She prays for their release while in the Godswood at Harrenhal. She calls them her pack. Her people.
Aegon loved Rhaeyns the most,
their closeness being the reason he married her, despite already having Visenya.
He openly makes his affection for Rhaeyns obvious.
Aegon was more distant with Visenya and treated his marriage with her as one of
Jon & Aegon Receive Important Letters
Rhaeyns goes to Dorne to put
down another rebellion when Meraxes is killed and Rhaeyns is never seen again.
Her body is never returned to King’s Landing. There are many theories on how
she died. Dorne later send Rhaeyns’ dragon’s skull to her husband King Aegon as a
cruel taunt. But Dorne also wanted peace and Aegon received a letter:
King Aegon was
determined to refuse the offer until Princess Deria placed in his hands a private letter from her father,
Prince Nymor. Aegon read it upon the Iron Throne, and men say that when he rose, his hand was bleeding, so hard had he
clenched it. He burned the letter and departed
immediately on Balerion’s back for Dragonstone. When he returned the next
morning, it was done. He had agreed to
the peace and signed a treaty to that effect. (“Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons”, The
World of Ice and Fire)
commonly believed that what was said in that the letter revealed Rhaeyns was
currently captive and being tortured in the most horrible ways by the Ullers - a sadistic House full of rage over Rhaeyns’s first visit to Dorne and all the burning her dragon did. The letter asked for peace between 2 sovereign Kingdoms, and in return Dorne would give
Rhaeyns mercy and end her suffering. We see the actions of Aegon, who
bleeds first, fists clenched so tightly, and acts immediately and accepts peace. Weakening his own position and risking
rebellion among other powerful Houses. He never thought twice. He gave Dorne
the peace they asked for.
faces a similar dilemma in Dance, when his beloved sister is held
captive and married off to a monster and sinister family - House Bolton. (much like the Ullers) Jon looks physically sick after reading the first letter with Arya’s marriage
proposal. Jon wants to choke Ramsay to death with his own bare hands. Jon then
breaks his NW vows and sends a King to rescue his sister. Notice his reaction
once he received yet another Letter and learns the rescue had failed: “Snow?”
said Tormund Giantsbane. “You look like your father’s bloody head just rolled
out o’ that paper.”
Jon gathers Northmen to march
to War in Arya Stark’s name. I love the fact that Flints are among the Northmen
marching. Arya is named after Arya Flint, Ned’s grandmother. The Flints were former
Kings of Winter and have the blood
of the First Men. Arya’s name literally means “Nobility”.
Jon has broken several vows,
too many for some brothers in black and they kill him for it.
Jon dies thinking about his
lost sister. Stick ‘em with the pointy
JON & ARYA STARK’S NIGHTMARE ABOUT WINTERFELL & KING’S LANDING
There is an interesting parrallel that both characters share in the bad dreams they have and where they lead.
Arya was chasing Blarion the Black cat and she gets lost and finds the hidden room below the Red Keep filled with dead dragons.
When they had first come to King’s Landing, she used to have bad dreams about getting lost in the castle. Father said the Red Keep was smaller than Winterfell, but in her dreams it had been immense, an endless stone maze with walls that seemed to shift and change behind her. She would find herself wandering down gloomy halls past faded tapestries, descending endless circular stairs, darting through courtyards or over bridges, her shouts echoing unanswered. In some of the rooms the red stone walls would seem to drip blood, and nowhere could she find a window. Sometimes she would hear her father’s voice, but always from a long way off, and no matter how hard she ran after it, it would grow fainter and fainter, until it faded to nothing and Arya was alone in the dark.
It was very dark right now, she realized. She hugged her bare knees tight against her chest and shivered. She would wait quietly and count to ten thousand. By then it would be safe for her to come creeping back out and find her way home.- Arya Stark, AGoT
As Arya escapes through a secret tunnel under the Red Keep, she remembers Winterfell’s crypt:
Suddenly Arya remembered the crypts at Winterfell.
Arya remembers a childhood memory of all the Stark children (minus Rickon) in the crypts and a ghost jumps out and scares them. Sansa runs away screaming. That ghost was Jon, covered in flour joking around. Before he’s revealed, Arya punches the “ghost” and baby Bran is clutching Arya’s hand and Robb’s leg. They all laugh about it.
The memory made Arya smile, and after that the darkness held no more terrors for her. … She was going home.Everything would be better once she was home again, safe behind Winterfell’s grey granite walls.
Note: The last line in her dream and her later thoughts after escaping the Red Keep… is interesting. Where is Arya’s home? To Jon, Arya’s home was with him. Not Winterfell where he thinks she is at the end of ADwD.
Bring her home, Mance. I saved your son from Melisandre, and now I am about to save four thousand of your free folk. You owe me this one little girl. - Jon, ADwD