character: brotherhood without banners


The Brotherhood without banners. King’s men, knights, and heroes … but some knights are dark and full of terror.

(top to bottom: Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Tom Sevenstrings, Lem Lemoncloak, Edric Dayne, Anguy, Harwin, Gendry and Lady Stoneheart)

The Brotherhood Without Banjos will be reunited next season! There’s Iain Glen, Jorah Mormont, on guitar. Rory McCann on harmonica and rhythm guitar. Paul Kaye, Thoros of Myr, on guitar. Me on ukulele and guitar. Kit Harington on rattle eggs. You know those eggs you can shake? He was on those. And Joe Dempsie, Gendry, on percussion. A pretty good band. We started doing it right at the beginning of the season, and it was just a brilliant way to relieve the constant exhaustion and cold. We could just go in and keep warm in our little hut. It was a real kind of camaraderie. I recorded about three tunes that we did, and they were pretty good!
Approaches to death

My new ASOIAF pet project is to figure out Lady Stoneheart. Up until now, my approach to dealing with LSH is mostly saying “No, that won’t happen, no, that’s not happening either, no that’s silly.” Perhaps because so much of the discourse running up to Season 6 was centered around everyone trying to prove LSH was appearing on Game of Thrones. I was all like, “Seven Hells, LSH on GOT is not happening. Stop trying to make it happen.” But now that Season 6 is done and Season 7 has followed, I want to develop a positive analysis of what part Lady Stoneheart and her version of the Brotherhood Without Banners play in the books. I’m a J/B endgame enthusiast, a Jaime’s Redemption Arc enthusiast, an Anti-Valonqar Jaime advocate, and within those parameters, I want to understand how Zombie Catelyn and the Gang fit into the story.

I will not figure everything out in one post. I’m just beginning to form ideas for this project.

Before the benzos kick in for the night, I’d like to share my first thinky in this area, and that is, the difference between what Sandor is trying to teach Arya about killing, and how Arya understands killing.

Sandor wants Arya to see, and use, homicide as a means of mercy. This is the lesson when they kill the wounded bowman. The idea is that if death is inevitable, it should be quick, and when life is too painful, death is better. It’s the same framework when he’s wounded and sick and asking Arya to kill him quickly. 

Of course, sometimes killing is about self-defense. If not self-defense, then about removing obstacles. If you need to get somewhere and do something, and someone is trying to stop you and make you go somewhere else, sometimes the quickest way to resolve the situation is to kill someone. It’s not merciful, it’s not moral, but it’s not about punishment, either, it’s pragmatic. 

However, Arya is not invested in the idea of killing as an act of mercy. She is invested in killing as a means of justice. Some people have done horrible things and they deserve to die. This is what her little list is about. She judges someone guilty and she sentences them to die. 

When she declines to kill the Hound, she acts like she’s willfully leaving him to suffer because he failed to rescue her mother from the twins. While I believe she is angry about that, he was already on her list long before the Red Wedding. When she leaves him there to suffer, it’s because she’s angry enough to leave him to his fate, but his offenses are not hers to judge. If he dies of his injuries, that doesn’t bother her, but it’s not her doing. If he survives, then maybe she’ll see him again. 

The transition from Catelyn’s murder at the Red Wedding to Catelyn’s resurrection by Beric Dondarrion depends on an unintended retrieval during a wolf dream. She inadvertently, and unknowingly, wargs into Nymeria and the wolf pulls Catelyn’s half-decayed body out of the river. 

This isn’t Arya working through the wolf. This isn’t the wolf doing what Arya wants her to do. At this stage, Arya is in denial about her mother’s death. She insists Walder Frey kept Catelyn captive, and it’s not too late to rescue her. She’s angry at Sandor for not going into the castle to rescue Catelyn. She’s angry at Sandor for not turning them back to the castle so they can rescue Catelyn from her captivity. It’s in this position of denial that Arya/Nymeria drags Catelyn’s body from the river. Nymeria does not interact with the Brotherhood guys; she hears men coming and she gets out of the way. I don’t think Arya, in any stage of consciousness, expected or intended to make it possible for some R’hllor worshipper to reanimate her dead mother by magic. Nonetheless, Arya’s grief and longing made Zombie Catelyn possible, and Lady Stoneheart is a disproportionate version of Arya’s campaign of justice.

While Arya thinks people who’ve done sufficiently shitty things (especially to those dear to her) should be punished with death, she’s not interested in making a display of their death. She doesn’t go to the trouble of performing a proper burial, but she doesn’t hang her offenders from trees, either. Dropping a corpse into a canal will suffice. Moreover, Arya has a certain bar for offenders to meet. For instance, in TWOW when she sees the Westerosi envoy and his guards, she isn’t interested in attacking all the guards wearing Lannister gear. She focuses on Raff the Sweetling, because he’s the one who’s done shitty things and he needs to die. The rest of the Lannister guards? Whatever. Lady Stoneheart and her goons are happy to kill anyone associated with the wrong people. Did Podrick Payne ever hurt a flea? Doesn’t matter, he squired for Tyrion. Did Hyle Hunt ever hurt anyone they know? They don’t know, but he served Randyll Tarly, so line him up for a rope. Has Brienne of Tarth ever been anything except an exemplar of true knighthood? Doesn’t matter; she’s friends with Jaime Lannister, and Roose Bolton name-dropped him as he was killing Robb Stark, so it doesn’t matter that he was in no position to have any hand in planning the Freys’ betrayal. Doesn’t matter that Brienne’s trying to rescue Sansa; she’s friends with someone named Lannister, so she has to die.

If Arya could see what Zombie Catelyn and the Gang are doing to the Riverlands, I don’t think she’d approve. Round up all the Freys who participated in the Red Wedding and kill them all? Fine. Hang anyone within two degrees of separation of anyone with certain family names? That’s not justice, that’s terrorism. Arya isn’t on board with terrorism.

Imagine being jealous of Melisandre because she's touching Beric

Pairing: fem. reader x Beric Dondarrion

Warnings: jealousy, smut, a little bit fluff

You have liked Beric since you first met him. He was the main reason why you decided to stay with the brotherhood without banners. Yes, you were in love with him – It was probably pretty obvious, but Beric himself never talked about it with you and you were grateful about it. You tried to hide your feelings for him, but when Thoros entered the cave with a beautiful, red woman who touched Beric’s face and his body, you had to control your anger and jealousy.

The red woman took off Berics eye patch and touched the scar underneath, something you had never done before. Her hand wandered over his face until she reached his naked chest. You crossed your arms while you watched the two.
“How many times did you brought him back?”, the woman asked.
“Six”, Thoros answered. She nodded.

You felt relieved as she left the cave again with Thoros.
“Do you know her?”, you asked Beric while you came closer.
“Not really. I only know that her name is Melisandre. She is a red priestess”, Beric explained.
“And do you like her?”, you asked with your most innocently-sounding voice.
“Not sure.”
“She is beautiful, isn’t she?”
“Aye. She is.” You pressed your lips together.
“Do you want her?” You regret asking this question immediately. Beric looked at you, confused.
“What? Why are you asking that?”
“Do you want to fuck her?” You sounded more aggressive by now.
“What is your problem, (Y/N)?”, Beric asked. “What did I do wrong?”
Nothing? Are you sure?”
“Yes. I just don’t like Melisandre.”
“Why not?” You hesitated for a moment.
“She touched you”, you answered finally. Beric chuckled.
“Can I ask you a question, (Y/N)?”, he wanted to know.
“Sure”, you answered, not really sure what he wanted to ask you.
“Are you in love with me?” Suddenly you felt caught and embarrassed.
“I…”, you started, but fell silent again. Beric took your hands and squeezed them.
“I want to show you something”, he said softly.
“W-What? What do you want to show me?” Beric smiled at you and came closer, until his forehead touched yours. You closed your eyes and a moment later you felt his rough lips pressing against yours. You palmed Beric’s naked chest and pressed your lips against his neck and sucked him there.
“(Y/N)…”, Beric said your name almost moaning.  You sucked him harder and left a hickie on his skin.
“I want you to be mine”, you answered. After a few moments his neck was covered with larger and smaller hickies. As you caressed his chest he started to gently stroke your face.
“You’re such a jealous girl”, he replied and chuckled, but you said nothing. You kissed him instead, his mouth, to make him shut up. He replied your kiss softly. “I want you. Only you”, he mumbled between the kisses and your hand wandered down his chest, to his belly and finally between his legs, where you found him stiff. You took off your dress and showed Beric your naked body.
“Tell me, what you like better; me or the red witch?” Beric raised an eyebrow.
“You’re a jealous and naughty girl, (Y/N)”, he mumbled. “Of course I like you more. I will always like you more than any other woman.” Beric bent down to cover your breasts with kisses. He sucked your nipples, first the right one, then the left one, and shoved a hand between your legs. Your sex already was damp and hot, waiting for him.
“Lie down on the ground”, Beric told you. You did so and directly spread your legs for him. Beric kneeled in front of you and gently touched your inner thighs. His touches tickled and your pussy already was throbbing, craving for his hard member. Beric’s index finger ran over your wet and warm slit. He opened his pants and you glanced as his dick which was rather long and veiny.
“Oh Beric”, you moaned with pleasure. “Stop teasing me.” He chuckled and placed his finger on your pink button, rubbing it with slowly movements and as you shut your eyes you felt his hardness pushing against your hole. He entered you gently while he wrapped his strong arms around your upper body, holding you tight. His lips met yours again and he started thrusting in and out of you. You wrapped your legs around his body and you scratched your fingernails across his back.

Beric came on your stomach, but directly cleaned you up again and slipped between your legs again. He licked over your cunt, playing with your clit. He surrounded it with his lips, kissed and sucked it. The pleasure was so great, it was almost unbearable. You cried out his name as you came and Beric laughed against your throbbing womanhood.
“I love you”, he said and you smiled with satisfaction.

anonymous asked:

Speaking of rebels, what's your opinion of the Brotherhood Without Banners (pre-Lady Stoneheart, of course)?

The Brotherhood is a great depiction of a rebellion because the rebels are actually portrayed not as the idealistic heroes standing up for their vision against a corrupt tyranny exploiting the masses, nor as a “just as bad or worse” band of cutthroats justifying blanket theft and murder against all who do not support them, but rather as an organization with myriad members that reacts with changes to circumstances over the course of time.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

“Can you teach me how to fight?”

Pairing: fem. reader x Beric Dondarrion

Warnings; fluff, smut

Hi guys! Another Beric Oneshot for you! I hope it’s as requested and you all like it.

“Can you teach me how to fight?”, you asked the man in front of you. Beric smiled mildly. 
“Why do you want to learn it?”, he asked.
“I saw you fighting with your sword. It was so impressive! I want to know how to defend myself.”
“Did you ever fight with a sword?”
“No… not really.” He chuckled. You loved his laugh. It was warm and friendly, and always made you feel more comfortable.
“Fine. I’ll help you.” He drew his sword and gave it to you. “Hold it like this”, he told you and showed you the movement. The sword was heavy, but you did not complain.
“Is this right?”, you asked, almost out of breath.
“Your arm is shaking. Are you alright, (Y/N)?”, Beric wanted to know. He sounded worried.
“I am”, you answered and smiled mildly. Beric was behind you, and suddenly you felt his warm and large hands on your right arm with which you were holding the weapon.
“I know, it’s a little bit too heavy for you”, he said quietly while his fingers softly run over your arm. “You will get used to it, but I’ll try to find another, smaller sword for you.” You lowered your arm slowly. 
“It really is a bit heavy”, you admitted. Beric nodded understandingly.
“Don’t worry. We’ll find a nice sword for you.”

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Is there any significance to the BwB using hanging as their preferred method of execution as opposed to beheading?

I think there’s a couple different reasons: 

  1. Hanging is a more plebian way to be executed (historically, beheading was something of a perogative of the nobility) so it fits the BwB’s politics.
  2. Hanging is much easier to carry out, whereas beheading requires both strength and precision; 
  3. Unless you have a long enough drop, hanging is a slow, drawn-out way of executing someone, so it’s way more painful than cutting someone’s head off.  
The Hound: the Man, the Myth, the Helm

For my next thinky, I want to get into the Hound. For a character with no POV chapters in five books, no lines and only the most oblique presence in two books, he looms large in Feast/Dance. He may be only tangentially related to Zombie Catelyn and the Gang, but I err on the side of thoroughness so that’s good enough for me.

This is what we hear about Sandor Clegane in Brienne’s POV:

That was another shock. “How did he die?”

“By the sword, as he had lived.”

“You know this for a certainty?”

“I buried him myself. I can tell you where his grave lies, if you wish. I covered him with stones to keep the carrion eaters from digging up his flesh, and set his helm atop the cairn to mark his final resting place. That was a grievous error. Some other wayfarer found my marker and claimed it for himself. The man who raped and killed at Saltpans was not Sandor Clegane, though he may be as dangerous. The riverlands are full of such scavengers. I will not call them wolves. Wolves are nobler than that … and so are dogs, I think.

“I know a little of this man, Sandor Clegane. He was Prince Joffrey’s sworn shield for many a year, and even here we would hear tell of his deeds, both good and ill. If even half of what we heard was true, this was a bitter, tormented soul, a sinner who mocked both gods and men. He served, but found no pride in service. He fought, but took no joy in victory. He drank, to drown his pain in a sea of wine. He did not love, nor was he loved himself. It was hate that drove him. Though he committed many sins, he never sought forgiveness. Where other men dream of love, or wealth, or glory, this man Sandor Clegane dreamed of slaying his own brother, a sin so terrible it makes me shudder just to speak of it. Yet that was the bread that nourished him, the fuel that kept his fires burning. Ignoble as it was, the hope of seeing his brother’s blood upon his blade was all this sad and angry creature lived for … and even that was taken from him, when Prince Oberyn of Dorne stabbed Ser Gregor with a poisoned spear.”

“You sound as if you pity him,” said Brienne.

“I did. You would have pitied him as well, if you had seen him at the end. I came upon him by the Trident, drawn by his cries of pain. He begged me for the gift of mercy, but I am sworn not to kill again. Instead, I bathed his fevered brow with river water, and gave him wine to drink and a poultice for his wound, but my efforts were too little and too late. The Hound died there, in my arms. You may have seen a big black stallion in our stables. That was his warhorse, Stranger. A blasphemous name. We prefer to call him Driftwood, as he was found beside the river. I fear he has his former master’s nature.”

The horse. She had seen the stallion, had heard it kicking, but she had not understood. Destriers were trained to kick and bite. In war they were a weapon, like the men who rode them. Like the Hound. “It is true, then,” she said dully. “Sandor Clegane is dead.”

“He is at rest.” The Elder Brother paused. “You are young, child. I have counted four-and-forty name days … which makes me more than twice your age, I think. Would it surprise you to learn that I was once a knight?”

Martin, George R.R.. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) (p. 530). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

That the Elder Brother seems to understand so much of Sandor’s mentality is sufficient, without having seen Season 6, to suspect Sandor is very much alive in the Elder Brother’s care. The Elder Brother paints a picture of a man who is suffering more than sinning, who needs comfort more than punishment. That understanding is irrelevant to what the word on the road is now.

What happened to Sandor Clegane is a separate issue from what was done with his dog’s-head helmet. The helmet was seen on a man who killed, raped, burned and committed other atrocities at Saltpans, and thus, the Hound’s legend outlives his efforts:

“How do you fight a man like that? And there’s the Hound as well. He slew twenty men at Saltpans.”

Strongboar guffawed. “Twenty fat innkeeps, maybe. Twenty serving men pissing in their breeches. Twenty begging brothers armed with bowls. Not twenty knights. Not me.”

“There is a knight at Saltpans,” Ser Arwood insisted. “He hid behind his walls whilst Clegane and his mad dogs ravaged through his town. You have not seen the things he did, ser. I have. When the reports reached the Twins, I rode down with Harys Haigh and his brother Donnel and half a hundred men, archers and men-at-arms. We thought it was Lord Beric’s work, and hoped to find his trail. All that remains of Saltpans is the castle, and old Ser Quincy so frightened he would not open his gates, but shouted down at us from his battlements. The rest is bones and ashes. A whole town. The Hound put the buildings to the torch and the people to the sword and rode off laughing. The women … you would not believe what he did to some of the women. I will not speak of it at table. It made me sick to see.”

“I cried when I heard,” said Lady Amerei.

Jaime sipped his wine. “What makes you certain it was the Hound?” What they were describing sounded more like Gregor’s work than Sandor’s. Sandor had been hard and brutal, yes, but it was his big brother who was the real monster in House Clegane.

“He was seen,” Ser Arwood said. “That helm of his is not easily mistaken, nor forgotten, and there were a few who survived to tell the tale. The girl he raped, some boys who hid, a woman we found trapped beneath a blackened beam, the fisherfolk who watched the butchery from their boats …”

“Do not call it butchery,” Lady Mariya said softly. “That gives insult to honest butchers everywhere. Saltpans was the work of some fell beast in human skin.”

Martin, George R.R.. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) (pp. 511-512). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Those who dealt with Sandor know better than to buy into the rumors. Jaime, for example, knows well enough to say that doesn’t sound like something Sandor would do. To those who knew Sandor only by reputation, the rumors are good enough. The distinctive dog’s head was seen in the atrocities at Saltpans, therefore Sandor’s name is attached to the massacre. 

Eventually we find out who brought Sandor’s helmet into the violence: it was Rorge in the Brave Companions. The slander of Sandor (pun acknowledged) doesn’t end with him. After Brienne kills Rorge, Lem Lemoncloak in the new-improved Brotherhood Without Banners rocks the dog’s head. Thus, the idea, separate from the reality, of Sandor Clegane’s reign of terror lives on.

The latest organization to associate themselves with the supposed depravity of the Hound is the Brotherhood Without Banners, under the leadership of Lady Stoneheart, exercising the vengeance of the Starks against the oppressive Lannister regime. How interesting, that the instrument of the Starks’ revenge is doing worse than the Lannisters’ attack dog ever did. 

When Brienne tells Jaime “elsewise the Hound will kill her,” he’s already thought that level of brutality is well outside of what Sandor Clegane might do. What Brienne tells him is enough to get him out of earshot of his army. What conversation they have between then, and dealing with Lady Stoneheart, is anyone’s guess. 

Well after Sandor Clegane has decided to cool off and spend some time dealing with his demons away from innocent people, the image of the Hound keeps on doing harm to the Riverlands. The menace of the dog’s head works independently of political affiliation; if someone wants to leave a trail of destruction in their wake, the Hound’s helmet is good enough, no matter whose regime benefits from the atrocities. 

At this point, the Hound’s reputation has taken on a life of its own. If his name can be attached to hanging every Lannister/Frey/Bolton in sight from a tree, then what is the historical difference between the Lannister regime and the Stark legacy? Only time will tell. 

Imagine getting drunk with Thoros

Pairing: fem. reader x Thoros of Myr

Warning: fluff

Hi guys! This one shot was requested by anon. I hope you like it! I absolutely love Thoros and writing for him is always fun! 

The beer wasn’t that bad - it was the rum which killed you. Although it was too sweet for you and definitely too strong you couldn’t stop drinking it. Your day had been rough and you just wanted to relax and forget everything that happened.

After a short time you felt dizzy and somehow forgot how to move your feet. But before you could fell, Thoros, who sat next to the fireplace, grabbed your waist and pulled you on his lap. You wrapped your arms around his neck.
“Be careful little lady”, he told you with a smile. You placed your head on his shoulder and closed your eyes.
“I’m tired”, you said quietly.
“Or just drunk.” Thoros chuckled. He placed a soft kiss on your head. “I love you”, he mumbled against your hair.
“And I love you.” Thoros started tickling your hips and you burst out laughing. “Stop it!”, you screamed with tears in your eyes. 
“My lady is so ticklish”, Thoros teased and stroke your hips with his fingertips. He pressed his lips against the skin of your neck and sucked you until a rather big hickie appeared. 
“Don’t”, you said feeble. You hated these stupid marks, but you were too tired to really stop Thoros.
“Why?”, Thoros asked. “Everyone needs to know that you are mine. Your pretty face is mine”, he said and kissed your cheeks. “Your beautiful hair is mine”, he took a strand of your hair in his hand, “your soft hands are mine as well”, he took your hands and squeezed them lightly “and also your tits, your fat ass and your tight pussy are mine”, he continued and suddenly you felt something hard pressing against your butt cheeks. 
“You’re terrible. Just shut up”, you said sleepy and rolled your eyes.
“Make me.” You felt his breath against your skin and you just couldn’t be angry at him. You smiled softly and turned your head to Thoros to kiss him. You grabbed his bottle and drank from it. "And you shouldn’t drink more my love.“ Thoros took the bottle away from you. 
"Something like this coming from you? You must be drunker than I am.” By this time talking was already difficult. 
“I’m a drunk hero”, Thoros claimed. “I can remember the day when I went through the breach at Pyke with my flaming sword.”
“And then? What happened next?”
“… I can’t remember.” You chuckled. 
“Jorah Mormont was there as well, right?”, you asked. 
“At the breach!”
Yes”, you replied and started laughing again. Thoros joined you. Then he kissed you, stroke your hair and your cheeks. It felt so good to kiss him. His mouth was warm and wet as he played with your tongue and bit your lower lip playfully. You moaned against his mouth. Thoros stopped kissing you abruptly and cupped your face with his hands.

“I’m glad you’re with me”, he said and smiled - His smile was the most beautiful one. Always honest and a little bit cocky. “I love you so much, more than everything else." 
"I know”, you answered and hugged him. Being in his arms was the best feeling. He was always so warm. Your fingers ran through his thin hair. 
“(Y/N)”, Thoros breathe and sounded almost exhausting and sad. “I know I’m too old for you, but I really don’t want to lose you. Never.”
“Don’t say that - Don’t even think so!”, you answered angrily and a little bit slurred. “You’re absolutely perfect and there is not a single man who could ever be more handsome or cuter than you.” It was the truth. You admired Thoros.  There were no words for the love between you two and you didn’t cared about the opinions of other people. You only wanted Thoros and that would never ever change. He was not only your lover, he also was your closest friend. “You’re everything to me”, you whispered and covered his face with kisses. You kissed his cheeks, his forehead, the top of his nose, his lips and even his chin.
“You’re even cuter when your drunk”, Thoros said happily. You pressed your face against his chest and shut your eyes. Your head was spinning. For a while nobody said anything and you tried to ignore the dizziness in your head, but you had the feeling it was getting worse and worse.
“Thoros?”, you asked into the darkness and silence.
“Yes? What is it, my love?”
“I need to vomit.” Thoros sighed but eventually chuckled and kissed your forehead gently.
“I’ll hold your hair.”

I liked him much in the books, but the series brought out something of a hormonal teenager in me. I don’t even know..

I think many people kind of skipped him in the show as a background character. Their loss :0

There is so much I like about him. Probably cause he’s pretty honest about how he fucked up and he’s just gonna roll with it down the life landslide, hoping not to screw up more. But I absolutely adore any kind of interaction he has with the Hound. Because Thoros knows very well by now how it feels to not really know what to do with yourself, I think he just sees riiiigghhtt through him. Like when Clegane just keeps on throwing insults at him, and he’d sit there slightly amused, he fucking knew that it’s all just because Sandor is kind of trying to get over his violent past but doesn’t know any better… yet. And every interaction they had was just so reflective of this. When he walked onto the Hound burying the father and daughter he didn’t even need to say more than he did, and I find that beautiful. And not only with Sandor, even with Arya, although a shortlived relationship, he knew exactly what was going on inside the little sad puppywofl head. Bless.

I just love how although he was a no-fucks-given character, he was very calm and humble about it, just kinda sitting there, watching people lie to themselves, all while being entertained by how defensive they are about their pasts and bad sides.


A little thinky on the structure of Lady Stoneheart:

1. Arya has to deal with her eventually.

2. But first Jaime and Brienne have to deal with her.

3. One might get the impression that the relationship of Brienne to LSH is more important than Arya’s dealings with Zombie Catelyn. The compound cliffhanger revolves around Brienne, while Arya is totally out of the loop.

4. Then we might say, well, of course Arya isn’t dealing with LSH, she’s been in Braavos. And I’m like: yeah, that’s the thing. Brienne is there in the Riverlands, dealing with LSH, and Arya isn’t there. If Arya were meant to be the linchpin of LSH’s narrative role, Arya would be closer to LSH. 

5. When Arya deals with Zombie Catelyn, Nymeria will probably be in play as well. It was Arya warging into Nymeria that allowed Catelyn to be resurrected, so it makes sense for Arya and Nymeria together to put her to rest.

6. Dragging Catelyn’s body out of the river was not a decision on Arya’s part. It was not Arya making the decision, and it was not Nymeria making the decision. It was Arya and Nymeria together forming something that’s not under anyone’s control. It was Arya’s grief, and denial, and longing for her people that led to this loss of control. In addition to dealing with Zombie Catelyn, Arya also needs to face the fact that Nymeria is not hers to control and does not necessarily have her best interests at heart.