i really and truly resent grrm for not giving us a better idea of what the stark women were like without southern influences. esp pre conquest stark women who were married to the kings of winter. arya and sansa were raised in large part by a septa which is def atypical. those teachings were extensions of the seven which had no place in the north, prior to this generation. cat is a southerner and even ned was raised in the south and they both expect their daughters to learn the ways of that world. but without that ??? lyanna is the only other female character we have as an example and while she wasn’t allowed to use a sword (openly) she was far from “”ladylike”” like arya she’s described as being wild and boyish. theres no indication of embroidery in her upbringing but horseback riding. besides a lot of northern women do openly fight like the mormonts and the wildlings.
i mean i dont think women of winterfell were all tomboys as a general rule but i do wonder how important a lot of the traditionally feminine pursuits we associate with ladies were to their roles and educations. were they expected to wear fancy dresses and sing or write poetry and embroider pretty things all while being gentle and sweet? i cant imagine so since this is a grim culture that revolves around a very harsh unforgiving land. the northerners are practical people. they dont like frivolousness. singers hardly even bother going up there, the only music the starks know is the howling of wolves ect. theres no grand septs with songs and few extravagant tourneys with knights. they worship in the forests and spend their time preparing ready for winter and the cold darkness. these were hard men so the women beside them would be harder too
most of the northern women do seem to be more wild and willful as opposed to ladylike and courteous. we see this in arya and lyanna stark, wylla manderly and the mormont girls, meera reed and alys karstark, ygritte and val. in bran’s vision theres a woman who cuts a man’s throat and theres a reference to arya flint as being an adventurous climber. they fight, they ride, they don’t hold back. and right theres thats like 99% of the northern girls.
so i think its pretty safe to say northern women tend to be more wild like the place they were born and raised in but i would still kill for a fully realized lady of winterfell who’s untouched by the south. mostly for arya’s sake. she thinks she’s unwelcome in her own place because the only female influences growing up were southern-like and they made her feel inferior. they expected her to be pretty and girly and….southern. but arya’s not a southern lady she’s a northerner. she needed a northern female elder who would’ve embraced her wildness instead of trying to tame it. too late for that now but i hope in the future she will realize that you can be a woman without being ladylike. i expect it’ll actually be a big part of her arc. and hopefully she will make friends with many of the above mentioned northern girls. because arya would have the baddest crew with meera and wylla and lyanna m. tbh.