“I have a sister. She was raised at our grandma’s house when she was young, so she tends to stick to me every time she sees me. She’s very cute, she likes to act like a kid. So many years have passed.. we’ve always protected each other. But I can only hope that she’ll find someone who can really care for her in the future. I’m sure that’s what she wishes for me as well.” — Zhan Xixi
There she knelt. Red leaves rustled. Red eyes peered inside her. The eyes of the gods. “Tell me what to do, you gods,” she prayed. For a long moment there was no sound but the wind and the water and the creak of leaf and limb. And then, far far off, beyond the godswood and the haunted towers and the immense stone walls of Harrenhal, from somewhere out in the world, came the long lonely howl of a wolf. (ACOK)
He had a weirwood’s eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one. And he alone of all the direwolves was white. Six pups they’d found in the late summer snows, him and Robb; five that were grey and black and brown, for the five Starks, and one white, as white as Snow.
He had his answer then. (ASOS)
theres a lot to compare and contrast between these scenes where both arya and jon are presented with choices and the answer is found in their wolves and their religion; intertwined symbols of their identities. which means very different things. but when lost and confused they’re both guided by the old gods as well as nymeria and ghost
when arya is trapped in harrenhal, grieving over the death of her brothers and loss of her home, she prays to the old gods to guide her. and they do. the gods remind arya that she is a stark so her responsibility is to her family and her place is in the north. all the while arya might be far from nymeria but she can still feel her wolf and that connection is enough to give her strength to act. arya makes the decision to escape from harrenhal so she can find her pack and return home to winterfell
but it has the opposite effect on jon. ghost’s presence reminds him that he was never truly a stark and therefore he feels he has no right to winterfell. which is what stannis has offered him. its a huge temptation. jon deeply wants that future but when ghost returns to him, with white fur and red eyes, jon realizes he cannot accept. it would mean burning winterfell’s heart tree and turning his back on the gods. so jon rejects stannis’ and instead he chooses to stay on the wall.
they’ve both struggled with feeling like they didnt belong in winterfell but, ultimately, arya is a true born stark. jon is a bastard. their wolves represent this as much as anything. so they make different choices despite their shared faith and missing their home, families and each other. but “different roads sometimes lead to the same castle” and for all the twists and turns arya and jon will be together again like they always wanted.
I feel like when it comes to Disney climactic battles, the clock tower scene from The Great Mouse Detective is fiercely underrated. There is so much going on in it. Ratigan, who’s spent the whole film denying his rat identity, becomes downright feral going after Basil. And Basil, known for his brains over brawn, finds himself completely helpless for the first time and unable to physically defend himself. The music is brooding, the animation is amazing, the setup is creative - it’s such a wonderfully intense scene.