weasel soup

i know ive already gotten into this many times before but arya isnt too damaged to live and love. that opinion is fucked up and stupid. like honestly pull your head out of your ass. arya is traumatized but that doesnt mean she’s not “”a normal person”” anymore than she’s “”a fantasy terminator”” (forget d&d’s hackjob) she is a real person - so to speak. thats the point. she’s a child and like so many others who have been exposed to this kind of violence she’s struggling. also just like literally every other pov btw. grrm is using many aspects of the child solider with her character. which is a situation that is all too real in war - even the ones going on today. these kids are the ones who are left homeless and starving and scared. they have their childhood torn from them and are forced to commit violence. thats arya. but she’s a not monster. she’s not too far gone either. she’s still a human being who deserve a life. because arya hasn’t lost her humanity. she is still driven by a desire to be with her pack - whether thats her friends or family. she loves deeper than any character in this series. and there are those who love her in return and will continue to do so no matter what. like gendry. 

gendry and arya share very similar experiences. he’s her companion for two books. they both suffered and fought alongside each other in the war. they saw their friends die and dug graves and witnessed atrocities. they are both child soldiers who have killed in battle. gendry knows that arya instigated weasel soup and he’s angry - but not scared. he saw her hands covered in blood after she silt the harrenhal guards throat but he never recoils from arya. while they’re on the run he still makes sure arya sleeps and eats first. he doesnt see her as a monster. she’s a little girl who tries to be brave but has been through a lot. after all the death and trauma he still teases and play wrestles with her. when she punches him he just laughs. with gendry she’s able to just be arya from winterfell again. she can let down her guard and drop the aliases. he thinks her hands are soft even though he knows what theyve done. gendry only smiles with her. he’s clearly harboring a deep affection for her. and arya cares about him too. he’s her “pack” and her “true friend”

gendry has no reason to fear arya. she would never hurt him. their entire relationship is built on trust. he’s also in no position to judge her since he’s working for an undead zombie who casually hangs people. which, again, is an experience not unlike what arya is going through with the faceless men. she’s not too damaged for him. she’s not too dark or scary either. they are kindred spirits who are going through many of the same struggles. they’re feeling the same grief and fear and anger. if anyone can understand what arya’s gone through its gendry. 

anonymous asked:

Top Arya moments

  • “The wolf blood.” Arya remembered now. “I’ll be as strong as Robb. I said I would.” She took a deep breath, then lifted the broomstick in both hands and brought it down across her knee. It broke with a loud crack, and she threw the pieces aside. I am a direwolf, and done with wooden teeth.
  • The whole weasel soup incident
  • Arya cocked her head to one side. “Can I be a king’s councillor and build castles and become the High Septon?”
    “You,” Ned said, kissing her lightly on the brow, “will marry a king and rule his castle, and your sons will be knights and princes and lords and, yes, perhaps even a High Septon.”
    Arya screwed up her face. “No,” she said, “that’s Sansa.” She folded up her right leg and resumed her balancing. Ned sighed and left her there.
  • “I bet this is a brothel,” she whispered to Gendry.
    “You don’t even know what a brothel is.”
    “I do so,” she insisted. “It’s like an inn, with girls.”
  • Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

wow picking five was hard and i don’t even think this is reflective of my top favorites. she has SO many good moments!

@quierosernauha replied to your post “@ariannenymerosmartell replied to your post “@quierosernauha replied…”

damn voldemort, now Slytherin HAS to be the evil house for everyone…. but she has MANY sly trait: strong leader, ambitious(in a good way), self-preservation(life kinda forced that one), CLEVER RESOURSFUL DETERMINATED, disregard for the rules… she is just not evil

A few things:

1) I love me a good Hogwarts House debate.  They’re the most fun. 

2) I don’t for a second think Slytherin=evil.  I also don’t think that @ariannenymerosmartell was trying to imply that.

I still disagree with you and will hold it to my guns that Arya is a Gryffindor; the exception that I like and accept is Arya as a Gryffinpuff.

The thing about Gryffindor and Slytherin is that they’re very similar.  Those things you describe above: strong leader, determined, disregard for the rules (see: Harry James Potter)–those are both Gryffindor and Slytherin traits.  Gryffindors can also be ambitious (Percy Weasley).  Gryffindors can also be clever and resourceful (Hermione Granger; also Harry, the boy isn’t dumb @ the HP fandom please stop).  So it comes down less to those “traits” so much as what fuels them, and that’s to me where the Slytherin argument for Arya falls apart.

To me what makes a Slytherin is not the ~evil~, it’s the sense of putting oneself (and one’s community) first.  It manifests as ambition most frequently, but I also think it appears in that “strong leader” and “cunning” that you mentioned above.  Whereas Gryffindors put the “right” before the self.  And that’s Arya to me.  Arya grapples intensely with self-effacement, and she puts herself on the line repeatedly in the name of saving her friends and her pack, and while I think you could make an argument for saying “that’s her pack, that’s her people,” (especially in the case of running after Gendry after the Mountain’s Men get him), it’s her righteousness (not a predominantly Slytherin trait) that fuels things like her list. 

When it comes to self-preservation…I actually am not sure I see it.  It strikes me as very much like Harry Potter (there are tons of Harry/Arya parallels, though the ones in that gifset are mostly “houseless”).  Preserve the self to keep fighting the fight, which I think plays in with Arya’s self-effacement theme–the fight is a major part of what drives her which is why she hurts so much when she thinks that her pack is dead and gone, not herself

I agree with @ariannenymerosmartell:

there’s cunning and there’s craftiness. I think Arya is crafty– she can get herself into and out of situations in the least harmful way possible. Cunning, I see more as, "i’m gonna do it no matter the cost”… There’s a ruthlessness to cunning that separates it from craftiness.     

Arya’s craftiness can be brutal: Weasel Soup; tricking Jaqen.  But I think that outside of the extreme of Harrenhal, she does have boundaries of what she is willing/not-willing to do, unlike Littlefinger who–moral judgements about Slytherins aside–doesn’t have boundaries for what he’s willing to do in order to get what he wants.

One things that has really been bothering me that i see in Sansa & Arya meta’s recently is whenever they analyse their relationship or more commonly this quote: 

.
“What are you talking about, children?”
“Our half brother,” Sansa corrected, soft and precise. She smiled for the septa. “Arya and I were remarking on how pleased we were to have the princess with us today,” she said.
Septa Mordane nodded. “Indeed. A great honor for us all.” Princess Myrcella smiled uncertainly at the compliment. “Arya, why aren’t you at work?” the septa asked. She rose to her feet, starched skirts rustling as she started across the room. “Let me see your stitches.”
Arya wanted to scream. It was just like Sansa to go and attract the septa’s attention. “Here,” she said, surrendering up her work.

They claim that, as seen in this little scene, their strained relationship is only a result of a misunderstanding on Arya’s, or sometimes both their parts, and that Sansa’s bullying of Arya never happened. Never stated outright of course but its heavily implied in the meta. 

Now in this scene, yes, Sansa only covered for Arya but Arya still assumed she was trying to get her in trouble. so it’s a bit of misconception but to think that such a misunderstanding came out of thin air and not of as an influence of previous experiences is just…stupid might be the right word, or wrong. 

Their strained relationship is not a result of a misunderstanding. It’s not represented and explained just in this one chapter, but in multiple chapters all over the books. Sansa bullied Arya. Simple and clean. No use of sugar coating it. 

Proof:

“I don’t care about their stupid tourney,” Arya said. She knew Prince Joffrey would be there, and she hated Prince Joffrey.
Sansa lifted her head. “It will be a splendid event. You shan’t be wanted.”

- She went to the window seat and sat there, sniffling, hating them all, and herself most of all. It was all her fault, everything bad that had happened. Sansa said so, and Jeyne too.

- “Go ahead, call me all the names you want,” Sansa said airily. “You won’t dare when I’m married to Joffrey. You’ll have to bow to me and call me Your Grace.” She shrieked as Arya flung the orange across the table. It caught her in the middle of the forehead with a wet squish and plopped down into her lap.
“You have juice on your face, Your Grace,” Arya said.

- “You’re horrible,” she screamed at her sister. “They should have killed you instead of Lady!”

- “Then I’ll … make you a new one,” Arya said.
Sansa threw back her head in disdain. “You? You couldn’t sew a dress fit to clean the pigsties.”

- “It won’t be so bad, Sansa,” Arya said. “We’re going to sail on a galley. It will be an adventure, and then we’ll be with Bran and Robb again, and Old Nan and Hodor and the rest.” She touched her on the arm.
“Hodor!” Sansa yelled. “You ought to marry Hodor, you’re just like him, stupid and hairy and ugly!” She wrenched away from her sister’s hand, stormed into her bedchamber, and barred the door behind her.


Not all of them are outright bullying, some of them are just insults and being snappy. Point is: Sansa was pretty horrible to Arya. Now, many will say ‘oh, but she is just upset. She lost her wolf, her betrothal with Joffrey, etc.’ Yeah, true. And i sympathize with her for it. However this just explains why she did it. It doesn’t excuse it. 

And this bullying isn’t something new. This is only what we have seen of it since the beginning of the books. It did not just began since the accident at the kingsroad. This was happening back at winterfell as well. 

- ‘She bit her lip, groping for another name. Lommy had called her Lumpyhead,Sansa used Horseface, and her father’s men once dubbed her Arya Underfoot, but she did not think any of those were the sort of name he wanted.’

- ‘To her sister and sister’s friends and all the rest, she had just been Arya Horseface.’

and  

Talk like that will get you killed, or worse. That lesson he had learned as Reek. “You are the real Arya, my lady. Arya of House Stark, Lord Eddard’s daughter, heir to Winterfell.” Her name, she had to know her name. “Arya Underfoot. Your sister used to call you Arya Horseface.”
“It was me made up that name. Her face was long and horsey. Mine isn’t. I was pretty.” Tears spilled from her eyes at last. “I was never beautiful like Sansa, but they all said I was pretty. Does Lord Ramsay think I am pretty?”

Even Theon noticed that Sansa and the others used to bully Arya. Which is pretty surprising considering the chance of him hanging out with the girls instead of Robb and Jon are pretty much non-existent, which reveals that the bullying was pretty public. Kinda brings to to mind how in the world Ned and Catelyn didn’t notice, even if they were busy being the lord and lady of winterfell.

Now it’s not all Sansa’s fault. It was also Septa Mordane’s, and Jeyne Poole’s fault as well. They both heavily influenced how Sansa saw her sister. Septa Mordane made sure to paint Arya as incompetent and Jeyne Poole made sure to paint her as inferior to Sansa. 

The bullying is right on page. You cant deny it. You cant say “it wasn’t like that.” It was exactly like that. It was Sansa being a total bitch to Arya. Does that mean Sansa is a horrible person? No. She was at the beginning of the books but she has grown into a much more kinder, mature, smart women and i really admire her for it. Sansa happens to be one of my favorite characters; i find her to be extremely complex and interesting. This is not even me denying that both Sansa and Arya care for each other, or painting Sansa as a one-dimensional bitch. But i am not denying it’s existence either. I am not going to hide the bullying. It did happen, not because of a misunderstanding or misconception, it was plain out someone being bratty and horrible to someone else with no actual justification.

We, who have read her chapters, know Arya to be friendly, compassionate,  a person who doesn’t get angry over small things. I mean remember when Gendry scorned for the Weasel soup, or for being highborn, or for the burned lands her grandfather had attacked. And Arya just ignored it and remained friends with him even though her feelings were hurt and she was already suffering from traumatic amount of guilt. And yet, after all she has been through she still remembers Arya Horseface. Its just a stupid mean nickname in most people’s view. We all sometimes get them. But for Arya it means so much more because its the only thing that really blemishes the idea of home, of winterfell, for her. Because home is also where she was judged, was a disappointment, where she wasnt good enough.

I also know her to be very forgiving, as shown as when she immediately regretted giving Jaqen Weese’s name after Weese called her over for what she assumed to give her some food. Please, take in mind that Weese is the same guy who hit her, made her work until her hands bled, and threatened her. And she was willing to forgive him in an instant only exchange for some kindness. Makes you think that only if Sansa had ever given Arya even one heartfelt apology, Arya might have forgiven her in an instant. And that’s pretty sad considering how much her feelings were hurt, and her self-confidence was effected.  

notamericannorspanish  asked:

Hey! Love your posts. I just had a question: Why Gendry was much more friendly with Arya than with any other person we know? Because he’s normally cold and distant, while with Arya is friendly and close. I think because he mistrust any adult who speaks to him (he didn’t like Brienne very much nor Ned, and both of them were adults), but why he likes Arya from the beginning? I hope you could answer me this a great Arya fan.

Hey! <3 THANKS

Gendry is suspicious by nature. He’s abrasive and rude as well. Part of that is his upbringing since his life has been dictated by others, and he was born with no luck. He’s a penniless orphan living in Flea Bottom- aka one of the worst places to live. Moreover, he has the misfortune of being very obviously Robert Baratheon’s bastard. He looks just like him so anyone can recognize him. He’s not acknowledged so he doesn’t get a single perk of being a royal bastard, but people like Cersei want him dead. So all the downsides basically.

Anyway, the point is that Gendry is distrustful and harsh as a person, he’s learned to be. At the same time, Gendry also has a tendency towards the heroic- which is why he befriends Arya in the first place. She’s being picked on by two bigger and older boys in front of him. He speaks up, helps her out (by calling out Hot Pie’s attack) and that’s how they start as friends. If he hadn’t have witnessed Arya being bullied, they might not have become close. They became a team from the get go because Gendry couldn’t stand by and watch as the youngest and smallest recruit was ganged up on. He wanted to help. As a result, they started to stick together a bit as she was the outsider (for obvious reasons,) and he was anti-social, aloof, too young for the men and too scary for the boys.

And while I 100% agree that Gendry is much more friendly with Arya than others, he becomes that way in many respects. He’s fairly rude to her at times, too.

(on the possibility of escaping Harrenhal) “If there’s two, that’s too many for you and me. You never learned nothing in that village, did you? You try this and Vargo Hoat will cut off your hands and feet, the way he does.” Gendry took up the tongs again.

“You’re afraid.”
“Leave me alone, girl.”
“Gendry, there’s a hundred northmen. Maybe more, I couldn’t count them all. That’s as many 
as Ser Amory has. Well, not counting the Bloody Mummers. We just have to get them out and we can take over the castle and escape.”

“Well, you can’t get them out, no more’n you could save Lommy.” Gendry turned the breastplate with the tongs to look at it closely. “And if we did escape, where would we go?”

“Winterfell,” she said at once. “I’d tell Mother how you helped me, and you could stay-”

“Would m’lady permit? Could I shoe your horses for you, and make swords for your lordly brothers?” 

Gendry had caught Arya looking at them (the severed heads in Harrenhal). “Admiring your work?” he asked.

He was angry because he’d liked Lucan, she knew, but it still wasn’t fair. “It’s Steelshanks Walton’s work,” she said defensively. “And the Mummers, and Lord Bolton.”

“And who gave us all them? You and your weasel soup.” ACoK

Overall, that stuff doesn’t deter Arya. A lot of characters treat her poorly and she still thinks of them positively/wants to help them (Lommy, Elmar, Bubono even Hot Pie.) A few barbs and rudeness wouldn’t shake Arya’s friendliness or loyalty.

Here’s the thing though, Gendry is defined as a character who’s been mistreated and never valued his whole life (part of the reason he joins the BWB.) So why does Gendry warm up to Arya so much? Why does he end up treating her so well by comparison and being so much friendlier than is his usual?

The answer is simple: Arya values him. Gendry matters to Arya in a way that no one else has ever cared to feel for him. It’s not for what he can do (his skills or strength,) it’s just him. Arya proves over and over that she cares about him even when he doesn’t offer her anything. She cares about his opinions, she won’t leave him behind, she routinely proves that Gendry is important- and no one has ever treated Gendry as actually important in himself. 

Arya was given a whole leg, since it was her rabbit. She shared it with Gendry. The rest of them each got a spoonful. 

Arya grabbed Gendry by the arm. “He said go,” she shouted, “the barn, the way out.” Through the slits of his helm, the Bull’s eyes shone with reflected fire. He nodded.  

It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that they had Gendry. Even if he was stubborn and stupid, she had to get him out. ACoK

Arya looked at Gendry. “If he falls off, who do you think will find him first, the wolves or the Mummers?”

“The wolves,” said Gendry. “Better noses.” 

“Do you hear?” Hot Pie asked in a hoarse whisper, as he hugged an armful of cabbages. “Someone’s coming.”

“Go wake Gendry,” Arya told him…“Take Gendry and the horses behind the cottage,” she decided. There was part of one wall still standing, big enough, maybe, to conceal two boys and three horses.  

“You can still make swords if you want,” said Arya. “You can make them for my brother Robb when we get to Riverrun.” ASoS

That’s just a sampling.

Even just trusting Gendry with her secret, she proves time and time again to Gendry that she’s loyal and that she doesn’t look at him as replaceable or disposable. That matters to a person like Gendry. And he sees her display similar loyalty to Weasel, Yoren, the Northmen in the Stoney Sept/Harrenhal and all the Night Watch recruits, and it has an effect on him.

Arya treated him so genuinely friendly that Gendry opened up to her. In fact, it’s probably why he’s so obviously upset when we see him in AFFC. He probably feels like he betrayed her and got her captured/killed. 

blacksmithgendry  asked:

sis tell me about your top 5 Arya moments and quotes pls. your wisdom is much needed in these trying times :D

alright lets do this: 

“The wolf blood.” Arya remembered now. “I’ll be as strong as Robb. I said I would.” She took a deep breath, then lifted the broomstick in both hands and brought it down across her knee. It broke with a loud crack, and she threw the pieces aside. I am a direwolf, and done with wooden teeth.”

I feel like such a cliche with this one but its a classic for a reason lol. theres nothing about this scene i don’t love. all the nature imagery for starters: the sound of the wind and the water. the eyes of the gods peering into arya as she kneels before the heart tree, asking for their help. and then! “ from somewhere out in the world, came the long lonely howl of a wolf” and arya feels lightheaded. i don’t think she’s actually hearing nymeria either. she’s warging her wolf. the best part is the old gods actually communicating with arya, obviously. i will never stop stressing this because ?? it literally never happens in any other scene?? this is the most northern thing ever too and it happens in the middle of the riverlands. it has huge significance for arya’s identity arc as well. she starts to doubt herself here. after hearing the news that winterfell has been burned and her little brothers are dead but the gods intervene and with ned’s voice reminding arya of who she is and where she belongs she finds the strength to carry on. its just an intense and beautiful scene.

She looked at their filthy hair and scraggly beards and reddened eyes, at their dry, cracked, bleeding lips. Wolves, she thought again. Like me. Was this her pack? How could they be Robb’s men? She wanted to hit them. She wanted to hurt them. She wanted to cry. They all seemed to be looking at her, the living and the dead alike.

this moment is so important to me. its so important to the story. arya has seen so much of the war. she’s fought in the battles. she’s seen the dead bodies and burned villages. she’s seen all this death and destruction. and its mostly from the lannisters. but then she starts too see a lot of the evil the northmen are doing too. and it breaks arya’s heart. she’s so ashamed. but its an inevitable truth of war, unfortunately. i like to harp on this a lot but the truth is very important in arya’s story so this is something she has to see. she hates these men for what they’ve done. they’re supposed to be her people but they have betrayed everything she stands for. but all the same, she shows them mercy. the villagers yell at her to stop but she fills her own cup until its brimming over with water. while standing on gendrys shoulders (yes this detail is important) she pours it over the first man. and she does it all again for the other two. these men are criminals. they’re in disgusting shape, naked and filthy. but arya is still able to do and watch as they’re given mercy via anguy’s arrows without flinching. she feels duty bound to give them one last drink of water but she doesn’t make excuses for these men. this shows the huge potential in arya to become a great leader. the experience is so valuable as well. all these lessons the war taught her will effect how she rules in the future.

Arya put her lips to his ear. “It’s Jaqen H'ghar.”
Even in the burning barn, with walls of flame towering all around and him in chains, he had not seemed so distraught as he did now. “A girl … she makes a jest.”
“You swore. The gods heard you swear.”

she 👏 did 👏 that 👏 arya played a faceless man like it was nothing. she is the damn champ. and this is only in the second book. now that she’s had faceless men training herself arya going to be a an even bigger force to be reckoned with. but yeah this is just one of the best tricks in asoiaf. jaqen really thought he had the power and arya just switched it up before he knew what was happening. i love how the three wishes trope is used with all the power of names business. its very old school. the entire “only death may pay for life” stuff is my favorite too. i even like all the weasel soup stuff that follows even though its horrifying. “a girl should be bloody too. this is her work” but like my last point, thats a lesson arya learns from. she’s cunning and clever and a very quick study. i love her.

“I’m sorry, my lady.” Arya suddenly felt bad for her, and ashamed. “I’m sorry I tore the acorn dress too. It was pretty.”
“Yes, child. And so are you. Be brave.”

when i started this i said i wasn’t going to include any arya/gendry moments but i lied to my damn self. kinda. this is only partially about the otp. i love this entire chapter because its pretty different from a lot of arya’s. the theme of love and romance is really strong (i wonder why?) her interactions with lady smallwood are beautiful. the dialogue between them is great and this woman treats her so kindly. arya’s so responsive to that. we see her open up to lady smallwood. unlike with the highborn women she grew up with. she even says the acorn dress is pretty in the end. the “be brave” just destroys me. and arya even remembers the lady who said she was pretty at acorn hall. theres the wrestling and the song :) i mean what can i say that i havent said a hundred times before? arya and gendry are gonna fall in love. another fave bit is when harwin says “arya was much the same at winterfell” after her and gendry play fight. which shows that she can be her true self with him. he even says just arya when asking if she wants to see the forge with him. she’s not in survival mode or hiding her identity. she’s just arya. and he’s gendry. and they’re beautiful.

… but it wasn’t.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me "little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

ah, needle. i couldn’t not include this scene, ya know? i tear up every time i read it. i love the dark, watery atmosphere of braavos. its the perfect backdrop for this scene which is essentially a rebirth. arya is told by the kindly man she must rid herself of her possessions. thats the first step. the next will be her body and her feelings and, ultimately, her future. so she takes everything out into the night and stands at the waters edge and throws it all in; her little trinkets and even her clothes. everything except needle. she can’t part with it. that sword is a symbol of everything that makes arya stark. its such a profound moment for an identity arc. when we’re stripped bare, what makes us who we are? and this is what makes arya: her mother and her father. her brothers and her sister. old nan’s stories. her home and its people. jon snow’s smile. (and i am actually tearing up now as i type this lmao) thats who she is and arya cannot give that up. she thinks the old gods wanted her to have needle. the many faced god can’t have it. so arya hides needle. she conceals it from the faceless men and buries those memories deep in her heart. with a promise that one day she’ll be back for them all. and that day will be the day i die.

ahighwaytothesun  asked:

Arya's chapters in ACoK horrified me. I watched the show first, and I really do think it affects people's views on Arya by changing it into the Tywin and Arya Variety Hour. It also takes away from GRRM's antiwar theme. Not only do we miss a lot of the trauma Arya herself underwent, but we also miss how destructive and traumatizing this war is to the smallfolk. Her storyline in ACoK is their storyline and centers GRRM's running theme of how war is, you know, really shitty.

Well, I think what happened is that so much of the fandom likes to ignore and downplay Arya’s significant trauma and abuse. In the show, it’s not shown, so people who already choose not to acknowledge it more or less block it out. And then there are people who just never cared for, read, and/or paid attention to Arya’s storyline who actually just forget that she underwent such horrors. It’s my only explanations to ridiculousness like all those posts in the Arya tag that state that they don’t remember anything significant happening in Arya’s storyline in ACoK and maintaining that she was never abused like Sansa.

And even just that post that I just reblogged about how there was no forced servitude for labour in Westeros, you actually have to ignore Arya’s entire ACoK arc to believe that.

I honestly think a lot of those people only skim (if they read at all) Arya’s chapters.

I feel you so much. My biggest issue with the show (and that’s saying something considering all the changes and the dramatic differences in Arya’s character and storyline) is what they did with the anti-war theme.

It’s not just Arya’s experiences Harrenhal, which is our view into the all but named slavery that so many people are forced into, it’s also the Brotherhood Without Banners and Gendry. 

The pre-Stoneheart BWB is portrayed as corrupt and hypocritical. Their entire message of helping the smallfolk is completely overshadowed when the sell Gendry. They are portrayed as liars and thieves, not Robin Hood types.

And Gendry… I just don’t know why. Gendry as a character is a symbol of the smallfolk. It’s no coincidence his name is a distortion of gentry. He serves to remind us of the callousness towards members of the smallfolk, the suffer for the lords and kings and all the nobility’s wars. He even serves as that to Arya. There are multiple times where he holds her somewhat accountable for nobility’s actions against the smallfolk (the Weasel Soup, Hoster Tully’s actions, the Northmen in cages.)

All that is lost.

And you know what? It’s a problem. One of the biggest themes in the books is that Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, Tully, Tyrell, Greyjoy, whichever forces, they all have the goons that rape, pillage, and kill the innocent smallfolk.

A huge realization is when Arya comes to the understanding that they are all the same in their ingrained callousness.

Just look at the beginning of ACoK:

Dead men could not hurt her, but whoever had killed them could. Well beyond the gibbet, two men in mail hauberks stood leaning on their spears in front of the long low building by the water, the one with the slate roof. A pair of tall poles had been driven into the muddy ground in front of it, banners drooping from each staff. One looked red and one paler, white or yellow maybe, but both were limp and with the dusk settling, she could not even be certain that red one was Lannister crimson. I don’t need to see the lion, I can see all the dead people, who else would it be but Lannisters? 

Arya assumes without any doubt that dead people = Lannister forces. There are no other alternatives, the Lannisters are evil, they hurt her family and therefore are the evil people.

Not to mention how every horrible thing or person that is witnessed by Arya results in her questioning their connection to the Lannisters (she wonders how many “monsters” are on their payroll after seeing Vargo Haot, she wonders if the destruction caused by Hoster Tully was the Lannisters’ work, ect.)

But then by mid-ASoS we have this:

 It was the Mad Huntsman caught these wolves.”

Wolves. Arya went cold. Robb’s men, and my father’s…

“What did they do?” she asked him.

“They put eight people to the sword at Tumbler’s Falls,” he said. “They wanted the Kingslayer, but he wasn’t there so they did some rape and murder.” He jerked a thumb toward the corpse with maggots where his manhood ought to be. “That one there did the raping. Now move along.”

“A swallow,” the fat one called down. “Ha’ mercy, boy, a swallow.” The old one slid an arm up to grasp the bars. The motion made his cage swing violently. “Water,” gasped the one with the flies in his beard.

She looked at their filthy hair and scraggly beards and reddened eyes, at their dry, cracked, bleeding lips. Wolves, she thought again. Like me. Was this her pack? How could they be Robb’s men? She wanted to hit them. She wanted to hurt them. She wanted to cry. They all seemed to be looking at her, the living and the dead alike.  

Arya is at the point of tears with the realization that “Robb’s men” and “her father’s men” are capable of such atrocities. “How could they be Robb’s men?”

It culminates at the Red Wedding:

There was a rock in her hand, slimy with mud, and she didn’t even remember picking it up. Who do I throw it at?…

He wore a surcoat over his armor and she saw the two towers that marked him for a Frey. She did not understand. Her uncle was marrying Lord Frey’s daughter, the Freys were her brother’s friends. “Don’t!” she screamed as he rode around the wayn, but he paid no mind. 

When the show cut and altered so much of Arya’s storyline, the audience missed all of this. The point that GRRM drove home- that no force is better and the smallfolk suffers under all of them in war- is completely lost.

Oh, sure, there’s one moment in Brienne’s storyline about Stark soldiers killing Lannister whores, but the overall message is just gone because Harrenhal and the BWB was what really portrayed it.

So instead of having this strong no right or wrong, the smallfolk are the ones that suffer message, we have a vilified BWB, a way less traumatic Harrenhal, and lightened Stark forces.

The entire message is lost

This is my issue with the show sometimes. The big subversion of tropes is lost. The Stark forces are better, violence is cool, a young girl can go across country without being abused, lords will respect and treat their cupbearers if they’re smart.

And the worst- warrior women will A) look down on other women, B) look down on feminine things (Arya’s doll line ugh, she has a doll in the books) and C) won’t suffer for being different in Westerosi society (Arya’s outcast nature is completely ignored and Brienne’s is toned down.)  

Brienne and Arya are such strong subversions of the warrior girl cliche who admire women, serve women, don’t ever look down on them, and have feminine traits. In fact, they are considered deviations that struggle as a result for their differences. It’s not praised!

That first episode scene with Arya shooting the bow and arrow and everyone laughing… what?? Arya couldn’t pull back a bow, she’s too physically weak. And Catelyn, Ned, and even Robb/Bran/Rickon would find this strange, not laughable. Catelyn definitely wouldn’t have laughed at that. Even Ned would be uncomfortable. 

D&D like the cliches though. And the cliches say that portraying one side as better and morally superior all around is good.

Thus, we lost the powerful anti-war message. 

poolsidescientist  asked:

ASOIAF AU where the Starks are waterbenders.

Ah, yes, thank you for giving me an excuse to talk one of my favorite au universes, and to indulge in one of my fave mashups.

  1. Jon and Arya are the only nonbenders, though–much to Arya’s eventual disappointment–Jon is able to bend post resurrection (I don’t know why, and I don’t know why I keep wanting to insist this happens…but it happens.). This, however, does make the weasel soup incident a little more fun for Arya though, I think.
  2. Roose Bolton tells Robb that Jaime Lannister sends his regards all while bloodbending him. 
  3. Speaking of bloodbending, you know how Ramsay would play little games with Theon? Haha, if you thought Ramsay were terrifying before
  4. Ice isn’t a sword. It’s literal sheet of ice that Ned bends to look like a sword, or a blade. he does have an actual sword though. 
3

Three-quarters of the water had splashed out on the ground, so Arya had to return to the well. If I told Lord Bolton what she said, her head would be up next to Harra’s before it got dark, she thought as she drew up the bucket again. She wouldn’t, though.
Once, when there had been only half as many heads, Gendry had caught Arya looking at them. “Admiring your work?” he asked.
He was angry because he’d liked Lucan, she knew, but it still wasn’t fair. “It’s Steelshanks Walton’s work,” she said defensively. “And the Mummers, and Lord Bolton.”
“And who gave us all them? You and your weasel soup.”
Arya punched his arm. “It was just hot broth…

joannalannister asked:

When the Rogue Prince talks about how highborn girls often served as cupbearers, is that consistent in-world? Is there any lady in the current storyline who was a cupbearer, besides Arya who Roose perceived to be a commoner? Or are we supposed to think it was common in Rhaenyra’s time / the time of the archmaester, and it’s a practice that largely died out?

I searched my copies of the books for “cupbearer”, and besides Arya, I turned up a few mentions. Most of them are boys, but there are a few significant girls.

  • In ASOS, Elmar Frey serves as Roose Bolton’s cupbearer (after Arya gets away from Harrenhal).
  • In AFFC, Sam remembers a trip he’d taken to the Arbor as a boy, where if he hadn’t been so unprepossessing, he would have been left there to serve as Lord Redwyne’s page and cupbearer (and daughter’s potential betrothed).
  • Also in AFFC, Doran tells Arianne that she would have been the Archon of Tyrosh’s ward and cupbearer (and met with Viserys in secret), if not that her mother couldn’t bear to have another one of her children sent away.
  • In ADWD, Dany takes many Great Masters’ children (boys and girls) as hostages / to serve as pages and and cupbearers. She says, “If the Great Masters make objection, explain to them that in Westeros it is a great honor for a child to be chosen to serve at court.”
  • In TPATQ, Aegon II sends a peace offer to Rhaenyra that included the terms that her youngest son Viserys would serve as his cupbearer.
  • Also in TPATQ, once Rhaenyra captures King’s Landing, she has her son Aegon (the younger) made her cupbearer so that he’d always be close to her.
  • edit: One of Arianne’s TWOW chapters says her cousin Obella Sand is serving as a cupbearer for the wife of Manfrey Martell.
  • edit, for the release of TRP: Rhaenyra served as her father Viserys I’s cupbearer as a girl, starting at age 8; her half-brother Daeron was sent to Lord Hightower to serve as his squire and cupbearer.
  • edit, post-TWOIAF: when Rhaelle Targaryen was betrothed to Ormund Baratheon, she was sent to Storm’s End to serve as Lord Lyonel’s cupbearer and as a companion for his wife.

So I think it’s a tradition for highborn girls to serve as cupbearers, both 200 years ago and now. Perhaps boys are more typical (then and now), but certainly Arya didn’t blink when Roose told her that’s how he would reward her for the “weasel soup”. And re Roose regarding Arya as a commoner, recall that Roose is the one who tells Theon he gives away his origins by saying “my lord”, not “m'lord”. And Arya not only says “my lord” cleanly, when she first speaks to him she forgets to give him a title at all – something probably not even the most ignorant peasant would do. So I think it’s slightly possible he might have guessed she was higher-born than she looked. Which the show addressed with Tywin in Roose’s place, note.

(BTW, if you’re visualizing Cersei serving as Tywin’s cupbearer when he was Hand for Aerys and she was in KL, I’m not sure she was young enough for that, as it seems to be mostly a pre-pubescent thing for girls, but you never know.)

ladysmallwood-deactivated201605  asked:

Do you have an endgame for Arya? Also sorry, I feel like I'm blowing up your askbox lol I really don't know what to make of her future, but I completely agree with you that she will never lose her identity; a significant aspect of her character is that her adoption of different identities is forced, in order for survival, but she's always been Arya Stark, and she never forgets nor surrenders her true name. I'm fairly confident she'll make it North, to the Wall and Jon, but from there idk

Haha you’re not, no worries! <3

Arya’s endgame is really up in the air in my opinion. From the beginning of the chaos that starts in AGoT, Arya becomes the ultimate wildcard.

“I mean to have Arya as well. I have men searching.”
“Searching is not finding.” Cersei and Tyrion, ACoK

“Always,” said Jaime, with a last glance at the girl. He wondered if there was much resemblance. Not that it mattered. The real Arya Stark was buried in some unmarked grave in Flea Bottom in all likelihood.  Jaime, ASoS

“What of Arya? By law, she comes after Sansa… your own sister, trueborn…”

“… and dead. No one has seen or heard of Arya since they cut Father’s head off. Why do you lie to yourself? Arya’s gone”Robb and Catelyn, ASoS

“He’s the one that’s got the Stark girl. The way I hear it, she was making for Riverrun, and he stole her. Damned dog.”

Riverrun, thought Brienne. She was making for Riverrun. For her uncles. “How do you know?” “Had it from one of Beric’s bunch. The lightning lord is looking for her too. He’s sent his men all up and down the Trident, sniffing after her.” Brienne, AFFC

“Arya Stark?” Brienne stared open-mouthed, astonished. “You know this? Lady Sansa’s sister is alive?”

“Then,” said the Elder Brother. “Now… I do not know. She may have been amongst the children slain at Saltpans.” Brienne, AFFC

But what if Arya was not there to be saved? What if Lady Melisandre’s flames had told it true? Could his sister truly have escaped such captors? How would she do that? Arya was always quick and clever, but in the end she’s just a little girl, and Roose Bolton is not the sort who would be careless with a prize of such great worth.

What if Bolton never had his sister? This wedding could well be just some ruse to lure Stannis into a trap. Jon, ADWD

In universe, no one knows what the hell happened to her. She’s the ultimate mystery, the quintessential wild card. Jon, Stannis, the Brotherhood and Lady Stoneheart, Brienne are all wondering where she went. Before that, Varys, Tyrion, Cersei, all the Lannister men were looking for her. No one knows what happened to her. 

And out of universe, her fate went up in the air after Ned’s death. She has the least stability of any character. She’s been in Braavos for just two books, but it’s the most stable she’s been in years- and this is in a very questionable assassin’s guild that she fears will kick her out at any moment (which they might actually.)

I think that Arya’s fate is very open to discussion and theories, but I’ll give you my thoughts.

First, Arya’s going to leave the Faceless Men soon (almost certainly in the next book.) This will be due to one of the likely following reasons:

  1. She hears of Jon’s “death” and that triggers her departure (maybe she wants revenge, more likely it just awakens her identity to the point where she just can’t hide anymore.) Plus, it would be very fitting if Arya’s the reason that Jon gets “killed” and Jon’s “death” is the reason Arya leaves.
  2. She hears of something to do with her family. Unlikely that she’ll hear of Sansa, maybe she will though. More possible is that Rickon’s survival reaches her ears.
  3. The wolf dreams become too frequent and powerful (there are hints of this already) and/or Arya realizes that it’s Nymeria she’s connected to and this solidifies her identity and desire to reunite with Nymeria, and symbolically her identity as a Stark since the direwolves represent the Stark identities.
  4. She is given an assassination assignment that she can’t justify. Notably, she was given one assignment that she had to rationalize and justify to do. He was, by all accounts, a horrible person who cheated widows and fatherless children, stole money, and was rude/mean/uncourteous/angry/paranoid/all sorts of bad things. I think GRRM set this up so that Arya can easily justify her first assignment, but she’s so rigid in her sense of justice that a good person, someone she’ll deem unworthy of death, will ruin her chances of maintaining this “servant of the Many Faced God” facade.
  5. They kick her out. The Kindly Man, the Plague Faced Priest, everyone can see that Arya hasn’t given up her identity. The KM and others have made several comments that she can’t be one of them (“you’re heart’s too soft”, “you’re too proud to serve”.) It may end up that the FM just kick her out- but not before she’s been trained extensively.

So Arya will leave- one way or the other- and then one of two things will happen. She’ll either join Dany (if only to get passage to Westeros, something she isn’t currently able to do.) Dany noticeably may hate the Starks, but she loves children. Arya’s will be 11/12 and likely won’t be recognized as a Stark. It is worth noting that Barristan has seen Arya (he’s present at Arya’s “trial” for the Mycah/Trident/Joffrey incident.) If she doesn’t join Dany, she’ll get passage somehow back to Westeros on her own immediately. 

As to where she’ll land in Westeros, it’s one of two places. It’s either Eastwatch and the Wall or somewhere in the Riverlands (Saltpans, back the way she came, coming back the same path but as a different person, very fitting.)

The Wall is for obvious reasons. It’s been heavily foreshadowed that she’ll go there, Jon’s presumably there (or at least she’ll likely think that,) it’s where she’s wanted to go since book one, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to play a role in the battle against the Others. 

The Riverlands because of a few reasons:

  1. Lady Stoneheart is there. It’s possible that Arya will be the one to kill her permanently, to give her the “gift of mercy” as it is, and LS is very connected to Arya (after all, Arya as Nymeria saved her body.)
  2. The Brotherhood is there. The Brotherhood have been looking for Arya since she was kidnapped. While I’d argue that the BWB were not all that kind to Arya in some ways (the fandom glorifies their treatment of her) and that some members didn’t really care for her, a great deal of them did. Harwin and Gendry are especially close with Arya, Anguy and Thoros showed her genuine affection, and a few others seemed to really care about her as well (like Tom.) We met the Brotherhood through Arya, they’re looking for her, she has lots of ties there, I can definitely see them meeting up again- in fact, I expect it.
  3. Nymeria is there. Arya and Nymeria are definitely reuniting. There is zero doubt in my mind about this. While Nymeria could definitely meet Arya somewhere else, I believe Arya will go to Nymeria. In some ways, that’s symbolic- returning to get her Stark identity. Also, there’s the hundreds of wolves following Nymeria in the Riverlands, they’ve been referenced too many times for me to think they’ll just disappear.
  4. Saltpans is one of the only ports Arya can return through. Eastwatch is less likely to even have a ship going to it. Saltpans, Oldtown, Duskendale, King’s Landing, and Gulltown are pretty much her main options. I suppose she could go to KL for Cersei or something and because she’s been there before, but I highly doubt it. Saltpans seems the logical choice.

Now, I’m pretty sure that where she ends up, she’ll be at the Wall for the final battle against the Others. A bunch of characters are likely going to unite there, but Arya will be one of them. She actually has combat skills, which makes her a likely choice for a character to reach the Wall and contribute. Characters like Cersei, Littlefinger, Sansa, Varys, the more politically inclined field are far less likely to be (in fact, I’m pretty sure they won’t be) there. Tyrion is debatable, but he’s been in combat and commanded an army- he’s a politician but also a commander and a fighter to some extent. I think he’ll be there as well, and he did go to the Wall early on. Likely he’ll be with Dany. But Arya has skills and is a fighter, so she’ll probably be there.

Before the battle with the Others, well, it’s debatable. I’m fairly positive that the fact that Nymeria, who is “a part of Arya”, is leading hundreds of wolves (what they call Stark men and North men in universe) means that there is a good likelihood that Arya will assume some sort of commanding role.

It is noticeable that of the four remaining Starks (Arya, Sansa, Bran, and Rickon,) Arya is the only one who could really lead people into battle. Sansa and Bran are non-combatants. Rickon is either four or five at the moment. Arya has had a fair amount of experience in participating and witnessing battles. She was there when the Brotherhood fought the Bloody Mummers, she fought with the Night’s Watch recruits against Armory Lorch and the goldcloaks, the Weasel Soup incident as well, she even was there at the Red Wedding. Arya also is the only one of her Stark siblings to be able to fight. She’s had some sword training, can handle knives, has had to fight blind, and is being trained as an assassin.

So I could see Nymeria’s status as leading and controlling a pack of hundreds of wolves being foreshadowing or symbolic of Arya later leading a pack of “wolves” (aka Stark men) for some purpose- even if that’s only to bring them to the Wall. After all, the Wall needs so many more men than it has.

But like I said, it’s all very up in air. But that’s what I think will happen.  

Unused Arya Quotes

Here are some Arya quotes I love for Day 1 of Arya Appreciation Week that I rarely if ever see used in gifsets/graphics.

(Note: I did this quickly so this isn’t a full list)

She remembered a story Old Nan had told once, about a man imprisoned in a dark castle by evil giants. He was very brave and smart and he tricked the giants and escaped… but no sooner was he outside the castle than the Others took him, and drank his hot red blood. Now she knew how he must have felt. ACoK

Arya could not keep quiet. “We shouldn’t stay here,” she blurted. “The people didn’t. They all ran off, even their lord.”

“Arry’s scared,” Lommy announced, braying laughter.
“I’m not,” she snapped back, “but they were.”
“Smart boy,” said Yoren. “Thing is, the folks who lived here were at war, like it or no. We’re not. Night’s Watch takes no part, so no man’s our enemy.”

And no man’s our friend, she thought, but this time she held her tongue. ACoK

Jaqen still owed her one death. In Old Nan’s stories about men who were given magic wishes by a grumkin, you had to be especially careful with the third wish, because it was the last. Chiswyck and Weese hadn’t been very important. The last death has to count, Arya told herself every night when she whispered her names. But now she wondered if that was truly the reason she had hesitated. So long as she could kill with a whisper, Arya need not be afraid of anyone… but once she used up the last death, she would only be a mouse again. ACoK

She could hear the sound of her own breath, and the wolves as well, a great pack of them now. They are closer than the one I heard in the godswood, she thought. They are calling to me. ACoK

“None of you knows what end of a sword to hold.”
“I do!” Arya wouldn’t let them die for her like Syrio. She wouldn’t! Shoving through the hedge with Needle in hand, she slid into a water dancer’s stance.

Broken Nose guffawed. The officer looked her up and down. “Put the blade away, little girl, no one wants to hurt you.”

“I’m not a girl!” she yelled, furious. What was wrong with them? They rode all this way for her and here she was and they were just smiling at her. “I’m the one you want.” ACoK

As Arya crossed the yard to the bathhouse, she spied a raven circling down toward the rookery, and wondered where it had come from and what message it carried. Might be it’s from Robb, come to say it wasn’t true about Bran and Rickon. She chewed on her lip, hoping. If I had wings I could fly back to Winterfell and see for myself. And if it was true, I’d just fly away, fly up past the moon and the shining stars, and see all the things in Old Nan’s stories, dragons and sea monsters and the Titan of Braavos, and maybe I wouldn’t ever fly back unless I wanted to. ACoK

 She couldn’t go back, no more than she could beg for help. Begging for help never gets you any.  ASoS

The thought of hot food made Arya’s belly rumble, but she didn’t trust this Tom. Not everyone who spoke you friendly was really your friend. ASoS

Arya could only think of Mycah and all the stupid prayers she’d prayed for the Hound to die. If there were gods, why didn’t Lord Beric win? She knew the Hound was guilty. ASoS

Arya was remembering the stableboy at King’s Landing. After him there’d been that guard whose throat she cut at Harrenhal, and Ser Amory’s men at that holdfast by the lake. She didn’t know if Weese and Chiswyck counted, or the ones who’d died on account of the weasel soup… all of a sudden, she felt very sad. “My father was called Ned too,” she said. ASoS

They could not stay on the road. There is death on the road, she told herself, death on all the roads. ASoS

The lightning lord, she thought angrily. Maybe he couldn’t die, but he could lie. ASoS

They had two now, Stranger and a sorrel palfrey mare Arya had named Craven, because Sandor said she’d likely run off from the Twins the same as them. They’d found her wandering riderless through a field the morning after the slaughter. She was a good enough horse, but Arya could not love a coward.  ASoS

I am almost there, Arya thought. She knew she ought to be excited, but her belly was all knotted up tight. Maybe that was just the fever she’d been fighting, but maybe not. Last night she’d had a bad dream, a terrible dream. She couldn’t remember what she’d dreamed of now, but the feeling had lingered all day. If anything, it had only gotten stronger. Fear cuts deeper than swords. She had to be strong now, the way her father told her.  ASoS

Even sewing was more fun than tongues, she told herself, after a night when she had forgotten half the words she thought she knew, and pronounced the other half so badly that the waif had laughed at her. My sentences are as crooked as my stitches used to be. If the girl had not been so small and starved, Arya would have smashed her stupid face. Instead she gnawed her lip. Too stupid to learn and too stupid to give up. AFFC

[Merry and the others] might not be beautiful, but they were kind to her. “The Happy Port is where all the porters go,” Cat assured the men of the Brazen Monkey. AFFC

When at last day came to Braavos, it came grey and dark and overcast. The girl had hoped for fog, but the gods ignored her prayers as gods so often did.  ADWD

dhandelion  asked:

HI ! Just one question, do you think we will ever see Jaqen H'Ghar again ? And if yes, do you think there is a possibility of him helping Arya ?

Not by that name, but we did see the man formerly known as Jaqen already.

Jaqen’s new face as described by Arya in ACoK:

Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls.

“The Alchemist” as described by Pate in AFFC:

He was just a man, and his face was just a face. A young man’s face, ordinary, with full cheeks and the shadow of a beard. A scar showed faintly on his right cheek. He had a hooked nose, and a mat of dense black hair that curled tightly around his ears.  

Same hooked nose, same black, tight curls, and same scar of the same right cheek. And both can take on another person’s face.

Same guy. 

Pate dies and yet we see “Pate” again later… because Pate is Jaqen, a Faceless Man, and Jaqen took his identity and face to gain access to something in the Citadel. Something likely related to the Death of Dragons book- supposedly the last remaining copy is in the Citadel. Spoke about the FM and dragons a bit here.

Right now, we still see Jaqen as he is masquerading as Pate the novice from the Citadel in Sam’s chapters. So we have already seen him again.

As for whether he’ll help out Arya, they definitely could meet each other again as he’s in Westeros and they are both connected to the HoBaW. He also seemed to be fond of Arya in their interactions in ACoK- he must have liked something about her to give her the coin. Moreover, he has some questionably affectionate moves towards her like kissing her head and calling her “lovely” and “sweet” a lot. 

So we definitely could see them interacting again. I always got the feeling that Jaqen liked Arya a lot since he didn’t act like a normal FM with her. Like offering to kill three people for her and going along with the Weasel Soup since FM aren’t supposed to kill for their own purposes. That being said, it could be some early installment weirdness.

But definitely possible. I don’t know though, Jaqen has a huge influence on Arya and her narrative, but like there’s not much time left. It’s hard for me to see them intersecting because’s he’s in Sam’s chapters in the Reach. Seems far more likely that we’ll see him impact the Tyrell/Greyjoy plotline.

But it’s definitely possible.

anonymous asked:

Given that there is no way Jaqen could have gotten captured without his wanting to, do you think his purpose was to recruit Arya all along or what?

No, definitely not. That’s an interesting fan theory I’ve seen a lot of, but it’s implausible. The knowledge Jaqen would have to have in order for this to make sense is absurd. It’d require knowing future events even. If Jaqen was after Arya as a recruit, he’d

  1. Have to know that a NW recruiter, Yoren, was going to go to the Black Cells while he was there- this doesn’t happen all the time and part of the reason it occurred at all is because Ned and Yoren were there at King’s Landing at the same time.
  2. He’d have to know that Arya was going to be taken along with the other recruits thereby giving him access to her. Given that we watch Yoren meet Arya and pretty much no one knew about Ned’s execution, that’s hard to swallow. That’s not even getting into the fact that Arya’s escape from the Red Keep was unpredictable.
  3. And most importantly, it makes no sense that Jaqen/the Faceless Men would seek out Arya as a recruit. Prior to the ending of AGoT, Arya embodied everything that would turn off a FM: A) she’s a girl, B) her age, C) her nobility and place in the world, D) pride of her identity, and so on. Not to mention, how could the FM predict that Arya would be someone they could recruit? Like I love Arya, but she’s hardly wearing a sign that says she has potential to join an elite organization of the most famed assassins at the beginning of the series. Moreover, FM likely target people for recruitment who not only have potential/the skills/intelligence but also have nowhere else to go- that’s not Arya for a while. 

Jaqen was clearly sent to Westeros on some other mission- or some other missions I suspect given that he’s still there. 

“I have to go home. To Winterfell.”
“Then we must part,” he said, “for I have duties too.”

“Jaqen is as dead as Arry,” he said sadly, “and I have promises to keep. Valar morghulis, Arya Stark. Say it again.” ACoK

He implies that he’s on a mission for the Faceless Men to Arya before he leaves. The way he says “duties” and “promises” rather than anything singular just furthers my belief that Jaqen had multiple missions. Jaqen’s definitely still on a FM mission though, we see him through Sam’s POV and he’s definitely up to something. I suspect something to do with the last known copy of The Death of Dragons book that’s supposedly kept in the bottom of the Citadel…

I believe he’s the FM who killed Balon Greyjoy. 

"I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings.” Ghost of the High Heart in Arya, ASoS  

A Faceless Man killed Balon Greyjoy, but it was potentially not Jaqen. That being said, it makes a lot of sense that it could be. Think about it, why would Jaqen want to get captured and “recruited” to the Night’s Watch? The answer is pretty simple- the same reason Arya did. It’s a path to the North that no one (usually, prior to the War of the Five Kings) questions. People used to not interfere with the NW, it was arguably the safest way to travel long distances. The most inconspicuous way to, which would be ideal for someone like Jaqen.

Yoren took the same path to the Wall every time. 

“Been bringing men to the Wall for close on thirty years.” Froth shone on Yoren’s lips, likebubbles of blood. “All that time, I only lost three. Old man died of a fever, city boy got snakebit taking a shit, and one fool tried to kill me in my sleep and got a red smile for his trouble.” He drew the dirk across his throat, to show her. “Three in thirty years.” He spat out the old sourleaf. “A ship now, might have been wiser. No chance o’ finding more men on the way, but still…clever man, he’d go by ship, but me… thirty years I been taking this kingsroad.”” Arya, ACoK

We saw through Arya that the Yoren and co. passed by God’s Eye on their way to the Wall. The path takes them West/North- which is the direction Jaqen would want to go if he was trying to reach the Iron Islands from King’s Landing.

My guess is that Jaqen decided to hitch a ride that (supposedly) guaranteed free food and no second looks from villagers and passerbys. He’d escape around the time that the NW recruits path diverged from where he wanted to go, i.e. maybe the Iron Islands. It’s smart, stealthy, and a way for Jaqen to travel in plain sight without arousing suspicion. 

As for Balon, well, Jaqen disappears mid-ACoK from Harrenhal and reappears prologue of AFFC in the Citadel as the “Alchemist” newly arrived having not even taken the guise of Pate yet. That’s a little under a year of time where Jaqen’s unaccounted for, and Balon is killed during ASoS. It fits well in the timeline for Jaqen. Plus, he’s a FM we already know is in Westeros. Given their presence all over the ASoIaF world and station in the Free Cities, it’s likely that Westeros only has one FM in it at a time.

I think that all FM have coins on their person like Jaqen did at all times and are advised to hand one to a potential recruit. I think they all keep their eyes open for potential. I also think it’s extremely rare that they actually mark someone as having potential. But FM are known for the preparedness, so it’s unsurprising that they would be open to unusual opportunities. 

Arya took Jaqen by surprise. I think he was impressed by her because Jaqen witnesses some moments from Arya that would make him think she has potential. There’s the fact that she doesn’t fear death enough to stop her from running through fire to save him and Rorge/Biter. There’s the fact that Arya took him up on his 3 deaths offer (something I suspect might have been a test given how at odds it is with the FM ideology.) There’s the fact that Arya displayed a great deal of intelligence and manipulation when dealing with Jaqen- the way she wrestled more deaths out of him after 2 had been spent probably impressed him.

“You’re not my friend. A friend would help me.” She stepped away from him, balanced on the balls of her feet in case he threw his knife. “I’d never kill a friend.”
Jaqen’s smile came and went. “A girl might… name another name then, if a friend did help?” 

“A girl might,” she said. “If a friend did help.”

Moreover, Jaqen knew Arya was Arya Stark, and no one else (sans Gendry) in Harrenhal did. That’s a useful trait to have. FM are all about remaining inconspicuous and hiding their identities. At the same time, she also displayed a sense of loyalty/duty, no lust for killing (actually a cool practicality especially in regards to the Weasel Soup,) bravery, ability to work hard while keeping her head down, and other traits that might make Jaqen consider her potential. 

So my opinion is that Jaqen was intrigued by Arya through observation, tested her with the three death promise, and finally decided that she had potential. But the entire thing was unexpected and unplanned on either end. 

joannalannister said: 

I agree! I think as it applies to Arya, it is good that her abusers die, that trash deserved to die, but … it’s less than ideal that Arya be the one to do it IMO. She’s not “losing her humanity” but the killing is its own form of trauma for her.

Agreed so hard. I wish it were someone else, though part of that is Arya’s remembrance of Ned’s lessons:

The Starks were at war with the Lannisters and she was a Stark, so she should kill as many Lannisters as she could, that was what you did in wars. But she didn’t think she should trust Jaqen. I should kill them myself. Whenever her father had condemned a man to death, he did the deed himself with Ice, his greatsword. “If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look him in the face and hear his last words,” she’d heard him tell Robb and Jon once. ACoK

Just look at how she sees it “that’s what you do in wars”, child soldier aspects in play here definitely. Shows exactly how Arya developed such a mentality that she has now (killing enemies helps loved ones, killing personally is the right thing to do, if you’re going to kill someone, do it yourself, ect.)

But really one of the main reasons Arya kills people personally (if not the only reason) is because of her father’s influence. She always refers back to his lessons over her journey and tries to abide by what he taught her (and Jon/Robb.) 

Oh, and 100% agree with the trauma. The nightmares she has of everyone she’s killed, and the shame she feels when she recalls her killings attest to that. I mean the fact that the nightmare of her killings has such details such as how it felt to plunge a knife into the Tickler really indicates that. The fact that she worries over whether or not the victims from the Weasel Soup incident and Chiswyck/Weese “count” also says it all.

I always worry about the fact that people might think I’m trying to advocate for Arya killing, or glorifying it, but really I find it very sad. And I always view the Tickler’s death as depressing. 

But on the other side, I really think it’s important for people to acknowledge that the life Arya has lived, the world of ASoIaF, really dictates that Arya can be an incredibly compassionate, friendly person who wants to help innocents and support people “kind to her” and miss home and her family and be all these nice, normal things while being able to kill someone. These aren’t exclusive ideas for the type of world Arya lives in.

People tend to view this in such a modern way- if you kill and want to then you’re a killer and don’t have respect for human life. But in Arya’s world, respecting human life (like Lommy and all those poor villagers who were tortured to death) coincides with killing. Arya has such a respect for human life that she is horrified over the long dead slaves of Old Valyria not being granted justice and instead dying themselves instead of their abusers. 

I guess my point is that the world GRRM has created makes instances like Arya killing Raff the Sweetling everything from sad to gratifying, heroic to disturbing, badass and tragic, illustrative of a taking control and being forced out of control. People oversimplify these things, they are so complex.

Acknowledging Arya’s considerable competency and- dare I say it- badassery shouldn’t equate to people viewing Arya’s trauma as being overlooked. She’s kickass and traumatized, this isn’t an either or thing that some people try to see it as. Shades of grey make up the ASoIaF world.

ASoIaF Challenge | 03. A scene you want to see on the show | Weasel Soup

“Arya pressed back against the wall as Rorge began to cut throats. Biter preferred to grab the men behind the head and under the chin and crack their necks with a single twist of his huge pale hands. Only one of the guards managed to get a blade out. Jaqen danced away from his slash, drew his own sword, drove the man back into a corner with a flurry of blows, and killed him with a thrust to the heart. The Lorathi brought the blade to Arya still red with heart’s blood and wiped it clean on the front of her shift. ‘A girl should be bloody too. This is her work.’” -A Clash of Kings

Hey guys. Not posting much because we’ve been focusing on Niku. Hes been having a hard time with eating and bowel movements, urination and is very lethargic. Keep him in your thoughts. We will be making duk soup for him. Anyone have a favorite recipe? (not a fan of the one the vet gave us - has oats and ferretone in it…) We think he is improving, but it will take time. My $5 animal commissions will stay open until further notice to help raise money for these bills :)