Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Arya Stark!

I have been in love with this young wolf since the very first episode (I'm still working on the books..sorry) of Game of Thrones. Immediately we recognize that she stands apart from the other high born girls; she knows what is expected of her as a "lady" and she wants nothing to do with it. 

No matter how badly people try to tame her, she refuses to be anyone other than who she knows she is. And I absolutely love that about her. I love that we get to explore a character who does not fit the life she has been born into.

Even more, I love that despite not wanting to be a "lady," which she makes abundantly clear:

 Arya also never wants to be a boy. She is a girl and she is fine with that; she just does not like what is being forced upon her as a result. She is not interested in the life a lady is meant to lead. She does not enjoy embroidery and she does not want to marry a prince and have lots of sons. Not everyone can be Sansa Stark, afterall. She wants to learn to use a sword. She wants to fight for what she believes in and to punish those who have wronged her; all stereotypical characteristics of boys, not girls. But she is a girl, and rather resents anyone who tries to suggest otherwise. And that is one of my favorite things about her. It would be easy to write a character who wishes she was a boy because she's interested in "boy" things. Instead, Arya offers us a character who is just fine with being a girl and being interested in "non-girly" things. She is a reminder that sword fighting and being a girl are not mutually exclusive. And that girls can get just as angry and vengeful as boys.

Speaking of angry and vengeful, another thing I have loved is watching Arya change from her experiences. Over the course of the seasons Arya has been through more than her fair share of trauma. We have watched her go from this

to this

From learning to use her little sword

to stabbing a man in the neck without a second thought

Arya has been deeply affected by her experiences since leaving Winterfell and it shows. She is not the same person she was when she left. And though she has grown into a strong, bold, and intelligent woman, she has also grown into a rash and quick to anger young woman. Now, I don't think anyone could really argue that she was in the wrong when she killed that man for reasons I will leave out for spoiler purposes, however I still think it is telling that she was capable of it in the first place. She has become a young woman who repeats the names of people she wishes death upon every night before she falls asleep. She has become a young woman who can watch a sword fight without blinking and desperately wish to see a man die; she has become a young woman who attempts to kill the man herself when he wins the fight. She has come a long way since leaving Winterfell, and I suspect she has a long way to go yet.

I have a deep love for young Arya Stark. She knows who she is and she won't let anyone tell her otherwise. She is bold and determined, albeit a bit rash and very quick to anger, but nobody is perfect and her flaws make her all the more real.

Do you love Arya as much as I do? Who would you pick as your favorite "A" character and why?


  1. You have a fantastic theme for the challenge this year :-)
    I don't often watch Game of Thrones, but I think I've seen the episode with Arya stabbing someone in the neck. I was quite shocked!
    xx Rachel
    Favorite Book Covers: Apollyon vs Awakening

  2. Hi Mel, I am surrounded by game of thrones fans, my husband is reading the series now... the stabbing gif doesn't make me want to see it at all now :) I'm part of co host Pam's Unconventional Alliance. Dropping in from the #atozchallenge. All the best. Reflex Reactions

  3. yes, I think she would be my fave A in Game of Thrones.