Why We Like Arya Best

27 Jun
Circe not happy

Circe not happy

I spent the weekend bowing down like we must all do to Season Three, Game of Thrones. A lot of great characters–and what’s more rare–a lot of great female characters.

There is much to discuss with season three.  The controversial finale, for one.  Mostly I just relished how good all the casting was.  The actors take great roles and fill them out even more. Emmys for everyone! sez I.

I talked with someone for quite a long time about how much I like Jamie Lannister and Brienne on the show–a lot more than in the books.  Of course Circe played by Lena Headley is so easy to watch.  Circe has to eat a lot of sh**, and the looks she gives–Yes, you love to hate her, but you sympathize with her too as a put upon woman, undervalued and unfulfilled.  Sansa is perfectly cast as well.

Arya Stark--moppet for the millenium

Arya Stark–moppet for the millenium

Meanwhile, I like Arya best, don’t you? What a moppet she is.  Character is king and let’s just admit right now that George R.R. Martin is pretty genius at making characters that engage us emotionally.  You’ll willingly travel 5000 pages with Arya and the rest.  How does Martin do it?  Well I will tell you.

FIRST RULE: MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS SUFFER.  A classic rule–but to Martin it is sacred gospel.  He will torture them.  Literally. He will give them everything and then slowly and inexorably strip away from them everything they have.  He’ll kill them–if you haven’t started the series, I warn you, he will kill a LOT of them off, right before your eyes, while you’re gripping your head and saying noooooooooo.

But there are other ways in which he makes his characters suffer.

Big Brienne

Big Brienne

SECOND RULE: PUT THEM IN THE WRONG BODY.  Tyrion the dwarf has a beautiful soul, but most think his body grotesque and judge him grotesque because of it.  Circe should have been born in a man’s body.  Brienne should have been born in a man’s body.  Arya should have been born in a boy’s body.  Bran’s lower body doesn’t work so well.  Samwell Tarley has a delicate scholar’s soul, but was born in a body like a beachball. Each of these characters suffer for the mismatch of their spirit and his/her gender or body limitations in a world with a stunted point of view about people’s abilities.

THIRD RULE:  GIVE THE SLOW LEARNERS MANY CRUEL LESSONS TO TEACH THEM.  If they don’t learn, give them yet another cruel lesson and then another. (Poor Sansa).

Got dragons?

Got dragons?

FOURTH RULE: GIVE LEAST INTERESTING CHARACTERS THE MOST INTERESTING ANIMALS & ADVENTURES.  You’ll notice that Bran and Daenerys are both beautiful actors, and that they have the most freaky/interesting adventures.

Little D gets the dragons, while Bran gets the three eyed crow.  I’m not very drawn to either though they have admirable qualities of course. But I will watch the dragons, and I will watch the crow and the dire wolves til the cows come home.

Finally, I have to ask myself, yes that’s all well and good, but why do I like Arya best? Why, if I had to pick any character to trade places with, would I pick her?

Poor Sansa

Poor Sansa

Because she has spirit.  She fights against injustice, she is undaunted and unafraid.  Finally, she never despairs.  Well, almost never. She never pities herself is what it really is.  For someone so young, she has to suffer so many hardships all alone.  Give me a little kid, being brave and all alone, and I’ll give you tears–lots of tears.

And because this is Game of Thrones the one thing we know for sure is that Arya’s gonna suffer her fair share and perhaps more before all is said and done.  I can’t stand it–but I also can’t wait for Season Four.

13 Responses to “Why We Like Arya Best”

  1. ellaquinnauthor July 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    After reading all the books years ago, because he can’t manage to meet a deadline, I refuse to watch the series. I hate, hate, hate, how he kills off the characters I like. I also dislike intensely how he adds new story lines without finishing the old ones.


    • madelineiva July 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      I talked to this one guy who had been on the message boards for Game of Thrones, and there were some who were convinced that he was never going to finish Arya’s story line. Ever. Which I think is cruel and unusual…don’t you?


      • ellaquinnauthor July 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

        I think his whole writing style is cruel and unusual. That’s one of the reasons I gave him up. In the book he had out before this current one, he dropped everyone and took off on new story lines at the end.


  2. madelineiva June 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Hi five, Katyna. 🙂


  3. Katyna June 28, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I love Arya best too! She is every single female character that I’ve always wanted to see fight and never got to. Anne from Green Gables and Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice. She is all the spirited girls and women in books saying exactly what she thinks and then going out and doing what needs to be done to get it.

    Lately I’ve seen the young women come to life, like on Avatar – The Last Airbender. That show is full of spirited women. Katara and Toph and Suki and Azula. But Arya is so much more.

    If she dies, I don’t know if I can be consoled.


    • madelineiva June 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      You said it Katyna! (And said it so well, too!) Slowly but surely, spirited females are getting more time in book series and getting their due.

      It says so much about how the books/show suck you in. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the Uglies, Pretties, Specials series by Scott something McCord? Anyway, he kills off a major character and I still haven’t forgiven him.


      • Katyna June 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

        I’ve only read Uglies and Pretties. I haven’t gotten to Specials yet. I do enjoy YA though. There is a great series, with an amazing female lead, The Poison Study books. LOVED those books. Also Graceling, Bitterblue and Fire. Those have some incredibly strong, kick-ass female leads.

        I’ve only seen season 1 of Game of Thrones, but I have read all the books to date. I’ve got to say, Daenerys is way too loco for me. She’s not a strong female character so much for me anymore. She has passed go straight to the looney bin. Maybe she’ll come around again, but I don’t feel the love for her that I do for Arya.


  4. LizEverly June 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    I’ve not seen it either. That shouldn’t surprise you…hehehe. It’s on HBO or something, which I don’t get because of my kids. (And I don’t really miss it.)


    • madelineiva June 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      We don’t get HBO, but we’ve read the books which totally sucked me in.


  5. cmkempe June 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    I haven’t seen. I’ve had some unfortunate experiences with the author, so never had much interest.


  6. Elizabeth Shore June 27, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    OMG, I could talk about Game of Thrones all day. First off, from a writer’s point of view, George R.R. Martin is genius. The incredible world he’s created, the richness of character, the intrigue, the scheming, the fantasy . . . talk about high concept! And I agree with you in that he’s upped the ante on the characters by putting them in bodies that don’t at all coincide with their spirits. Brilliant Tyrion in a tiny dwarf body, warrior Brienne as a woman, it’s all great.

    I will say, however, that I think you’ve given short shrift to Daenerys. I LOVE that character. She’s almost my favorite, along with Tyrion. Don’t get me wrong, Arya’s awesome, but I really adore the way Daenerys appears to be someone so easily dismissed, yet she’s slowly but very intelligently building up a massive army that will do anything for her. She was the scared, unsure sister of her jerk-off brother Viserys in season one (and did he ever get his comeuppance – my jaw practically hit the floor on that one), and now she’s the mother of dragons commanding a huge army as she prepares to take back the kingdom. I’m with you, Madeline. Season 4 can’t come fast enough!


    • madelineiva June 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

      Maybe because Daenerys has so much time ‘on stage’ as a leader you don’t get as much juicy stuff with her as the others who are ‘off stage’ and having much more personal moments with each other. Rob Stark is the same way.


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