Arya the Psychopath

Discussion in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' started by CB Swords, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    I was thinking about how most of the characters in ASOIAF are grey, not black and white. There are very truly good or truly evil people. I started trying to think of who is truly good, without fault, I think perhaps some, but not all, of the starks. Not even Dany is all white with her obsession with vengeance, that girl can hold a grudge like nothing else.

    Ned was good, but he died. Robb was good and he died. Catelyn was good, and she died, and now perhaps she is a little vengeful. Rickon is a kid. Bran is good, Jon is good, Sansa isn't, she is shallow and petty and she isn't in the same class as the rest.

    Then Arya, I first thought, Arya is good, but then I thought on her more...

    Do you think GRRM is setting us up to root for a violent psychopath? Is it me, or is Arya slowly turning into one?

    Arya has killed a lot of people, and most of the time they deserved it, but not always, sometimes they were merely in her way or the punishment did NOT fit the crime. Sure, Arya has a right to be angry at the world, but the killing doesn't seem to phase her, she seems inable to empathize with others. She has all the traits of a psychopath.

    Think of Ned finding feeling for the man he executes at the very beginning, Jon, feeling for the wildlings and giants as he fights them. Arya exhibits none of these traits.
     
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    You're probably right. I'm hoping she'll change when and if she gets in touch with Jon again, but I'm not counting on it.
     
  3. Ser Land

    Ser Land New Member

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    The girl is just trying to survive, that's all. Killing and running are her only ways of defense, and sometimes you just can't run.
     
  4. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    She had to murder whatshisface the prettyboysinger black brother and push his body into the canals?

    She had to kill the back gate guard sneaking out of harrenhal, as opposed to just say knock him out and tie him up?

    And it isn't just that she does these things, it is that she is utterly without remorse.
     
  5. Ser Land

    Ser Land New Member

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    Daeron had ran out of the Night Watch. As a Stark, Arya did justice.

    Knocking the guard instead of killing him was more likely to put their escape in jeopardy.

    She has shown remorse some times. And in war, either you win or you die.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Well she is young and is falling back onto the one thing that has shown her sucess - killing those that get in her way.
    Granted she could have tied up the guard - but then you have to remember that would take more time to do - require rope - strength to tie the rope well and also have the risk that he could be found sooner and also pass on who did it and what way they went.

    I think that she is relying on a killing instinct to survive - and that because she is so young she is not dwelling on the full ramifications of her actions (or to put it another way she is not burdened with guilt the same way that other people might be).

    How she ends up will be very dependant on how things unfold for her - if she is constantly put into situations where killing is the only option open to her that will more colour how she reacts to things - thus making killing a feasable option for her in many situations where others might take an alternative rout. Her sanity is also highly dependant on things - I suspect if she were to link up with her older brothers she might become more stable in things (she would then be protected from things - if not in actuality then at least in her mind) whilst with younger siblings she might become more of a killler - the protector herself. Sansa would be an interesting encounter and I am not sure what would happen in that case
     
  7. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    uh, she's also still a young girl. Not to mention, in Westeros, she's a (younger) female and nowhere close to inheriting the Stark line as far as she knows. It's not her place to mete out justice in the world of Westeros. Lysa Arryn was a huge exception.
     
  8. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    Lack of guilt is exactly the trait in question. Psychopaths lack remorse for when they hurt others.

    It also isn't something you become, it is a mental deficiency you have, as if you were born without one leg, you're born with it.

    Its one of the reasons why they say one of the first signs someone could be a serial killer one day is if they torture animals when they're young. A lack of empathy towards the pain of the animal could be indicative of this personality disorder.

    If you watch the Showtime show Dexter, that is a good analogy. No one would question Dexter does "good." He only kills criminals. But he has a personality disorder, he cannot empathize with others, he does not have the capability to feel guilty for anything. He is a psychopath, he may only kill criminals, but he is a psychopath.
     
  9. Ser Land

    Ser Land New Member

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    It doesn't matter whether she's to inherit Winterfell or not(though she just might). She's a Stark. Stark's make a big deal of honor and duty. It's a Stark's duty to exact justice on the Night Watch's deserters. It is known.
     
  10. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Um, that's not very realistic, though. She's a CHILD. She'd be in middle school if you're going by the American system. Are you seriously telling me that a young girl's capable of understanding honor and duty and "executing" people as she sees fit? Even in Westeros, that doesn't really fly. I have to side with CB here.
     
  11. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    What would GRRM do?

    It'd just be like him to trick us into rooting for a psychopath wouldn't it? It would just be like him to turn Arya from good to evil. That is what he does. Any other author I would think "Nah, he wouldn't risk it." but not GRRM.
     
  12. Ser Land

    Ser Land New Member

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    Ordinary american children don't have as tough a life as she does.
     
  13. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    true - but based on that almost everyone in westros is a psychopath (barring Ned and Jon ;)). I can't recall her name and my books are not with me at the moment, but the redhead wildling that Jon falls for in Storm of Swords - now she also has a lighter view of killing and yet she is not considered to be a phsychopath. I think the key difference is that she has drawn lines round who is and is not in her family/pack group and outside of those lines the people don't matter (she also shows enough sense of self to not let those close to her to drag her down with them either).
    Arya could just be heading down a similar path - just that she has a lot of people in her way and is in the middle of the lions den when she is a wolf -- that promotes the killing and the hate she feels. Were she to find herself in a safter environment where she is not at risk and where there are no lions or people to distrust (though I think she will always have a hard time in trusting others after her youth) then I suspect she might calm into a more normal mindset.
    Also she is young - she lacks part of the more serious and long term thinking that comes with an adult - she is acting very much in the now with little thought for the future (take her having her tormenter in Harranhil (SP - that big castle place) killed by the FaceDancer - she regreted that kill because it was a "waste" in the longer term of things - so she is learning and learning fast, but she still has a young mind.
    Also there is her link with the wolves to consider as well - (on more shaky ground here as I am only just ovre half way through storm of swords) but the link is there and wolves hold a very strong kill opponents view - so that very well might be affecting her judgement in things as well. It might even be that without any training or self disipline (the latter she seems to have a lot of though) it is this link that will send her over the edge - a more wild killer with only a mind of protecting her pack and little else beyond that - no remorse nor feeling for her kills.

    Also
    I am no expert on these things, but its my understanding that there has to be more than this to make a proper psycho killer - lacking remorse for killing or harming others is a trait that many animals have (especially predators) whislt also its a trait that many soldiers have to drill into themselves to remain sane whilst fighting and yet not all those men become random killers. There has to be something else into the mix as well as this aspect - some randomness or pettyness if you will, which makes them take out the actions with little to no reason save the act of killing or torture itself
     
  14. Jorick

    Jorick Well-Known Member

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    I personally wouldn't mind it if Arya turned into a murderous psychopath. Her revenge complex is great fun to read about, as is the remorseless killing. Mentally unstable little girls make for interesting twists in a story.

    Also, someone mentioned Dexter. That's an awesome show and series of books. I think I have a thing for murderers... >_>
     
  15. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    I agree with CB - when you start killing people at the age of 10 and you feel no remorse...it's kinda a one-way track to full-blown psychopath when she's older.
     
  16. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Yep, this is classic Martin :D
     
  17. Ender-Zero

    Ender-Zero Ruff Mercenary

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    No. she'll kill Jon is my guess. Either that or she'll kill Dany.
     
  18. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Basic psychology. Children's minds are literally INCAPABLE of understanding particular concepts, which is why they see the world in black and white. Sure, she's capable of understanding the basic concept of justice... but she can't see the whole picture, or analyze the situation as well as an adult.
     
  19. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Yeah, I think she's on the way there. I can't help hoping that she'll somehow lose (or at least lessen) the psychopathic tendencies and end up with Jon at the Wall - but this is GRRM so that's never going to happen :(.

    OTOH I don't see her becoming 100% psychopathic. She does cling on to Needle after all, and I don't think it's just because it's a sword. I think it's also because she associates Needle with Jon and her family. So I think that while she's got that connection she isn't going to become a complete psychopath, but she's pretty close to it.
     
  20. Alchemist

    Alchemist The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I've been thinking about this for a while actually, and agree with CB. Arya definitely has the traits for a psychopath. Which, I believe, would be quite interesting.
     
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