Character Discussion: Arya, Sansa, and Catelyn Stark

Discussion in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' started by Liadan, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Arya, Sansa, and Catelyn Stark are three of the most dominating female figures in ASoIaF - even if most people think that Sansa/Cat aren't as interesting as Arya is. I've noticed that many people love Arya (I'm among them, I admit), but the truth of the matter is that she's a preteen girl killing people in her way, and is basically a murderer. Sansa, the sweet girl, is regarded to be boring, stupid, and naive, although many people hold that she's improving in AFFC. Yet should we meet either in real life, I'm fairly sure that most people would prefer Sansa over Arya. Yes, I realize that this is a fictional series, and that what's undesirable IRL is considered "cool" in fiction. Yet people still draw the line at certain characters - everyone hates Cersei, for example, and quite a few dislike Jaime. And 95% of ASoIaF fans love Ned, although he's an honorable and naive man - what we'd consider a grown-up, male version of a goody-goody Sansa. So what is it about Arya that we adore her, and what is it about Sansa that many dislike her?

    And Catelyn Stark - quite a few people despise her for her cold treatment of Jon Snow, her many errors in her part in the war, and hold her to be a misguided character. Yet Catelyn is only a mother trying her best to protect her children, and even her treatment of Jon Snow could be considered to be protection. Note that I do not in any way approve of how she treated Jon, but there are reasons. Yes, what she did to Jon was cruel and unkind, but try and think about it from her point of view. Many lords of Westeros fathered bastards, but none brought them home to a trueborn, lawfully wedded wife. For those who raise the R + L = J argument and say that she has no right to treat Jon that way if Ned wasn't even unfaithful to her, note that she has no idea about that as well. As far as she knows, Ned rode to Dorne and came back with a child that he let people think was his.

    (Will post more on Cat later, I kinda have a headache right now.)

    Mostly hoping for a friendly character debate on these three Starks. :) There hasn't been enough discussion in this section lately. :p
     
  2. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    I haven't read the books in a while, so my memory might be off a bit. :p

    I actually never thought about Arya that way. It's very interesting that despite all the criminal activites Arya participates in, the way GRRM writes about her, the reader is always on her side. I think it really encourages the idea of relativity and that the distinction of good and evil is false. One man's murderer is another's hero. Who is the real villain?
     
  3. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Well, what you've said on Catelyn is excellent as far as I'm concerned. I've never hated Catelyn, she's more and tragic figure to me and very much a mother trying to protect her children from the world. I agree with you pretty much 100% on her. As for Arya and Sansa though, I tend to reverse the commonly held views on them :D.

    One of the things I find most appealing about Sansa is her realism. She's a girl who has been brought up in a world where the most important thing for a girl is to make a good marriage and improve the family's standing - a situation which was once quite common. And, at the start that's all she expects and is naturally delighted at the chance to marry a prince, the best possible match. Some preteen girls now (rather younger than Sansa admittedly) think they'll grow up to marry a prince but in Sansa's case it was a genuine possibility. And it doesn't occur to any preteen girl I've ever met that their prince might not be a nice guy. Sansa's entire knowledge of state matters seems to derive from stories full of honourable characters. At the start it's quite logical that Sansa believes she's in a fairy tale. I would be disappointed to see her continue to believe that, but she doesn't.

    It does take Sansa far too long to realise Joffrey's cruelty, but it's understandable too, she's an extremely young girl who believes that what she's feeling is love. But she learns to adapt in a way GoT Sansa wouldn't, she bends to the situation while never giving up hope that she'll escape. One of my favourite observations is when Tyrion sees Sansa greeting guests at Joffrey's wedding and realises just how good a queen she'd make. The earlier Sansa wouldn't have done half so well in that situation. And while we might have liked her to trust Tyrion, he is a member of the family who killed her father. She's already trusted them to disastrous results, she's learned from her lesson by not trusting Tyrion. Unlike us, she doesn't have access to Tyrion's thoughts. From her point of view it would be risky to reveal anything to him. Similiarly, she doesn't trust Littlefinger, and she's developing an acute political knowledge.

    Arya...while never hating Arya I've never liked her as much as many people have. She is a total contrast to her sister, because while Sansa is a realistic, if naive character, Arya doesn't seem at all real to me. I liked her at first, I tend to like feisty female characters, but a nine or ten year old ninja is just too much for me to swallow. She was one of my favourite GoT characters but from then on her storyline became less interesting to me, probably because of it repitition. Arya thinks at one point that she seems to have been going to Riverrun for most of her life, as far as I'm concerned that's all too true. There have been interesting moments in Arya's storyline, I liked her run-in with the Hound and I do think her situation in AFFC could be promising but for me she just doesn't have Sansa's subtlety of character.
     
  4. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    @ Jessehk: Yeah, I hadn't thought about that in the beginning either, but rereading it, Arya's basically a bloodthirsty savage. Not that this means I like her any less - she's still my fav character. :p

    And wow, Lyanna, excellent insights. ^^ I agree with what you said about Sansa, but not about Arya, sorry. :p I'll admit that I absolutely HATED Sansa when I first started reading the series, but I've started sympathizing with her little by little - even if I think she's a complete idiot. Sorry, but she is. They order her father's head to be cut off, and yet she still has hopes that everything will turn out for the best?
     
  5. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Well, there's nothing like optimism...:D. I'll admit I wasn't too fond of Sansa in AGoT either, it was only later she started growing on me.
     
  6. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Hehe, that's not to say that I hate her or even dislike her. I DO like her, especially after AFFC. But she's still an idiot. ;P

    I've never been able to understand, though, why so many people hate Catelyn...
     
  7. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    OK then, I'll settle for that :D. I don't hate Arya either after all.

    And, an insight from a Catelyn hater would be interesting...
     
  8. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    A pity that no one else is replying to this thread - I'd been hoping to prompt more discussion. :)
     
  9. Pale Ale

    Pale Ale Music House Member

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    I'm kinda a catlyn hater. I mean everyone did horrible things, but when something bad happens to her presious son she goes on a crazy undead manhunt to kill anyone who has some what of an emotional attachment to any one who could have possibly been connected to her son's death. She really has done alot of other irrational stupidity. Like what she did to tyrion when she captured him, their was no proff that he did anything wrong other than the crap littlefinger fed her which she stupidly beleaved which caused much problems. She is a irrational moron who would do anything to save any of her children but doesn't give much of a shit about everyone else, even in death she is irrational and a moron.

    But really her stupidity and irrationality is not why i dislike her, just the thoughts she had inside her head and the way she thought about everything really was what irks me. I don't really hate her but i just really don't like her much. But atleast she was loyal to her husband which is nice when just about every man including her husband has sex with at least one whore.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  10. Arianne

    Arianne New Member

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    I liked Arya very much at the begining...

    But now I read all.

    And first I was very angry on Sansa, she was stupid and boring... But at the end she improved very much and she isn't stupid and naive any more. Her chapters are very interesting.

    Arya...At the beginiig I liked her very much, she was one of my favourite characters. But she dissapointed me, she became a killer. And her chapters are boring to me... I like her still, but not so much

    I liked Catelyn very much first... She was ok, except her behaviour to Jon...
    But after she died... I can't recognize her. She is scarying me...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  11. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Just to keep the discussion going...:D

    Well, Littlefinger is her childhood friend after all, and Tyrion is a Lannister, who's certainly no friend of hers. Without our perspective on Littlefinger and Tyrion, how do you expect her to know who to trust? Also, it wasn't Catelyn who wanted to toss Tyrion out the Moon Door without questioning him IIRC, it was Lysa.

    Not really. She helps Brienne quite a lot for example, and gives her a place that suits her far more than attempting to be a soldier, which IMO she's far too honourable to be. She's also not entirely irrational, she gives frequently good advice about trying to make peace terms when she realises they haven't got a chance at winning. Yes, she wants to keep her children safe, but that's entirely understandable and if Robb had listened more he might be alive now. She was also the only one who objected to sending Theon back to the Iron Islands, a very bad decision from Robb's point of view.

    You know, that last part's debatable...:D.
     
  12. Kakashi17

    Kakashi17 New Member

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    Is anyone else a little worried as to what Arya is going to become? The thing that I like the most about the Starks in general is that they kill for the right reason's? But this seems to be lost on Arya and I think she may become a Rabid Wolf, keep in mind she is hands down the youngest killer in that family, and arguibly the most remoresless of all of them. Some of the instances are understandable but what about that Stableboy? And for all of the girls out there I am in no way dissing a heroine its just I dont want to see any Stark become a relentless killer.
     
  13. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    I do kind of agree with you there, Arya doesn't seem to be emotionally affected at all by killing and that's dangerous. She's potentially a completely remorseless killer and yes, I could see her as a potential 'rabid wolf' (nice phrase :)), or a Faceless Woman who'll kill without hesitation. Although, I don't think killing the stableboy was the worst thing she's done, it was very much a reflex reaction. IMO killing the guard to escape from Harrenhal was worse, because it was planned and executed with chilling efficiency by a girl who's 9 or 10 years old and it didn't seem to bother her at all. I know it was necessary, but that it was done without remorse was a bit disturbing.
     
  14. Kakashi17

    Kakashi17 New Member

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    Do you think that any one else in the family (deceased included) would Kill an innocent stablehand and not have it haunt them?

    That is what I liked most about the Starks was there sense of justice and knowing what is right and what is wrong and what is going way to far.
     
  15. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    I really hate Sansa... i even think she is the one of most negative characters in asoiaf..
    and Arya is the best Stark alive :D , she killed when she had to, and not for fun...
    Catelyn is also quite a good character, although she behaved bad to JOn.... that is the only thing i don't like...
    The women who killed Brienne isn't really Catelyn anymore... it's an *undead* woman who is destroyed because she thinks all her children are dead... quite sad really...
     
  16. Arianne

    Arianne New Member

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    I am.
    Worried very much.

    She was one of ma favourite characters on the begining. But now... I'm affraid of what is she going to become... And of what she already became.
     
  17. Appaliq

    Appaliq No One

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    Off topic, sorry.

    Arianne, did you get my private message?
     
  18. Arianne

    Arianne New Member

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    No, I didn't.
    I have just sent you pm. Did you get it?

    Sorry for off topic, but it seems we have a problem with pm...
     
  19. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    LOL. "Sorry for off-topic." Good God, Arianne, if you've seen some of the tangents we've gone off in this section.... XD Basically, don't bother to apologize. :p
     
  20. Omega3R

    Omega3R Mi ne sijemo.

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    don't mind that.
    she just came from a very strict forum, where every sentence that was even the least off-topic was punished by execution. i was banned for being too-off-topic. so, she's just a bit scared now. she'll come around pretty soon. :devilbat:

    (for instance, i was told to stop spamming in a topic about reading, when i said i disliked reading while standing in a crowded place once, because we were supposed to talk about the books we read, and not about the way we read them) :devilbat:
    later it was explained to me, that the admins needed to be cruel to be kind. :devilbat: :faceit:
     
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