"harry james potter," harry said, "you were named after the bravest man i ever knew. it was me. i’m awesome."
im so tired of people being like “you’re not supposed to root for arya! “arya shouldn’t be admired!” “arya’s not a hero!”
like fuck you arya is loyal, compassionate, resourceful, intelligent, brave, and would do anything for the people she cares about, all of those are admirable qualities bye
And let’s not forget the inherent sexism in why people say that you’re not supposed to root for arya, she’s a girl who kills evil men, yet any man who does the same is actually called a hero. Men who kill bad men? They’re superheroes. Girls who kill bad men? They’re sociopaths.
What’s really frustrating about this is this idea that it’s specifically Arya. I wouldn’t have issues with these ridiculous “Arya is not to be idolized/liked/deemed good” posts if people didn’t act like Arya was somehow unique in this. That Arya was somehow worse for this.
Like Arya killing rapists/murderers/torturers/Night Watch deserters and all the people who hurt Westerosi society and people in general makes her evil or unheroic.
But Wyman Manderly baking Freys in pies or Jon killing Janos Slynt or Ned Stark/Jaime Lannister/Stannis Baratheon/all the soldiers make them heroic and badass for killing enemies or people in battle- but Arya killing literally the scum of the ASoIaF world (the gang rapists of children, the torture technicians who laugh, the child killers, the ones who sadistically delight in killing, torturing and murdering) makes her sociopathic and evil.
She saves people (like Samwell and Gendry,) stands up for the abused (like the Ugly Little Girl and the salves of Old Valyria,) connects with pretty much everyone she meets, has nightmares about the people she’s lost and killed in her last ADWD, and wants to right wrongs and bring justice to an unjust world. She stands up for the people who no one cares about, the commoners and mistreated. That’s a hero in a dark world.
ASoIaF is so incredibly dark, this should be news to no one. Of course a kid hero becomes someone like Arya. She can champion the weak and abused while still killing the worst of the worst, she can be both empathic, compassionate and a true friend (her interactions with Merry and Little Narbo and others where she tries to help them just because they’re kind) while killing evil people.
Arya’s not on a killing spree though, she’s trying to administer justice to specific people who commit horrible crimes and abuse and enjoy doing so. All the while, she’s remembering what they did that was so evil, she’s very attached, not sociopathic or psychopathic. And Arya’s death toll is sooo small compared to other people’s in actual power (like Cersei and Dany, Jaime and Ned, ect.) Never mind that outside of killing these people, Arya isn’t violent at all. Her first choice is not violent means.
After all of what I’ve seen, the continuous attempts to sympathize with her abusers ("I feel bad for Polliver and people that Arya kills, because you don’t know their side of the story. If you’re working for the Mountain, you don’t say no." “Arya is a killer by choice and she is not being forced to use her sexuality, she is choosing to do that, either to tease the sailors or to kill Raff in cold blood.”) it’s definitely partially sexism, too. The second quote sounds like rape culture, the 11 year old “tease”, really?
Violence in girls is “sociopathic” or “psychopathic” even though Arya displays none of the traits associated with these mental illnesses. Violence in men or boys in a series like this? Par for the course.
So, in the Reek II chapter in ADWD there is this little scene:
"Theon led the way up the stairs. I have climbed these steps a thousand times before. As a boy he would run up; descending, he would take the steps three at a time, leaping. Once he leapt right into Old Nan and knocked her to the floor. That earned him the worst thrashing he ever had at Winterfell, though it was almost tender compared to the beatings his brothers used to give him back on Pyke.”
a) A “thrashing” means a severe corporal punishment, usually with an object like a a whip. Even considering that beating children as punishment is perfectly fine in Westeros, can we agree that this is way out of hand for something he didn’t even do on purpose?
b) He recalls it as his worst thrashing, meaning there were more than one.
c) He immediately gets his Stockholm up again, with the whole “it was harmless compared to my brothers” because he clings to his time at the Starks for the good memories, considering at that point he is Ramsay’s pet and has no outlook for a better future and those memories are all he has left.
Theon was abused in every household he ever lived. Quite severely too, I might add. The guys who held him hostage were the best out of the bunch, but with the only comparison being Bolton’s and Greyjoy’s, this is really not something the Starks (or their fans) should put on their resume.
Can I also chime in with saying that these beatings were presumably unique to him in Winterfell? None of the other Stark children (to my understanding) recall being beaten as children, and considering how we have seen Ned Stark handle disobedience with Arya and Sansa, I find it unlikely. Also consider that Theon does not say that “THEY” were beaten, as in him AND Robb, and yet this is something that Theon recalls rather casually.
Not only that, but like mentioned, we know from his recollections that Theon has been physically punished in Winterfell for MISTAKES (falling into another person). I can’t see Bran Stark getting thrashed about for climbing, let alone making a clumsy personal mistake.
You know, and I feel like I need to clarify this every time. I love the Starks, but the idea that Theon was someone either A) treated like one of them B) treated better than Jon Snow or C) was not a child prisoner with stockholm syndrome needs to go.