Kiernan Shipka photographed by Williams and Hirakawa for Vanity Fair, May 2014.
Photograph by Williams and Hirakawa.
Alison Brie - Nylon Guys Outtakes
Anna Torv being a cutie patootie (✿◠‿◠)
Scarlett Johansson Vanity Fair, May 2014
Playing, Jon thought in astonishment, grown men playing like children, throwing snowballs the way Bran and Arya once did, and Robb and me before them. Jon, ADWD
I love it. It’s so cute. It also mirrors a quote of Arya’s I have further down.
Yeah, I once catalogued Jon’s moments when he thinks of his family, and unless it’s every single child in the Starks, it’s mainly just Arya, Bran, and Robb (though Robb references lessen a bit post-ASoS and Ned was included in AGoT.) But that makes sense because the three of them were also his three goodbyes before leaving Winterfell.
He remembered the day he had left Winterfell, all the bittersweet farewells; Bran lying broken, Robb with snow in his hair, Arya raining kisses on him after he’d given her Needle. Jon, AGoT
There are several other cute ones, but I’ll leave that for another post.
Well, this mirrors many real families. Even in close families, there tends to be people with closer bonds because of things like similar interests. Age is also a huge factor. Jon is way closer with Robb than Rickon for instance because he grew up with Robb, and Rickon was too young for him to form a bond with.
But about Bran x Arya. Well, I’m glad you asked because I have a bunch of feelings on the subject. First, you’re right, they are a highly underrated relationship.
There’s some great parallels to start with.
They’re both climbers:
The rooftops of Winterfell were Bran’s second home. His mother often said that Bran could climb before he could walk. Bran, AGoT
Arya was a skilled climber and a fast picker, and she liked to go off by herself. Arya, ACoK
They’re not fans of romantic stories:
"Some books. I like the fighting stories. My sister Sansa likes the kissing stories, but those are stupid." Bran, ADWD
(on hearing the story of Ashara Dayne) Sansa would have sighed and shed a tear for true love, but Arya just thought it was stupid.Arya, ASoS
They both have darkness as a theme that their teachers tell them will give them strength/guide them:
There he sat, listening to the hoarse whispers of his teacher. “Never fear the darkness, Bran.” The lord’s words were accompanied by a faint rustling of wood and leaf, a slight twisting of his head. “The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong.” Bran, ADWD
Every dawn she woke to darkness…
"How long must I be blind?" she would ask. "Until darkness is as sweet to you as light," the waif would say, "
"You must now walk in darkness until you see the way” [the Kindly Man tells Arya] Arya, ADWD
They’ve both met at least one of the Children of the Forest despite them being so rare now:
Bran saw a bear skull and a wolf skull, half a dozen human skulls and near as many giants. All the rest were small, queerly formed. Children of the forest. Bran, ADWD
[The Ghost of the High Heart] turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. “You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now.” Arya, ASoS
They are also the most accomplished skinchangers so far, the youngest two POVs, and deal the most with wolves (although Jon’s up there.)
But about their actual relationship. Well, for starters, Bran likens someone he has great respect for to Arya:
Meera reminded Bran of his sister Arya. She wasn’t scared to get dirty, and she could run and fight and throw as good as a boy. She was older than Arya, though; almost sixteen, a woman grown. ACoK
He’s highly complimentary of Arya here since the idea of women being on par with men in terms of running, fighting, and throwing is unusual in such a patriarchal society. But also because of Bran’s feelings for Meera.
He wondered what Meera would think if he should suddenly tell her that he loved her. ADWD
Bran thinks very highly of Meera, so the comparison of the two girls in Bran’s life is great praise.
Also, I like this bit:
Bran had not wanted the Freys at the high table, but the maester reminded him that they would soon be kin. Robb was to marry one of their aunts, and Arya one of their uncles. “She never will,” Bran said, “not Arya,” ACoK
Bran seems to really know Arya here, especially considering what we see of Arya/Elmar’s interaction.
And one of my favorite things is how Bran sees Arya all the time now. There’s him seeing Arya in Meera above but also
A cloud of ravens was pouring from the cave, and he saw a little girl with a torch in hand, darting this way and that. For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle…
And the Arya thing stood over them, clutching her torch… That was not Arya’s voice, nor any child’s. It was a woman’s voice, high and sweet, with a strange music in it like none that he had ever heard and a sadness that he thought might break his heart. Bran squinted, to see her better. It was a girl, but smaller than Arya, her skin dappled like a doe’s beneath a cloak of leaves. ADWD
Bran sees Arya in Leaf.
Now two children danced across the godswood, hooting at one another as they dueled with broken branches. The girl was the older and taller of the two. Arya! Bran thought eagerly, as he watched her leap up onto a rock and cut at the boy. But that couldn’t be right. If the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself, and he had never worn his hair so long. And Arya never beat me playing swords, the way that girl is beating him. She slashed the boy across his thigh, so hard that his leg went out from under him and he fell into the pool and began to splash and shout. “You be quiet, stupid,” the girl said, tossing her own branch aside. “It’s just water. Do you want Old Nan to hear and run tell Father?” She knelt and pulled her brother from the pool, but before she got him out again, the two of them were gone. After that the glimpses came faster and faster, till Bran was feeling lost and dizzy. He saw no more of his father, nor the girl who looked like Arya. ADWD
and he sees Arya in Lyanna. Another great thing of that second quote is that it alludes to how Bran and Arya used to play. Bran even thinks “if the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself” and that “Arya never beat me playing swords”, which means that they must have played swords a fair amount together. This is also interesting because people tend to see people they miss or are thinking about in others.
And on Arya’s side there are some good moments as well.
"Father, will Bran come and live with us now?”
“Not for a long time, sweet one,” he told her. “He needs to win his strength back.”
Arya bit her lip. “What will Bran do when he’s of age?”
Ned knelt beside her. “He has years to find that answer, Arya. For now, it is enough to know that he will live.” The night the bird had come from Winterfell, Eddard Stark had taken the girls to the castle godswood, an acre of elm and alder and black cottonwood overlooking the river. The heart tree there was a great oak, its ancient limbs overgrown with smokeberry vines; they knelt before it to offer their thanksgiving, as if it had been a weirwood. Sansa drifted to sleep as the moon rose, Arya several hours later, curling up in the grass under Ned’s cloak. All through the dark hours he kept his vigil alone. When dawn broke over the city, the dark red blooms of dragon’s breath surrounded the girls where they lay. “I dreamed of Bran,” Sansa had whispered to him. “I saw him smiling.”
“He was going to be a knight,” Arya was saying now. “A knight of the Kingsguard. Can he still be a knight?” AGoT
I love how Arya is asking after Bran’s dreams. She knows Bran wanted to be a knight and wants to know if he still can.
And this is the sweetest memory of all the Stark kids (sans Rickon who had not yet been born) but has some close Arya/Bran bits:
Suddenly Arya remembered the crypts at Winterfell. They were a lot scarier than this place, she told herself. She’d been just a little girl the first time she saw them. Her brother Robb had taken them down, her and Sansa and baby Bran, who’d been no bigger than Rickon was now. They’d only had one candle between them, and Bran’s eyes had gotten as big as saucers as he stared at the stone faces of the Kings of Winter, with their wolves at their feet and their iron swords across their laps.
Robb took them all the way down to the end, past Grandfather and Brandon and Lyanna, to show them their own tombs. Sansa kept looking at the stubby little candle, anxious that it might go out. Old Nan had told her there were spiders down here, and rats as big as dogs. Robb smiled when she said that. “There are worse things than spiders and rats,” he whispered. “This is where the dead walk.” That was when they heard the sound, low and deep and shivery. Baby Bran had clutched at Arya’s hand.
When the spirit stepped out of the open tomb, pale white and moaning for blood, Sansa ran shrieking for the stairs, and Bran wrapped himself around Robb’s leg, sobbing. Arya stood her ground and gave the spirit a punch. It was only Jon, covered with flour. “You stupid,” she told him, “you scared the baby,” but Jon and Robb just laughed and laughed, and pretty soon Bran and Arya were laughing too.
The memory made Arya smile, and after that the darkness held no more terrors for her. AGoT
Arya uses this memory to keep her calm and unafraid right after everything becomes chaotic in her life- this is just after she killed the stableboy. I love picturing a three year old Bran clutching Arya’s hand because he’s afraid and then Arya getting defensive of him. “You scared the baby.”
Arya stared at them with resentment, remembering the times she’d played at hoops with Bran and Jon and their baby brother Rickon. She wondered how big Rickon had grown, and whether Bran was sad. AGoT
Another reminder that Arya and Bran used to play together. But also, I think it’s cute that Arya wonders if Bran is sad. She’s worried about him even though she’s in a horrible position herself at the moment, stuck alone in Flea Bottom without food or shelter or any sort of idea what’s going on.
She remembered a summer’s snow in Winterfell when Arya and Bran had ambushed her as she emerged from the keep one morning. Sansa, AFFC
And another quote to indicate that Arya and Bran played together and were probably up to the most mischief in the Stark household actually.
I think that Arya and Bran had a great relationship, which shows through in the text, and an underrated one. Bran and Arya are portrayed as each others’ primary playmate (likely because they are close in age,) enjoyed similar things like sword playing and climbing and snowball fights, and have some interesting parallels (like their mutual dislike of romantic stories and their themes of darkness as given by a mentor in ADWD and just by being the most accomplished skinchangers so far in the Starks.)
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.
queens + season 4 + smiling
#wow each of these gifs is actually really indicative of their personalities #margaery’s smile is both sweet and sly #i mean you know she has schemes out the wazzoo and even with her own grandmother she looks like she’s plotting murder #sansa’s smile is small and shy and lights up her face like nothing else #it’s something you hardly ever see but when you do you just know that she has the kindest, gentlest soul in the world and she deserves so much better than what she’s been put through #dany immediately catches herself as only a queen would #she’s crushing on daario but knows that it will only make things complicated so she hides her emotions as quickly as possible #but it’s obvious that she is totally into it and if you listen closely enough you can hear WHEN A MAAANNnn LOovES A WOMANNN playing in the background #cersei’s is a bullshit half-grin #like “god why do i put up with anybody the fact that i’m not singlehandedly ruling westeros right now is a fuckin joke” #just UGH i love all of these ladies so much