Though the show botches up many things by adding many unnecessary scenes sometimes the things it indirectly implies begin to make sense in a weird sort of way. In this post let me talk about 2 scenes which got me thinking in this direction. The first being Arya ending up as Lord Tywin’s cupbearer & the other one being the comparative scene where episode 1 of season 4 begins with Lord Tywin melting Ice, thus symbolically ending the Starks but it ends on Arya getting Needle back, an indication that the Starks aren’t entirely finished.
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Lord Tywin, son of Tytos Lannister suffered a great deal of embarrassment on account of his father. His father was openly mocked by his own bannermen & called weak & foolish. Through his soft approach to even his enemies the man had made a laughing stock of the Lannister name. This all changed when Tywin took over the reins of the family matters. He not only taught a lesson to everyone who dared shame the Lannister name but also returned the House to its former glory which his father had lost over the years.
Arya Stark is today in a very similar situation in which Lord Tywin was many years ago. Her parents are dead. Her brother, who was once called the King in the North made a major mess of the war & put the Stark name to shame. His own bannermen started calling him the King who lost the North. His constant wrong decisions led to the complete destruction of not just the Stark family name & prestige but of Winterfell too. Like the Tarbecks & Reynes who rose against the Lannisters, the Boltons & Freys have risen against the Starks. Unfortunately these two have won where the Tarbecks & Reynes suffered a horrible defeat because House Stark did not have its own Tywin.
Going by each of the Stark children’s overall character arc Arya seems the most likely to take up that place. That place where sits the person dreaded by the entire Westeroes. In my opinion Arya & Lord Tywin share many similar qualities.
To mention a few…
They both are concerned for their House. Their House’s prestige matters to them more than anything else.
They have always placed duty above things like comfort & love & personal likes & dislikes.
They believe in vengeance. They do not forgive & certainly never forget an insult or injustice. But they are patient too. They wait for the correct moment to present itself before dealing the fatal blow. One blow from Lord Tywin/ Arya & the enemy is dead.
Both are extremely resourceful. Arya, though she is so little & a girl without any family, has managed to trick the Lannister men, has fled King’s Landing, escaped the notice of the Queen’s men, dealt with people like Jaqen H’ghar & Roose Bolton to name a few. She has dared to leave Westeroes behind, and all on her own & convinced the Faceless Men to accept her in their ranks. Lord Tywin’s resourcefulness needs no elaboration. From joining Robert against Aerys to plotting Jeyne Westerling in Robb’s bed to killing the Starks in one go at the Frey Wedding, he too has used all the opportunities presented to him to his own advantage, just like Arya has time & again.
They both do not flinch from killing. While Arya does it hands on, Lord Tywin does it with more finesse. But then he has many years of experience over her & commands a whole army. They both do what needs to be done but never waste time gloating over their victories. They celebrate the victory when the act is done & then they move on to the next task at hand. There is a certain amount of cold bloodedness in this approach.
While Lord Tywin manages to contain the consequences of all his actions, Arya has yet to learn that skill. She doesn’t shy away from bloodshed & to hell with the consequences. The Faceless Men might teach her this skill, to do the work & ensure it can never be traced back to her & she might end up becoming even better at Lord Tywin in it.
And lastly, neither of them are cowed down by ranks. Arya has handled being Lord Tywin’s cupbearer (at least in the show), Roose Botlon, a faceless man, Prince Joffrey, etc. Lord Tywin too throughout his life has managed to stand up to a great many people for his House & himself. Be it ending each & every Tarbeck & Reyne or leaving Aerys on a flimsy excuse when he accepted Jaime into his Kingsguard & rejected Cersei’s hand for Rhaegar.
People love to brand Lord Tywin as a monster & these days I see Arya being tagged more often than not as a psychopath, a killer, an assassin. But then as Laini Taylor has said, “Do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?” Lord Tywin was no Ned Stark. He was a tough man who did not flinch from taking tough stands. If that made him a monster in the eyes of the realm then he did not care, for a Lion does not care about the opinion of the sheep. Arya too has more or less a similar outlook towards life. From telling her father that she wasn’t meant to be a Lady & rule some castle, to naming her sword like all great swords should be, to not caring about what anyone thought of her boyish looks & behavior she is the Lion born amongst wolves. After Lord Tywin’s death that seat of power lies empty. None of his children can ever fill his shoes. While Jaime has always ran away from any sort of power games, Cersei wants power, but once she gets it she doesn’t know what to do with it. Tyrion, though better than the twins is no Lord Tywin either.
Will that place vacated by Lord Tywin remain empty forever? Who will be the next person to unite the seven kingdoms in fear of his or her name? Arya Stark maybe? And why not? As GRRM said if a little girl must conquer the world, so be it.