In reading the ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ series by George R.R. Martin, I am blown away even more by the character Arya Stark.
I cannot believe I have cheated myself so long by not reading them sooner. As much as I am obsessed with the show, the books give the story a whole new dimension sometimes.
One of those distinctions I have made from the series is Arya Stark. In the books, she is more shrewd and capable than in the shows. The shows seem to show how she is propelled forward on the journey, and the book shows how she takes an active hand in that. She’s not just a victim of fate as the show depicts her.
In the books, she is very willful and deliberate with her choices. When she is only 10 years old, and at great risk to herself, she masterminds an escape for her brother’s numerous captive bannermen behind enemy lines. Weasel Soup, they called it.
When Roose Bolton tells her he does not mean to take her with him, she acts accordingly. She will not be kept at Harrenhall under Vargo Hoat, the foot chopper. She convinces Gendry and Hot Pie to go with her. She kills the soldier so that they can escape, which is even more bad ass than what they showed in the tv series with J’aqen Hagar helping.
Consider that- Arya is just a little girl, and she is suddenly in charge of these two older boys. By all rights, Gendry should be the one leading them as the eldest (almost a man grown) and male, but Arya is the alpha of their group. She tells them what to do and they follow her. They are older than her, but they choose to follow her and do as she says as they travel.
I also have mad respect for Arya as a warg. If she understood her powers more, it would have been even more awesome. She was killing soldiers in her sleep as a wolf. Bad. Ass. In the books, she could theoretically get training under Bran the Three-Eyed Raven and hone that skill more.