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Arya Stark

Game of Thrones
by yo go re

Is it still considered "being a tomboy" if you're mainly doing it to avoid the most horrible murder imaginable?

Arya rejects the notion that she must become a lady and marry for influence and power, feeling she can forge her own destiny. She is fascinated by warfare and training in the use of arms, and is bored by embroidery and other "lady-like" pursuits. She takes after her father and has a quarrelsome relationship with her sister Sansa. She is close to her half brother Jon who is also something of an outcast.

It really tells you something about the Game of Thrones world that, when Arya and The Hound are running all over Christendom Sevendom in their little buddy comedy, everyone they met assumed he was just carrying her around to make sex at. And didn't see anything wrong with it! Truly, Westeros is the rapiest place on earth!

Arya is played by Maisie Williams, but the likeness on this toy is only so-so. Yes, she looks like a young girl who's filthy and unkempt and trying to pass as a boy, but the toy is a bit more... goblin-like than the real person is. If you want it to look like the actress, you might be disappointed, but if you want it to look like the character, you'll be fine.

She's dressed like a common street urchin, which makes sense, since she was living on the streets of King's Landing for a while. Her jerkin looks like a series of vertical straps that have been lashed together, which isn't too far from the truth, and she's wearing a ratty sweater under that. Her pants have a weird angled closure in front, and a big tear sculpted above her right knee. This is not, by any means, a colorful figure, but it's how she looks on the show (at least, the first four seasons of it).

The articulation is great. Arya has swivel/hinge rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows and shoulders, and a balljointed head. It's all enough to get her into an appropriate "Water Dance" fighting stance, as taught to her by Syrio Forel: sideways, with the weapon arm extended diagonally and the opposite arm tucked behind the back.

And since that pose wouldn't mean much without a weapon, she comes with Needle, the sword her cousin half-brother Jon Snow had made for her. In the books, Arya is lefthanded, but actress Maisie Williams is a righty; rather than piss off persnickety fanboys, she learned to swordfight backwards. Dedication!

Arya is the "small" figure from Series 2 (just like Tyrion was in Series 1) - and you don't even have to wait for an exclusive variant to get a version that looks the way you expect her to! The likeness is weak, but everything else about her is good.

-- 01/18/15


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