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Fanfic / A Wolf Amongst Lions

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Arya Stark teaching Tywin Lannister how to play cyvasse.note 
Tywin Lannister discovers the true identity of his cup bearer at Harrenhal. Now, with another bargaining chip in his possession, he has a chance to turn the war. Arya Stark, despite her best efforts, falls back into the Game of Thrones. To survive in a lion's den, a wolf has no choice but to adapt.

A Wolf Amongst Lions is a Game of Thrones fanfic by Kallypso.

Littlefinger informs Tywin Lannister that the latter's cup bearer is Arya Stark, resulting in the girl becoming a hostage and forcing her to play the game of thrones to survive, while also forming a father-daughter bond with the Old Lion.

It stands, completed, at 108 chapters, and can be read here and here.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Arya. She prefers getting her hands dirty rather than letting others do the fighting for her.
    • Her mother, Lady Catelyn and Sansa, kill a wight each in Chapters 98 and 99 respectively.
  • Adapted Out: No Faith Militant or High Sparrow, because Tywin, unlike Cersei, isn't stupid enough to do that.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Tyrion has every reason to want Tywin dead, and yet he tries to convince Daenerys to spare his father's life, and later mourns him after he dies.
  • Arc Words: "Not today". According to Syrio Forel, it is the only prayer one has to say to the God of Death. Arya constantly says these words in her head whenever something bad happens.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • To Robb about agreeing to peace for Sansa's freedom and Arya's life:
      Catelyn Stark: What would [[Ned]] say if you allowed your sister to die?
    • To Arya about Theon's betrayal of the Starks in chapter 19:
      Jaime Lannister: You, like Theon Greyjoy, are now a ward to an enemy house. My father has treated you kindly enough. Most of us have, with a few notable exclusions. If one day you returned home and your brother asked you take up arms against us, what would you do?
    • To Tywin Lannister, who is consistently in denial about any possible Lannister wrongdoing, in chapter 75:
      Arya Stark: And how many of those spies knew about the Farman problem?
    • To Arya about her list of names, in chapter 83:
      Bran Stark: If justice is so simple, why haven't you taken it?
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Bran's final fate, as his body dies, but the Children of the Forest ensure that his soul lives on in the weirwood on the Isle of Faces.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Joffrey is such a wretched little shit that Tywin refuses to punish Arya upon learning of her involvement in the boy's death. He simply asks for the details and decides to keep quiet about it.
    • It is doubtful anyone will give a damn for how Cersei died - poisoned by her own hand, after getting her children killed and her homeland attacked.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Tywin notes all of Daenerys' mannerisms and manages to come to the correct conclusion that the Night King has one of her dragons.
  • Babies Ever After: By the story's end, Arya and Jaime have two children.
  • Bait the Dog: Cersei is genuinely grateful to Arya for saving Tommen from assassination, and is horrified to learn that Joffrey was behind the attempt. But then she grows jealous of Arya's growing bond with her father and Jaime and begins to plot against her as a result.
  • Batman Gambit: Cersei's Sadistic Choice to Jaime ends the way it does because of two of these kinds of gambits failing; Cersei expected Jaime to save her and thus did not think to cure herself, while Jaime expected Cersei to value her own life and have a way to cure herself. As a result, Jaime cures Arya, while Cersei is left to die.
  • Battle Couple: Arya and Jaime. She even notes that all the awkwardness that comes from them being married disappears when they're fighting together.
  • Berserk Button: When House Frey sends him a threatening letter with two of Arya's severed fingers, Tywin is more furious than he's ever been in his life and in minutes has rallied his forces to wipe the Freys off the map.
  • Best Served Cold: After the Bolton coup is suppressed and Ramsay is captured, Tywin confronts him, takes a successful shot at his ego by first brushing off his mind games and then calling him a "pathetic imitation" of Aerys the Mad, cuts off two of his fingers in retaliation for Ramsay subjecting Arya to the same treatment, and then announces his intent to allow Arya to personally oversee Ramsay's interrogation and execution.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Arya convinces Tywin to ingest poison rather than face death by beheading or by dragon-fire.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Upon hearing of Arya's engagement to Jaime at different times, Robb and Jon try to fight it, with Robb angrily confronting Tywin about it and Jon accusing Jaime of setting it up, possibly even when she was young as 13, and trying to start a fight with him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Chapter 98, just as the Night King starts using a zombified Viserion to wreak havoc upon the coalition forces, Daenerys arrives atop Drogon to drive him off. later, Jon arrives atop Rhaegal at the head of a large army of reinforcements, and provides the support Arya needs to finally kill the Night King.
    • Earlier, Nymeria and the other Stark direwolves show up at the Wolfswood to save a weakened and wounded Arya fleeing from Bolton men stationed at Winterfell.
  • Break Them by Talking: Chapter 88 begins with Tywin verbally one-upping Daenerys at several turns, culminating in him deducing that the Night King killed one of her dragons and now has most likely resurrected it as a minion and essentially guilt-tripping her into agreeing to an alliance with his faction because he knows that she wants to be seen as a hero and not a tyrant like her dad.
  • Broken Pedestal: Oberyn Martell is not pleased to learn that, rather than Tywin's trial having been arranged by Daenerys herself, it was arranged by Tywin in exchange for Daenerys's help in fighting the White Walkers—and that Daenerys kept this a secret from him.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Nymeria returns and eats Ramsay on Arya's instructions.
    • In chapter 62, Arya is stunned to discover Syrio survived his escape (albeit losing an eye) and has been hiding out for some time before returning to train her.
    • Sandor "The Hound" Clegane returns in Chapter 91.
    • Margaery and various other King's Landing-based characters disappear for many chapters at a time when Arya is off on her adventures in the North and Westerlands.
  • Character Death: Kevan Lannister, Sandor Clegane, Podrick Payne, Bronn, Melisandre and Bran are among the dead by the time the White Walkers are defeated.
    • Tywin drinks poisoned wine given to him by Arya at the end of Chapter 106.
  • The Chessmaster: Tywin, just like in canon. Several characters, like Jaime and Tyrion, get irritated at how he always wins. He manages to convince Robb Stark to agree to peace and bend the knee to Joffrey using his sisters' lives, and the necessity of putting down the reborn Greyjoy Rebellion, uses the resultant circumstances of Joffrey's death to exile Tyrion, force Jaime to leave the Kingsguard and marry Arya, and arranges his own death in a way such that it will guarantee Jaime and Arya can continue ruling the Westerlands. Cersei invades the Westerlands with Euron Greyjoy, gets herself, Tommen, Myrcella and Robb's wife Talisa killed, just so she could beat Tywin at his own game for once.
    • Arya also manages to become this, creating an ambush plan for the Battle for the North that reduces the number of casualties from that a head-on assault against the rebels would cause. She also manages to create a plan to remove Daenerys from the throne should she go mad like her father that Tywin approves of.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Tyrion, Jaime, Tywin, and Robb all note this appears to be characteristic of Arya, when she saves the lives of people around her, namely, Tommen, Jaime and Tywin. Jaime and Tywin are skeptical of this at first until Arya saves the former and Tywin hears of Arya's recollection of how she met Jaqen.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When Joffrey orders Ser Meryn Trant to beat Arya, she bites the Kingsguard's ear and stabs him repeatedly with a fork. The ear injury later becomes infected, leading to Trant's death.
  • Cool Big Sis: Margaery. She's quite friendly to Arya, and the latter eventually comes to trust her.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    • Jaime gives Arya a chance to kill him when she confronts him about his attempt to murder Bran. She decides not to, preferring to let him stew in his guilt.
    • When Arya catches a few Westerland soldiers extorting money from people they're supposed to evacuate, she orders two fingers from each man's weak hand cut off as punishment. When they plead for mercy, she points out that the alternative is either death or losing an entire hand.
  • Death by Adaptation/Dies Differently in Adaptation: The series was still in production while this fic was being written, so a character who suffered the first trope may have suffered the second by the show's end.
    • Meryn Trant is killed by Arya through a stab in the cheek becoming infected.
    • Littlefinger is executed for his crimes against the Lannisters by Tywin.
    • Stannis Baratheon is killed for his rebellion against the crown.
    • Rickon succumbs to an illness.
    • Cersei poisons herself as part of a Sadistic Choice towards Jaime. Not long after, Tommen and Myrcella are killed by Euron Greyjoy, who is himself killed by Arya.
    • Theon Greyjoy is executed by Robb following his betrayal.
    • Podrick, Sandor, Bran, Bronn, and Kevan are killed during The Long Night.
  • Death Glare: After Arya is engaged to Tommen, Cersei spends a considerable amount of time glaring at her. Margaery gets the same treatment after her betrothal to Joffrey is arranged, and she even jokes about it in an attempt to cheer Arya up. It doesn't help; Arya simply responds that Cersei has enough poison to kill them both if she felt like it.
  • Did Not See That Coming: In Chapter 98, Tywin most certainly did not expect Tyrion to save him from a wight.
  • The Dreaded: Arya aspires to become this. After numerous experiences in which she has been the victim of multiple attacks, including from three soldiers who attempted to rape her, getting attacked by Joffrey and his Kingsguard, and eventually getting captured, tormented, and tortured for months, and nearly raped by Ramsey, Arya realizes that she had been kept safe for much of her years by the fear of the people she had been in the custody of, including her father (when he was alive) and Tywin. She then decides she wants to feared not for her connections but because of her own capabilities and tells of this of Tywin, who approves.
    • As of the epilogue, it seems that Arya and Jaime have indeed succeeded in becoming this, contending with rebellious vassals by taking two fingers from each one with the gall to stand against them.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After Cersei forces Jaime in a Sadistic Choice, Jaime remembers every time Cersei insulted him while Arya encouraged him - and chooses to save Arya.
  • Driven by Envy: The whole reason why Cersei betrays Tywin is because she's jealous of the fact that Tywin gives Arya more attention than her.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Arya gets Littlefinger to admit his culpability in the assassination attempts on Tommen and Tywin by suggesting that she wants another Stark-Lannister war to commence. After he's done talking, Arya reveals that she had Tyrion stand just outside the door and listen in. When Littlefinger tries to say that no one will take Tyrion's testimony seriously, TYWIN walks in, giving Littlefinger an icy stare. Littlefinger is so shocked that he can't even speak as Bronn drags him away.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite being on Cersei's side just minutes prior, Oberyn allies himself with Arya both to get his revenge on the Mountain and allow her to rescue Tommen and Myrcella.
  • Exact Words: Tywin promised Daenerys that he would stand trial for the murder of Elia Martel and her children. He never said that he would confess, nor did he say he would not fight the accusation.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Arya breaks down crying after Tywin dies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite maintaining a stoic facade, Tywin is clearly devastated by Kevan's death in Chapter 98. When Kevan is resurrected as a wight, he can't bring himself to kill his former brother, so Catelyn has to do it for him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Catelyn feels pity for Tywin after Kevan's death and kills the wight so that Tywin doesn't have to.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cersei poisons Arya and herself and gives Jaime the only dose of the antidote, thinking that he will choose her over Arya. She cannot even consider the possibility that Jaime would pick Arya.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Arya brings Tywin poison so he can die painlessly, if he wishes. After Arya details all of her plans to make sure the Seven Kingdoms will be able to deal with Daenerys if she goes her father's way, Tywin unhesitatingly takes the poison and spends his last moments with Arya telling her that she is one of the best things to ever happen to him and speaking of Joanna.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ramsay Snow and Euron Greyjoy.
    • Ramsay presents himself as a friendly and loyal ally of the Starks. And then he launches a bloody coup to try and kill the Starks and seize control of the North for his father's family.
    • Euron is good at sucking up to Cersei, but he has no problem killing children.
  • Female Misogynist: Arya has a very low opinion on ladies, but a conversation with Margaery does change her opinion.
  • For Want of a Nail: The fic begins with Littlefinger deciding to tell Tywin that Arya Stark is his cupbearer instead of keeping it secret like he did in canon. From there, it quickly spirals away from canon.
  • From Bad to Worse: Chapter 83 begins with Arya having to inform Tywin that Tyrion is now serving Daenerys, who is launching an invasion of Westeros to claim the Iron Throne for herself. And then Jon Snow and Bran Stark arrive to inform the Royal Court that an army of White Walkers is coming from the North with the intent of killing everybody—and they have proof! The chapter is even befittingly called "Bad to Worse".
  • Handicapped Badass: Jaime's swordsmanship skills tank with the loss of his right hand. Luckily for him, Arya is left-handed, and she is all too willing to teach him how to wield a sword with his left hand.
    • Ramsay cuts off two of Arya's fingers while keeping her captive. Too bad for him they were from her right hand.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Night King fatally wounds Bran with a Valyrian dagger in Chapter 99, but this allows Arya to grab the dagger and kill the Night King with it. Arya internally reflects that Bran was aware that this was the only way to defeat the Night King, and accepted it.
    • While it's more of an Anti-Villainous Sacrifice, Tywin tells Daenerys that he will submit to her judgement without protest when the war against the White Walkers is done and support her peaceful crowning, should she join the alliance against the Others.
  • Honor Before Reason: As ever, this is the key fault of the Starks which Tywin openly notes.
    • In the initial meeting where Tywin presses Robb to make peace by holding Arya hostage, Robb clearly is unsure of whether to help his sister or continue fighting for the family honor. He's swayed when Arya points out "Father died for honor too."
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Inverted. When Ramsay decides to sever Arya's pinky and ring fingers, he does it to her right hand - which means Arya, who is left-handed, can later surprise the guards by proving her fighting skills have not been diminished by the loss.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Arya blatantly threatens violence against Willas Tyrell if he hurts Sansa in any way. He takes it in stride.
  • I Have Your Wife: Roose Bolton tries to negotiate with Tywin by handing over Arya, on the condition that he goes back South. It backfires because Arya escapes and makes it back to the Stark-Lannister camp.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Arya still kills Meryn Trant, albeit in a less brutal and more indirect manner.
    • Joffrey is publicly poisoned, Tyrion is framed for it, and he flees to Dany's service.
    • Jaime still loses his right hand and reveals the truth about Aerys.
    • Oberyn kills the Mountain in a one on one fight. Luckily for him, he survives this one.
    • Talisa is killed by the Frey and Bolton alliance.
    • Daenerys loses one of her dragons to the Night King's army.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • How Arya feels about Tommen's death, despite everyone else telling her that this isn't the case.
    • Tywin asks Sansa if this is a Stark trait when she worries that a letter she sent with vital information may have come too late.
    • Arya is prone to this in general; in Winterfell with her brother Robb, she reveals that she sometimes wonders about how events would have gone if she wasn't caught and held hostage by Tywin in the first place.
  • Just Between You and Me: Arya visits Cersei when she is about to die from the poison she took. Cersei tells Arya about how Jaime was the one that crippled Bran. Arya then drops the bomb that she was the one that got Joffrey killed - and that not only did Tywin know it, but he did not care because he hated Joffrey that much.
  • Kangaroo Court: Tywin's trial is a farce, the guilty verdict having been decided beforehand. He and Arya still manage to turn it into a spectacle, though.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Littlefinger sets the plot in motion by revealing Arya's identity to Tywin. Arya manages to worm her way into Tywin's good graces and turns the Old Lion against him, resulting in his arrest and execution.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Tywin reacting to Joffery's murder. He's able to implicate Tyrion, resulting in his exile, find an excuse to send Cersei back to Casterly Rock, and engage Arya to Jaime.
    • This is also how Littlefinger is found out. Arya, Tyrion and Tywin know that he uses war to his advantage, and so use it against him. See Engineered Public Confession.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: Upon being caught in Ramsey's grip with a knife to her throat after he escapes from his cell to keep Arya from fighting back, Sansa fights back first, grabbing the blade with her bare hands to keep him from harming her younger sister, until she can fight Ramsey with her weapons, maiming her hands just like her mother did to protect a Stark sibling.
  • Living Lie Detector: Tywin, especially with regards to Arya and Cersei.
  • Made of Iron: Arya Stark it seems. Over the course of the fic, she seems to frequently get wounded yet still manage to survive it all. Thankfully for her, maesters and healers are always around.
  • Mercy Kill: Knowing that the only alternative is execution by dragon fire, Arya has Tywin drink poison so that his death will be relatively painless.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: When Arya berates Jaime for his attempted murder of Bran, Jaime—though guilt-ridden—points out that, while murdering a child is reprehensible and that Bran most certainly did not deserve to die, he only did it to protect his family, and that Arya would have no doubt stooped to infanticide to protect her family. She later thinks about her orchestration of Joffrey's death, but while everyone can agree that Bran was innocent while Joffrey was an utter monster, it doesn't change the fact that Arya did indeed attempt (and succeed in) infanticide to protect her kin.
  • Not What I Signed Up For: Prince Oberyn Martell went along with the final stage of Cersei's scheme because he figured it would allow him to get revenge against Tywin. When said scheme escalates to leaving two innocent children in the hands of a murderous pirate and poisoning a young girl for the "crime" of being Cersei's sister-in-law, he does an immediate about face.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Oberyn kills the Mountain while Arya goes to rescue Tommen and Myrcella from Euron Greyjoy.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Cersei is shocked when Tywin admits that his parenting skills are flawed. When she admits as such, Tywin replies that, since Cersei is about to die, he has no reason to lie to her.
    • Earlier, Arya finds herself shocked when Joffrey brushes off the fact that the assassin that tries to kill Tommen bears an Umber sigil as coincidence and doesn't scream accusations at the North for once and call for war. Even Tywin and Tyrion consider it odd. It turns out that he sent the assassin and is trying to cover his tracks.
    • This is how Tyrion figures out the truth when he is secretly banished by his father from the Seven Kingdoms when he is being set up as Joffrey's killer. Tyrion notes that Tywin's not the man to leave loose ends when it comes to his prime suspects and notes that even though Cersei has a large stash of convincing evidence to convince everyone, Tywin still is allowing him to run with his life and a portion of the Lannister wealth. He then realizes that it would mean that Tywin doesn't simply suspect Tyrion of innocence, but outright KNOWS it, despite Tywin's insistence on only suspecting his innocence, meaning that Tywin would have to know the truth, and thus, the true culprit. While ranting to Tywin about how unfair it is that he is suffering for a crime he never did, he realizes that the culprit would have to be someone whose life Tywin would value, lest he reveal them as the true culprit, and it would have to be someone who had plenty to gain from Joffrey's death, especially considering the timing. Of the suspects, Tyrion realizes that Arya is the only one who matches that description.
    • When Walder Frey sends Arya's fingers to Tywin, Jaime notes that it does not match up with the rest of his actions, which show careful and meticulous planning for war, whereas this is an idiotic provocation of an action. Turns out he actually didn't send them; someone else did.
  • Pædo Hunt: Catelyn, Jon, and Robb's reactions to Arya's engagement to Jaime. Both Sansa and Arya anticipate this and agree not to tell them, until later they find out.
  • Parental Favoritism: Tywin seems to invest a lot more in Arya as the story goes on than his biological children. Cersei, and later Jaime, even call her their replacement.
  • Parental Substitute: Tywin ends up becoming this to Arya, something that many characters note with some surprise.
  • Pragmatic Hero: When an assassin seriously wounds Tywin with a poisoned arrow, Arya considers letting him die, but ultimately chooses to save him because he's the only one who can keep the Stark-Lannister war from restarting, which would endanger her family if it did.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When Cersei starts bitching about Tywin's decision not to subject the North to the Castamere treatment, Tywin proceeds to lecture her about the difference between the Starks and the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion: the Reynes and the Tarbecks were rebellious vassals who'd been spitting on the Lannisters for years, and destroying them was both a good way to reestablish Lannister dominance of the Westerlands and economically sound because the Lannisters had nothing to lose by getting rid of them; by contrast, the Starks and their vassals only rebelled after a boy with Lannister blood imprisoned—and later killed—their liege lord out of petty sadism, and having them as allies is much more beneficial than trying to simply wipe them out.
    • Upon discovering that Arya is responsible for Joffrey's death, Tywin decides to not out her as the culprit, because Arya just enabled him easier control over the Seven Kingdoms with the more docile Tommen installed, because it would restart a war with the North that removing Joffrey from the throne had prevented, and he owes her a debt for outing Baelish's part in the assassination attempts on his and Tommen's lives.
  • Prophecy Twist: In the end, the valonqar that kills Cersei is Jaime - because he chooses to save Arya over her.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Chapter 79 in a nutshell. Cersei and Euron die, but the latter manages to kill Myrcella and Tommen before Arya kills him.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Meryn Trant gets a wound to his ear with a fork courtesy of Arya, but he manages to mostly shrug it off. When the wound gets infected, the initially harmless slash ends up killing him.
    • All of Cersei's actions come to bite her in the ass in a very realistic way. When she turns on the Westerlands, she gets betrayed by some of her staff who let Arya inside because they see how far she's gone. When she puts her trust in Euron Greyjoy, the notoriously sadistic sociopath takes the first opportunity to cause chaos and kill her children. Her attempt at a Sadistic Choice game with Jaime goes predictably once Jaime remembers all the horrible things Cersei's done and said to him, and then, on her deathbed, she gets to learn that her son was such a monster that not even his grandfather cared enough to punish his murderer.
    • Despite Arya's attempts to face Ramsey Bolton courageously as his prisoner, his habit of torturing and tormenting her at unpredictable times takes its toll on her mind until she is traumatized and fears him.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Averted. Prince Oberyn Martell bears no ill will towards Arya, despite her being the daughter-in-law of a man he despises, and aids her when she tries to save Tommen and Myrcella.
  • Replacement Goldfish: At different points in the story Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion conclude that Tywin is replacing them with Arya, as the child he always wanted.
  • Sadistic Choice: Cersei has Euron poison Arya and then poisons herself - so she can force Jaime to choose who to save, since she thinks Jaime will choose her. However, Jaime is fed up with her and thinks she is just bluffing, so he gives the antidote to Arya.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: In her attempts to prevent the prophecy that has driven her entire life from being fulfilled, Cersei instead ensures its swift fulfillment. Jaime points this out in his last conversation with her.
  • Shipper on Deck: Arya suggests that Margaery and Jon, who's just been legitimized, should marry, both so that Margaery can have backup children in case Steffon dies—and whom will, unbeknownst to her, have royal blood. The epilogue confirms that they did get married.
    • While Tywin primarily had Arya marry Jaime for the purpose of tying Houses Stark and Lannister together and formally cementing a marriage-alliance, Tywin admits to Jaime prior to the wedding that this trope also was a factor in the arrangement, as when Jaime lost his hand, Arya forced him to relearn how to wield a sword and refused to allow him to wallow in misery.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Arya fails to stop Euron from killing Myrcella and Tommen in Chapter 79. She kills him in retaliation, but that provides no comfort.
  • Smart People Play Chess: As shown in the image above (courtesy of lucife56), Arya teaches Tywin how to play cyvasse, the Westeros equivalent of chess. He takes a liking to it, even keeping a game board in his study.
  • Southpaw Advantage: Arya is left-handed. It becomes a Chekhov's Skill when she escapes from the Boltons.
    • She teaches Jaime to adopt this stance after the loss of his right hand.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Catelyn, Robb, Shaw, Talisa's children, Margaery, and Oberyn, just to name a few.
  • Stepford Smiler: On all appearances, Margaery is a polite and courteous woman, just like Sansa. However, after spending a lot of time with her after Tommen's death and during Margaery's pregnancy, Arya notices her cursing and insulting various people under her breath.
  • Stupid Evil: Joffrey, as usual. He keeps trying to have Arya tortured or killed, despite Tywin's explicit instructions to leave her unharmed since she's more valuable as a hostage. He also repeatedly tries to restart the war with the North, even though it's painfully obvious that he has nothing to gain from such a thing.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • Bran makes one of these, arranging his own death at the hands of the Night King to enable Arya to kill him.
    • Tywin's last plot is essentially this, agreeing to enable Daenerys a truce between her and the Seven Kingdoms, giving her a peaceful transition onto the throne, and agreeing to stand trial for the deaths of Elia Martell and her children, which is essentially a death sentence. In exchange, she is to pardon Jaime for killing her father, name him Warden of the West, and allow him and Arya to rule the Westerlands as Lord and Lady of the Rock.
  • Their First Time: Following the defeat of the White Walkers, Arya and Jaime finally consummate their marriage.
  • Threat Backfire: After kidnapping Arya and Bran, Walder Frey sends a message by having Bran's severed fingers sent to the Starks with a warning to give Frey his lands. He then makes the mistake of having two of Arya's fingers sent to Tywin with the same warning. Within minutes, a royally pissed off Tywin has declared war on House Frey and prepared to march his armies to wipe them out.
    • Subverted in that it turns out that the Freys did not take Arya and send her fingers to Tywin at all. Rather it was the Boltons who framed the Freys to build up their forces to siege Winterfell, while keeping the Northern loyalists distracted by both the wildling army attacks and the Freys' treachery.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Cersei. She trusts in Euron Greyjoy, opens the gates to Casterly Rock to the Ironborn just because she is jealous of Arya, doesn't make sure to keep her children fully safe and poisons herself in an attempt to force Jaime to choose between her and Arya.
    • Walder Frey. You have to be a special kind of idiot to not only abduct the ward and future daughter-in-law of Tywin Lannister but then send her severed fingers in a threatening message. Tywin's answer only contains one sentence: And soon the rains weep o'er their halls, with not a soul to hear.
      • Although it turns out he was framed.
  • Trickster Mentor: Arya seems to specialize in this. She gets Jaime to practice swordplay with his left hand by repeatedly whacking him with a practice blade until he gets fed up and attacks her; and she makes a committed cyvasse player out of Tywin by beating him at it, knowing that he'll be more motivated to practice at it as a result because he doesn't like to lose.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Chapter 90 opens with Tywin admitting to himself that his first impression of the Starks, particularly Ned's children, was way off the mark.
    • Arya happens to frequently make good use of this trope, managing to maim the assassin that tries to kill Tommen before he is killed off by Tommen's bodyguard, kill all of the ones that try to kill Tywin, and trick Littlefinger into giving a confession. The Boltons, however, do not fall for this trope after capturing her, and make sure to clear her room of anything she can use as a weapon, with Ramsey even testing how she fares unarmed in a fight. Even so, she still manages to escape from a Bolton-occupied Winterfell, killing the guards escorting her to her wedding to Ramsey and later plotting a battle that relies on Roose Bolton assuming Robb as a foolish emotionally-moved boy of a lord.
  • When He Smiles: Arya is the only character in the story who manages to get a genuine smile out of Tywin. The first time is after he reveals that he is aware (and pleased) that she convinced Jaime to learn how to use a sword with his left hand—by whacking him with a training stick until he got fed up and attacked her with one just to make her stop.
  • Yandere: Cersei towards Jaime. Enough that she willingly poisons herself in an attempt to force him to choose between her and Arya.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: After sneaking Tywin a goblet of poison so he can have a relatively painless death instead of death by dragon fire, Arya details her plan for how to rule the Westerlands and what she and Jaime will do after his death. When she asks if she gave the right answer, Tywin wordlessly drinks the poison, which Arya takes as a yes.
  • You Got Spunk!: Ramsey considers Arya unusually appealing compared to other girls he's put up with, considering the fact that she actively puts up a fight and shoots death glares at him, refuses to plead for mercy, and refuses to scream, and takes his time enjoying himself by tormenting and torturing her and threatening to rape her.


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