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Arya Stark: Would You Want Her As a Daughter?

So this is shaping up to be Literary Week here at Dadding, what with posts on the best children’s books and then the best children’s books characters of all time. I’ve got one more —  and this is the last one, promise.

So here goes: Would you want to raise Arya Stark as a daughter?

The idea came up when I named the pint-sized heroine from the Game of Thrones series as one of the best kid characters in books. Chris over at the Daddy Doctrines agreed in the comments that Arya was one amazing character, one of the best from the whole series. And yet: “There are also a million reasons I’m not sure I’d want my daughter (if I had one) to follow in her footsteps but don’t want to mention and spoil the books for someone. ;-)”

I can think of a million reasons why I’d want her for a daughter, or to at least raise a daughter who follows in her footsteps. I’ll try to write this without giving anything away for those who have yet to read the series or aren’t far along — I’ll also admit that I haven’t read the most recent book, so I have no idea whether Arya has turned into some type of blood-thirsty dictator (probably not) — but I think a good case could be made for Arya as a kick-ass role model for our kids.

For starters, she’s resourceful and independent. Who doesn’t want to raise a daughter who will be able to get out of jams. Plus, she follows her gut. She doesn’t like to play the games of court like her sister, Sansa, and follows her passions for sword fighting and swashbuckling adventure instead. Don’t we want our daughters to excel — or at least try to — at the things they really like? I’d rather my daughter had the personal desire and gumption to fight for herself than to sit around and wait for someone to save her.

OK, sure, she’s killed a few people. That’s wrong. But you know, if my daughter is ever imprisoned by warring families in some far-away stronghold, I think I’d cut her some slack if she found a way to escape. After all, don’t we want our daughters to be able to freely roam the lands of Westeros and try to revenge our deaths? Oh come on, you know you do.

In all seriousness, Arya, unlike her sister, seems almost like the ideal daughter — a girl who marches to the beat of her own drum, knows what she wants in life and does her best to try to achieve it. I don’t care if my daughter becomes a fencer or a dog catcher, but I’d count myself lucky if she discovered a passion in life and applied herself fully to it, if she felt like she wanted to do something and worked incredibly hard to do it. That seems like the essence of the character to me. And the number one reason why Arya would make for a great kid.

What do you think? Would you like to raise an Arya? Or a Sansa? (And thanks again to Chris for planting a fun seed of debate.)

— Mike at Cry It Out!

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