I know this seems like an odd post to start a month’s blog about characters with, and it might be seen as an excuse to be gushing about Terry Pratchett following his death, which maybe it is, but it is also a solid reason to talk about a place as a character.
Ankh Morpork has its own books written about it, a full atlas, and regular readers of Pratchett’s Discworld know as well in this fictional universe, where and who to avoid as they do in their own neighbourhood. For instance, if Fred Dibbler appears, with his sausage inna bun we know someone is about to get food poisoning. My point is places are just as alive within fiction as any character and if done well, we love them just as much.
For my first character, I’ve chosen (after much deliberation) Arya Stark from ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (or ‘Game of Thrones’) series by George R.R. Martin. Martin’s series has a good number of strong female characters and all differ in their own ways. I’ve chosen Arya because she is my favourite out of those strong female characters.
Even from the age of nine, Arya is more interested in fighting, horse riding and tournaments than her older sister, Sansa, and openly rejects the notion that she must become a lady and marry for influence and power. She is closer to her bastard brother, Jon Snow, than her true siblings and it is Jon who gives her her sword ‘Needle’ and encourages her. Later in the first book, her father lets her have ‘dancing’ lessons with master swordsman, Syrio Forel.
Arya is shown to be independent, intelligent, a quick learner and spirited, all key aspects that enable her to survive and adapt to the hardships she is put through throughout the course of the books (and the TV series). She is a great role model for children, and young women, today in my opinion.