|Stark||Degree of isolation from “pack” (other Starks and their direwolves)||Status as of the end of ADwD||Evidence for/against “lone wolf dies, pack survives” theory*|
|Ned||Left Winterfell, but took two Stark children and two wolves with him (wolves were later killed and separated, respectively)||Dead||Mixed|
|Catelyn||Left Winterfell alone, but eventually joined Robb and Grey Wind||(Un)Dead||Mixed|
|Robb||Left Winterfell, with Grey Wind and (eventually) his mother.||Dead||Mixed|
|Sansa||Betrayed her family, thereby perhaps symbolically becoming a “lone wolf.” Helped cause/allow her wolf to be killed and Arya’s to be driven away (by withholding the truth about the events surrounding Joffrey’s wounding). Has been separated from the other Starks since the end of AGoT.||Alive||Against|
|Arya||Has been separated from the other Starks since the end of AGoT and from her wolf since early in AGoT; is now the most physically separated Stark.||Alive||Against|
|Bran||Stayed in Winterfell until it was destroyed, but was gradually separated from the rest of the family; still has his wolf.||Alive||Mixed|
|Rickon||Stayed in Winterfell until it was destroyed, but was gradually separated from the rest of the family; still has his wolf.||Alive||Mixed|
*Dead, isolated Starks and live, un-isolated ones support the theory; live isolated Starks and dead un-isolated ones count against it
I’m not seeing much support for Ned’s theory here. (Of course, you could interpret the word “wolf” as applying to more than Starks, and say that families that stick together tend to do better. But the (theoretically) unconditionally kin-supportive Lannisters and kin-marrying Targaryens aren’t exactly doing well right now, either.)
Other stuff from this chapter.
- Arya likes to play with babies. Who knew?
- Arya’s stream of consciousness seems a bit cliche-ridden: “Arya finally felt safe enough to cry”; “hating them all, and herself most of all”; “then maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone”; “Arya, we need to talk” (jarringly modern wording there); “she had never loved him so much as she did in that instant”; “with wonder in her eyes.”
- The Syrio stuff is wonderful, though.
- We meet Fat Tom, who appears at this point to be a comic-relief extra (later he’ll be an easy-sympathy-generating extra).
- Per Ned, Brandon Stark was wilder than Lyanna (and in this culture it would take a lot to be considered wilder than a woman who wants to swordfight).
- Ned, regarding the saving of Nymeria (or something else?): “even the lie was … not without honor.”
- WiC #5.
- Ned: “You [Arya] need her [Sansa], as she needs you.” Foreshadowing?