Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hero Spotlight: Katniss and Arya

So on Wednesday we talked about the Fighter and their ultimate challenge: When their strength is not enough. I gave some more obvious examples on that day like Thor and Korra. But today let’s talk about two slightly less obvious heroes in this archetype that are still excellent examples at the fighter.


First, there’s Katniss Everdeen. Katniss, despite being from the impoverished District 12, has a leg up going into the Hunger Games because she knows how to shoot a bow and how to survive. Though she is small, she has the skill to kill, and she has the ice cold attitude to back it up. So what’s the road block she hits?

In the arena, strength is not enough.

This is something that Haymitch impresses on her from early on. In order to win the Hunger Games, you can’t just rely on your skills. You have to get people to like you. You win the games with sponsors. So if you’re unlikable, even if you’re an ace with a bow, you could very well die.


Of course, this comes as a shock to the not particularly charismatic Katniss who doesn’t want allies or help from anyone. However, when it comes down to it, allies end up saving her life. Her friendship with Rue earns her support from District 11 and her life from Thresh. Her romance with Peeta gets her sponsors and ultimately earns her a victory over the capital when they both win. And all of these skills she learns here go onto help her when she plays for the camera, first as Snow’s puppet to stay alive and then as a revolutionary. Because a revolution isn’t just about brawn. It’s about inspiring people to stand up and fight with you. Seeing Katniss learn and struggle with this throughout the series was very engaging.



The second character I want to talk about is Arya. 

Now Arya, being a kid and not experienced in the ways of combat, isn’t an obvious example of a fighter. However, she has the spirit of a fighter, thinking she can take on situations that are much bigger than her. After she takes sword lessons from Syrio, however, she’s still not cut out to cross swords with more experienced enemies.

Arya’s journey is a slow one but she learns how to use her wit to survive Harrenhal and many other enemies. She even checks off a few names on her hit list.  Finally makes it to Bravos and begins studying to become a many faced man. Here she learns more important tricks, including that of deception and not charging into a situation. Eventually resulting in her killing another man on her list in a pretty badass/terrifying scene.



Even here she is punished for letting her blood lust take over. We don’t know what the rest of the story holds for Arya, but every episode, she has been a fighter knocked down over and over again and slowly made stronger as she comes to understand that though she is not the strongest, she could be one day.

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