Character development is what keeps us watching Game Of Thrones.
The theme is always the same – the character gets ripped from their usual life and must confront pain, suffering and loss of identity until finally — if they prevail — they re-emerge as a new stronger more grounded more powerful person.
Would Arya Stark have preferred to remain as she was in season 1 or become who she is by season 8? It’s not an easy answer, but one thing is for sure – she sees a different world now than she did then. She understands people at a much deeper level, she has found a part of herself that is no longer scared or bored with the world.
It would be almost impossible for the new Arya to communicate with the old Arya – the common frame of reference just would not exist for them to exchange meaningful ideas.
Once you change there is no returning to the old you, but AS YOU CHANGE there is immense pressure to return to the old you.
Change is difficult to embrace but necessary for personal growth – and personal growth is necessary in order to overcome infertility.
Change happens internally, but it comes from confronting and accepting reality – as opposed to what we think is reality! In other words, it comes from updating our worldview so that it more closely reflects reality. Mostly this means grappling – not with the outer world – but with ourselves. It means telling ourselves the truth – about our hang-ups, our blind spots, our prejudices, and our failings. These are all normal things for humans – and that in itself is a truth we must accept too, failing regularly is normal!
The beauty of an action-packed adventure is that it forces itself on the character, it comes to you whether you like it or not. You are forced to change, to adapt or to die. Eddard Stark couldn’t adapt – he was a good man with a righteous life, but he refused to change – and so he allowed himself to die.
We can respect him for that in one way and criticise him in another, because we are no different.
If you can’t bring yourself to cut loose from the old you in the process of adapting to your new reality, then you can’t overcome your ‘issues’. It doesn’t need to be as dramatic as Thrones though – bit by bit we can change, but only if we are open to it.