Author has written 1 story for Chuck.
I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but mostly follow CHUCK and Castle fan fiction.
Apparently I love strong but flawed female characters. Sarah Walker is by far my favorite from television. Yvonne Strahovski adds such nuance to her with a look or expression that it has spawned a multiverse of characterization in my mind far beyond the script of the show.
04/28/14 ANNOUNCEMENT: After much time in the lab, I have started publishing chapters of a CHUCK story titled 'Becoming' that follows the Agent known as Sarah Walker through the events of canon. It tries to understand her thoughts and motivations under the assumption of a dark past often only alluded to in canon. There are also some changes to canon and scenes in the spaces canon does not occupy. I will try to update it every two weeks (-ish) and readers should be prepared for extremely long (easily 10K) installments of one or more chapters. If all goes to plan, it will be ongoing for quite a while. Check it out if you are so inclined!
'Becoming' Reading Guide / Table of Contents
The early portion of 'Becoming' is published in installments (labelled as 'Parts'), almost always consisting of more than one chapter, rather than individual chapters. The story chapters are clearly labeled as subdivisions within the installments.
This story is obviously shaping up to be pretty dang long. You have to manage your own consumption - put it down and return to it at any time - as fits your specific circumstances and/or preferences, i.e., treat it like an actual book.
It is also turning into as much a 'collection' of stories as a single one. Thinking of it that way may help you to navigate but - due to the unweildy and daunting overall length of the story and my stubborn insistence that it exist in a single compendium - I will try to maintain this guide which groups parts (and chapters, updates, installments, episodes, arcs, kittens, cats, sacks and wives) in a hopefully more palatable way as all updates continue to be added to this single story.
Each entry includes: A short Arc Description, Word Count, Canon Episode(s) and additional content, Included Parts ('Chapters' based on site navigation tools and labeling), and Story Chapters
Prologue - 53K words
(Ep 508 - Chuck v the Baby (flashback) - additional flashbacks, Graham / Intersect interlude)
Parts I-IV (Ch 1-4); contains story chapters 1-6
Arrival (from a short-term assignment to an indefinite one) - 54K words
(Eps 101 and 102 - Intersect and Helicopter - plus young Sarah flashbacks)
Parts V-VIII (Ch 5-8), contains story chapters 7-21
Seduction (treatment of this trope in this universe) - 57K words
(Ep 103 - Tango - plus IIEP (Seduction school) and other training flashbacks)
Parts IX-XII (Ch 9-12), contains story chapters 22-30
Carina (past and present, one of the darkest points in the overall story) - 57K
(Ep 104 - Wookiee - plus flashbacks of many Carinas)
Parts XIII-XV (Ch 13-15), contains story chapters 31-41
Sizzling Sandworm - 64K
(Eps 105-106 - Sizzling Shrimp and Sandworm - plus cover date interlude)
Parts XVI-XVIII (Ch 16-18), contains story chapters 42-48
Truth and Consequences (various issues of the situation and the cover relationship) - 110K
(Eps 107-111 - Alma Mater, Truth, Imported Hard Salami, Nemesis, Crown Vic)
Parts XIX-XXIV (Ch 19-24), contains story chapters 49-76
Worlds Collide - 58K
(Eps 112-113 - Undercover Lover, Marlin)
Parts XXV-XXIX (Ch 25-29), contains story chapters 77-86
The Beast of America - 63K
(Ep 201 - First Date)
Parts XXX-XXXVIII (Ch 30-38), contains story chapters 87-97
Epilogues - 29K
(Mostly after Ep 201 - First Date)
Parts XXXIX-XLIV (Ch 39-44), contains story chapters 98-103
End Book One
Caution in Love
Prologue, Interlude, and Eps 2.02 - 2.05
Parts XLV-??? (Ch 45-??), contains story chapters 104-
Kate Beckett (Castle; now cancelled) is the next closest character to Sarah Walker due to similar but different character elements, FitzSimmons (AoS) are finally together! (The most exciting reveal on last season's post-finale-credits scene was not the existence of LMDs but the time skip that says they have been a couple for six months for when the show returns!). They also still have Agent May, Skye (Daisy / Quake) can't stay away forever and hopefully Bobbi / Mockingbird (and Hunter since their spin-off was rejected) can somehow return though it was a pretty definitive "write out"... but its Arya Stark (GoT) referenced in my screen name.
A few people have asked about the meaning of that screen name. I could just jump to the punch line but in my opinion much context of what drives her - and the lessons she has learned from her various mentors - is required to fully appreciate the meaning of 'Arya’s prayers' and so: be warned of spoilers!
Extremely condensed (although still long-winded) synopses and multiple spoilers for A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) / Game of Thrones follow. Spoilers extend throughout the published books which is well beyond the current storyline of the show - although I have delayed posting this until after the most shocking events of S3 have aired. (Game of Thrones is the HBO series while ‘A Game of Thrones’ is the first of five released and seven planned books in the ASOIAF series.)
Also be warned that you may never react the same way when someone tells you that "you're in their prayers."
(For fellow ASOIAF fans - yes, I left out Nymeria (who I hope to see again), Rickon, Gendry, Lady Stoneheart and countless others and only touch on Bran, Sansa, Jaqen, Yoren, the Night's Watch, the RW and The Hound but this was long enough as it stands! For non-fans - of the show and / or the books - yes, it's that complicated!)
In the words of Inigo Montoya: "Let me 'splain...no, there is too much. Let me sum up." (It should come as no surprise based on the guide above that I am brevity-challenged.)
ASOIAF Spoilers from this point forward:
Arya Stark is the middle (legitimate) child of five siblings and youngest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell – the northern-most of the centrally ruled Seven Kingdoms. “Ned” Stark is the most virtuous and honorable of characters I've ever encountered in any media and his children and subjects adore him. Even his one so-called character flaw (fathering an illegitimate child – Jon Snow – while away at war) is widely theorized by some fans to be yet another noble act of hiding the boy’s unrevealed true parentage for the boy's own protection.
The current King is Ned’s childhood friend Robert Baratheon who Ned helped to ascend to the throne many years ago in a rebellion against the psychotic tyranny of the prior ruler – the ‘Mad King’ Aerys. Ned takes his two daughters with him to the capital city of King’s Landing where he will serve as ‘Hand to the King' and where he hopes his two daughters will improve their prospects, Arya's elder sister being considered a good match for Robert's eldest child and heir to the throne, Prince Joffrey.
Arya is a carefree tomboy who relentlessly teases and upstages her younger brother at skills that she - as a 'lady' - should not be practicing and despises the trappings of ladies of the court, especially her practice at embroidery or ‘needlework’. Close with her older aforementioned half-brother Jon, he gifts to her a sword upon their parting early in the first book. One of highest quality but specially made for her small stature and good-naturedly / mockingly dubbed Needle.
In the capital Arya tends to wander the city and generally get into trouble so her father channels her energy by secretly employing fencing master Syrio Forel – the renowned ‘First Sword of Braavos’ – as her ‘dancing master’ to teach her how to fight in a style suited to her size.
One of the best early scenes in the show is watching her father's change in demeanor as he observes her first lesson with Syrio. Syrio tests the swordsmanship she has learned from her brothers and illustrates how much she has to learn by effortlessly mock-killing her over and over and over again. Her father begins to realize the danger he has invited by encouraging her in opening this door between the gender roles of this universe.
Arya worships Syrio for his skill and wisdom. Syrio first introduces the theme of prayer and changes Arya’s perception of it when he asks her if she prays to the gods (there are many varied religions in the ASOIAF world). When she responds that she prays to both the old gods and the new he makes his point with his defining line:
“There is only one God and his name is Death.
And there is only one thing we say to Death:
Ned stumbles upon the questionable parentage (and thereby invalid claims to the throne) of all three of King Robert’s children just before the King is murdered in what is passed off as a hunting accident. Ned’s attempts to expose the true line of succession are thwarted by the Queen and the rest of the King’s council who are far more deceitful and more adept at the ‘Game of Thrones’. Ned’s men are killed and an attempt is made to capture his daughters as leverage. They come for Arya while at what everyone but her father believes to be her ‘dancing lessons’.
Before he orders her to flee, she witnesses the true extent of Syrio’s mastery as he nearly stands victorious against multiple heavily armed and armored knights wielding only a wooden practice sword. After securing her escape, Syrio is almost certainly killed off-screen facing insurmountable odds (the author has commented that he doesn't know why so many fans think he may have survived which only makes us more suspicious and is not an actual denial - I remain deluded).
Arya blends with the crowd and observes her father’s public and forced sham confession of treason in exchange for guarantees of the safety of his two daughters and, less significantly to him, his own exile. Once his claims are publicly renounced, Ned is betrayed by the new King Joffrey – illegitimate son of the Queen and her own twin brother – and is murdered under the pretense of execution for treason.
A man loyal to her father prevents her from witnessing the actual beheading and helps her to escape the city and flee north to be reunited with her remaining family. This man tells her a story of his own youth and how he became conscripted into the Night's Watch rather than face punishment for murder and plants the seeds that will grow into Arya's plans for revenge.
He tells her that when he was a boy slightly older than her, his brother had been killed by a boy named Willem and he became obsessed with revenge. That he could no longer remember his dead brother's face but could still see the face of the boy who killed him. That every night before sleeping he recited Willem's name 'like a prayer'. That when he next saw Willem some time later he 'buried an axe so deep in his skull it had to be buried with him'.
After her escape from King’s Landing, Arya survives multiple battles and occupations across a land torn apart by civil-war and multiple rivals with various claims to the throne. She is believed by most to be dead but is living among her enemies often disguised as a boy. At night she relives the betrayals of her family and friends and catalogues those responsible. She also observes the atrocities of war and catalogues the most vile and cruel of those who have committed them. She crosses paths with and earns the respect and indebtedness of a convicted criminal who is actually a member of an elite clan of assassins known as the ‘Faceless Men of Braavos’ and secures from him a 'Golden Ticket' of sorts should she ever need shelter or aid.
While in hiding, among many other roles, Arya briefly acts as cupbearer to the patriarch of House Lannister. He is not on her list - but should be - an opportunity she later laments missing as she could have cut the head off the snake and crippled her enemies. She didn't realize the strategic opportunity until it was too late and wasn't quite ready to kill out of pure malice just yet.
Tywin Lannister identifies her by her speech as not only of the North but likely of high birth (this she manages to talk her way out of). When, at his war council, he asks her about the man his armies cannot seem to defeat - her brother, Rob - she offers a window into her secret obsession with her defining line and a bit of impromptu propaganda which, unknowingly, likely seals her brother's fate:
Tywin Lannister: "And what do they say of Rob Stark in the North?"
Arya Stark: "They call him The Young Wolf."
AS: "They say he rides into battle on the back of a giant direwolf. They say he can turn into a wolf himself when he wants. They say he can't be killed."
TL: "And do you believe them?"
AS: "No...my lord..." (a little girl defiantly staring down the most powerful man in Westeros)
"...Anyone can be killed."
In her later travels, she witnesses from afar the betrayal and murder of her mother and her eldest brother, Rob (who has stood as King in the North in defiance of the boy king who killed their father) as a result of Tywin Lannister's schemes. She has to be restrained from foolishly interceding single-handed against the traitorous half of her brother’s entire army as they slaughter those still loyal to him and desecrate his corpse. This only further steels her resolve and shortly thereafter she personally kills her first victim out of revenge.
By her clever machinations or by her own hand a few of the people on her list are killed, others are killed outside of her involvement or knowledge, but a few remain out of reach – including the former Queen (now ‘Queen regent’) who is intermittently the true shadow ruler of Westeros. With her family decimated and survivors scattered, she eventually escapes the mainland to Braavos to serve as an apprentice of the Faceless Men. There she secretly rejects their preachings on removing oneself from their past identity and the latter half of their credo "Valar Dohaeris" (All Men Must Serve). She instead clings to her hate and the other half of their credo and secretly continues her 'prayers'.
Arya has been on the run for the better part of two years. As she has done since her escape and to ensure no one eludes her memory – or her wrath – she whispers her ‘prayers’ each night. Her prayer is a repeated recitation of the names of those responsible for the wrongs done to her family, the deaths of her family members and her mentor or atrocities she has witnessed in her travels ("I cant sleep until I say the names.") concluded with a promise of death – half of her adopted assassin clan’s credo which, by separating it from the other half, she has bastardized into something she considers more appropriate: “Valar Morghulis” (All Men Must Die).
Only one man has earned a reprieve from her list and her 'mercy' consisted of leaving him to die from his wounds rather than killing him outright after he proved useful in killing others on her list.
She remains in self-imposed exile, believed dead by her enemies, as she crafts herself into one of the most deadly people in the Seven Kingdoms in anticipation of her eventual return and fulfillment of her promises. A death list she is steadily working her way through, adding more names as needed and diligently preparing herself to complete.
Each chapter of ASOIAF is written from the POV of a specific character (not first person POV, but rather which character the 'camera' follows for that chapter's events). Arya is the only character to have at least one POV chapter in all five books although her recent story has been somewhat thinner as she remakes herself. If the build-up pays off in the end the way I hope it does, none of her enemies will be prepared for what she has become.
All children in the show are portrayed as older than their book counterparts.
At this point in the books, Arya is now eleven years old.