Game of Thrones: Is the Stark family splitting up for good?


The title of this week’s episode of Game of Thrones is fitting, as the remaining members of the Stark family are separated once again. But is this really the end of the pack?

The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Ned’s words have seen the Stark siblings through some serious obstacles over the past few seasons, but it looks like they didn’t take their father’s advice as seriously as they should have. “The Last of the Starks” shows the Stark family breaking up once more, and if they’re to be believed, they won’t be getting back together this time.

During this week’s episode, both Jon and Arya depart for King’s Landing—separately, although they both seem to have the same end goal in mind. Arya is traveling with the Hound in order to kill Cersei and cross the final name off of her list. Jon is setting south with the Northern army, which he’ll be leading into battle in honor of Daenerys… also to kill Cersei and take the Iron Throne.

But what’s interesting about both Jon and Arya’s journeys is that neither of them seems to have any intention of returning to the North. When the Hound and Arya discuss where she’s heading, the Hound tells Arya he doesn’t plan on coming back from King’s Landing. “Neither do I,” she tells him—an unexpected response from a girl who’s spent so much time trying to get home to her family.

Meanwhile, Jon doesn’t say that he’s staying south outwardly. But he’s given away his direwolf—without a goodbye, mind you—and he’s shared heartfelt farewells with Tormund and Sam, both of whom are remaining in the North. Jon certainly doesn’t seem to think he’s coming home again, though it’s unclear whether that’s because he thinks he’ll die in the fight against Cersei or because he plans on remaining with Daenerys when she takes her throne. Or, who knows, maybe Jon has some plans of his own for the Iron Throne.

That leaves Sansa as the only Stark in Winterfell. I mean, we suppose you could count Bran as well, but… he’s renounced his titles and association with House Stark in favor of being the Three-Eyed Raven. It’s clear that Sansa is the future of Winterfell and of the North. And while we’ll be happy to see her take on that sort of leadership, it’s a bit upsetting that she’ll be doing so without the help of her siblings.

With only two episodes left, it’s easy to believe the Starks won’t see one another again. In fact, with the pack broken up, it’s possible that they’ll see more losses soon—we do know that the Starks don’t do so well when they’re on their own. It was only after Sansa and Jon found one another that things began working in their favor again, and it’s very possible that this decision to part ways will come back to bite them in the end.

Most of us would like to see the Stark family reunited once more, hopefully with a happier ending this time around. But, as Ramsay Bolton once told us, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” Still, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

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Game of Thrones continues next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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