Did Arya Stark survive the Game of Thrones finale?


After successfully defeating the Night King on Game of Thrones, Arya Stark’s fate is the most important one in the season finale.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen Game of Thrones‘ final episode.

On Game of Thrones, Ned Stark let Arya Stark be a tomboy, and though everyone who watched the series saw nothing wrong, it was a big declaration of his love for his daughter. No man or lord in those medieval settings would allow their child to behave as anything other then what was expected of a lady. But Ned Stark was proud of his little girl who preferred to play with wooden swords. Although Ned planned to place Arya on the path to becoming a proper lady, it would never happen because she was meant for greater things.

It had to be divine intervention from any one of the Westerosi gods combined with Ned’s parenting that led to Arya training with Syrio Forel. That training would be the foundation for the future assassin who would be faster than water and quieter than the feral cats in Flea Bottom. And while it all seemed to be a coincidence all of the decisions that Arya’s caretakers made would all send down a path to become a savior.

If it weren’t for Arya’s rejection of the royal life, she would have been Cersei’s prisoner like Sansa. But her passion for Syrio’s training had her covered in dirt perfecting her fighting skills underneath the Red Keep. Arya was in the crowds when they killed her father, and it allowed for her to escape into the streets of Kings Landing instead becoming another victim of the Lannisters. Because Arya was always playing outside, no one knew what Arya looked like, and she would go undetected from her father’s enemies.

Arya found herself on the way to the wall hoping to be reunited with Jon Snow when Yoren cut her hair and threw her in with the rest of the miscreants headed to the wall. Yoren tried to teach her about the downside of harboring revenge, but instead, he unexpectedly taught her about reciting the names of future victims before going to bed. Thus, an assassin was born with a kill list in mind of all the people that betrayed her father.

Arya gathered names at Harrenhal even as she made bonds with the friends she had made. Her favors to Jaqen H’ghar solidified the deaths of the first few names taken off her list and ensured that she had a future teacher. Arya was taking names even after the Brotherhood without banners captured her. And if The Hound would have never bonded with Arya, his name would have stayed on the list, and he would have died way before his time. Well, technically Arya abandoned him after Brienne cut him up real good, but that’s not the same as Arya killing him.

Arya was a killer that was going to show the world that everyone that had turned their backs on the Starks was going to pay. But Arya wasn’t ready yet to give out the punishment she wanted to even if she didn’t know it. She tried to run into the Red Wedding to fight back her families enemies, but The Hound stopped her. And even when she was free from The Hound and ready to set sail to the north to reunite with Jon Snow, she was reminded about Braavos and set sail to train with Jaqen instead.

Arya’s training in the House of Black and White prepared her not only to kill her enemies but to defeat the Night King, an ice zombie that had terrorized Westeros for thousands of years. All that she needed to do was cross one more name off the list, and that was Cersei. However, The Hound saved her from giving into the monster that she could have been if she would have led a life solely guided by revenge.

Thankfully, Arya escapes King’s Landing alive. And as the lords of Westeros decide the new titles of who will rule the land, Arya keeps her name out of it. She turned down Gendry’s offer to be his wife for a reason. Arya learned long ago that she was meant to travel and slip through cities like a thief in the night.

She’s meant to be free, just like Nymeria who is still running around in the Riverlands. There was no way she could settle down into the world of a proper lady.

So as the last episode of Game of Thrones comes to an end, Arya is on a boat setting off to places unknown.

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