As we look towards Game of Thrones season 7 and beyond, what could the Arya Stark endgame be? This is our first edition of our Game of Thrones Endgames series, where every day between now and the July 16 premiere, we look at the world through the lens of a singular character.
With Arya, you have arguably one of the most interesting landscapes of all given that there are diametrically opposing poles on this show: Strategy is on one, and action is the other. It’s very rare that you have characters who excel in both, and they often are fantastic and one but not the other. Maisie Williams’ character is clearly a superstar when it comes to action, but has her work cut out for her when it comes to strategy. She doesn’t often think that far ahead, and she operates based solely on a list — she wants revenge, she gets revenge, and then she moves forward to the next person. She doesn’t necessarily feel the need to do a whole lot more than this. She doesn’t have greater ambitions to rule Westeros, and the White Walkers are not front of mind. She wants others to suffer in the same way that she has.
Can other characters use her? It’s an interesting question to wonder given that season 7 could give you the epic Stark reunion with Jon Snow, Sansa, and Arya all in the north. Jon and Sansa could use the resources at Winterfell to help guide Arya towards other potential targets, or try to enlist her in the role of a spy to infiltrate other kingdoms and extract valuable information. While she couldn’t quite consider herself “no one,” we do think that Arya’s training at the House of Black and White had to be worth something. She was able to certainly use that to be able to kill Walder Frey.
Here’s the problem: Trusting Arya to do the job, and not get distracted if she sees someone that she wants to kill. Arya’s a wrecking ball if she sets her targets on someone, and she’s far from a team player. She should be very useful when it comes to targeting enemies in the story to come, but beyond that, she may not be capable of showing more of that human side.
Where could Arya’s story end?
Out of the remaining major characters, we’re probably most worried that her story ends in death. We do think that there is a moralistic quality to Game of Thrones, and while the good guys don’t always win, the same goes for people who have nefarious intentions. Arya is a little bit of a Dexter Morgan, and we don’t think David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are going to ship her off somewhere as a lumberjack. She may kill some more important people before she’s gone, but we see her as a likely casualty of war — either an opponent kills her at an inopportune moment, or she loses sight of the White Walkers. If she survives, we could picture a rather lonely end for her, separate from the rest of her family.
What do you think the Arya Stark endgame could be on Game of Thrones? Share in the attached comments!
As we produce more Game of Thrones Endgame pieces, they will be available over at the link here. (Photo: HBO.)