(Kill list)
(In the books)
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Arya's death list in the books is partially different than in the show, both the names, the manner by which some of they die, and their killers:
Arya's death list in the books is partially different than in the show, both the names, the manner by which some of they die, and their killers:
* The Mountain. Severely injured by Oberyn Martell.
* The Mountain. Severely injured by Oberyn Martell. Presumably reanimated by [[Qyburn ]] as Ser Robert Strong.
* Dunsen, one of the Mountain's soldiers, for taking Gendry's helmet.
* Dunsen, one of the Mountain's soldiers, for taking Gendry's helmet.
* {Polliver}, for taking Needle. Killed by the Hound at the [[Inn at the Crossroads]].
* {Polliver}, for taking Needle. Killed by the Hound at the [[Inn at the Crossroads]].

Revision as of 13:49, September 7, 2016

Faceless Man mini coin2
Jaqen H'ghar: "Finally a girl is No One."
Arya Stark: "A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I'm going home."
— Arya Stark reclaiming her identity.[src]

Princess Arya Stark is a major character in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh seasons. She is played by starring cast member Maisie Williams, and debuts in the series premiere. Arya is the third child and second daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife, Lady Catelyn Stark. She is later trained as a Faceless Man at the House of Black and White in Braavos.



Arya History and Lore

Arya as a little girl sitting with her mother, Catelyn.

Arya Stark is the youngest daughter and third child of Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark. Eddard was the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rules the region from their seat of Winterfell and Eddard also holds the title Lord of Winterfell. He is also the Warden of the North to King Robert Baratheon.[1]

Arya was born and raised at Winterfell. She has an older sister, Sansa Stark. She also has an older brother, Robb, two younger brothers, Bran and Rickon and a "bastard half-brother", Jon Snow.[2]

Arya rejects the notion that she must become a lady and marry for influence and power, instead she believes she can forge her own destiny. She is fascinated by warfare and training in the use of arms, and is bored by embroidery and other "lady-like" pursuits. She takes after her father and has a quarrelsome relationship with her sister Sansa, due to their contrasting interests and personalities. She is close to her "half-brother" Jon, who is also something of an outcast.[2]

Season 1

Arya is being taught how to sew by Septa Mordane, but finds the exercise tedious and difficult, in contrast to her sister Sansa. She looks on enviously as Bran, Jon, and Robb practice archery in the courtyard with their father. She grabs a bow and annoys Bran by out-shooting him.[3]

On King Robert's visit to Winterfell, Arya rushes out to see the arrival of his entourage. She is scolded when she

Arya says goodbye to Nymeria.

finally joins the receiving line in the courtyard, and then is overheard by Queen Cersei Lannister asking where's the "Imp", a reference to Tyrion Lannister. Later that evening at the feast, she tests her mother's patience by misbehaving and throwing food at her sister, Sansa, prompting Robb to send her to bed early. Robert names Arya's father Eddard Stark as his Hand of the King, Joffrey is betrothed to Sansa, and Eddard decides to take his daughters with him to King's Landing to experience the court.[3] Before leaving, Arya receives a pet direwolf, one of several pups found by her brothers outside the castle, and names her Nymeria, after a great warrior-queen of Essos. She also receives a sword as a gift from Jon. She names it Needle, as a play on words that she may now enjoy doing "needlework."[4]
Ned and Arya

Arya and her father at the Crossroads Inn.

While journeying south on the Kingsroad, she practices her swordplay with Mycah, the son of the butcher in the King's retinue whom she befriends. When Sansa and her betrothed, Prince Joffrey Baratheon, spot them fighting, Joffrey intervenes. He accuses Mycah of pretending to be a knight and threatens him for striking Arya. Ignoring their protests, he cuts Mycah and threatens Arya when she attacks him to defend Mycah. As Joffrey menaces her with a sword, Nymeria savages Joffrey, injuring his arm, allowing Mycah to flee and Arya to throw Joffrey's sword in the river. Arya runs away and drives Nymeria off with rocks so that she won't be punished. Arya is eventually found and questioned. Arya is truthful but Sansa lies about the incident, saying she didn't see what happened, but generally supporting Joffrey. This infuriates Arya who proceeds to strike her sister and call her a liar. Queen Cersei, as they don't have Arya's wolf Nymeria, the one who actually bit Joffrey, spitefully requests that Sansa's direwolf Lady be executed instead. Despite the fact that she had just struck Sansa for lying to save her budding friendship with Joffrey, Arya quickly joins her sister in vehemently protesting against killing Lady. She even reaches out to touch Sansa in sympathy as she breaks down into tears upon seeing that the queen's order will be carried out nonetheless. Meanwhile, Mycah is murdered by Joffrey's bodyguard The Hound.[4]

Arya, Ned and Syrio 1x03

Syrio Forel trains Arya.

After reaching King's Landing, Arya argues incessantly with Sansa over the incident, to her father's despair. Eddard tries to make Arya understand that Sansa could not contradict her future husband. Arya is disgusted that Eddard thinks such an excuse is acceptable and questions why he would betroth Sansa to someone like Joffrey. Eddard discovers Needle when he comes to Arya's room to talk to her while she is practicing. When he realizes she is serious about learning, he hires Syrio Forel, a master sword-fighter who was formerly the First Sword of Braavos, to train Arya in the art of combat.[5] Eddard is bemused to find that Syrio's training regime includes having Arya balance on her tiptoes for hours at a time and chasing cats around their new residence in the Red Keep to learn agility. Arya and her father discuss how Bran cannot be a knight now that he is paralyzed below the waist, but he can be lord of a holdfast, or sit on the King's council. When Arya asks if she can as well, Eddard laughs and says that someday she will marry a powerful lord and have children who can be lords or even king and rule the land. Arya replies that is not her destiny.[6]

Arya watches the Hand's tournament along with Septa Mordane and Sansa. She asks Littlefinger how he got his nickname, to his amusement. Arya later resumes her cat-chasing training exercise and finds her way into the dungeons under the Red Keep, where she sees the dragon skulls that used to decorate the Great Hall of the Iron Throne. She overhears Varys and Illyrio Mopatis plotting about the likelihood of future war between the Starks and Lannisters and the possible timing of Khal Drogo bringing his army across the Narrow Sea with the Targaryen exiles. Following them, Arya finds a passage out of the castle and then must confront and threaten the castle guards in order to get back in. Her father is angry, as he has had people looking for her. She tries to tell him about the conspirators she overheard, but cannot identify them and has forgotten most of the details, other than "the wolf and the lion" (the Starks and Lannisters) fighting each other. Eddard introduces her as his daughter to Yoren, a recruiter for the Night's Watch. Disheveled and unclean, Arya is at first mistaken by him as a boy, to her annoyance.[7]

Arya is distracted from her training exercises by news of Jory's death and her father's injury while fighting Jaime Lannister. Syrio teaches her how to ignore her troubles to focus on fighting. Later, Eddard Stark brings his daughters together to tell them he is sending them back to Winterfell. Sansa and Arya are both upset. Arya doesn't want to leave Syrio's training. Sansa is incensed, feeling that losing a dancing instructor is nothing compared to breaking her betrothal to Joffrey. Lord Eddard says not to worry, he will choose another man for her to marry, one strong and gentle and brave. Sansa says she doesn't want someone like that; she wants Joffrey (to Arya's amusement). She wants to have his blonde babies, like Joffrey her "golden-haired lion". After the interjection "Seven hells", Arya asserts that he will be a stag like his father. Sansa replies that Joffrey is nothing like Robert. This prompts Eddard's sudden realization that Joffrey is not Robert's son and thus not the heir to the throne.[8]

Eddard confronts Cersei, who admits that her children were fathered by her brother, Jaime Lannister. However, before Eddard can inform Robert, the King is mortally wounded by a boar while hunting and dies shortly afterwards.[9] Cersei and Joffrey have Eddard arrested and send guards to take Arya into custody while she is training with Syrio. He realizes that Eddard would not send Lannister men for his daughter, and instructs Arya to flee while he faces down the guards himself. Armed only with a wooden sword, he disarms several of them and holds off one of the Kingsguard, Ser Meryn Trant. Syrio's fate after that is unknown. Arya goes first to the stable, where the men who were to take her and Sansa out of King's Landing were waiting with the baggage. The men have been killed, but she finds her sword "Needle" where she hid it in the bottom of her luggage. She is discovered by a stableboy who tries to stop her. As he comes at her, she raises her sword, and he is impaled and dies. Horrified, Arya runs away to find her way out of the castle. As a result of subsequent events, war breaks out between the forces of House Lannister and the forces loyal to House Stark, now under the leadership of Robb.[10]

Arya 1x09

Arya during her father's execution.

Arya lives on the streets of King's Landing, catching wild birds to feed herself. While trying to bargain for something to eat at a baker's stand, Arya notices crowds of people running to the city's center. She discovers that they are assembling to witness the trial of the Hand of the King. Dropping the pigeon she holds, Arya runs to the crowded square, and, to get a better view and see her father, she climbs on the pedestal of a statue of former Targaryen king Baelor (for whom the Sept is named). Eddard is brought out and pulled through the crowd. He spots Arya, and then, as he is taken past Yoren, the Night's Watch recruiter, he manages to signal in Arya's direction saying "Baelor", hoping Yoren can find Arya and take her to safety. As previously agreed with Joffrey and Cersei, Eddard confesses to treason, but instead of granting mercy, Joffrey reneges and orders his execution. Arya dashes forward, drawing her sword in an attempt to save her father. Yoren manages to grab her. Holding Arya against his chest, he tells her not to look. Before he is

Arya defends herself with Needle.

executed, Eddard looks to the statue of Baelor and sees that Arya is gone. Arya looks up at the sky. Upon seeing the frightened birds taking flight from the cheer of the crowd, Arya knows that her father is dead.[11]

Yoren cuts her hair to make her look more like a boy and vows to get her to the Wall to reunite with Jon. She will pose as a fresh recruit for the Night's Watch. He tells her not to trust the others, as they could turn her in for a reward or possibly rape her, or both. When Arya joins the group, she is bullied by two boys, Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands, but she defends herself and scares them off with Needle. Gendry, another recruit, also steps up to defend her. The entire group departs King's Landing, facing a journey of hundreds of miles through a warzone in order to get to the Wall.[12]

Season 2

Arya travels north on the Kingsroad with Yoren, posing as one of his Night's Watch recruits.[13] She is drawn to one of the prisoners in the wagon, Jaqen H'ghar. Since he is a murderer from the black cells of the dungeons, where the worst criminals are kept in King's Landing, he will stay locked up in the cage until they reach the Wall. He asks for water, but the other two murderers, Rorge and Biter, threaten her, so she doesn't get it for him. She forms a bond with former blacksmith's apprentice Gendry who sees through her disguise. When Goldcloaks arrive from King's Landing
Arya and Gendry 2x02

Arya and Gendry hide from the Goldcloaks.

with a warrant for one of the recruits, Arya fears that they are looking for her, but it is actually Gendry (who is unaware of his status as a royal bastard of Robert Baratheon). Yoren intimidates them into leaving empty handed. Arya confesses her identity to Gendry after he reveals being questioned by her father before leaving the capital.[14]

Arya asks for Yoren's advice on living with the tragedies she has suffered, and he tells her the story of how thoughts of revenge resulted in his committing murder and having to join the Night's Watch. He became obsessed with Willam, the man who killed his brother, and recited his name over and over at night before he slept. Then when Willam returned to Yoren's village, Yoren killed him and had to flee his village. Losing his life and future, he had to take the black. Arya doesn't understand the point of the story: Yoren was trying to tell her not to be obsessed by thoughts of revenge as it will consume her, but Arya heard that she should chant the names of her enemies each night before she slept, almost like a prayer, until the day she can get revenge. The goldcloaks return, having enlisted the support of Ser Amory Lorch and Lannister men. Yoren dies heroically defending Gendry, but the recruits are overcome by the group. During the skirmish, a fire starts near the cage where Jaqen and his companions are being held. Arya saves them by risking the flames to give them an ax to help them get out. Polliver steals Needle from Arya. Arya convinces Ser Amory that he has killed Gendry because another recruit died while he was carrying Gendry's bull's head helm.[15]

Ser Amory takes his captives to Harrenhal. Each day one of the prisoners is chosen by Ser Gregor Clegane to be systematically and brutally tortured by the Tickler. Arya begins a nightly recitation of the names of her enemies, adding the Mountain and Polliver to her list. Lord Tywin Lannister returns to the castle and halts the ordeal, shortly before Gendry is going to be killed. He criticizes Gregor for wasting manpower. He immediately realizes that Arya is a girl posing as a boy. She claims that it made it safer to travel. Tywin commends her intelligence and makes her his cupbearer.[16]


Arya speaks with Tywin Lannister.

Tywin hosts a war council, and Arya serves food and drink. She moves to pour wine but Tywin stops her, demanding water. He questions her origin, realizing that she is a northerner. He rejects Arya's first lie that she is from the Riverlands, but her second withstands his scrutiny. Upon being questioned about the northerners' opinions of her brother, Robb Stark, she repeats rumors that he has a supernatural link to his direwolf and that he is invulnerable. Tywin asks if she believes this and she replies, "No, My Lord, anyone can be killed". She leaves to fetch water and encounters Jaqen, now a Lannister man-at-arms. Jaqen says that because she saved his life, and those of his two fellow prisoners, he owes her three deaths and offers to kill three people of her choosing. She first targets the Tickler. He is soon found dead in the courtyard. Arya notices Jaqen on the walkway above and he smiles and holds a single finger to his face to signify his responsibility.[17]

Arya is afraid of being recognized when Petyr Baelish visits Lord Tywin, but he says nothing. Tywin catches her reading a letter detailing his troop movements and questions where she learned to read. She distracts him by asking about his own childhood and steals the letter. She is caught carrying it by Ser Amory. She manages to escape him and names him as her next victim to Jaqen. Jaqen kills him before he is able to expose the theft.[18] Tywin believes that he was the intended victim and begins a brutal investigation, ordering the deaths of dozens of his own men. He tasks Ser Gregor with rooting out the Brotherhood Without Banners, believing that they are responsible for the assassination. Tywin talks to Arya about the importance of legacy and the destruction of Harrenhal in the Wars of Conquest. His suspicions are heightened by her own knowledge of history.[19]

Escaping Harrenhal

Arya escaping Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie.

Tywin decides to leave Harrenhal to drive Robb's armies from the Westerlands. He names Gregor castellan and leaves Arya to serve him. Arya seeks out Jaqen, intending to name Tywin as her last target to protect Robb, but is unable to find him in time. When he returns from patrol she asks him to help her escape and he refuses, saying that it was not part of their arrangement. She gives Jaqen his own name in response, refusing to take it back unless he helps her. Jaqen kills several guards that night, allowing Arya to walk out of the castle with Gendry and Hot Pie.[20]

As the trio begin their trek into the Riverlands, they are surprised by Jaqen, who seems to appear from nowhere. Arya approaches him alone and asks how he killed those men, expressing her desire to learn his assassination skills. He offers to take Arya to Braavos (home city of her "dancing" instructor Syrio Forel) to train with the Faceless Men. She declines, telling him that she needs to find her family first, including Sansa. Jaqen gives Arya a single coin, explaining that should she change her mind, she only needs to give the coin to any man from Braavos and recite the High Valyrian words "Valar Morghulis." Jaqen changes his face to that of another man and bids a stunned Arya farewell.[21]

Season 3

Arya - Dark Wings Dark Words

Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie are discovered by the Brotherhood without Banners.

Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry continue travelling to Riverrun. They are eventually captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, who mistake them for war refugees. They are taken to a local inn where they are fed. Just as they are about to leave, Sandor Clegane is brought in as a captive. Despite trying to stay out of his sight, Clegane spots Arya and reveals her true identity.[22]

Hot Pie stays behind to work at the inn while Gendry and Arya are taken to the Commander of the Brotherhood at their hideout in the Riverlands. When Clegane is brought before Lord Beric, she accuses him of the murder of Mycah. During the trial by combat ordered by Beric, Arya heartily calls out for Clegane's death, but ultimately the Hound overpowers and kills Dondarrion, who is then resurrected by the Red Priest Thoros of Myr. As the victor, the Hound is declared innocent and released, much to Arya's disgust.[23][24]

Later, Arya questions Gendry for repairing Dondarrion's armor and tries to get him to come with her and fight for her brother. Gendry says he's tired of serving lords and wishes to fight to protect the smallfolk and join the Brotherhood, in which all members are equal, comparing them to a family. Arya, sadly, chokes out she could be his family. Gendry gently points out that if he goes with her they'd never be family: he'd still be a commoner and Arya would be "m'lady".[24]

Arya and Gendry - Kissed by Fire

Arya and Gendry watch the trial by combat between Beric and Sandor.

As Thoros lays by a fire, Arya whispers her death list prayer. Thoros reveals they will take her to Riverrun to her family, in exchange for a reward for their cause. Arya points out she's being ransomed. Thoros admits it, and that Beric would like to return her to her family without any ransom out of respect for the memory of her father, but they need the gold. Beric joins them and points out he understands she's angry with him for releasing the Hound. Arya asks why he would release a man who nearly killed him, only for Dondarrion and Thoros to reveal Beric was actually killed but was resurrected by the Lord of Light, showing her the lethal injuries he's sustained at the hands of Lannister soldiers, including Gregor Clegane. Arya asks Thoros if he could resurrect a man without a head. Both men understand she's talking about her father and tell her they are not sure it would be possible. Beric then reveals that with each time he's been resurrected he's been losing memories and adds that Ned Stark was a good man whom he admired, but he wouldn't wish his life upon Ned. Arya answers that she would, for he would at least be alive.[24]


Melisandre foresees Arya's future and mentions that they will meet again.

Anguy trains Arya with a bow. Arya spots someone behind her target, which is revealed to be Melisandre and a small group of Stannis Baratheon's men. Melisandre says the Brotherhood has someone the Lord of Light needs, and soon after has her men take Gendry into her custody. Arya protests, particularly when she sees that Melisandre has given the Brotherhood two heavy sacks of gold in exchange. She confronts the red priestess, calling her a witch. Melisandre ignores the barb and looks into Arya's eyes. She sees many other eyes, of many other colors - eyes that Arya will shut forever. Before leaving, she tells Arya that they will meet again.[25]

Arya - The Bear and the Maiden Fair

Arya displeased at the Brotherhood's actions.

Later at the hideout, Arya is disillusioned with the Brotherhood for selling Gendry, and rejects Dondarrion's argument that it was the will of the one true god, revealing the only one true god she believes in is Death. When Dondarrion decides to postpone delivering Arya to Riverrun to raid a group of Lannister soldiers for their armor and weapons, Arya angrily calls them out on their hypocrisy and runs away, hoping the Lannister soldiers will kill them all. She evades the Brotherhood but before she gets too far, she is kidnapped by Sandor Clegane, who was lying in wait for her.[26]

Arya and Sandor - Second Sons (episode)

Arya and the Hound travel towards the Twins.

Some time later, now a captive of the Hound, Arya picks up a rock and stands over the Hound planning to strike. She thinks he is sound asleep, but he opens his eyes and tells her she has one chance to hit him and kill him, because if she fails, he will break her hands. Later she sits on the horse with him sullen and refusing food he offers her. Sandor points out that for all she hates him, Arya could have been taken captive by far worse. He tells her the story of Sansa and how he rescued her from the mob, men who were going to rape her in every way then slit her throat and leaving her to die. Arya says he's lying, but Sandor says "Ask your sister, if you ever see her again." They continue onward across the meadows and arrive at a river, which Arya initially thinks is the Blackwater. Rather confused with her lack of understanding, he tells her it is the Red Fork of the Trident. Arya had believed the Hound was taking her back to King's Landing, but he reveals that he is in fact taking her to the Twins, intending to get a reward by ransoming her back to her family. The marriage of her uncle is imminent and both her brother and her mother will be there at the Twins. He tells her ruefully that if she wasn't so busy trying to bash his skull in they might make it in time for the wedding. Arya has a small and hidden smile as the Hound spurs the horse to a gallop.[27]

Arya - The Rains of Castamere (episode)

Arya stops the Hound from killing the old man.

On the way to the Twins, Arya and Sandor come across a hog farmer who is also going to the Twins for the wedding, but his wagon is damaged. Sandor lifts the wagon, the hog farmer repairs it, then Sandor punches him and knocks him unconscious. Sandor draws a dagger to kill the hog farmer, but Arya begs him not to, and he relents. The hog farmer wakes up, and Arya knocks him out again with another blow to the head. They arrive in the area of the Twins, and Arya nervously gazes toward the Stark camp. Sandor tells Arya that she is visibly afraid that something may happen to ruin her reunion with her family. Arya tells Sandor that he was visibly afraid of Beric Dondarrion's flaming sword, and that she knows what Sandor's brother did to him when they were children. Sandor taunts Arya about the execution of her father, then Arya tells Sandor one day she will stab him through his eye and out the back of his skull.[28]


Arya seeing the aftermath of the Red Wedding.

Arya and Sandor arrive at the gates of the Twins, in disguise as a hog farmer and his daughter. Sandor tells a Frey guard they have salt pork for the wedding feast, but the guard tells them the feast is over and orders them to leave. Arya then runs away from Sandor and hides near a table of Stark soldiers. Suddenly, soldiers come out of the castle and murder the Stark men. Arya hears Grey Wind howling inside a wooden cage, but four crossbowmen come out of the castle and murder the direwolf before she can release him. After the crossbowmen leave, Arya attempts to enter the castle, but is stopped by Sandor, who says that it is too late to do anything. Arya struggles to get into the castle anyway, so Sandor knocks her unconscious and carries her away, realizing that any attempt to intervene at this point would be suicide.[28]

Sandor mounts his horse with her, and picks up a Frey banner for their safety as he tries to slip away through the chaos. They both witness Frey and Bolton soldiers parading her brother's mutilated corpse, with the head of Grey Wind attached to her brother's body. Arya and Sandor then flee the castle on horseback while the Stark army is massacred during the Red Wedding.

Arya after killing the Frey soldier with a knife.

While riding to destinations unknown, Arya and Sandor come across a group of four Frey soldiers eating at a campfire. They are mocking the death of Arya's mother, while one of the soldiers describes the process of sewing Grey Wind's head onto Robb Stark's dead body. Arya then dismounts from Sandor's horse and slowly walks up behind the soldier. He turns around and asks her what she wants, and she says she wants to keep warm and is hungry. The soldiers rudely tell her to go away, then she says she has money, and shows them the Braavosi coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar. She purposely drops the coin, and when the soldier bends down to pick it up, she repeatedly stabs him in the back of the neck with a knife. The other three men draw their weapons, but Sandor appears and kills all three with ease. Sandor asks Arya how she got a knife, and she says she took it from him. Sandor asks if that the first man she has ever killed, and Arya says it is. Arya picks up the coin with her bloodied fingers and whispers, "Valar Morghulis."[29]

Season 4

Arya and Sandor - Two Swords

Arya listens as the Hound and Polliver discuss.

The Hound has now decided to take Arya to Lysa Arryn, her aunt, in the Eyrie, where he can sell her. Arya is displeased with this arrangement and wishes for a horse so that she can stay a distance away from the Hound on the rest of their journey. The Hound argues that he doesn't want her out of his sight and giving her a horse would provide her with the chance to escape. They stop near a tavern and Arya suggests that they attack the Lannister soldiers there. She recognizes one of them as Polliver, the one who callously stabbed Lommy through the neck with her own sword, Needle. She sees Needle, still tucked into Polliver's belt and is determined to retrieve it. When Arya and the Hound are in the tavern, Polliver looks over suspiciously. Arya is worried because she thinks that Polliver recognizes her, but it is the Hound that he recognizes. The Hound and Polliver's conversation eventually turns hostile which leads into a brawl in the tavern. The Hound kills most of the men, Arya puts a sword through one who the Hound had knocked to the floor. Polliver, attempts to sneak up behind the Hound, but Arya slashes Polliver in the back of the leg with a longsword and takes Needle. She repeats what Polliver said to Lommy before he killed him, but Polliver doesn't understand what she is talking about until she says "Fine little blade. I think I'll pick my teeth with it." As Polliver realizes who she is, Arya sticks Needle into his throat, and he dies the same way Lommy died, making Polliver the first person she killed from her list.[30]

Arya and the Hound stop to water their horses. Arya thinks that they're lost and asks him what he plans to do after he takes her to the Eyrie. He says he might join the Second Sons. A farmer and his daughter appear and ask them what they're doing on his lands. Arya makes up a story about the Hound being a soldier for House Tully, which luckily gets them access to his home and food. The next morning, Arya wakes up to a scream. The Hound has beaten the farmer and taken his silver. Arya is furious, telling him he is the "worst shit in the seven kingdoms". He ignores the insult and tells her that the farmer and his daughter will not survive this upcoming winter anyway.[31]

Arya and Sandor - Breaker of Chains

The Hound and Arya eating inside the farmer's house.

Arya recites her list by a campfire as the Hound tries to sleep. After a while, he tells her to be quiet. Arya says she can't go to sleep without saying all of the names. Irritated, the Hound ask her if she is going to name every person in Westeros, to which she replies, "Only the ones I'm going to kill". He calmly replies that hate is good as a motivation as any to keep a person going. He makes a note that if they would come across his brother, both of them would cross one name from their death lists. Arya ask the Hound what he would do if the Mountain at their camp, and he responds he would tell his brother to shut up and let him sleep, implying that Arya asks too many questions. He tells Arya to finish her death list. She finally says she only has one name left remaining which, to his surprise, is his.[32]

The next day, Arya is practicing her water dancing beside a river. Sandor, predictably, makes fun of her for prancing around. When Arya tells him that she learned her fighting style from Syrio Forel, whom she believes was killed by Ser Meryn Trant, he openly mocks the Braavosi for being defeated by a such worthless fighter. Eventually, he lets her have a go at him, for her dead friend Mycah whom he killed, but Needle won't even pierce his armor. He backhands her and, with Needle pointed at her throat, Sandor reminds her that Syrio Forel is dead, and her techniques are best learned from people who are still alive, like the people on her list.[32]

Arya and Sandor - Mockingbird -1

Arya after she killed Rorge with her sword Needle.

Arya and Sandor encounter a ​dying man in a ransacked village. Sandor gives the man a gift of mercy by stabbing him in the heart. Moments later, Sandor is ambushed by Biter who bites him on the neck. He snaps Biter's neck and drops him dead in the dirt. Rorge appears, revealing that there is a price on the Hound's head, which he and others want to collect. He is instantly recognized by Arya as one of the prisoners in Yoren's group who threatened her repeatedly. The Hound asks if Rorge is on Arya's list, but she denies it as she doesn't know his name. Sandor asks Rorge for his name and after he says it, Arya thanks him and promptly stabs him in the heart with Needle. Sandor cynically comments that she's learning.[33]

Arya and Sandor - Mockingbird -2

Arya witnesses as the Hound addresses his damaged neck.

Afterwards, Sandor clumsily addresses his wounds from Biter. Arya suggests burning to cauterize the wound, but is rebuffed by Sandor because of his fear of fire. Sandor confirms the story of his facial scars from burns inflicted by Gregor's wrath and how his father covered up the truth, making him feel alone. Arya offers to clean and stitch him up, and Sandor allows her to.[33]

Arya and Sandor - The Mountain and the Viper

Arya and Sandor's reaction to Lysa Arryn's recent death.

As Arya and Sandor make their way to the Eyrie, Arya laments that she doesn't feel any satisfaction over Joffrey's death (which they learned of from Rorge), expressing disappointment in the fact that she was neither able to be present during his murder or be the one to kill him. Once they reach the Bloody Gate, Ser Donnel Waynwood informs them that Lysa Arryn had passed away just three days prior, prompting Arya to burst into a fit of laughter over their continuing bad luck as Sandor stands dumbfounded over his attempts to collect a ransom being foiled yet again.[34]

When Arya and Sandor leave the Eyrie, they enounter Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne. At first, Brienne does not know she's speaking to Arya Stark, whom she swore to her mother Catelyn to find and protect. When Pod tells her that the man with Arya is Sandor Clegane, she realizes it's Arya and begs her to come with her. The Hound doesn't trust Brienne, as she is carrying Oathkeeper, a gift from Jamie Lannister, which is gilded with a lion's head hilt, making him thinks she's working for the Lannisters. Brienne and Sandor fight, each of them believing they should be the one to watch over Arya.
S04E10 - Arya (profile)

Arya decides to spare the Hound.

Brienne wins after beating Sandor with a rock and knocking him down a small cliff. Arya, rather than going with Brienne and Pod, hides from them until they leave. She then goes down the cliff to find the gravely injured Sandor, who begs her to kill him. When Sandor believes she won't do it, he tries to goad her into doing it, telling her that it is another name to strike off her list, he killed the butcher's boy when he begged him for mercy, and he should have raped Sansa when he had the chance. Instead, Arya takes his money and leaves him to die.[35]
S04E10 - Arya (on the ship)

Arya on her way to Braavos.

While travelling on her horse, Arya comes across a ship preparing to leave port. Arya first asks the captain to take her to the Wall, her intent being to meet up with her brother, Jon Snow. When the captain, Ternesio Terys, tells her that he is in fact going home to the Free City of Braavos, Arya shows him the iron coin which Jaqen H'ghar had given her. As Terys looks in awe, she tells him "valar morghulis". He promptly nods his head and replies "valar dohaeris", offering her a cabin aboard the Titan's Daughter. Arya is then shown sailing away on the ship, headed to Braavos.[35]

Season 5


Arya at the House of Black and White in Braavos.

After a long sea voyage, Arya arrives at Braavos. Arya is awestruck by the Titan, which, according to the captain, would wake and protect the city whenever Braavos stood in danger in the old times. Arya replies it's just a statue. Just then, the Titan lets out a loud blast announcing their arrival, startling her, but she convinces herself that she is not afraid. Terys rows Arya to the House of Black and White, where he claims she may find Jaqen, and Arya thanks him for bringing her this far. Arya lingers outside waiting for admittance, but is rejected by an elder man despite showing the coin Jaqen H'ghar had given her and mentioning their prior association. Arya waits outside the House for days, endlessly reciting the names of the people she wants to kill, but eventually tosses away her coin and wanders off into the streets of Braavos. While hunting for pigeons in the city, Arya encounters several boys who intend to take Needle from her. Although she is more than willing to kill them, the boys scatter when the man from the House of Black and White appears again behind her. After following him back to the House, Arya demands to know his identity, and he returns to her the coin she had thrown in the water. His face morphs into the visage Arya had known him as — that of Jaqen H'ghar. However, he insists he's not Jaqen H'ghar, but "no one", as all Faceless Men are, and he tells Arya she must learn to be "no one" as well.[36]


Arya is accosted by The Waif

As Arya cleans the main sanctuary of the the House of Black and White, she watches the man who looks like Jaqen H'ghar assist another man in drinking from the temple's well. When the man leaves to pray, Arya tells Jaqen that she wants to learn. He recites the phrase "Valar Dohaeris", meaning "all men must serve", and accuses Arya of only wanting to serve herself. When Arya looks back at the praying man, she sees that he has died and two men take his body away, ignoring Arya when she asks what they are doing with the body. Later, Arya is accosted in her room by the Waif, who repeatedly asks her who she is, hitting her when she gives the expected response of "no one." Eventually, Jaqen arrives and demands the Waif to stop. He notices that Arya was about to attack the Waif with Needle and points out that Arya cannot be no one, as she is still wearing Arya Stark's clothes, is in possession of Arya Stark's silver, and was about to attack the Waif using Arya Stark's sword. In order to meet the order's initiation requirements, Arya throws her old clothing and silver into the lagoon. Too attached to Needle, however, she is unable to discard it and hides it among a few rocks nearby. Later, as Arya is sweeping the floor, Jaqen escorts Arya to an inner chamber where she is to help the Waif in stripping and washing corpses. The Waif doesn't respond when Arya asks what happens to the bodies after they are cleaned.[37]

Jaqen H'ghar shows Arya the Hall of Faces.

Arya finishes cleaning a corpse which is then taken away by two men. Arya wants to know what happens to the bodies she cleans, but the Waif tells her that she will know when the time is right. Arya demands to play the game of faces. The Waif tells her that she has already tried playing the game but failed. She asks Arya who she is, to which Arya replies that she is no one. When the Waif is about to walk away, Arya asks her who she is. The Waif tells Arya a story about how she was the only daughter of a widowed Lord, who remarried, producing another daughter. Her stepmother, in order to secure her own daughter's future, tried to poison her. The Waif found out about this and sought out the help of the Faceless Men to exact her revenge. The Waif then asks Arya whether she believed the story. When Arya doesn't respond, embarrassed that she bought the Waif's story, the Waif tells her to get back to work, hinting that to pass the game of faces, Arya must be able to lie convincingly. Later, when Arya is asleep, Jaqen H'ghar comes to test Arya again. This time, when he asks Arya who she is, Arya tells him how she came to join the Faceless Men, trying to slip in a few lies into the story. However, Jaqen is able to tell when Arya is lying and hits her whenever she does. Before he leaves, he tells her that she is lying not only to him, but to herself as well when she says she hates the Hound. A grieving father brings his sick daughter to the House of Black and White, wanting to end her suffering. Arya tells the girl a false story about how she was sick too, but her father brought her here and when she drank from the temple's well, she was healed, persuading the girl to drink the poisoned water from the well. The girl dies, and Arya, having proven that she can lie, is brought to the Hall of Faces by Jaqen. All the faces had been taken from the
Arya dance of dragons

Arya, posing as "Lanna", sells oysters, clams, and cockles on the canal streets.

corpses that the acolytes wash in the temple. He then asks Arya if she is ready to give up who she is to become "no one". After a moment of silence, he then states that she is not ready to become "no one" , but that she is ready to become "someone else".[38]

Arya's first assignment is to pose as a shellfish merchant to study a target known as "the Thin Man". Before the assassination is carried out, Arya is distracted by the sight of a name on her list: Meryn Trant. She sees him dock and follows him as he guards Mace Tyrell on his way to the Iron Bank. That night, Arya follows Trant and several guards to a brothel. She is chased out by the owner, but not before she learns that Trant prefers sex with very young girls. She reports her failure to kill the Thin Man to Jaqen, and promises to try again tomorrow.[39]


Arya stabs Meryn Trant in the eye.

Trant is given three girls the next night, who he beats for his amusement. The first two are left whimpering from his beatings, but not the third. Trant dismisses the first two and continues to hit the third girl, to no effect, so he punches her in the gut. Crumpled on the floor, the girl removes her face and reveals herself as Arya. She quickly stabs him in the eyes and several times in the chest, but her blade is too short and has little effect. She teases him about how he was the first name on her list and how the Many-Faced God has denied her of others, but how he has delivered Trant to her. She asks him if he remembers Syrio Forel, who he presumably killed in King's Landing. She assumes he doesn't. Arya then asks if he knows who she is, though Trant is in too much pain and shock to understand what is happening. She reveals herself as Arya Stark, and slits his throat.


Arya's punishment for stealing from the Many-Face God is blindness.

Arya returns to the House of Black and White to put the face she used back on the wall. She is caught by Jaqen and the Waif. They are displeased that Arya has defied the Many-Faced God by killing someone who was not hers to kill. The Waif restrains Arya and Jaqen pulls out a vial of poison saying, "Only death can pay for life". Just before Arya thinks she is about to be poisoned, Jaqen drinks it himself and dies. The Waif questions Arya's grief for her friend, only to shock Arya by revealing herself to be Jaqen. Confused, Arya repeatedly removes multiple faces from "Jaqen's" body, until she sees her own face. Arya's eyes fill over with white as she is rendered blind as punishment.[40]

Season 6

Arya Season 6 (Crop)

A blind Arya begs in the streets of Braavos.

Now blind, Arya poses as a beggar as part of her training. After overhearing two passing citizens discussing Meryn's murder, she is approached by the Waif, remarking on her blindness. Tossed a stick, she fights and loses another sparring match against the Waif. Unimpressed, the Waif leaves Arya, promising to return tomorrow.[41]

The next day, the Waif returns and asks Arya who she is. When Arya answers "no one," the Waif brushes this off and promptly beats her in another sparring match. Arya angrily lashes out after the Waif leaves, but is stopped by Jaqen, who repeatedly asks her to say her name. After Arya tells him "a girl has no name" each time, an impressed Jaqen allows her to return to the House of Black and White.[42]

Multiple stick fights between Arya and the Waif ensue. At the same time, Arya learns to cope with her blindness while telling the Waif her story and list of targets. With Arya finally holding her own, Jaqen gives her a cup from the the well in the House of Black and White and tells her if she truly is no one, she has nothing to fear. She drinks the water and regains her sight.[43]

Arya is tasked to kill an actress named Lady Crane, though Jaqen warns she has been given a second chance and won't get a third. She views the first portion of the play The Bloody Hand, in which Lady Crane portrays Cersei. Afterwards, Arya notices that Bianca is jealous of Lady Crane and decides to poison her rum to carry out the assassination.[44]

After watching the remainder of the play on a different occasion, Arya walks backstage and poisons her rum. On the way back, Lady Crane notices her, and the two briefly converse about the play. Arya suggests that the Cersei character's response to the death of her son would not only be grief -- it should also include anger. After asking Arya if she likes pretending to be others, Crane tries to express Arya's opinion to the rest of the troupe, but is quickly shut down. She goes to drink the beverage Arya poisoned, but Arya slaps it from her hands before she can drink it, blaming Bianca.


Arya is stabbed by the Waif.

Unbeknownst to Arya, The Waif had been following her and discovers that Arya has failed to kill the actress. The Waif proceeds to report Arya's failure to Jaqen, who grants her wish to let her kill Arya but that she must not let her suffer. Meanwhile, Arya retrieves Needle from its hiding place and prepares to defend herself, presumably abandoning the goal of becoming a Faceless assassin and knowing her failure has made her a target.[45]

Afterwards, Arya secures passage back to Westeros by bribing a Westerosi trader. However, she is attacked and repeatedly stabbed in the stomach by the Waif, and only barely escapes by jumping into the river. She is left stumbling through the streets of Braavos, critically wounded and extremely paranoid.[46]

Seeking refuge, Arya finds her way to Lady Crane, collapsing from her injuries behind the theatre troupe stage. Lady Crane takes her to her living quarters, where she treats Arya's wounds and gives her a new set of clothing. Arya
Arya no one ep

Arya prepares to fight the Waif.

reluctantly accepts a dosage of Milk of the poppy to help ease her pain, and soon after falls asleep in Lady Crane's bed. When she wakes up, she finds her dead in the next room, murdered by the Waif. Jumping off the balcony and into the streets of Braavos, Arya manages to escape, though she is pursued by the Waif. Leaving a trail of blood in her wake, Arya lures the Waif to the hideout in which she has hidden Needle. The Waif then asks her if she would like to die on her knees, or on her feet - in response, Arya pulls Needle out from its hiding place and confronts her attacker, not before putting out the only light in the room. In the ensuing off-screen fight, Arya manages to best the Waif due to her proficiency on fighting without sight (which, ironically, was trained by the Waif). She kills her adversary and removes her face, which she brings back to the Hall of Faces. 

Aware that Jaqen sent the Waif to kill her, Arya points Needle at him in an accusatory manner, though Jaqen claims that she has finally truly become "no one", indicating the completion of her training as a Faceless Man. In reply, Arya reaffirms that she will never be "no one" and is and will always be Arya Stark of Winterfell. Lowering her sword, she then leaves the House of Black and White and Jaqen for good, making the ultimate decision to return to Westeros, her home.[47]

S06E10 - Arya kills Walder

Arya reveals herself to Walder Frey and slits his throat.

Upon arriving in Westeros, Arya travels to the Twins where she disguises herself as a serving girl. After Jaime Lannister and his soldiers depart for King's Landing, Arya manages to kill both "Lame" Lothar Frey and Black Walder Rivers, who were responsible for the deaths of Talisa Maegyr and her mother Catelyn Stark respectively. She then proceeds to dismember their bodies and bake them into a pie, which she serves to Lord Walder Frey as the two are alone in the dining hall, still wearing the face of a serving girl. After she reveals her true identity, she slits Walder's throat and watches with amusement as he dies.[48]


Arya is a fiercely independent child who is unconstrained by social expectations like gender roles, courtly virtues, class distinctions, and the expectations of her parents and siblings. A tomboy, she never aspired to be a "proper lady" as her older sister Sansa did. Before the series of events that shatter her innocence and destroy her support system, Arya is full of life, and she makes others smile just by virtue of her spirited indifference to rules. 

Once she begins the journey to King's Landing, however, she endures a constant stream of loss and trauma. As she watches her pet, sword instructor, friends, and family members taken from her one by one, she becomes increasingly detached towards murder and death. This is only exacerbated when she is captured by the Hound and is exposed to his fatalistic world view as they traverse the war-ravaged Riverlands, though the two develop a mutual reliance and almost grudging respect for each other. When she witnesses and learns of the betrayal and murder of her family at the Red Wedding, she becomes even more cold and driven to seek revenge on those who have wronged her and her family.

While she is initially horrified when she accidentally stabs the stableboy in King's Landing during the betrayal of her father and his men, by the time she and the Hound have fled the massacre at the Twins, she is able to kill without remorse and has accepted Syrio's belief that the only true god is Death. Following Yoren's advice to her before he died, she has taken to listing off the names of each person she intends to kill each night before she sleeps.

Arya can be a rather cold-blooded, slightly sadistic person at times, especially while confronting and killing those who are on her death list. Though she was initially apathetic but satisfied over killing Meryn Trant and Polliver, she did not attempt to hide her glee over slitting Walder Frey's throat. While she certainly possesses compassion and kindness, her time with The Hound and the Faceless Men have taught her to be ruthless to those who have wronged her and her family and has shown to be willing to use psychological mind games to worsen her enemies fate before killing them. Shown when she repeated every word Polliver said to Lommy before killing him in the same exact way with Needle; gouged the eyes of Ser Meryn before stabbing him repeatedly and butchering Lord Walder's sons before serving their corpses to their father inside of a pie.

Kill list

The people on Arya's death list currently are:

The people no longer on her list, because she knows they are deceased or believes them to be dead, are:

  • Walder Frey - For his role in killing her brother and mother. Killed by Arya after she gained entry to his castle using a Faceless Men shapeshifter mask. Arya first killed Lord Walder's sons Lame Lothar and Black Walder Rivers (who each respectively killed her pregnant sister-in-law and mother during the Red Wedding), then fed their flesh to the unwitting Lord Walder baked into a pie.
  • Polliver - For killing her friend Lommy, stealing her sword Needle, and taking part in the brutal torture at Harrenhal. Killed by Arya while repeating the same words Polliver said to Lommy when he killed him.
  • Joffrey Baratheon - For ordering the execution of her father. Killed during his own wedding.
  • Rorge - For threatening to rape her. Killed by Arya just after adding him to the list.
  • The Hound - For killing her friend Mycah and being a Lannister lackey. Severely injured by Brienne of Tarth and left to die by Arya. He actually survived, though she doesn't know it, and she later admitted that by that point part of her didn't want him to die.
  • Tywin Lannister - For leading the Lannisters against her brother. Killed by ​his own son Tyrion Lannister.
  • Meryn Trant - For killing her dancing master Syrio Forel and aiding Cersei in her coup. Killed by Arya in a Braavosi brothel where she was disguised as an underaged prostitute.

Arya's list logically only contains those whom she knows have committed crimes against her or her family. Despite committing great crimes against her family, Littlefinger is not included in Arya's death list, as she never learnt of Petyr Baelish's direct involvement in betraying her father. {Roose Bolton} was never included because she was unaware that Roose Bolton was present at the Red Wedding, much less that he personally killed Robb. She is also unaware of the fact that Roose's son {Ramsaysacked Winterfell (and later killed {Rickon}). Arya also hasn't included Theon Greyjoy for taking Winterfell in the first place and (allegedly) killing her brothers Bran and Rickon, because she wasn't aware that it happened while she was on the run. News of the Fall of Winterfell only became widespread enough for her to hear of it after Ramsay recaptured the castle (in early Season 4) and supposedly killed Theon, thus he was never added to her list.

For a while, Arya added the Red Woman, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr to her list, because she was upset the Brotherhood Without Banners let Melisandre take Gendry away. She later phased them out of her list, presumably because they didn't do anything remotely near what other people in the list had done, also one of her main motivations for keeping Beric and Thoros on the list was that they released the Hound despite his crimes which she later forgave.

Ilyn Payne, the executioner who beheaded her father, was also phased out of her list, maybe because he was a hired hand simply following orders like The Hound. Furthermore, the actor who plays Ilyn Payne developed pancreatic cancer after Season 1 and very nearly died, so his return to the TV series became uncertain.

Arya later revealed to the Waif that she was no longer intent on killing the Hound when she left him, suggesting that she may have appreciated his efforts to help keep her alive.


Season One appearances
Winter Is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What Is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch Is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Season Five appearances
The Wars To Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
Season Six appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter


Spoken by Arya

Eddard Stark: "A little Lady shouldn't play with swords."
Arya Stark: "I wasn't playing. And I don't want to be a Lady."
Eddard Stark and Arya Stark[src]
Syrio Forel: "What do we say to the god of death?"
Arya Stark: ""Not today.""
— Arya's last exchange with her dancing master, Syrio Forel, before he is presumably killed by Meryn Trant.[src]
"You want it? I'll give it to you. I've already killed one fat boy. I bet you're a liar, but I'm not. I'm good at killing fat boys. I like killing fat boys."
―Arya threatening Hot Pie with Needle.[src]
Gendry: "I should be calling you "milady.""
Arya Stark: "Do not call me "milady.""
Gendry: "As milady commands! [Arya shoves him] Well, that was un-ladylike."
— Exchage between Arya and Gendry.[src]
"Anyone can be killed."
―Arya Stark to Tywin Lannister[src]
"Ilyn Payne... Ser Meryn... the Hound."
―Arya Stark's death prayer[src]
Arya Stark: "You're a witch! You're going to hurt him!"
Melisandre: "I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever. We will meet again."
Melisandre and Arya Stark[src]
"Someday, I'm going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull."
―Arya threatens Sandor Clegane.[src]
"My name is Arya Stark. I want you to know that... the last thing you're ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die."
―Arya to Walder Frey[src]

Spoken about Arya

"Filthy little bitch! I'll GUT you, you little cunt!"
Joffrey Baratheon threatens Arya.[src]
"She's as wild as that animal of hers."
Cersei Lannister insulting Arya.[src]

Image gallery

Family tree

Rickard Stark
Lyarra Stark
Brandon Stark

Catelyn Stark
née Tully House-Tully-Main-Shield
Eddard Stark

Lyanna Stark

Benjen Stark
Robb Stark

Talisa Stark
née Maegyr
Tyrion Lannister House-Lannister-Main-Shield

Sansa Stark

Arya Stark

Bran Stark

Rickon Stark

"Jon Snow"

Behind the scenes

Arya Stark-First of his Name

Maisie Williams plays Arya as left-handed, but the actress is actually right-handed.

In the novels, Arya is left-handed. Maisie Williams is right-handed, but plays Arya as left-handed to be true to the books, including learning how to fight with a sword in her left hand. Maisie's mother discovered that Arya is left-handed while reading the books, and urged her to play Arya left-handed, for fear that if she didn't, hardcore fans of the books would be outraged and instantly reject her performance.

When Arya goes blind in the Season 5 finale, continuing into Season 6, the clouded look in her eyes is not a CGI effect at all: Maisie Williams actually wore large, 16 millimeter-wide contact lenses, hand-painted so they were murky. They did not simply give her eyes the appearance of being blind, but cannot be seen through. Thus when Arya is wildly turning around unable to see her surroundings, Williams truly couldn't see anything, and thus gave a genuine performance of being blinded.

Williams stated in an April 2016 interview that she was not given a choice between using a CGI effect or the blinding-contacts: the production team told her to use the blinding-contacts from the start. She went on to explain that the true blindness contacts were only used in closeups or when she was standing still (such as the Season 5 finale). Otherwise, when she had to stumble around while "blind" in Season 6, she switched to contacts which had tiny pinprick holes in the center so she could still see, so she wouldn't harm herself or others (some of her scenes involved fighting with a stick while "blind"). The times when she is moving around and wearing the alternate contacts she can actually see through were then simply filmed in wide-shots so the camera wouldn't pick up the difference - but then she would switch back to the full-blindness contact lenses again for closeups and dialogue-heavy shots without much motion in them.[49]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Arya is nine years old when King Robert Baratheon arrives at Winterfell. She is a tomboy who wants to learn how to fight with a sword and ride horses, to the horror of her more demure older sister, Sansa, with whom she has a quarrelsome relationship. But she is encouraged by her "half-brother" Jon, to whom she is close. Sansa and Arya are so unalike that Sansa once asked their mother if her real sister was stolen by a grumpkin and Arya left in her place. Arya is the only one of the Starks' trueborn children who resembles their father in appearance - Jon Snow does, too, which once caused Arya to wonder whether she was also a bastard, but Jon assured her that she was not. Arya has Eddard's long face, which results in her being called Arya Horseface by her sister and her sister's friends. She is also known as Arya Underfoot by the Winterfell staff, as she is always curious and always where she isn't supposed to be. In the TV series, she is a good shot with a bow. In the novels, she does not know how to use a bow and isn't strong enough to even pull back the string, but wishes she could.

Yoren does not tell Arya the story about Willem and how he came to be part of the Night's Watch. Reciting the names of her enemies is something that she starts doing on her own. Yoren does tell her that her father was not supposed to die that day. The reason Yoren was in the Sept of Baelor and not already on the road is because he was told by Varys, the same man that came bringing Gendry, that Lord Eddard was to be given mercy, allowed to take the black, and would be traveling back with him to the Wall. When he says something must have gone wrong, Arya replies, "Joffrey. Someone should kill him."

During Season 2 of the TV series, she serves as Tywin Lannister's cupbearer. In the novels, she serves Roose Bolton, who captured Harrenhal from Amory Lorch after Tywin Lannister leaves with his army to defend the Westerlands. Thus, none of the scenes between Tywin and Arya happened in the books. She still flees from Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie, but she does so without using Jaqen H'gar's help; though in the novels she does use Jaqen's help to open Harrenhal to Roose Bolton and the Northmen.

Arya's storyline at Harrenhal in Season 2 was heavily condensed from the books. After being captured by Ser Gregor Clegane's men, she is exposed to rape and murder on a regular basis. She is also abused and forced to work at Harrenhal, cleaning, serving men-at-arms at meals, and running errands for an under-steward name Weese, who beats her. When Jaqen H'ghar gives her the opportunity to kill three men, the first one she picks is a man-at-arms for Gregor Clegane named Chiswyck, because she overheard him telling a story, laughing about how he and Clegane's men had gang-raped an innkeeper's daughter. The second name she chooses is Weese. The TV series changed this so that instead, Arya chooses the Tickler and Amory Lorch, who are not killed by Jaqen in the book.

Arya's third and final choice was similar, but somewhat condensed from what happened in the books. In the TV series, she asks Jaqen to help her escape, so he kills the Lannister guards. In the books, Arya asks Jaqen to help her free a large number of Northern prisoners-of-war who are being held at the castle. Jaqen refuses at first, then Arya chooses him as the third man to die. Jaqen asks her to change her choice, and she agrees on condition that he helps her free the prisoners. He enlists the help of Rorge and Biter. They get large pots of boiling soup as the prisoners' dinner, but when they get to the dungeons, they throw the boiling-hot soup on the guards and slay them, free and arm the prisoners, and take Harrenhal from the Lannister forces. This is remembered as the "weasel soup" incident, because at the time, Arya was using the alias "Weasel" (naming herself after a little girl she took care of earlier in the book before being captured). Soon afterwards Jaqen leaves, after giving Arya the coin. He explains that if she ever needs to find him again, she should give the coin to any man from Braavos and say "valar morghulis".

Roose Bolton becomes the master of Harrenhal as a result, and Arya becomes his cupbearer. Arya does not leave because she feels safe with the Northern soldiers, but at the same time she still keeps her true identity secret because she isn't sure if she can trust them yet. She overhears Roose and his men discussing the fall of Winterfell and Bran and Rickon's deaths, and refuses to believe the news. While Arya waits at Harrenhal in the hope that her brother Robb will eventually arrive (at which point she would reveal herself), she ultimately decides that she is not safe there and leaves with Gendry and Hot Pie, to try to reach her family at Riverrun.

Arya technically gained the title of "princess" when her brother Robb was declared the new King in the North. While her brothers Bran and Rickon use the title of "prince" among the Northerners at Winterfell, Arya's storyline takes her on the run through the Riverlands as it is torn apart in the war between the Starks and Lannisters, so that she is usually keeping her true name a secret, let alone her title. Thus she normally isn't referred to as "princess", or at least not in her surroundings; Robb, Catelyn, and the Freys refer to her as a "princess" when brokering their marriage-alliance.

Ironically, she meets her Frey husband-to-be (Elmar Frey) while serving under Roose Bolton, and he spends time talking at length to Arya about his promised princess, unknowningly speaking to her personally. He tries to boss Arya around, but she does not comply. After being informed that Robb breached the pact with the Freys, Elmar tells Arya whiningly that his father told him he had to marry someone else, or to become a septon. Arya tries to empathize with him, telling him two of her brothers are dead. But when he responds derisively, she loses all sympathy for him.

By this point in the novels, Arya is presumed dead by most people in Westeros, including her mother and older brother. When Catelyn asks Cleos Frey, who has been acting as an envoy ferrying peace terms between Robb and Tyrion Lannister, for news of her daughters, she is disturbed when Cleos only mentions seeing Sansa at court. Catelyn wonders whether Arya, always more difficult to control than Sansa, is being deliberately kept out of sight by Cersei for fear of what she might do or say, or if something even worse has happened to her. Later, Robb bluntly states that his youngest sister is probably dead, since no one has seen her since their father's death, and as a result he names Jon Snow as his heir should he die without issue. The belief that Arya is dead, along with the news of the apparent deaths of Bran and Rickon, is what prompts Catelyn to release Jaime Lannister in the hope that her last daughter can be returned to her.

In the books there are no hints of romance between Arya and Gendry. In fact, Arya debates whether to kill Gendry once he discovers she is a girl, and the only reason she does not is that Gendry is armed and stronger than her. They become friends, and Arya considers him to be a part of her "pack". When he is taken prisoner by Gregor Clegane's men, she attempts to rescue him with Hot Pie, which leads to their group being taken prisoner by the Lannisters in the first place. The TV series didn't overtly play up a full-fledged "romance" between the two, though Gendry becomes one of Arya's few friends and, as in the novels, she is pained when he chooses to stay behind with the Brotherhood.

Arya's death list in the books is partially different than in the show, both the names, the manner by which some of they die, and their killers:

  • The Mountain. Severely injured by Oberyn Martell. Presumably reanimated by Qyburn as Ser Robert Strong.
  • Dunsen, one of the Mountain's soldiers, for taking Gendry's helmet.
  • {Polliver}, for taking Needle. Killed by the Hound at the Inn at the Crossroads.
  • {Chiswyck}, one of the Mountain's soldiers, for assisting the Tickler to torture the captives on the way to Harrenhal. Killed by Jaqen H'ghar at Harrenhal.
  • {Rafford} aka Raff the Sweetling, one of the Mountain's soldiers, for killing Lommy. Killed by Arya at Braavos.
  • {The Tickler}, for torturing to death many captives. Killed by Arya at the Inn at the Crossroads.
  • The Hound. Severely injured by Polliver and the Tickler, and left to die. Although Arya is uncertain of his status, she removed him from her list.
  • {Amory Lorch}, for killing Yoren. Thrown to the bear pit at Roose Bolton and Vargo Hoat's command, and torn apart.
  • Ilyn Payne
  • Meryn Trant
  • {Joffrey}, killed at the Purple Wedding.
  • Cersei
  • {Weese} the understeward at Harrenhal, for treating Arya very brutally. Killed by Jaqen H'ghar at Harrenhal.

Arya begins reciting the names of the first twelve people on her list while being taken to Harrenhal. Soon after she starts working there under Weese's supervision, she adds him, and this is the end of her list because he is beating her. Sometimes she says the phrase "Valar Morghulis", which she learned from Jaqen, along with her list. So far, four of the people are still alive, two (the Cleganes) are in uncertain status, and seven are confirmed dead. In the books, Melisandre never retrieved Gendry from the Brotherhood Without Banners, so the Red Woman, Beric, and Thoros aren't on the list. She also does not add "Walder Frey" to her list: rather, she states that she would have added "the Freys" to her list - any and all of them who took part in the Red Wedding - but she wasn't sure which ones specifically took part in it and which ones didn't.

When Arya learns of Joffrey's death in the novels, she is not happy about it, not because she wasn't the one to kill him or watch as she wishes in the TV series, but because Joffrey's death doesn't matter as much since Robb was dead too. Also, in the novels, Arya and the Hound do not encounter Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne, nor do they encounter Rorge and Biter. At the Crossroads Inn, Arya and The Hound fight Polliver, the Tickler and a squire. Arya kills the Tickler (who is assassinated at Harrenhal by Jaqen in the series) and the squire, but it is the Hound who kills Polliver. The Hound is severely injured during the fight, his wounds fester and he falls from his horse. After this, Arya refuses to give him a merciful death, and leaves him to die on his own. She does not take his silver (but later wishes she had). She rides to the Saltpans and searches for a ship that will take her to Jon at the Wall. All she can find is a ship headed to Braavos, which she boards using the coin Jaqen gave her.

Arya learns of her aunt's death when she is in Braavos. She dismisses that information indifferently, since she has already decided to waive her true identity, dissociating herself of any connection with her former life.

In A Feast for Crows, once she arrives in Braavos, Arya is escorted to the House of Black and White, where she searches for Jaqen and a safe place to stay. Instead of another man posing as Jaqen, she is greeted by a figure she can only identify as the "kindly man". The coin she presents gains her entry into initiation training with the Faceless Men.

The kindly man tells Arya the House of Black and White is not a home for orphans, and if she wants to remain - she must be obedient at all times and in all things. They can find better jobs and places for her, like a service in the household of some merchant; they can find her a husband of her choice; or send her to train to become a courtesan; they can give her passage back to Westeros. Arya insists on staying.

At the kindly man's demand, Arya dissociates herself of her past and possessions (except Needle, which she hides). She performs various chores at the House, spnding much time with the Waif and Umma the cook. One day, the kindly man orders Arya to work for a fishmonger named Brusco, in order to master the Braavosi tongue. During her first tasks, Arya struggles to abandon her previous identity, trying to use new names such as Cat of the Canals.

While working for Brusco, she befriends a lot of people, learns to master the Braavosi language, and hears many secrets. Occasionally she returns to the House and tells the kindly man three new things she learned - gossip, rumors, interesting pieces of information, professional secrets, etc. The work is hard, but Arya does not complain.

Around this time, Arya crosses paths with Samwell Tarly on his way to Oldtown and saves him from two bullies. Sam tells Arya his name, but she does not reveal her true identity, thus they remain in the dark about their mutual connection to Jon Snow, and the opportunity for a reunion of Starks is lost. By meeting Sam, Arya also recognizes a Night's Watch deserter (Sam's companion) by his black cloak, and kills him because he broke his vows and it is a law in the North to execute deserters. For this, she is given warm milk by the kindly man, and wakes up the next morning blind.

In A Dance with Dragons, she continues to train with the Faceless Men without her sight. The blindness is induced by the milk she drinks every night. The kindly man tells her that they would have taken her eyes from her anyway, to help her to learn to use her other senses, but not for half a year. She begs at the streets, calling herself "Blind Beth", collecting money and pieces of information (among them about the two Lyseni pirate ships, Goodheart and Elephant, which were indirectly involved in the massacre at Hardhome) and continues performing chores at the House. Occasionally she hears people talk about "The Black Bastard of the Wall". That makes her sad, thinking that even Jon would never know Blind Beth. Sometimes she hurts herself, but does not complain. She misses a lot the company of Brusco and her friends, though. The Waif tells her she must stay blind "Until darkness is as sweet to you as light, or until you ask us for your eyes" (in that case she will be sent away). Arya does not give up, and gradually learns to rely on her other senses. Ocasionally, someone (it turns to be the kindly man) beats her with a stick. She uses knowledge gained through the cat's eyes to impress the kindly man, telling him that she knows it has been him who is hitting her but without mentioning the cat. Apparently this completes her blind training, because then she is given her eyesight back.

After Arya regains her eyesight, The Kindly Man gives Arya her first assignment - to kill the old insurance seller. Arya is uncertain whether to fulfill her mission, since her intended victim has never wronged her, her friends or her family, and she does not even know whether he did anything that he deserves death for. At last she kills him, then the Kindly Man orders her to go to Izembaro to begin her first apprenticeship. It is unknown yet what her next assignment is, and why she needs to join Izembaro's theatre - unlike in the show, she is not ordered (yet) to kill any of the actors. While she is there she notices Rafford and kills him, without being ordered to, thus avenging Lommy's death.

Arya is often asked by the Kindly man, the waif and other characters "who are you?" and she answers "no one". They nearly always respond by "you lie", implying she has not yet let go of her past identity, thus unfit to join the Faceless Men.

Arya has been using many false names during her plotline, among them: Arry, Weasel, Nan, Squab, Salty, Cat of the Canals, Beth, the lastly - Mercedene/Mercy. This may symbolizes Arya's loss of her original identity.

Meanwhile, in the North, Jeyne Poole, forced to pose as Arya, who is considered dead, is betrothed to Ramsay Bolton in order to strengthen the Boltons' claim on the North. This political move brings some Northerners to their side in support of "Arya", while other Northerners joined Stannis Baratheon's forces in order to rescue her from them. The belief that his sister is being forced to marry Ramsay also torments Jon. Repeatedly, he tries to remind himself that as a member of the Night's Watch, he has cut off ties to his biological family. Initially, the only action he takes is through Melisandre, who helps him send Mance Rayder and a group of spearwives to save Arya. When Melisandre tells him that she has seen a vision of Arya traveling to the Wall on a dying horse to escape this marriage, Jon tries to prepare for how he will take care of Arya now. But the girl escaping her marriage turns out to be their distant relation Alys Karstark. The plan with Mance and the spearwives leads to Jeyne Poole's escape with Theon. In response, Ramsay sends a letter threatening Jon, demanding Arya's return, and claiming that Stannis is dead. This eventually leads to a mutiny against Jon when he decides to leave Castle Black to rescue who he believes is Arya from the Boltons and confront Ramsay. The real Arya has no idea of those events.

In sharp contrast with Arya's "sugarcoated" portrayal in the show, in the books she gradually loses her humanity, her soul growing darker; as her plotline progresses, murder becomes her prime solution for every encounter, and only if the objective circumstances do not allow her to commit a murder (when she considers killing Gendry and a woman who cheats her at Saltpans), she tries less violent way. In the fourth and fifth novels, she murders people who have not done her, her family or friends any ill - Dareon and the insurance seller.

The World of Ice and Fire source book released in 2014 revealed that Arya was named after Eddard's maternal grandmother, Arya Flint, from the northern mountain clans. The main novels did mention that Eddard's grandmother was from the mountain clans but didn't state her name. The "clans" have no connection to the hill tribes of the Vale whom Tyrion encounters on the way from the Eyrie; they are minor Houses loyal to Winterfell who live in the northwestern highlands. They are a hardy folk, both due to their rough lands, and because they are located near the coast, vulnerable to attack by sea from both the ironborn and the wildlings. Like House Mormont, also located just off the northwest coast and vulnerable to these attacks, many women in the clans often have to take up arms to fight off raiders. These clans join Stannis in his military campaign against the ironborn and the Boltons.

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Arya" is pronounced "ARE - yuh". George R.R. Martin himself has pointed out that a surprisingly large number of people pronounce it incorrectly: it consists of two syllables, not three (like how the "aria" of an opera is pronounced). Martin explained: "I say it 'Are-ya', two syllables not three. Not 'are-ee-uh', not like an operatic thing, but 'Are-ya', very sharp. I wanted something that was like a knife, that was a sharp and hard sound, to be a contrast to the flowery 'Sansa'."[50]

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Sansa Stark Heir: Arya Stark
Seat: Winterfell Lands: The North
Title(s): King in the North · Lord of Winterfell

Under the Iron Throne: Lord Paramount of the North · Warden of the North

Ancestors:Brandon the Builder · Brandon the Breaker · Dorren Stark · Jon Stark · Rickard Stark · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Theon Stark · Osric Stark · Torrhen Stark · Cregan Stark · Brandon Snow
Current members:Bran the Broken · Jon Snow
Deceased members:Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark · Rickon Stark · Benjen Stark
Household:{Maester Luwin} · {Ser Rodrik Cassel} · {Jory Cassel} · {Vayon Poole} · Jeyne Poole · {Septa Mordane} · {Old Nan} · {Hodor} · {Farlen} · {Mikken} · {Osha} · {Jojen Reed} · Maester Wolkan
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