Bran is the three-eyed raven and that is pretty cool. Sansa is just coming out of her shell. Rob and Rickon are long gone and Jon maybe the King of the North, but Arya is who we secretly hope to be. Here are 9 reasons why Arya is the most badass Stark of them all. Maisie William’s portrayal of Arya Stark adds to the awesomeness of the character.
1. She never cared about being ‘ladylike’
She is a better marksman than a knitter. She chased cats around ‘Kings Landing’. She engaged in play combats with Mycah all without a damn care of being seen as ‘ladylike’. For added irony, we loved it when she named her sword, a parting gift from Jon, Needle. Although we do hear she bakes a mean pie!
2. She was always a warrior
Arya did not let traditional gender roles get in the way of her interests. She was a better archer than her brother Bran and not afraid to flaunt it. Always able to defend herself, she took ‘dancing’ lessons with Syrio Forel, as a young girl and over the years perfected her art and completed her training as ‘No One’. She constantly drew inspiration from warriors, even naming her direwolf after the Queen Warrior from Essos who led her clan to safety to Dorne.
3. She had an independent spirit
From a young age, Arya knew that it was not her “destiny” to marry a rich lord and have babies. She resented the traditionally female activities and was street smart which helped her survive on her own. Whether hunting wild birds for food or navigating her way to Bravos, she did it all through her own resourcefulness.
4. She is a survivor
From disguising herself as a boy to sailing across the narrow sea to Bravos, she has not only survived but thrived. She knew when to play along, as she did with Tywin Lannister in Harrenhall and when to attack, as she did with Meryn Trant. Her survival instinct is just inspiring.
5. She is resilient in difficult times
Having lived on her own from a young age, we see an Arya who is patient and resilient in the face of many terrible times. She persisted at the doors of the House of Black and White and in her training with the Waif to become ‘No one’. Even when she was blind, she did not lament her situation, instead she quickly adjusted to the new reality and tried to sharpen and rely on her other senses.
6. She is curious and a keen learner
Whether it is practicing her archery, sword fighting, or chasing cats in unknown parts of the Kings Landing, she is deeply curious and a sharp learner. Only after seeing her dedication to learn swordsmanship did Ned Stark arrange for Arya’s lessons with Syrio Forel. She even managed to surprise Tywin Lannister with her knowledge of history.
7. She is fearless
Arya has never backed down from a fight. She stood up to Joffrey for wrongly accusing Mycah, she exacted her revenge on the Waif, and even when she was travelling alone with The Hound, she was blunt about her ‘list’ and her intentions to kill him. She left him for dead but only Season 8 will tell what will happen if and when they meet again. Lord save Sandor Cleggan.
8. She has a soft heart and loves deeply
The only Stark child to love and accept Jon unconditionally was Arya. Her list entirely comprises of people she wants to kill because they have killed or harmed her family or her friends. She never wanted to role of Lady of Winterfell despite what people with a vested interest in Stark division might say. She always tries to protect her loved ones, and now that the pack is together again, who knows what they’ll do.
9. She’s just, but merciless to those who deserve it
She has killed throughout the seasons, starting from S01E08, but she has only killed people who are a threat to her or a family. They could also be people who have already wronged her family such as Peter Bailish, even though he wasn’t on her original list. She couldn’t complete a single assignment as no one, because she truly believed the people she was sent out to kill did not deserve it. She is an idealist at heart, trying to adjust and adapt.
We are writing this post with the knowledge that this could be our eulogy to our favourite Stark, as we anticipate the release of the last season of the Game of Thrones. Nothing is certain in the world of George R R Martin, but here’s to hoping she survives. After all, you either win or you die in the Game of Thrones.