Road to Game of Thrones season 8: Arya Stark’s journey so farhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/television/road-to-game-of-thrones-season-8-arya-stark-5665389/

Road to Game of Thrones season 8: Arya Stark’s journey so far

A child born in a noble family in the quasi-medieval world of Westeros, Arya Stark never liked tasks befitting a noblewoman like sewing. She wanted to do what only her brothers were allowed to do: horse-riding, sword-fighting, archery and so on.

maisie williams arya stark game of thrones
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark was instantly a fan favourite when the show’s first season released. A child born in a noble family in the quasi-medieval world of Westeros, she never liked tasks befitting a noblewoman like sewing. She wanted to do what her brothers were allowed to do: horse-riding, sword-fighting, archery and so on. She was a born rebel, who was not satisfied with the status quo.

At Robert Baratheon’s invitation her father Eddard Stark had to go to King’s Landing, and with him went Arya and Sansa. When her father discovers she owns a sword called Needle, instead of taking it away, he invites a Braavosi swordmaster Syrio Forel to give her fencing lessons.

When Eddard is arrested, Arya escapes the Lannisters and witnesses her father’s execution by the hands of Joffrey. She then makes a ‘kill-list’, a list of people she swears to kill whenever possible and chants it like a mantra before sleeping so she will not forget it. Cersei, Joffrey, Tywin, the Hound and others figure in that list.

She is taken from King’s Landing by Yoren, the Night’s Watch recruiter, with whom are people she befriends — Gendry and Hot Pie. She also meets the mysterious Jaqen H’ghar, a Faceless Man.

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The Lannister soldiers attack them, kill Yoren and take the recruits to Harrenhal. Tywin Lannister arrives at the castle and recognises Arya as a girl (she was posing as a boy). She serves as his cup-bearer, while waiting for the opportunity to kill him.

She fails, however, and Jaqen, as a reward for saving his life from the Lannister soldiers, helps her escape Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie. The three meet the Brotherhood Without Banners, the group of lords and soldiers like Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion who have the Hound in captivity.

Arya accuses the Hound of killing her friend Mycah and urges the Brotherhood to deliver justice. Beric and the Hound have a trial by combat. The Hound kills Beric, who lives again (thanks to the Lord of Light). The Hound, however, has to be acquitted. Gendry is sold to the Red Woman (Melisandre).

Arya leaves them in disgust, only to be captured by the Hound who intends to ransom her to her brother Robb who is at the Twins. But then the Red Wedding happens and then the Hound takes her to the Vale of Arryn, where they are told that Arya’s aunt Lysa has committed suicide (in reality Littlefinger pushes her to her death).

The Hound and Arya come upon Brienne of Tarth who is looking to rescue Catelyn Stark’s daughters at least if she could not save Catelyn herself. The Hound and Brienne fight over Arya’s custody. Brienne wins but Arya refuses to accompany Brienne. She also leaves the Hound to die (he doesn’t, we learn later).

Arya escapes to Braavos to learn the arts of the Faceless Men. After an arduous training (which involves her being forced to murder) she returns to Westeros. The first thing she does is to murder the Frey. The house of Frey ceases to exist. She encounters Nymeria, her direwolf that she had to drive away so she would not be slaughtered by the Lannisters. Nymeria refuses to recognise her.

Arya eventually ends up at Winterfell and has a reunion with Sansa and Bran. Together the three siblings sentence Littlefinger to death, with Arya doing the honours. The two sisters resolve to always stay together and not let others divide them.

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 15 in India. It will be telecast on Star World in India.