Season 5 of Game Of Thrones ended with some horrifying imagery — the most lasting was the final shot of Jon Snow bleeding wings into the... snow. That was obviously the showrunner's piece de resistance, but let's not forget that another member of the Stark family ended the season in dire straits: Arya (Maisie Williams) who is more and more becoming my choice for the Iron Throne, except Arya is too smart for that and would never take that crappy job. At the end of season five, Arya is blinded at the House of Black and White, weeping and screaming, not long after her triumphant murder of human turd Meryn Trant. So where will Arya be in Season 6 come April?
First, a recap of Arya's final scene (that proves that Maisie Williams deserves all the awards). My heart surged with Arya finally stabbed Meryn Trant in the brothel in Braavos, revealing herself not to be a girl for him to abuse for pleasure for Arya Freakin' Stark. "Do you know who I am?!" she says while she gets stabby in the eyes. "I'm Arya Stark." Damn right you are. But the thing is, you're not supposed to be anyone anymore, Arya.
But things get dicey after Arya's revenge killing and she returns to the House of Black and White, where she faces an angry Jaqen H'ghar (or someone with his face). He tells her that death is a gift you give, not something that you steal from that Many-Faced God, and that a debt is owed in the form of a life (that dang deity is causing a lot of problems).
Jaqen takes the poison, and Arya loses her vision in a horrifying crescendo where she rips off the face of the fallen "no one" and uncovers her own, then loses her vision. Such symbolism and such WTF how can they do this to Arya?!
Hopefully, Season 6 will begin right after Season 5 left off, and judging by the teaser trailer, that's likely. Will Arya remain blinded? According to the books, probably not. Bustle's own Caroline Gerdes made a handy-dandy, very reassuring list of reasons why Arya probably won't stay blind, the biggest being that in George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire series, Arya goes blind as part of her training rather than as a punishment for keeping her personal vendettas and still being "a someone" instead of shedding her identity. Eventually, her vision comes back.
But according to Maisie Williams' Instagram, she'll still be blind for some of Season 6; she posted a photo of herself recovering from wearing those uncomfortable milky contacts during production.
So what's next for Arya, and how long will she stay blind? The latter is a tough question to answer, but Arya's still in training at the House Of Black And White to become a trained assassin. Perhaps she will have to prove herself at becoming a "no one" in order to see again. Maybe she has to be BLINDED to see the TRUTH (former English major here).
Some set spoilers are also reassuring: the Independent reported in August that "Game of Thrones Season 6 headed to the County Antrim village of Carnlough this week, where Maisie Williams jumped in the harbour to film new Arya Stark scenes." So she will be back in the action, blind or not.
Later in September, Williams was spotted on set doing some badass parkour "Assassin's Creed type stuff," according to a dedicated fan watching the filming, letting on that her training is going ahead full swing.
My conclusion: vision or not, Arya Stark will continue her journey to being the youngest, most badass woman in Westeros. The sentimental in me hopes that she will reunite with Bran or Jon Snow, but that doesn't seem likely. I just want those Stark babies to be together again.
Images: Helen Sloan/HBO (3)