The One Thing To Know About Arya Stark On 'GoT'

In the sixth episode of Game Of Thrones Season 6, "Blood Of My Blood," there were potent, almost overbearing themes of family loyalty. The one major takeaway that you need to know about Arya Stark in Game of Thrones Season 6 is that she is a Stark, loyally and fully, even though she herself managed to forget for a while. Arya has been trying to become a family-less Faceless Man, but, as much as she tried to deny it for so long, she is not no one. She is the daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark, godd*amn it. And, after "Blood On My Blood," she's back on the path to avenge her family.

In Episode 5, "The Door," Arya is tasked with the assassination of Lady Crane, the lead actress in the traveling troupe that is performing a history of the Seven Kingdoms. Lady Crane plays Cersei Lannister, a woman already on Arya Stark's kill list for committing crimes against her family. But, before seeing Lady Crane on stage, Arya watches a performance of her own father, Eddard Stark, being beheaded — sort of. Because Ned in the play is made a fool of, a bumbling idiot, not the man that Arya knew as her brave, honorable father. This is where Arya realizes that she has lost her path.

During that same episode, Arya watches Lady Crane in a scene of Joffrey's death at the "Purple Wedding," and at first laughs along with the audience when the actor playing the prince hams it up during his death. But Lady Crane's speech as Cersei over the body of her dead son gives Arya pause: "All hope is lost. All joy is gone. And there is no tomorrow.” Arya realizes that she can somewhat sympathize with Cersei's rage and sadness at the destruction of her family. Later, when she goes backstage to poison Lady Crane's drink, Arya is caught by the actress herself, and the two have a surprisingly sweet interaction.

Lady Crane says that she doesn't like her end speech, that the writing is no good. Arya tells her, "Change it," which is advice that she is also giving herself. Arya tells Lady Crane: "She wouldn't just cry. She would be angry. She would want to kill the person who did this to her." Once again, Arya is projecting and talking to herself. She then spares Lady Crane's life and tells her to be "careful." But Arya Stark is a seeker of answers, and, despite enduring brutal, punishing, and literally blinding training at the House of Black And White, she realizes that she can never be "no one." A girl does have a name, and it's Arya freakin' Stark.

Lady Crane also asks Arya: "Do you like pretending to be other people?" and though she avoids the question, she responds: "I have to go, my father is waiting for me." This suggests that no, Arya does not, after all, wish to be a Faceless Man, and that, though Ned is dead, Arya's mission to avenge him is still waiting for her. But, to complete it, she must defect from the House of Black and White.

Arya Stark is certainly in danger, but she finally has her identity back. This season has been Stark-heavy, with all of the remaining Stark children going through vivid transformation. Maybe the image of Arya pulling Needle, the sword her beloved brother Jon Snow gifted her in Season 1, out of its hiding place means that she will soon be reunited with Jon and Sansa — though that's overly hopeful. Nevertheless, it does mean that she is, at the core, Arya Stark.

Then again, it's worrisome to note that the eighth episode of Season 6 is titled "No One," which means that Arya could be one of the next on the show to die. But I hope they don't kill her so soon after she realized her true mission. A girl has to choose, and Arya chose to get back into the Game Of Thrones for vengeance.

Images: HBO (4)