'Game Of Thrones' Season 6, Episode 8 Will Reveal Who Arya Stark Has To Face
The last time we saw Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, she was stabbed brutally in the gut by the merciless Waif, disguised as an old crone. But something was definitely amiss with the death scene, and the cryptic synopsis of Episode 8 of Game of Thrones, released in an HBO press release on Tuesday, proves that it definitely wasn't what it seemed. The description for Season 6, Episode 8, "No One," says about Arya, "Arya (Maisie Williams) faces a new test." It's a very short sentence, but incredibly telling with the key words being "faces" and "test." Whatever Arya Stark theory ends up playing out, it seems almost a certainty that Arya will have one more face-off with Jaqen H'ghar and with the House of Black and White, where she has faced her most violent and exhausting tests in her quest to become No One.
And it's no coincidence that the name of the upcoming episode is "No One," a phrase we've heard a million times from the mouth of Jaqen H'ghar. Until the episode where Arya failed to complete her mission of killing Lady Crane, she seemed committed to becoming a faceless man. So what test will she have to "face," and more importantly, whose face will she be wearing?
The trailer for Episode 8 also adds to the conflation of faces and events. We're dealing with three people here who can change face: Arya, Jaqen, and the Waif. In the teaser for "No One," we see a chase scene between Arya and the Waif — or what is assumed to be Arya, because the Stark girl's face is never shown. We do see the Waif staring straight into the camera, and then in a chase scene with someone wearing Arya's clothing.
There are several theories about the Arya stabbing scene (more on that below), but the words "faces a new test" almost certainly mean that Arya and Jaqen will meet again, as he is the one who has been relentlessly testing her all along. It would make sense for Arya to face Jaqen once more before she defects back to Westeros to complete her original mission of avenging her father. Or perhaps her mission is to finally become No One.
So far, the theories about the stabbing are wild, but in the GoT universe, none seem that far-fetched. One proposes that Arya and the Waif are the same person, which is probably the most out-of-left-field, but the evidence is convincing: Only Arya and Jaqen ever see the Waif, and she always knows exactly where Arya is. She could represent the part of Arya that wants to become No One.
Another is that the "Arya" that confidently swaggered to the Westerosi captain to book a ship was suspect, and it seems like that "Arya" could be the Waif. The Waif could have disguised herself as Arya to lure the real Arya out, planning to kill her then. More evidence to support that theory: Needle is no where to be found in the scene. It could also be that the "Arya" who got stabbed was in fact Jaqen H'ghar, who we know from the blinding scene can take Arya's face. Why he would want to be disguised as Arya is still anyone's guess.
Regardless of whether any of these theories prove true (personally, I would love for the split-personality theory to play out on screen), Episode 8, "No One," will definitely see a very alive Arya Stark (unless, god forbid, she dies at its end). But Arya has escaped death so many times. What do we say to the god of death? Not today, and whatever test she must face (and whomever's face she will be wearing), Arya will be ready for battle. It was Jaqen H'ghar who lured her to the House of Black and White, and he is who Arya will have to contend with if she is going to complete her own mission to escape, or to finally become no one.