'Game of Thrones'' The Hound & Arya Stark Are Headed For A Conclusion That Defies The Books

Our favorite half pint has had a rough go of it since Season 1 of Game of Thrones . First Arya Stark's home is invaded by King Robert Baratheon and family (including his snotty "son" Prince Joffrey). Next, Arya is taken to King's Landing where things get significantly worse thanks in large part to her father being murdered right in front of her. Finally, she goes on the run for a while and makes a few friends, but that is cut short after lots of murder, mayhem, and kidnapping at the hands of Sandor Clegane, AKA The Hound. To make matters worse, she saw her dead brother Robb's body being paraded around by his murderers after his wedding, which couldn't have been fun. So far, it's been a tough life considering Arya is supposed to be barely a teenager.

Arya and her captor may appear to be having an high stakes adventure together at the moment and people have poked fun at Arya and The Hound's buddy comedy-worthy relationship, but Arya is a determined and stubborn girl who will never let go of the list of people she wants to punish. As we all know very well, The Hound has definitely made that list of hers. So what does this mean for the duo in the near future? At this point, it could mean anything as the two are still journeying to find Arya's aunt, the crazy Lysa Arryn, so that The Hound can sell her off. Little do they know Littlefinger killed Lysa already and The Hound's plan is now moot. But the fact that they've made it this far is quite the surprise considering what happens to The Hound in the George R.R. Martin novels.

Spoilers below. Continue at your own risk.

In the third novel, A Storm of Swords, The Hound and Arya fight off Polliver and his men at a local tavern. If you remember in the series, this scene happened at beginning of Season 4 as Arya killed Pollivar and she and The Hound ran off without too many scratches. The fight in the novel, however, was much more damaging. The Hound is the one who kills Polliver, but not before sustaining quite a few injuries himself. Arya helps dress The Hound's wounds but he very quickly succumbs to infection. The Hound then asks Arya to kill him quickly so he won't have to suffer through the pain from the infection. Arya, however, refuses The Hound the mercy of a swift death and leaves him to rot beside a tree. So far, fans of the novels still have no idea what became of The Hound.

How will this affect the series? We've already seen Arya and The Hound make it past the Polliver fight and another fight where Arya killed a man named Rorge. This fight is also not part of the novels as Brienne of Tarth is the one who actually kills Rorge after Rorge ransacks The Hound's supposed grave site, dons his garb, and starts committing murders in The Hound's identity.

As of now, Arya and The Hound are still on their journey to The Vale to see Lysa and to be honest, I have no idea where the Game of Thrones writing staff wants to take these two characters. Perhaps the writers are keeping The Hound around longer than was written in the novels since he is a fan favorite, or maybe the dynamic of he and Arya is too interesting to cut short at the moment. All fans of the novels know is that after leaving The Hound to die, the Arya from the novels boards a ship and starts a brand new adventure. I guess for now she'll be stuck with The Hound for at least a little bit longer than intended.

Images: HBO; Tumblr/peoplelearntolovetheirchains; Tumblr/alphagravy