After last week's episode of Game of Thrones, you probably noticed something strange: Arya Stark was nowhere to be found. When we last left her in Season 5, Episode 3, Arya had finally managed to convince Jaqen H'ghar to train her in the ways of the Faceless Men at the House of Black and White in Braavos. In order to became a Faceless (Wo)Man herself, she would have to learn to become "no one" at all, giving herself over to the Many-Faced God, which we all know is Death. But since Jaqen agreed to make Arya his apprentice, she seems to have gone missing, leading me to wonder: Will Arya ever appear as we once knew her again?
Of course, I may just be jumping to conclusions here. Considering how many characters Game of Thrones has, one of them missing for a single episode isn't necessarily cause for concern. But given Arya's position when we last saw her — one in which she will learn to forget everything that makes her who she is (save for the stashed Needle, natch) — it's reasonable to assume that we could be seeing her again in the future and not even realize. Or, maybe she was in last week's episode, after all, but we didn't recognize her because she was someone else entirely. This is Essos, we're talking about. Anything could happen.
Of course, it's hard to know if Arya's training could have progressed so quickly. While obviously more than a week has passed in Game of Thrones land compared to the time we spend waiting for the next episode, I think It's likely pretty safe to say that even the most capable prodigy couldn't master the skill of the Faceless Men in such a short amount of time. The teachings of the God of Death, one would assume, are far more complicated than can be mastered by a teenage girl in a few weeks. After all, the Faceless Men train for many years to truly embrace the religion/cult/whatever you want to call it, so it's unlikely that Arya is so far advanced just yet.
But even if Arya hasn't already become one of the Faceless, it's certainly a thought for the future. It's unclear — at least in the HBO series — why Arya has taken such a keen interest in joining the Faceless Men. You could guess, of course: everyone she knows and loves is dead, Winterfell has fallen to the Boltons (for now, anyway), and to return to King's Landing would likely mean the end of her life. She sort of didn't have any other choice.
But perhaps it's about more than that. Arya is smart, and likely would have considered what she's going to do next. That plan may still be forming, but the ability to change her face would grant her a freedom she has long since abandoned and would allow her to travel without such serious dangers that faced her before. She could perhaps even go back to Westeros and attempt to find Sansa and somehow not only get revenge for the death of their parents, but reclaim a bit of what was theirs in Winterfell — though Sansa's already on the case, as far as that's concerned.
We don't yet know what will happen with Arya, but keep your eyes peeled. If someone strange turns up on the scene that you don't recognize, it could very well be her.
Images: HBO (1); Giphy (2)