Game of Thrones featured dozens of characters during its eight-season run. Arguably, the best and most popular was Maisie Williams‘ Arya Stark. She survived all eight seasons, and her strength of will through adversity made her a fan favorite. Not to mention the fact that she killed the Night King. Arya Stark was a true bada**, and here are 11 moments that prove it.
11. One of ‘Game of Thrones’ finest moments
The end of the season 4 premiere featured a classic scene that set the tone for traveling companions Arya and The Hound. When she sees Polliver — the man who took her to Harrenhal, killed her friend Lommy, and stole Needle — she doesn’t hesitate to go after him.
The altercation featured Arya killing a man with his own sword and then taking Polliver’s legs out from behind. At that moment, she says the same words that Polliver used when killing Lommy — “Fine little blade, maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it.”
10. The culmination of her training
In “Spoils of War,” Arya spars with Brienne and shows off the training she’s received from Syrio Forel, the Hound, and the Waif. Her sword and dagger skills and her surprising strength allowed her to go toe to toe with one of the most formidable lady nights of Westeros.
9. The execution of a deserter
The episode “A Feast For Crows” saw Arya at the beginning of her Faceless Man training in Braavos, when she comes across Dareon and Samwell Tarley from the Night’s Watch.
After hearing Dareon badmouth Jon Snow and admit he was a deserter, she slits his throat in an alley and dumps his body in the water. This was the first time Arya murdered someone who hadn’t harmed her or her family.
8. Killing a man without touching him during ‘Game of Thrones’ season 5
This brief moment in season 5 showed just how cunning Arya could be. While training in Braavos, she’s tasked with killing a man who is never alone because he’s always surrounded by armed guards.
After studying the man for weeks, Arya learns that the man bites down on every coin he is given. Which leads the younger Stark sister to lace a coin with poison, killing him without a single touch.
7. The murderous Arya Stark is born during a sneak attack
During Arya and The Hound’s trek back from the Twins after the Red Wedding, they stumble upon a group of Freys telling campfire stories about stabbing Starks. Arya’s response was to quickly jump off her horse, distract them with Braavosi coinage, and stab one of the men fatally before The Hound even knew what was happening. This was the first time the young Stark had killed someone out of the blue, and the murderous Arya was officially born.
6. Mercy kills Raff the Sweetling
Game of Thrones fans know that Mercy is really Arya. When working as an actor, Mercy sees a man on Arya’s list — Raff the Sweetling, one of the Mountain’s henchmen — hanging around. So, she flirts and lures him into a private area before slitting his femoral artery and throat.
5. Her escape from Harrenhal
The HBO version of the story saw Arya escape Harrenhal with help from Jaqen H’ghar. But in George R. R. Martin’s book A Clash of Kings, she does it all by herself by murdering her way out all by herself. In order to escape, Arya performs the taboo act of killing Northmen who were part of brother Robb’s bannerman. Then, she meets up with the surprised Gendry and Hot Pie who gasps, “You killed him!”
4. Arya Stark threatens Sansa in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7
When Sansa sneaks into Arya’s room in Season 7, Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall,” she finds her collection of faces. It’s at that moment that Arya catches her big sister, and delivers a bone-chilling threat.
“With the faces, I can choose. I can become someone else — speak in their voice, live in their skin. I could even become you,” Arya warns before picking up a knife.
The younger Stark sister then wonders out loud what it would be like to wear Sansa’s face, before calmly handing the knife over and walking out.
3. Avenging Syrio Forel
After learning magic at The House of Black and White, Arya disguises herself with a face from the wall to get close to one of her most hated enemies — Ser Meryn Trant. To avenge the death of her friend and teacher Syrio Forel, Arya stabs out both of Trant’s eyes before finishing him off.
2. Wearing a dead man’s face
At first, the season 7 cold open appeared to be a flashback because it featured a character killed in season 6 — Walder Frey. But it was soon revealed that Arya was wearing Frey’s face while addressing the men of his house. As she pulls the face off, she gleefully watches the entire house die after having them poisoned.
Speaking of Walder Frey…
1. Arya Stark serves up a Frey Pie in ‘Game of Thrones’
In one of the series’ most gruesome moments, Arya gets revenge on the house responsible for the Red Wedding by appearing in front of Walder Frey with a meat pie. When asked if she’s seen his sons, Arya gestures at the pie and declares “They’re already here, my lord.”
At this moment, Frey sees one of his son’s fingers in the pie filling. Arya tells him “They weren’t easy to carve…especially Black Walder,” before slitting Frey’s throat.
All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max.
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