There's a very convincing Game of Thrones theory that Arya Stark isn't... Arya anymore.


WARNING: Hey, if you’re here, we’re assuming you’re a Game of Thrones fan and are up-to-date, because this post will contain some big ole Tormund-sized spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2. If you’re not caught up on the latest episode, bookmark us and come back once you’re ready to properly debrief.

If you’ve watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones, there’s a good chance you now see little Arya Stark in a completely different (and slightly uncomfortable) light.

She’s not so little anymore, is she?

All memories of the cherub-faced young girl (played by Maisie Williams) who wanted to fight like her brothers were obliterated the moment the youngest Stark daughter hoped on top of a naked Gendry (Joe Dempsie) to lose her virginity before fighting the White Walkers approaching Winterfell.


What if that wasn’t actually Arya? What if Arya isn’t… Arya anymore?

Want to debrief on the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Mamamia’s Clare Stephens and Nicolle Stuart unpack what the heck happened this week on GoT on the Mamamia Recaps podcast. Get it in your ears below, post continues after audio.

According to a very convincing fan theory that’s been gaining traction on Reddit, Arya Stark as we knew her may have died long before she returned home for the battle against the undead.

The theory goes like this:

After whipping off Gendry’s belt and ordering him to take his “own bloody pants off” (arghhh?!?!), Arya removed her own tunic to reveal long, thin scars across the side of her ribs. It’s a moment that reminded us exactly how far Arya has come since season 1, and how much she’s endured.

The scars may have reminded studious GoT fans of the moment Arya presumably got them, when she fought the Waif way back in season 6.


Quick recap – remember when Arya was living in Braavos and training under Jaqen H’gar to become a girl of many faces? After refusing to follow her mentor’s orders, his other protégé the Waif was ordered to kill Arya, which she attempted to do by wearing the face of a sweet old lady before stabbing her multiple times in the gut.

You can watch that horrific Game of Thrones scene below, post continues after video.

Video via HBO

Arya escaped, survived her stab wounds and went on to kill the Waif in complete darkness. Then, she used many faces to tick off some of the names on her hit list, including the entire Frey house, before making her way to Winterfell for the season 8 family reunion.


The theory suggests Arya did not survive the Waif’s attack – after all, without the help and hygiene of modern medicine, it’s pretty unbelievable that she’d recover from such hectic stab wounds. Also, the thin slashes we saw in season 8 episode 2 don’t exactly match Arya’s injuries from that attack.

If we’re to follow this logic, the Waif actually assumed Arya’s face and used it to escape her own sad life in Braavos, and perhaps, the Arya that had her way with Gendry was in fact the Waif.

Pretty convincing, right?

Surely this wasn't the moment we lost Arya... right? Image: HBO.

That said, as with all GoT fan theories, this one isn't without its flaws. For one, why would the Waif go to all the effort of feeding Walder Frey (the man who orchestrated the Red Wedding) a pie made of his own chums, before poisoning his entire family?

Secondly, the inconsistencies in the types of wounds might come down to an incidental issue with continuity.

And thirdly, we'd just really like for Arya to enjoy her time in the sun and get all the credit for the bad arse stunts she's pulled over the years.


We'll definitely be looking out for more evidence to support this theory, and every other bloody GoT theory, in next week's episode.

See you there.

Catch up on all our Game of Thrones recaps, right here:

For more on this topic: