Arya is the younger daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Lady Catelyn Stark. She is headstrong, fiercely independent, disdains traditional women's pursuits, and thus is often mistaken for a boy. She wields a sword named Needle, a gift from her half-brother, Jon Snow, and was trained in the Braavosi style of swordfighting while living in King's Landing. She adopted the direwolf Nymeria, but they have since been separated after Nymeria attacked JofWhen her father is betrayed and executed by Joffrey, Arya flees the capital with the help of the Night's Watch recruiter, Yoren, who gets her out of the city disguised as a boy and tries to take her home. However, she is taken prisoner by Ser Gregor Clegane's men and taken to Harrenhal, where she briefly serves as cupbearer to an unsuspecting Tywin Lannister. After escaping, she begins making her way towards Riverrun and is captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners and subsequently by Sandor Clegane. She serves as his prisoner of sorts, and they travel across Westeros as he unsuccessfully attempts to ransom her to various family members. In Clegane's company, Arya becomes increasingly hardened and brutalized, and personally kills a number of men. She compiles a list of people she intends to kill. After Clegane is gravely injured in a fight, she abandons him. Long since given up for dead by many in Westeros, Arya is now aboard a ship bound for Braavos.frey, forcing Arya to send her away in order to prevent her execution.
Arya Stark is the youngest daughter and third child of Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark. Eddard is the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rules the region from their seat of Winterfell and Eddard also holds the title Lord of Winterfell. He is also the Warden of the North to King Robert Baratheon.
Arya was born and raised at Winterfell. She has an older sister, Sansa Stark. She also has an older brother, Robb, two younger brothers, Bran and Rickon and a bastard half-brother, Jon Snow.
Arya rejects the notion that she must become a lady and marry for influence and power, feeling she can forge her own destiny. She is fascinated by warfare and training in the use of arms, and is bored by embroidery and other "lady-like" pursuits. She takes after her father and has a quarrelsome relationship with her sister Sansa. She is close to her half brother Jon who is also something of an outcast.
His two siblings have had positions of respect and responsibility since their teens. When Tyrion turned sixteen (the age of manhood), Tywin Lannister put Tyrion in charge of the drains and cisterns at Casterly Rock. Tyrion brags that the sewage never flowed smoother to the sea.
Tyrion spends a lot of time at court in King's Landing to avoid his father. He gets on well with Jaime and his niece Myrcella and nephew Tommen, but has a colder relationship with Cersei and his sadistic nephew Joffrey. He has a fondness for prostitutes and drink, but is also intelligent, cunning, and educated. He also is a kind man who would protect the innocent claiming that he loves broken things
Arya is being taught how to sew by Septa Mordane, but tires of the lesson when she hears Bran, Jon, and Robb practising archery in the courtyard. She grabs a bow and annoys Bran by out-shooting him.
On King Robert's visit to Winterfell, Arya rushes out to see the arrival of his entourage. She is scolded when she finally joins the receiving line in the courtyard, and then is overheard by Queen Cersei Lannister to ask where's the "Imp", a reference to Tyrion Lannister. Later that evening at the feast, she tests her mother's patience by misbehaving and throwing food at her sister, Sansa. Robert names Arya's father Eddard Stark as his Hand of the King, Joffrey is betrothed to Sansa, and Eddard decides to take his daughters with him to King's Landing to experience the court. Before leaving Arya receives a pet direwolf, one of several cubs found by her brothers outside the castle, and names her Nymeria, after a great warrior-queen of Essos. She also receives a sword as a gift from Jon. He names it Needle, as a play on words that she may now enjoy doing "Needlework."
While journeying south on the Kingsroad, she practices her swordwork with Mycah, the son of the butcher in the King's retinue whom she befriends. When Sansa and her betrothed, Prince Joffrey Baratheon, spot them fighting Joffrey intervenes. He accuses Mycah of pretending to be a knight and threatens him for striking Arya. Ignoring their protests, he cuts Mycah and threatens Arya when she attacks him to defend Mycah. As Joffrey menaces her with a sword, Nymeria savages Joffrey, injuring his arm, allowing Mycah to flee and Arya to throw Joffrey's sword in the river. Arya runs away and drives Nymeria off with rocks so that she won't be punished. Arya is eventually found and questioned. Arya is truthful but Sansa lies about the incident, saying she didn't see what happened, but generally supporting Joffrey. Queen Cersei, as they don't have Arya's wolf Nymeria the one who actually bit Joffrey, has King Robert Baratheon order Sansa's direwolf Lady executed. Mycah is murdered by Joffrey's bodyguard The Hound.
After reaching King's Landing, Arya argues incessantly with Sansa over the incident, to her father's despair. Eddard tries to make Arya understand that Sansa could not contradict her future husband. Arya is disgusted that Eddard thinks such an excuse is acceptable. Eddard discovers Needle when he comes to Arya's room to talk to her while she is practicing. When he realizes she is serious about learning and will do it by herself if she has to, he decides to hire Syrio Forel, a master sword-fighter from Braavos, to train Arya in the art of combat. Eddard is bemused to find that Syrio's training regime includes having Arya balance on her tiptoes for hours at a time and chasing cats around their new residence in the Red Keep to learn agility. When talking about Bran, Arya and her father discuss how he can't be a knight since he was paralyzed, but he can be lord of a holdfast, or sit on the king's council, etc. Arya asks if she can as well, Eddard laughs and says to Arya that no, someday she is to marry a powerful lord and have children that can be lords or even king and rule the land. To which she matter-of-factly replies that isn't her destiny at all
Arya watches the Hand's tournament along with Septa Mordane and Sansa. She asks Littlefinger how he got his nickname, to his amusement. Arya later resumes her cat-chasing training exercise and finds her way into the dungeons under the Red Keep, where she sees the dragon skulls that used to decorate the Great Hall of the Iron Throne. She overhears Varys and Illyrio Mopatis plotting about the likelihood of future war between the Starks and Lannisters and possible timing of Khal Drogo bringing his army across the Narrow Sea with the Targaryen exiles. Following them Arya finds a passage out of the castle and then must confront and threaten the castle guards in order to get back in. Her father is angry as he has had people looking for her. She tries to tell him about the conspirators she over heard, but cannot identify them and has forgotten most of the details by the time she gets back to her father, other than that it was about plotting for "the wolf and the lion" (the Starks and Lannisters) to fight each other. Eddard introduces her as his daughter to Yoren, a recruiter for the Night's Watch. Disheveled and unclean, Arya is at first mistaken by him as a boy, to her annoyance.
Arya is distracted from her training exercises by news of Jory's death and her father's injury while fighting Jaime Lannister. Syrio teaches her how to ignore her troubles to focus on fighting. Later, Eddard Stark brings his daughters together to tell them he is sending them back to Winterfell. Sansa and Arya are both upset. Arya doesn't want to leave Syrio's training. Sansa is incensed, feeling that losing a dancing instructor is nothing compared to breaking her betrothal to Joffrey. Lord Eddard says not to worry, he will choose another man for her to marry, one strong and gentle and brave. Sansa says she doesn't want someone like that; she wants Joffrey. She wants to have his blonde babies, like Joffrey her "golden-haired lion". After the interjection "Seven hells", Arya asserts that he will be a stag like his father. Sansa replies that Joffrey is nothing like Robert. This prompts Eddard's sudden realization that Joffrey is not Robert's son and thus not the heir to the throne.
When confronted about this, Cersei admits that her children are the result of her incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime Lannister. Eddard warns Cersei that she must take the children and leave King's Landing, possibly Westeros, as Robert's rage would likely mean their deaths when he exposes her infidelity. However, Robert is wounded by a boar while hunting and dies shortly afterwards. Cersei and Joffrey have Eddard arrested and send guards to take Arya into custody. Syrio realizes they are not from her father and tells her not to go with them. Telling Arya to flee, he fights them. Forel is only armed with a wooden sword, but he disarms several Lannister guards and holds off one of the Kingsguard, Ser Meryn Trant. Arya goes first to the stable, where the men who were to take her and Sansa out of King's Landing were waiting with the baggage. The men have been killed, but she finds her sword "Needle" were she hid it in the bottom of her luggage. She is discovered by a stableboy who tries to stop her. As he comes at her, she raises her sword, and he is impaled and dies. Arya horrified runs away to find her way out of the castle. As a result of subsequent events, war breaks out between the forces of House Lannister and the forces loyal to House Stark, now under the leadership of Robb.
Arya lives on the streets of King's Landing, catching wild birds to feed herself. While trying to bargain for something to eat at a baker's stand, Arya notices crowds of people running to the city's center. She discovers that they are assembling to witness the trial of the Hand of the King. Dropping the pigeon she holds, Arya runs to the crowded square, and, to get a better view and see her father, she climbs on the pedestal of a statue of former Targaryen king Baelor (for whom the Sept is named). Eddard is brought out and pulled through the crowd. He spots Arya, and then, as he is taken past Yoren, he manages to signal in Arya direction saying "Baelor". Hoping Yoren can recognize and take care of her. When Ned is made to confess his treason and Joffrey orders Ned's execution, Arya dashes forward drawing her sword in an attempt to save her father. Yoren manages to grab her. Holding Arya against his chest, he tells her not to look. Before he is executed, Ned Stark looks to the statue of Baelor and sees the Arya is gone. Arya looks up at the sky. Upon seeing the frightened birds taking flight from the cheer of the crowd, Arya knows that her father is dead.
Yoren cuts her hair to make her look more like a boy and vows to get her home. She will pose as a fresh recruit for the Night's Watch. He tells her not to trust the others, as they could turn her in for a reward or possibly rape her. When Arya joins the group of other recruits for the Wall, she is bullied by two boys, Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands, but she defends herself and scares them off with Needle. Gendry, another recruit, also steps up to defend her. The entire group departs King's Landing, facing a journey of hundreds of miles through a warzone in order to get back to Winterfell.
Arya travels north on the Kingsroad with Yoren, posing as one of his Night's Watch recruits. She is drawn to one of the prisoners in the wagon, Jaqen H'ghar. He is a murderer from the black cells of the dungeons, where the worst criminals are kept in King's Landing, so will stay locked up in the cage until they reach the wall. He asks for water, but the other two murderers, Rorge and Biter threaten her, so she doesn't get it for him. She forms a bond with former blacksmith's apprentice Gendry who sees through her disguise. When Goldcloaks arrive from King's Landing with a warrant for one of the recruits, Arya fears that they are looking for her, but it is actually Gendry (who is unaware of his status as a royal bastard of Robert Baratheon). Yoren intimidates them into leaving empty handed. Arya confesses her identity to Gendry after he reveals being questioned by her father before leaving the capital.
Arya asks for Yoren's advice on living with the tragedies she has suffered, and he tells her the story of how thoughts of revenge resulted in his committing murder and having to join the Night's Watch. He became obsessed with Willam and recited his name over and over at night before he slept. Then when Willam returned Yoren killed him. Yoren had to flee his village, losing his life and future, he had to take the black. Arya heard this story, but didn't understand it. Yoren was trying to tell her not to be obsessed by thoughts of revenge as it will consume her, but Arya heard that she should chant the names of her enemies each night before she slept, almost like a prayer, until the day she can get revenge. The Goldcloaks return having enlisted the support of Ser Amory Lorch and Lannister men. Yoren dies heroically defending Gendry but the recruits are overcome. Polliver steals Needle from Arya. Arya convinces Ser Amory that he has killed Gendry because another recruit died while he was carrying Gendry's bull's head helm.
Ser Amory takes his captives to Harrenhal. Each day one of the prisoners is chosen by Ser Gregor Clegane to be systematically and brutally tortured by the Tickler. Arya begins a nightly recitation of the names of her enemies, adding both men to her list. Lord Tywin Lannister returns to the castle and halts the ordeal, shortly before Gendry is going to be killed. He criticizes Gregor for wasting manpower. He immediately spots that Arya is posing as a boy. She claims that it made it safer to travel and Tywin senses her intelligence and makes her his cupbearer.
Tywin hosts a war council and Arya serves food and drink. She moves to pour wine but Tywin stops her, demanding water. He questions her origin, realizing that she is a northerner. He rejects Arya's first lie that she is from the Riverlands but her second withstands his scrutiny. Upon being questioned about the northerners' opinions of her brother, Robb Stark, she repeats rumours that he has a supernatural link to his direwolf and that he is invulnerable. Tywin asks if she believes this and she replies "No, My Lord, anyone can be killed". She leaves to fetch water and encounters Jaqen, now a Lannister man-at-arms. Jaqen says that because she saved his life, and those of his two fellow prisoners, he owes her three deaths and offers to kill three people of her choosing. She targets the Tickler. He is soon found dead in the courtyard. Arya notices Jaqen on the walkway above and he smiles and holds a single finger to his face to signify his responsibility.
Arya is afraid of being recognized when Petyr Baelish visits Lord Tywin but he says nothing. Tywin catches her reading a letter detailing his troop movements and questions where she learned to read. She distracts him by asking about his own childhood and steals the letter. She is caught carrying it by Ser Amory. She manages to escape him and names him as her next victim to Jaqen. Jaqen kills him before he is able to expose the theft. Tywin believes that he was the intended victim and begins a brutal investigation, ordering the deaths of dozens of his own men. He tasks Ser Gregor with rooting out the Brotherhood Without Banners believing that they are responsible for the assassination. Tywin talks to Arya about the importance of legacy and the destruction of Harrenhal in the Wars of Conquest. His suspicions are heightened by her own knowledge of history.
Tywin decides to leave Harrenhal to drive Robb's armies from the Westerlands. He makes Gregor Castellan and leaves Arya to serve him. Arya seeks out Jaqen, intending to name Tywin to protect Robb, but is unable to find him in time. When he returns from patrol she asks him to help her escape and he refuses, saying that it was not part of their arrangement. She gives Jaqen his own name in response, refusing to take it back unless he helps her. Jaqen kills several guards that night, allowing Arya to walk out of the castle with Gendry and Hot Pie.
As the trio begin their trek into the Riverlands, they are surprised by Jaqen, who seems to appear from nowhere. Arya approaches him alone and asks how he killed those men, expressing her desire to learn his assassination skills. He offers to take Arya to Braavos (home city of her "dancing" instructor Syrio Forel) to train with the Faceless Men. She declines, telling him that she needs to find her family first, including Sansa. Jaqen gives Arya a single coin, explaining that should she change her mind, she only needs to give the coin to any man from Braavos and recite the High Valyrian words "Valar Morghulis." Jaqen changes his face to that of another man and bids a stunned Arya farewell.
Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry continue travelling to Riverrun. They are eventually captured by The Brotherhood Without Banners, who mistake them for war refugees. They are taken to a local inn where they are fed. Just as they are about to leave Sandor Clegane is brought in as a captive. He then reveals Arya's true identity.
Hot Pie stays behind at the inn while Gendry and Arya are taken to the Commander of the Brotherhood at their hideout in the Riverlands. When Clegane is brought before Lord Beric, she accuses him of the murder of Mycah. During the trial by combat ordered by Beric, Arya heartily calls out for Clegane's death, but ultimately the Hound overpowers and kills Dondarrion, who is then resurrected by the Red Priest Thoros of Myr. As the victor, the Hound is declared innocent and released, much to Arya's disgust
Later, Arya questions Gendry for repairing Dondarrion's armor and tries to get him to come with her and fight for her brother. Gendry answers he's tired of serving lords and wishes to fight to protect the smallfolk and join the Brotherhood, in which all members are equal, comparing them to a family. Arya, sadly, chokes out she could be his family. Gendry gently points out that if he goes with her they'd never be family: he'd still be a commoner and Arya would be "m'lady".
As Thoros lays by a fire, Arya whispers her death list prayer. Thoros reveals they will take her to Riverrun to her family, in exchange for a reward for their cause. Arya points out she's being ransomed. Thoros admits it, and that Beric would like to return her to her family without any ransom out of respect for the memory of her father, but they require the gold. Beric joins them and points out he understands she's angry with him for releasing the Hound. Arya asks why he would release a man who nearly killed him, only for Dondarrion and Thoros to reveal Beric was actually killed but was resurrected by the Lord of Light, showing her the lethal injuries he's sustained at the hands of Lannister soldiers, including Gregor Clegane. Arya asks Thoros if he could resurrect a man without a head. Both men understand she's talking about her father and tell her they are not sure it would be possible. Beric then reveals that with each time he's been resurrected he's been losing memories and adds that Ned Stark was a good man whom he admired, but he wouldn't wish his life upon Ned. Arya answers that she would, for he would at least be alive.
Anguy trains Arya with a bow. Arya spots someone behind her target, which is revealed to be Melisandre and a small group of Stannis Baratheon's men. Melisandre says the Brotherhood has someone the Lord of Light needs, and soon after has her men take Gendry into her custody. Arya protests, particularly when she sees that Melisandre has given the Brotherhood two heavy sacks of gold in exchange. She confronts the red priestess, calling her a witch. Melisandre ignores the barb and looks into Arya's eyes. She sees many other eyes, of many other colors - eyes that Arya will shut forever.
Later at the hideout, Arya is disillusioned with the Brotherhood for selling Gendry, and rejects Dondarrion's argument that it was the will of the one true god, revealing the one true god she believes in is Death. When Dondarrion decides to postpone delivering Arya to Riverrun to raid a group of Lannister soldiers for their armor and weapons, Arya angrily calls them out on their hypocrisy and runs away hoping the lannister soldiers will kill them all. She evades the Brotherhood but before she gets too far, however, she is kidnapped by Sandor Clegane, who was lying in wait for her.
Some time later, now a captive of the Hound, Arya picks up a rock and stands over the Hound planning to strike. She thinks he is sound asleep and is completely vulnerable. Not so and he opens his eyes and tells her she has one chance to hit him, and kill him, if she fails he will break her hands. Later she sits on the horse with him sullen and refusing food he offers her. Sandor points out that for all she hates him, Arya could have been taken captive by far worse. He tells her the story of Sansa and how he rescued her from the mob, men who were going to rape her in every way then slit her throat and leaving her to die. Arya says he's lying but Sandor says "Ask your sister if you ever see her again.". They continue onward across the meadows and arrive a river which Arya initially thinks to be the Blackwater. Rather confused with her lack of understanding he points out that the river is the Red Fork of the Trident. Arya had believed the Hound was taking her back to King's Landing, but he reveals that he is in fact taking her to The Twins, intending to get a reward by ransoming her back to her family. The marriage of her uncle is imminent and both her brother and her mother will be there at the Twins. He tells her ruefully that if she wasn't so busy trying to bash his skull in they might make it in time for the wedding. Arya has a small and hidden smile as the Hound spurs the horse to a gallop.
On the way to The Twins, Arya and Sandor come across a Hog farmer who is also going to The Twins for the wedding, but his wagon is damaged. Sandor lifts the wagon, the hog farmer repairs it, then Sandor punches him and knocks him unconscious. Sandor draws a dagger to kill the hog farmer, when Arya begs him not to, and Sandor relents. The hog farmer wakes up, and Arya knocks him out again with another blow to the head. They arrive in the area of The Twins and Arya nervously gazes toward the Stark camp. Sandor tells Arya that she is visibly afraid that something may happen to ruin her reunion with her family. Arya tells Sandor that he was visibly afraid of Beric Dondarrion's flaming sword, and that she knows what Sandor's brother did to him when they were children. Sandor taunts Arya about the execution of her father, then Arya tells Sandor one day she will stab him through his eye and out the back of his skull.
Arya and Sandor arrive at the gates of The Twins, in disguise as a hog farmer and his daughter. Sandor tells a Frey guard they have salt pork for the wedding feast, but the guard tells them the feast is over and orders them to leave. Arya then runs away from Sandor and hides near a table of Stark soldiers. Suddenly, soldiers come out of the castle and murder the Stark men. Arya hears Grey Wind howling inside a wooden cage, but four crossbowmen come out of the castle and murder the direwolf before she can release him. After the crossbowmen leave, Arya attempts to enter the castle, but is stopped by Sandor, who says that it is too late to do anything. Arya struggles to get into the castle anyway, so Sandor knocks her unconscious and carries her away, realizing that any attempt to intervene at this point would be suicide
Sandor mounts his horse with her, and picks up a Frey banner for their safety as he tries to slip away through the chaos. They both witness Frey and Bolton soldiers parading her brother's mutilated corpse, with the head of Grey Wind attached to her brother's body. Arya and Sandor then flee the castle on horseback while the Stark army is massacred during the Red Wedding. While riding to destinations unknown, Arya and Sandor come across a group of four Frey soldiers eating at a campfire. They are mocking the death of Arya's mother, while one of the soldiers describes the process of sewing Grey Wind's head onto Robb Stark's dead body. Arya then dismounts from Sandor's horse and slowly walks up behind the soldier. He turns around and asks her what she wants, and she says she wants to keep warm and is hungry. The soldiers rudely tell her to go away, then she says she has money, and shows them the Braavosi coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar. She purposely drops the coin, and when the soldier bends down to pick it up, she repeatedly stabs him in the back of the neck with a knife. The other three men draw their weapons, but Sandor appears and kills all three with ease. Sandor asks Arya how she got a knife, and she says she took it from him. Sandor asks if that the first man she has ever killed, and Arya says it is. Arya picks up the coin with her bloodied fingers and whispers, "Valar Morghulis."
The Hound has now decided to take Arya to Lysa Arryn, her aunt, in the Eyrie, where he can sell her. Arya is displeased with this arrangement and wishes a horse so that she can stay a distance away from the Hound on the rest of their journey. The Hound argues that he doesn't want her out of his sight and giving her a horse would provide her with the chance to escape. They stop near a tavern and Arya suggests that they attack the Lannister soldiers there. She recognises one of them as Polliver, the one who callously stabbed Lommy through the neck with her own sword, Needle. She sees Needle, still tucked into Polliver's belt and is determined to retrieve it. When Arya and the Hound are in the tavern, Polliver looks over suspiciously. Arya, worried because she thinks that Polliver recognises her but it is the Hound that he recognises. The hound and Polliver have a chat which leads into a big brawl at the tavern, The Hound kills all the men except Polliver, he tries to sneak up behind him but Arya stabs him in the back and takes needle. She imitates what Polliver said before he killed Lommy, Polliver doesn't understand what she is talking about until she says "fine little blade. I think i'll pick my teeth with it" but as Polliver realises who she is, Arya sticks needle in the his throat and he dies the same way Lommy died making Polliver the first person she killed from her kill list
Arya and the hound are stopping to water their horses and Arya thinks that they're lost and asks the hound what he plans to do after he takes Arya to the eyrie and he says he might join the second sons. A farmer and his daughter appear and ask them what they're doing on his lands. Arya makes up a story about the hound being a soldier for house Tully which luckily gets them access to his home and food. The next morning Arya wakes up from a scream, the hound has battered the farmer and took his silver. Arya goes mad at Sandor, telling him he is the worse "shit" in the seven kingdoms. In return, he ignores her and tells how things really are and that is that the farmer and his daughter will not survive this upcoming winter
Arya is reciting her customary death wish list by a camp fire as The Hound tries to sleep. After awhile reading through it, the Hound tell her to be quiet. Arya responds clearly that she can't go to bed without saying all of the names. Irritated, the Hound ask her if she is gonna name every person in Westeros, to which she replies the "only ones she is gonna kill". He calmly replies that hate is good as any to keep a person going, and mentions it's better than most. He make a note that if they would come across his brother, both of them would cross one from their own death lists. Arya ask the Hound what he would've done if the Mountain would be in the camp fire, to which he responds that he would tell his brother to shut up and let him sleep, implying that Arya have asked too many questions this evening. Now having enough of conversation, the Hound asks Arya to finish her death list. She finally says she only have one name left remaining, to which to his surprise after falling to sleep, is himself.
The next day, Arya is practicing her water dancing beside a river. Sandor, predictably, makes fun of her for prancing around. When Arya tells him that she learned her fighting style from the Syrio Forel, whom she believes to be killed by Ser Meryn Trant, he openly mocks the Braavosi for being defeated by a worthless fighter. Eventually, he lets her have a go at him, for her dead friend Mycah whom he killed, and Needle won’t even pierce his armor. He backhands her and, with Needle pointed at her throat, Sandor reminds her that Syrio Forel - her “water dancing” teacher - is dead, and, essentially, that her techniques are best learnt from people who are still alive, like the people on her list.
Arya and Sandor encounter a dying man in a ransacked village. Sandor gives the man a gift of mercy by stabbing him in the heart. Moments later after ending the dying man's suffering, Sandor is ambushed by Biter who bites him on the neck. He snaps Biter's neck and drops him dead in the dirt. Rorge encounters them, and he is instantly recognized by Arya as one of the man on the prisoner wagon in Yoren's group. The Hound asks if Rorge is on Arya's list, but she denies as she doesn't know his name. Sandor asks Rorge for his name and after the man gives his name to them, Arya thanks him and promptly stabbs him in the heart with Needle. Sandor cynically comments that she's learning.
Afterwards, Sandor clumsily addresses his wounds from Biter. Arya suggests burning to cauterize the wound, but is rebuffed by Sandor's fear of fire. Sandor confirms the story of his facial scars from burns inflicted by Gregor's wrath and how his father covered up the truth, making him feel alone. Arya offers to clean and stitch him up, and Sandor allows her to.
As Arya and Sandor make their way to the Eyrie, Arya laments that she doesn't feel any satisfaction over Joffrey's death, expressing disappointment in the fact that she was neither able to be present during his murder or be the one to kill him. Once they reach the Bloody Gate, Ser Donnel Waynwood informs them that Lysa Arryn has recently passed away, prompting Arya to burst into a fit of laughter over their continuing bad luck as Sandor stands there expressing a mix of shock and anger over his attempts to collect a ransom being foiled yet again.
As Arya and Sandor are leaving the Eyrie, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne encounter them, Brienne at first not knowing who they are. Brienne realizes that she is Arya Stark when Pod tells her that he is Sandor Clegane. Brienne and Sandor eventually duel, as each of them feel they should be the ones who keep Arya. Brienne wins the duel, after beating Sandor with a rock and knocking him down a small cliff. Arya, rather than going with Brienne and Pod, hides from them until they leave. She then goes down the cliff to find the gravely injured Sandor. Sandor begs Arya to kill him. When Sandor believes she won't do it, he tells her that it is another name to strike off her list, that he killed the butcher's boy when he begged him for mercy, and that he should have raped Sansa when he had the chance. Arya, rather than killing him, takes his money and leaves him.
Arya eventually comes across a ship preparing to leave while travelling on her horse. Arya first asks the captain to take her to the Wall, her intent being to meet up with her brother, Jon Snow. When the captain, Ternesio Terys, tells her that he is in fact going to the Free City of Braavos, his home, Arya shows him the iron coin which Jaqen H'ghar gave her. As Terys looks in awe, she tells him "valar morghulis". He promptly nods his head and replies "valar dohaeris", offering her a cabin aboard the Titan's Daughter. Arya is then shown sailing away on the ship, headed to Braavos.
After a long sea voyage, Arya arrives at Braavos. Arya is awestruck by the Titan, which, according to the captain, would wake and protect the city whenever Braavos stood in danger, in the old times. Arya replies it's just a statue, and just then the Titan lets out a loud blast announcing their arrival, startling her, but she convinces herself that she is not afraid. Ternesio Terys rows Arya to the House of Black and White, where he claims she may find Jaqen, and Arya thanks him for bringing her this far. Arya lingers outside waiting for admittance, but is rejected by an elder man despite showing the coin Jaqen H'ghar had given her and mentioning their prior association. Arya waits outside the House for days, endlessly reciting the names of the people she wants to kill, but eventually tosses away her coin and wanders off into the streets of Braavos. While hunting for pigeons in the city, Arya encounters several boys who intend to take Needle from her. Although she is more than willing to kill them, the boys scatter when the man from the House of Black and White appears again. After following him back to the House, Arya demands to know his identity, and he returns to her the coin she had thrown in the water. His face morphs into the visage Arya had known him as —that of Jaqen H'ghar. However, he insists he's not Jaqen H'ghar, but "no one", as all Faceless Men are, and he tells Arya she must learn to be "no one" as well
As Arya cleans the main sanctuary of the House of Black and White, she watches the man who looks like Jaqen H'ghar assist another man in drinking from the temple's well. When the man leaves to pray, Arya demands to Jaqen that she wants to learn, but he reminds of the phrase "Valar Dohaeris", meaning "all men must serve", and accuses Arya of only wanting to serve herself. When Arya looks back at the praying man, she sees that he has died and two men take his body away, ignoring Arya when she asks what they are doing with the body. Later, Arya is accosted in her room by The Waif, who repeatedly asks her who she is, hitting her when she gives the expected response of "no one." Eventually, Jaqen arrives and demands the Waif to stop. He notices that Arya was about to attck the Waif with Needle and points out that Arya cannot be no one, as she is still wearing Arya Stark's clothes, is in possession of Arya Stark's silver, and was about to attack the Waif using Arya Stark's sword. Realizing that he is correct, Arya throws her old clothing and silver and into the lagoon. Too attached to Needle, she is unable to discard it anf hides it among a few rocks nearby. Later, as Arya is sweeping the floor, Jaqen escorts Arya to an inner chamber where she is to help the Waif in stripping and washing corpses. The Waif is doesn't respond when Arya asks what happens to the bodies after they are cleaned.
Arya finishes cleaning a corpse which is then taken away by two men. Arya wants to know what happens to the bodies she cleans, but the Waif tells her that she will know when the time is right. Arya demands to play the game of faces. The Waif tells her that she has already tried playing the game but failed. She asks Arya who she is, to which Arya replies that she is no one. When the Waif is about to walk away, Arya asks her who she is. The Waif tells Arya a story about how she was the only daughter of a widowed Lord, who remarried, producing another daughter. Her stepmother, in order to secure her own daughter’s future, tried to poison her. The Waif found out about this and sought out the help of the Faceless Men to exact her revenge. The Waif then asks Arya whether she believed the story. When Arya doesn’t respond, embarrassed that she bought the Waif’s story, the Waif tells her to get back to work, hinting that to pass the game of faces, Arya must be able to lie convincingly. Later, when Arya is asleep, Jaqen H'ghar comes to test Arya again. This time, when he asks Arya who she is, Arya tells him how she came to join the Faceless Men, trying to slip in a few lies into the story. However, Jaqen is able to tell when Arya is lying and hits her whenever she does. Before he leaves, he tells her that she is lying not only to him, but to herself as well when she says she hates the Hound. A grieving father brings his sick daughter to the House of Black and White, wanting to end her suffering. Arya tells the girl a false story about how she was sick too, but her father bought her here and when she drank from the temple's well, she was healed, persuading the girl to drink the poisoned water from the well. The girl dies and Arya, having proven that she can lie, is brought to the Hall of Faces by Jaqen H'ghar. All the faces had been taken from the corpses that the acolytes wash in the temple. He then asks Arya if she is ready to give up who she is to become "no one". After a moment of silence, he then states that she is not ready to become "no one" , but that she is ready to become "someone else".
Arya's first assignment is to pose as an shellfish merchant to study a target known as "the Thin Man". Before the assassination is carried out, Arya is distracted by the sight of a name on her list: Meryn Trant. She sees him dock and follows him as he guards his company to the Iron Bank. That night, Arya follows Trant and several guards to a brothel. She is chased out by the owner, but not before she learns that Trant prefers sex with very young girls. She reports her failure to kill the Thin Man to Jaqen, and promises to try again tomorrow.
Trant is given three girls the next night, who he beats for his amusement. The first two are left whimpering from his beatings, but not the third. Trant continues to hit the child to no effect, and punches her in the gut. Crumpled on the floor, the girl removes her face and reveals herself as Arya. She quickly stabs him in the eyes and several times in the chest. She teases him about how he was the first name on her list and how the Many-Faced God has denied her of others, but how he has delivered Trant to her. She asks him if he remembers who she is, though Trant is in too much pain and shock to understand what is happening. She reveals herself as Arya Stark, and slits his throat. Arya returns to the House of Black and White to put the face she used back on the wall. She is caught by Jaqen and the Waif. They are displeased that Arya has defied the Many-Faced God by killing someone who was not hers to kill. The Waif restrains Arya and Jaqen pulls out a vial of poison saying, "Only death can pay for life". Just before Arya thinks she is about to be poisoned, Jaqen drinks it himself and dies. The Waif questions Arya's grief for her friend, only to shock Arya by revealing herself to be Jaqen. Confused, Arya repeatedly removes multiple faces from "Jaqen's" body, until she sees her own face. Arya's eyes fill over with white as she is rendered blind as punishment.
Now blind, Arya poses as a beggar as part of her training. After overhearing two passing citizens discussing Meryn's murder, she is approached by the Waif, remarking on her blindness. Tossed a stick, she fights and loses another sparring match against the Waif. Unimpressed, the Waif leaves Arya, promising to return tomorrow.
Multiple stick fights between Arya and the Waif ensue. With Arya finally holding her own, Jaqen gives her a cup from the the well in the house of black and white and says to her if she truly is nobody then she has nothing to fear. She drinks the water and regains her sight.
Tasked to kill Lady Crane, Arya decided she will poison her to carry out the task. The woman notices her, and the two briefly converse about acting, Arya telling Crane that realistically Cersei would be angry if her son was killed. Crane later tries to express this opinion, but is shut down. She goes to drink the beverage Arya poisoned, but Arya slaps it from her hands before she can drink it.
Unknown to Arya, the Waif sees this and Jaqen H'ghar instructs her to kill Arya quickly and painlessly once she tells him. Meanwhile, Arya retrieves Needle and presumably abandons the goal of becoming a Faceless assassin.
Afterwards, Arya secures passage back to Westeros by bribing a Westerosi trader. However, she is attacked and repeatedly stabbed in the stomach by the Waif, and only barely escapes by jumping into the river. She is left stumbling through the streets of Braavos, critically wounded and extremely paranoid.
Seeking refuge, Arya finds her way to Lady Crane, collapsing from her injuries behind the theatre troupe stage. Lady Crane takes her to her living quarters, where she treats Arya's wounds and gives her a new set of clothing. Arya reluctantly accepts a dosage of Milk of the poppy to help ease her pain, and soon after falls asleep in Lady Crane's bed. When she wakes up, she finds her dead in the next room, murdered by the Waif. Jumping off the balcony and into the streets of Braavos, Arya manages to escape, though she is pursued by the Waif. Leaving a trail of blood in her wake, Arya lures the Waif to the hideout in which she has hidden Needle. The Waif then asks her if she would like to die on her knees, or on her feet - in response, Arya pulls Needle out from its hiding place and confronts her attacker, starting with putting off the only candle in the room. In the ensuing (offscreen) fight, Arya manages to best the Waif as she was used to fight in blindness, killing her adversary and removing her face, which she brings back to the Hall of Faces.
Aware that Jaqen sent the Waif to kill her, Arya points Needle at him in an accusatory manner, though Jaqen claims that she has finally truly become "no one". In reply, Arya reaffirms that she will never be "no one": She is Arya Stark of Winterfell. Lowering her sword, she then leaves the House of Black and White and Jaqen for good, making the ultimate decision to return to Westeros, her home.
Upon arriving in Westeros, Arya travels to the Twins where she disguises herself as a serving girl. After Jaime Lannister and his soldiers depart for King's Landing, Arya manages to kill both "Lame" Lothar Frey and Black Walder Rivers, who were responsible for the deaths of Talisa Maegyr and her mother Catelyn Stark respectively. She then proceeds to dismember their bodies and bake them into a pie, which she serves to Lord Walder Frey as the two are alone in the dining hall, still wearing the face of a serving girl. After she reveals her true identity, she slits Walder's throat and watches with amusement as he dies.
After killing Lord Walder, Arya uses his face to impersonate him and hold a feast in honor of all of his sons. She gives a rousing speech, "reminiscing" over House Frey's victories, before offering her audience a toast of poisoned wine. As Walder's many sons drink from their chalices, Arya refuses to let any of the women partake, aware of their innocence. She then elicits cheers from the many Frey sons upon the mention of the infamous Red Wedding, though then goes on to subtlety mock them by reminding them of how they butchered a pregnant woman, cut the throat of a mother of five, and slaughtered the Starks after inviting them into their home. As the Frey sons begin to cough up blood from the poison, Arya watches with satisfaction as they all die before removing her mask and revealing herself. Before leaving, she asks Walder's wife, Kitty Frey, to tell anyone that might ask what happened that "the north remembers", and remarks that winter has come for House Frey.
After departing from the Twins, Arya comes across a small convoy of Lannister soldiers, one of which gains her attention with a sweet song. Arya agrees, upon request, to join them at their fire, and accepts their offerings of food and drink, though cautiously. She engages in some small talk with them, all the while keeping her eye on their swords, and states that she is heading for King's Landing. After she admits that she is planning on killing Queen Cersei, they laugh, unaware that this is her true intention.
Arya later visits the Inn at the Crossroads where she overhears some patrons discussing the recent arrival of Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. She is reunited with Hot Pie, who brings her several pies which she eagerly consumes. He tells her of the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor at the hands of Queen Cersei. She offers to pay for her meal when she has finished, but Hot Pie refuses her coin as a friendly gesture. Upon learning that Jon Snow has taken back Winterfell from the Boltons and become the King in the North, Arya decides to head home after leaving the inn.
On her way to Winterfell, Arya makes a small campfire in the woods. As she warms herself by the fire, she is suddenly ambushed by a large pack of wild wolves, which startle her horse. Surrounded, Arya pulls out Needle to defend herself, though the wolves do not attack, and Arya finds herself face to face with a now fully grown Nymeria, much to her astonishment. She pleads for her Direwolf to come with her to Winterfell, but the beast instead retreats with her pack back into the woods. Arya realizes that Nymeria is no longer the same and has changed since they last saw each other.
Arya Stark finally returns to Winterfell - after leaving years before with her father, Sansa, and King Robert Baratheon's entourage, right after Bran's fall from the tower. Arya rides up to the gates and dismounts but the guards don't believe her when she says she is in fact Arya Stark, convinced that Arya has been dead for years. Arya asks that they send word to Maester Luwin and Rodrik Cassel, who can prove her identity (not knowing they are both dead). The guards brush off that no one by those names is there, so she asks for Jon, but they say he actually just left Winterfell. Arya asks who is in charge of Winterfell then, and they say "Lady Stark" (which Arya realizes is her sister). They try to brush her aside, but she dodges them with her assassin's reflexes, and insists that one way or another she's getting in. She explains to them that if she is Arya, they'll be in a lot of trouble for stopping her, and if she isn't, she won't last long in Winterfell anyway. Mildly concerned, they agree to at least let her in the courtyard but insist that she stay put while they send for Sansa so they can disprove her identity. As soon as they take their eyes off her, however, she slips away. The two guards go to inform Sansa and try to wave it aside as just some impostor, but she instantly realizes it must be Arya, and knows where she has gone.
Sansa finds Arya where she expected, in the crypts looking over their father Ned's grave. They are happy to see each other but so much has happened to both of them in the past few years that they are at first awkward, unsure of what to say. Arya asks if she has to call Sansa "Lady Stark" now, to which Sansa firmly insists "Yes" - and then laughs. They smile and hug, though still a bit unsure. The reunited sisters them look sadly on their father's grave statue. Arya says it doesn't really look like him. Sansa acknowledges that everyone who really knew his face is dead. Arya points out they're not.
Arya then asks that everyone says Sansa killed Joffrey. She explains she actually didn't, though she wished she had. Arya remarks that he was always at the top of her "list". This confuses Sansa, and Arya explains that she'd been keeping a list of everyone she was going to kill - at which they both laugh. Finally Sansa asks how Arya got back, but she only says her road wasn't a pleasant one. Sansa says hers wasn't either. They hug again, earnestly and warmly. Sansa then informs Arya that Bran is home too.
Sansa brings Arya to Bran in the Godswood, where he is lost in thought by the Weirwood heart tree. Arya is saddened to see him so paralyzed. Still somewhat detached even at the sight of Arya, he says he isn't surprised she's alive because he saw her at the Crossroads. Arya is confused, and Sansa explains that Bran is having "visions" now. Bran says he thought Arya was going to King's Landing, and when Sansa asks why she would head there of all places, he again startles them both by saying it's because Cersei is on her list of names (which he can't possibly be aware of through normal means). Sansa asks who else is on her list, but she says most of them besides Cersei are actually dead already. They then remark on the Valyrian steel dagger in his lap, and he explains that Littlefinger gave it to him, thinking he'd want it. Despite it being such a horrible keepsake that nearly killed him and indirectly set off a chain of events leading to his parents' deaths, he is still listless and disinterested in it. Arya is confused as to why a common cuthroat would have a rare, priceless blade of Valyrian steel. Bran matter-of-factly says that someone very wealthy wanted him dead, and gave it to the assassin. Bran says that doesn't matter, because he doesn't even want it. Instead, Bran hands it to Arya and says she can have it - because it's "wasted on a cripple". All three Stark children, finally reunited, proceed back to Winterfell's castle courtyard, pushing Bran in his wheelchair.Some time later, Brienne is going through a vigorous sword practice session with Podrick, knocking him down when he overextends himself. Impressed, Arya interrupts and says she'd like to spar with Brienne - the woman who beat the Hound in combat. Sansa and Littlefinger watch on silently from the walkway above. Brienne goes easy on her at first, but then Arya completely outmanoeuvres Brienne using the Water Dance training she received from Syrio Forel, augmented by her training with the Faceless Men. Arya achieves many openings that would be a killing blow if she wanted them to be. Surprised that such a young girl is so skilled, Brienne stops holding back, leading to a grueling sparring session. Brienne actually manages to knock Needle out of Arya's hand but she simply switches to the Valyrian steel dagger she had in her belt. Arya uses her speed and agility to compensate for Brienne's strength and size to overwhelm her - until Brienne actually manages to bring her brute strength to bear on a fast moving target by landing a kick on Arya's chest that sends her falling down. Ultimately, they reach a stalemate, with each of them holding a blade at the others' throat. Arya takes her leave of Brienne, both mutually impressed, as Sansa looks down baffled at how her sister reached such a deadly skill level. Arya then looks up at the battlements, where Petyr watches her successful return, giving an untrustworthy stare, until he cunning backs away from her.
Arya later watches in the great hall as Sansa addresses Lord Glover and Lord Royce over their concerns with Jon's absence, both of them feeling that Sansa should replace him due to her status as a true-born Stark. In reponse, Sansa kindly dismisses their notions, once again pledging her loyalty to Jon. In their late mother and father's chambers, Arya confronts Sansa about her apparent inaction towards Glover and Royce, claiming that she should have taken their heads for defying Jon's rule. Sansa reminds her sister that this would likely lose House Glover and the Vale's support and that they need to work together in order to survive, but Arya is adamant that they should have been executed. Suspicious of Sansa and her relationship with Littlefinger, Arya begins to spy on him, following him to Sansa's bed chambers where he hides a rolled parchment inside of her mattress. Arya, unaware that the letter, written by Sansa after their father's imprisonment in the Red Keep in which she pledges her loyalty to Joffrey and the crown and urges Robb to submit to his rule, has been planted on purpose by Baelish in order to manipulate her, falls for his scheme and reads the letter, growing suspicious of her sister as she is also unaware that Sansa was coerced into writing the letter by Cersei. From the shadows, Littlefinger watches with satisfaction as Arya leaves the room
Arya and Sansa's relationship continues to grow more strained following Arya's discovery of her sister's "incriminating" letter. Watching over the castle courtyard from the balcony, Arya reminisces about how their father used to watch her and her brother's train in the very same spot, bitterly claiming that Sansa wouldn't remember due to the fact that she was usually inside the castle knitting with her fellow ladies. She then tells Sansa how on one particularly day, after their brothers had finished training with Ser Rodrik, she wandered into the vacant courtyard and began practicing her archery with Bran's discarded bow as their father watched from above. Arya then resentfully states that he was killed by the Lannisters with Sansa's help, reading her letter to her aloud. Sansa insists that she was forced to write it and, being a naïve child that she was at the time, led to believe that she was saving her family. However, Arya is adamant to point out that had she been in Sansa's position, she would have died before betraying her family, calling her stupid for believing in the Lannister's lies. Arya reveals that she, like Sansa, was present during their father's execution and that she saw the whole thing from the statue of Baelor. Arya surmises that Sansa is afraid she will show the letter to the northern lords, thus losing their respect. Taking advantage of the tension between the two sisters, Littlefinger later suggests to Sansa that she use Lady Brienne to protect her from Arya.
In her bedchamber, Arya finds Sansa looking through her bag, which is full of her faces from Braavos. Confronting her sister, Arya toys with Sansa, insisting that they play the "game of faces", hoping to catch her in a lie and rat out her disloyalty to Jon. Sansa, unwilling to play, instead insists that Arya explain the nature of her faces. Arya reveals that with the faces, she can be whomever she wants to be. Grasping her Valyrian steel catspaw dagger, she approaches her sister in a somewhat threatening manner, wondering aloud what it might feel like to wear pretty silk dresses and be the Lady of Winterfell should she take Sansa's face. Arya then hands her the dagger and promptly heads out the door, leaving her sister visibly disturbed.
Arya is summoned to the Great Hall for a meeting with her sister. Upon seeing the enthroned Bran and Sansa, Arya inquires as to whether the soldiers lining the walls are entirely necessary. Sansa proceeds to list a series of crimes against House Stark... and directs them to Baelish, not Arya. Arya watches with satisfaction as Sansa and Bran turn the tables on Littlefinger and finally call him into account for his crimes. When Baelish's attempts to manipulate the situation turn to pleading, Arya moves in and slits his throat with the very dagger he once used to betray their father. Later, Arya and Sansa discuss their pasts, Arya saying that she couldn't have survived what Sansa survived. Sansa says she thinks Arya could have, Arya being the strongest person she knows. They then discuss the execution and the survival of their House, finally reaching an accord to play to each other's strengths - like the wolves of their sigil, they will survive as a pack.
Presumed dead by most of Westeros, Arya cherishes a mental list of all those she desires dead in return, as vengeance for herself and her family. After the deaths of her father, mother, brother, and aunt, Arya sailed east to restart her life in Braavos. She located her protector from Harrenhal, Jaqen H'hgar, at the house of Black and White. She underwent rigorous training to become a Faceless Man but struggled to relinquish her past life. Unwilling to murder Lady Crane as instructed, Arya faced off against the Waif, whom she killed. Impressed, Jaqen accepted Arya as No One, but she chose to retain her identity as a Stark and leave Braavos. She returned to Westeros and fulfilled her promise to kill Walder Frey.
Arya is a fiercely independent child who is unconstrained by social expectations like gender roles, courtly virtues, class distinctions, and the expectations of her parents and siblings. A tomboy, she never aspired to be a "proper lady" as her older sister Sansa did. Before the events that shatter her innocence and destroy her support system, Arya is full of life, and she makes others smile just by virtue of her spirited indifference to rules.
Once she begins the journey to King's Landing, however, she endures a constant stream of loss and trauma. As she watches her pet, instructor, her friends and her family members taken from her one by one, she becomes increasingly detached towards murder and death. This is only exacerbated when she is captured by the Hound and is exposed to his fatalistic worldview as they traverse the war-devastated Riverlands, though the two develop a mutual reliance and almost grudging respect for each other. When she learns of the betrayal and murder of her family at the Red Wedding, she becomes even more cold and driven to seek revenge on those who have wronged her and her family.
While she is initially horrified when she accidentally stabs the stable boy in King's Landing during the betrayal of her father and his men, by the time she and the Hound have fled the massacre at the Twins, she is able to kill without remorse and has accepted Syrio's belief that the only true god is Death. Following Yoren's advice to her before he died, she has taken to listing off the names of each person she intends to kill each night before she sleeps. Arya can be a rather cold-blooded, slightly sadistic person at times, especially while confronting and killing those who are on her death list. Though she was initially apathetic but satisfied over killing Meryn Trant and Polliver, she did not attempt to hide her glee over slitting Walder Frey's throat. While she certainly possesses compassion and kindness, her time with The Hound and the Faceless Men have taught her to be ruthless to those who have wronged her and her family and has shown to be willing to use psychological mind games to worsen her enemies fate before killing them. Shown when she repeated every word Polliver said to Lommy before killing him in the same exact way with Needle; gouged the eyes of Ser Meryn before stabbing him repeatedly and butchering Lord Walder's sons before serving their corpses to their father inside of a pie. That being said, Arya is not completely blinded by hate. After learning that her family had retaken Winterfell, she ultimately chose reuniting with her loved ones over vengeance against her enemies (at least for the time being).