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Arya Stark

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"My name is Arya Stark. I want you to know that. The last thing you're ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die."

Played By: Maisie Williams

Voiced By: Itzel Mendoza (Latin American Spanish/Seasons 1-4), Andrea Orozco (Latin American Spanish/Season 5), Eri Gouda (Japanese)

"I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever."
Lady Melisandre of Asshai

The second daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark and their third child. After being smuggled out of King's Landing following her father's execution, she travels Westeros as a fugitive before leaving for Braavos to train with the Faceless Men. She has a list of names of people she's resolved to kill for wronging her and her family, and her experiences harden her into a young but determined killer who slowly but surely carves a bloody swathe through House Stark's enemies.

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  • Action Girl: Among the best in Westeros, easily up there with Brienne. As of the end of Season 7, she's responsible for easily something close to fifty deaths. In Season 1, she impales a stable boy coming at her (Season 1) and then, starting in Season 3, she begins purposefully killing: first, a Frey soldier (Season 3), a Lannister soldier, Polliver, Rorge (Season 4), Ghita, Ser Meryn Trant (Season 5), the Waif, "Black" Walder Rivers, Lothar Frey and Walder Frey (Season 6), every other male Frey, and Littlefinger (Season 7). She ultimately lands the killing blow on The Night King during the final battle at Winterfell.
  • Action Survivor: At the start of the series, Arya is an unseasoned petite child who is not particularly strong and has to hide and run away from threats.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Played with. She is described in the books as "horse-faced" by Sansa and Jeyne Poole and is mistaken for a boy before she starts posing as one. In the series, she is round-faced and cute. The "played with" portion comes up in that even in the books, several characters note that she is getting prettier as she grows up and compare her favorably to her Aunt Lyanna, a famous beauty herself.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Compared to the books, in the show Arya juggles a lot of Adaptational Heroism versus Adaptational Villainy, along with just plain being different in some respects.
    • In the books, Arya's descent into murder is more gradual, with her first kill, Polliver, done in the heat of the moment to defend Sandor Clegane; Arya's murder of Polliver in the show has her taking a dark pleasure in the Ironic Echo she gives him before slowly stabbing him in the throat, and afterwards she's quite satisfied with herself. In the books, her list of names is a list of people that she hates and wishes were dead, thinking of it as a prayer for their deaths. In the show, Arya explicitly wants to personally kill everyone on her list someday.
    • In the books, Arya's traumatic experiences render her cold and ruthless, while in the show she hardens but is still a fairly pleasant young lady as long as you aren't her enemy. Her relationships with Gendry, Hot Pie, and Sandor Clegane, are also warmer than in the books.
    • In the show Arya is prone to rash and aggressive action, while she's more sly and cunning in the books, preferring to avoid direct confrontation.
    • In the books, Arya's gradual loss of identity begins as early as her training with Syrio, thinking of herself as a cat or a shadow, and then on her journey to and stay at Harrenhal she takes numerous different aliases. Thus when she trains with the Faceless Men, her (admittedly difficult) letting go of her original identity is just another step in her arc. In the show she only takes one alias while at Harrenhal, and while training with the Faceless Men she uses other names for her assignments but doesn't let go of who she is.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Her alias as a Braavosi shellfish vendor is changed to 'Lanna' where in the books, her alias is Cat of the Canals, after her mother. The show hangs a lampshade on the original name by having a cat cross her path in Lanna's first scene.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Invoked in the Season 4 premiere when she demands her own horse and the Hound responds by taunting her with, "Little lady wants a pony." At the end of the episode she gets a White Stallion.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The series finale concludes with Arya's thirst for adventure taking her West of Westeros.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
    • Seen in the first episode mischievously throwing food at Sansa in front of the whole court for no reason. Arya used to stuff sheep dung inside her sister's mattress when she was angry with Sansa, which happened to be all the time.
    • Played with Gendry, who becomes something of a substitute brother who looks out for her, and she obliges by constantly exasperating him. That said, she also has his back and even persuades the Gold Cloaks to stop hunting him down by convincing them that he's already been killed.
      Gendry: How can someone so small be such a huge pain in my arse?
  • Anti-Hero: After all of her losses and traumatizing experiences, Arya is learning to become more ruthless when doling out justice to murderers and other criminals.
  • Arch-Enemy: Arya racks up a long enemies list, she considers Joffrey to be at the top of her list. When Joffrey dies, Walder Frey and Cersei inherit the distinction, thanks to their roles in murdering her family.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • In the Season 2 finale, she overcomes her grudge against Sansa and accepts that she's her sister and she must find her, too.
    • Also telling is in the Season 4 finale, she refuses to put the Hound out of his misery even when he begs her to...but when he brings up Sansa and how he should have raped her when he had the chance, that is when Arya is visibly the most tempted to kill the jerk right there and then, though she manages to resist.
    • In the sixth season, she finally admits that she had taken the Hound off her list before she abandoned him because she was confused about how she felt about him.
    • In Season 7, she's finally reunited with her sister Sansa, meeting her under the crypts of Winterfell by Ned's statue and they embrace warmly.
    • In Season 8, she and Sandor show that there are no hard feelings between one another, with Sandor demonstrating parental tendencies towards her when she's in trouble. The penultimate episode has Sandor talk sense into Arya by stating that living a life of revenge is not worth it in the long run and sends her away to live instead of coming with him to die. Arya, for her part, takes this to heart and gives Sandor a genuine "thank you" for all that he's done for her, fully forgiving him at last and coming to see him as a worthwhile friend.
  • Badass Adorable: Badass Arya is played by adorable Maisie Williams. Although after some time the character only looks adorable.
  • Badass Boast: "Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe."
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Arya didn't want to be a lady and grow up to marry a prince and have children — she wanted to go on an adventure and learn how to fight. She got what she wanted, but in the worst possible way.
  • Berserk Button: Insulting or threatening Arya's family will quickly get a character on her bad side. When she catches some Frey soldiers laughing about desecrating her brother's corpse and mockingly imitating her mother's Despair Event Horizon, Arya grabs a knife and stabs one to death in a violent, grief-fuelled rage.
  • Best Served Cold: After Yoren shares how in bed he would say the name of the man he planned to kill as "a prayer almost," Arya starts doing the same, with the list growing longer by the day.
    • She finally makes good on it by killing Walder Frey and eventually all his heirs, in the very same room as the Red Wedding.
    • Achieves it (ironically, without even having realized it) on behalf of both sides of her family by slitting Littlefinger's throat. Littlefinger is indirectly responsible for the entire War of the Five Kings (which resulted in/led to the deaths of Catelyn, Robb, and Rickon Stark). He's directly responsible for the death of Ned Stark via betrayal, and Arya's maternal aunt Lysa Tully by, well, pushing her through a trap door several hundred feet above ground.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's nice and mischievous at the beginning of the story, but she can also be quite deadly at the same time. Jaqen offers to assassinate three people she deems worthy of death. Arya takes him up on his offer.
  • Bifauxnen: She is often mistaken for a boy when dressed for her "dancing lessons". Even more so after Yoren cuts off her hair so that she can pass for a boy.
  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted with Sansa. While in the books, Sansa was usually the crueler one, but in the series, Arya throws food on Sansa's gown she'd made herself in front of their house and her future in-laws for no good reason, calls her an idiot, mocks her interests of sewing and marrying a prince, and stuffs sheep crap in her bed when she's annoyed with her (which apparently was a lot).
  • Big Brother Worship: Is the closest to her brother Jon Snow out of all her siblings (confirmed by Word of God) — the big hug she gives him when he gives Needle to her is absolutely adorable. In Season 7, upon hearing that Jon has reclaimed Winterfell, Arya immediately abandons her plan to go to King's Landing and heads straight home.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Season 8, she not only saves her brother Bran from the Night King at the last minute, but she is also the one to kill the Night King, and with him, the entire Army of the Dead.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Like her brother Bran, she seems to be growing into these.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Throughout Season 8, Arya doesn't even attempt to hide her protective instincts towards her surviving siblings. During the Battle of Winterfell, she purposely acts as a distraction to the invading wights, allowing Sansa time to get safely down into the crypts. Then, a short time later, she sneaks into the Godswood and kills the Night King before he can finish off Bran.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Brienne, both of them tomboys who didn't fit in with the norm of what highborn girls are supposed to be like.
    • Word of God says this is why, out of all her siblings, Arya is the closest to Jon; both feel like outsiders due to respectively, being the bastard son and the daughter who wishes to pursue un-ladylike interests.
  • Black and White Insanity: She's completely unsympathetic to the delicate political balancing act that Sansa has to carry out, both as Lady of Winterfell and as a hostage of the Lannisters, accusing Sansa of wanting to usurp Jon's position as ruler of the North. She even talks casually to Sansa about how easy it would be to Kill and Replace her, thanks to the Faceless Man training. Subverted later when this is revealed to be a ploy to trick Littlefinger into believing that his plot to pit her against Sansa is working.
  • Break the Cutie: Arya's Plucky Girl nature tends to obscure the fact that, like Sansa, she is living with a massive amount of grief, trauma, and anger, but has to take it all in stride to survive.
  • Broken Bird: Arya's experiences change her from the Plucky Girl and Tomboy Princess she was in the first season into slowly becoming a cold killer who desires revenge on everyone that she feels has wronged her family and friends.
    • As of Seasons 5 and beyond, she seems to have started taking a sadistic pleasure in murdering people from her list.
  • But Now I Must Go: With the North granted independence and her siblings all safe, Arya charters a ship to explore the uncharted lands west of Westeros.
  • Character Tic: After her time training in Braavos, Arya develops the habit of standing with her hands behind her back.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Starting in "The Pointy End" once she flees the castle and takes to the streets of King's Landing.
  • Child Soldiers: Arya was created in part to represent the trauma and struggle of child soldiers.
  • Composite Character:
    • It is she and not Wyman Manderly that gets to bake the Frey Pies — which she serves to Walder Frey personally right before opening his throat.
    • In the books, it's Lady Stoneheart (a resurrected Catelyn) who goes around killing Freys out of vengeance, whereas here Arya does the job.
  • Consummate Liar: Skilled enough to fool Tywin, up to a point. He figures out she's a highborn northern girl, but almost certainly doesn't realize she's actually Arya Stark (he would hardly scruple to take a child hostage. And just about the one thing that everyone agrees upon, Stark and Lannister alike, is that Robb and Tyrion should try trading Sansa & Arya for Jaime).
  • Cool Pet: Nymeria, who attacks Evil Prince Joffrey to defend her.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Downplayed. While Arya remains one of the more moral characters on a show filled with truly horrible people, her traumatic experiences and the influence of the Hound and Jaquen transform her from a plucky and mischievous tomboy to a ruthless assassin bent on vengeance. While she retains many of her old personality traits, she also has a much darker and more sadistic side that wasn't there at the start.
  • Country Matters: Arya's opinion on the waif girl who attacks her in "High Sparrow".
  • Creepy Child: Rapidly approaches this, though not nearly as quickly as in the books. She's reached this completely by Season 4; Melisandre of all people is creeped out by her. To recap some instances of her coldness:
    • She calmly informs Sandor Clegane that she will put a sword through his eye and out the back of his skull someday. Later on she turns out to actually have a knife she got from him without him noticing. His reaction is priceless.
    • In "Mhysa", Arya walks up to a group of Frey men around a campfire who are mocking Robb and Cat's deaths. Arya acts like an innocent child, asking if she can warm herself by the fire, even offering to pay. She casually drops the coin, and when the man leans to pick it up, she stabs him repeatedly in the neck with a dagger. When she's done she doesn't seem at all disturbed by what she just did.
    • In "Two Swords", she calmly and methodically taunts Polliver before sticking Needle through his neck, clearly enjoying the deed.
    • In "Mockingbird", she notes Rorge was never on her list of people to kill because she didn't know his name. When he gives it to her, she thanks him with a little smile, then stabs him through the heart.
    • In the Season 4 finale, the Hound begs her to give him a Mercy Kill after being badly wounded, trying to provoke her into anger — but she just crouches and stares at him icily for a very long time... before robbing him and leaving him to die.
  • Cruel Mercy: Inflicts this on the Hound; by leaving him to die agonisingly and alone after his brutal bout with Brienne, despite his attempts to goad her into killing him quickly and desperately begging her to end him there and then.
  • Daddy's Girl: She has a close relationship with her father. Realizing that his daughter is a tomboy who doesn't like the fact that she's being brought up to become a "proper" courtly lady, Eddard eventually allows her to be instructed by a fencing teacher. This is further emphasized in 'A Golden Crown' when Eddard tells his daughters that he is sending them back to Winterfell, the first thing Arya does is ask her father if he's dying because of his injured leg while Sansa is more worried about her betrothal to Joffery being cutoff. Arya only worries about her sword lessons and whether they can bring Syrio back with them after Eddard assures Arya that he isn't dying. By contrast, Arya doesn't seem to take after Catelyn at all in looks or personality and is never seen interacting with her directly, but it is made clear she does love her.
  • Dance Battler: Thanks to learning the "water dance" style from a Braavosi.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seemingly the only trait she shares with Sansa, as evidenced by the exchange with her listed below, as well as the following from "A Man Without Honor":
    Tywin: Aren't most girls more interested in the pretty maidens of song with flowers in their hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
    • The above snark actually makes Tywin Lannister bark out a laugh.
    • And from 'The Night Lands':
      Gendry: You know, you shouldn't insult people who are bigger than you.
      Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Arya ends up killing the Night King, the seemingly all-powerful, more than centuries-old existential enemy of humanity, with one stab with her dagger.
  • Disability Superpower: The time she spent blind has really made her a deadly fighter in darkness. When wounded and pursued by the Waif, who otherwise would have no trouble killing her, Arya gains the advantage needed to defeat and kill her by luring her into a tunnel and destroying the candles illuminating it with Needle.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Doesn't want Gendry calling her "milady" while she is disguised as a boy due her discomfort with being a Proper Lady. She even shoves Gendry to the ground when he continues to tease her.
  • The Dreaded: When she confronts Melisandre, the red priestess seems to think so of Arya, being somewhat terrified of the sight of her. This is because she sees and knows what Arya will become. Her extermination of the male line of House Frey points to this splendidly — with apparently nobody realizing it was her yet, not even the Lannisters.
  • Dual Wielding: In Season 7, she ends up with the Valyrian steel dagger originally owned by Littlefinger that almost killed Bran, and quickly shows how proficient she is with both it and Needle.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Whenever she's about to kill, specially when the victim is one of the targets in her list, her face becomes blank, sporting only an eerie unsmile, and her eyes go lifeless.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the series ends, after all the suffering she underwent and the family she lost, Arya gets to leave Westeros of her own accord and sail the unexplored western seas, leaving her brother Bran as King of the Six Kingdoms and her sister Sansa as Queen of the North.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Arya has the Stark-look, including fair skin and brown hair.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Sneaking away from doing needlework to score a perfect bullseye with an arrow that her brother repeatedly failed to hit. From further away.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Thrice — first at the end of Season 1 where Yoren cuts her hair short to help her pose as a boy, then in Season 5, when she joins the Faceless Men she starts wearing her hair pulled back from her face in braids. After gaining the skills of a Faceless Men and reclaiming her identity as Arya Stark she begins wearing her hair pulled back in a ponytail not unlike her late father Ned.
  • Face Stealer: After she completes her training with the Faceless Men in Season 5, she has their special ability to use flayed faces as magically effective masks.
  • Female Misogynist: Unlike her book counterpart, Arya makes it clear she does not like traditionally feminine pursuits or girls who like that stuff. She seems to be gradually growing out of this.
    Tywin: Aren't most girls interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, flowers in her hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Gendry, as their experiences being hunted by Lannisters, imprisoned at Harrenhal and travelling through the war-torn countryside together quickly bond them.
    • Deconstructed with Sandor Clegane in Season 4, as she fights alongside him and even binds up his wounds indicating they're heading toward this trope. However, Arya claims his name is still on her death list and she's is still technically his prisoner so, despite a temporary alliance, their relationship remains uneasy and lacks the genuine trust of this trope. Notably when it comes down to it, Sandor doesn't trust her to Mercy Kill him instead trying to goad her into doing it out of anger and Arya leaves him to die alone despite his pleading. It's not until Sandor saves her life from a horde of wights in Season 8 that they form a genuine friendship.
  • Foil: In the novels, George R. R. Martin designed Sansa to be Arya's foil. This is present in the adaptation as well even aside from their obvious Tomboy and Girly Girl contrast:
    • Both sisters undergo very different Break the Cutie arcs wherein they are forced to discard their whole identities in order to pursue vengeance and survival. Sansa becomes ensnared in the politics of King's Landing and sees, first hand, the ruthlessness and backstabbing of a Deadly Decadent Court while Arya travels across Westeros and falls under the view and guidance of characters of varying moral fibre. Arya slowly becomes a methodical Child Soldier who falls in with an amoral killing cult that believes in death for everyone while Sansa has become Number Two to Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, using her father's honorable reputation to defend a murderer from facing the consequences of his actions and becoming a willing accomplice.
    • Their respective first times also highlight the contrast between their storylines: Sansa, who spends much of the show as a hostage or pawn subject to the whims of others, is raped by Ramsay on their wedding night, while Arya, whose storyline partially involves her struggle to remain attached to her humanity, initiates consensual sex with Gendry in a scene described by Word of God as the first time in years that Arya's making a decision based on emotion rather than pure survival.
  • Forced to Watch: When she ends up at Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie, they are subjected to being shut up in a pen and made to watch other prisoners being tortured to death for information on the Brotherhood Without Banners, at least until Tywin rides in and scolds his men about killing prisoners instead of putting them to work.
    • She's spared the sight of watching her father beheaded, but she's not so lucky with Robb...
  • Fragile Speedster: Justified, as she's a young girl. Arya's very light on her feet and quick with her sword, but a blow from someone bigger will often leave her incapacitated. The Hound has stunned her with one punch more than once, and this was how Polliver managed to get Needle off her.

    G-N 
  • Girliness Upgrade: Only mildly and not of her own volition but during Season 5, she's given a bath and a new set of clothes, which is perhaps the first time we've seen Arya in a dress since Season 1.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With Sansa. She's less ladylike and more Street Smart than her "pretty" sister in early seasons. They don't get along very well, although they learn to respect each other over the years.
  • Good Is Not Soft: In later seasons. At her core, Arya is still the kind tomboy who loves her family that she was when the show began. But she's also far and away the Stark who is most likely to stab you in the throat if you get on her bad side, and she won't hesitate very long before she does it.
  • Guile Hero: Being a child surrounded by heavily-armed and potentially-hostile adults has fostered quick thinking on her part just to stay alive and avoid being captured by the Lannisters. Arya's been forced to use her wits to manipulate people around her, often to an impressive degree.
  • Heroic Breakdown: Borders on one when Joffrey orders Ned killed. Luckily for her, Yoren is there to keep her from watching her father's death. She's not so lucky in Robb's case, as she has to watch his desecrated corpse paraded around by the Freys.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Out of all the stories she's read, she apparently identifies best with Queen Visenya Targaryen, one of the few historical noblewomen in her time to become a respected warrior. Her Weapon of Choice in Needle (being a lighter sword compared to Visenya's own lighter Valyrian sword Dark Sister) plus her prodigious kill count come Season 7 and her grim-yet-still-noble personality all fall in line with this nicely. That said, Arya, for all her dark and ruthless nature, remains truly loyal to her family—something which Visenya eventually seems unable to be. From the books... 
  • Hidden Buxom: Arya has a tendency to wear unflattering and layered clothing. This helps to disguise that Maisie is decently stacked and more developed than Arya is supposed to be.
  • Hitman with a Heart: A girl can't bring herself to kill targets who do not deserve to die, so she drops the hitman act altogether and re-embraces her Arya Stark's persona.
  • Hope Is Scary: When Hot Pie regales her of the demise of the Boltons at the hands of an army led by Jon Snow, Arya's reaction is a mix of shock and disbelief, and her immediate response is "you're lying." In light of what Ayra's been through, her brother heroically marching south to avenge their family, destroying the Boltons and being crowned King in the North, it would all would sound Too Good to Be True.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Averted, despite it being her family's Fatal Flaw early in the series and all her older family members — except Jon — falling prey to it. In contrast to her father, mother and older brother and sister who all trust the wrong people note  Arya is savvy from the get-go and immediately dislikes the Lannisters, particularly Joffrey. She's also suitably guarded while surviving on her own, the only person she does trust with her identity — Gendry — is one of the rare good people in Westeros and her suspicions of people like Melisandre are quickly justified. However for a time she misjudges her own sister Sansa's intentions, becoming convinced she's trying to usurp Jon's position as King in the North. Fortunately it doesn't last.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Melisandre — a woman who regularly has people burned alive, communes with a fire god, helps prepare for an apocalyptic war with the White Walkers, and has given birth to shadow demons — is visibly freaked out upon seeing "the darkness" inside Arya, as well as all the eyes of those that Arya will kill.
    Melisandre: [shocked] I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness, eyes staring back and me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, eyes you'll shut forever. We will meet again.
  • Hot-Blooded: Arya gets very annoyed at first. As she gets older and endures more traumatic experiences, she slowly starts slipping into Tranquil Fury.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Gendry, as he takes after his well-built father while she's small and skinny for her age.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Arya angrily calls out Sansa for siding with Joffrey even though he murdered Micah. When Sansa points out that the Hound killed Micah, Arya says that the Hound does what Joffrey tells him to do. However, when Sandor is put on trial by the Brothers Without Banners in Season 3, Arya denounces him for murdering Micah, screaming for Beric to kill him, even though by her previous logic, he should not be held accountable because it was on Joffrey's orders.
    • Arya also gets this in Season 2 when she's outraged at Jaqen H'gar joining the Lannister army after she freed hin. He points out that she herself is effectively doing the same thing by continuing to be Tywin's serving girl, and that they both had a choice of death or servitude. This comes up again much later in Season 7 when she confronts Sansa, angrily declaring that she'd die before she willingly help a Lannister, apparently forgetting about her time in Harrenhal with Tywin (although this isn't addressed).
  • I Call It "Vera": Her castle-forged Cool Sword Needle, a gift from her brother Jon Snow, and she gets very pissed off when it gets confiscated by Lannister men. She retrieves it later in the story.
  • Ironic Echo: To Polliver. "Something wrong with your leg, boy? Can you walk? Need me to carry you? Fine little blade, maybe I'll pick my teeth with it."
  • Internal Reveal: Arya was oblivious to Winterfell's liberation from the Boltons, hence why she opted to travel south to King's Landing on an assassination mission. But when she runs into Hot Pie, he reveals the outcome of Battle of the Bastards and that Jon Snow is the new King in the North. Arya can scarcely believe it, abandons her mission, and immediately heads North.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Needle is specifically made to pierce opponents.
  • Important Haircut: Yoren cuts her hair short to disguise her as a boy in order for him to smuggle her out of King's landing after Ned was branded a "traitor".
  • Karma Houdini: Double Subverted: After returning the Face she stole to assassinate Meryn Trant it seems like Jaqen and The Waif are going to kill her with poison for her transgressions, only for Jaqen to turn the vial on himself. Then The Waif takes Jaqen's Face as Arya starts to hallucinate that the body has many Faces, ending in her own, before she goes blind.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • To say that Meryn Trant deserved what Arya dished out is a severe understatement.
    • The death of Walder Frey had been a long time coming, but it's made particularly gruesome when Arya tricks him into eating the baked remains of his own sons before slashing his throat and letting him bleed out, just as Frey's son had done to her mother.
    • Littlefinger gets his throat slit by Arya, on Sansa's orders, after trying to turn the Stark girls against one another and betraying her family several times over.
  • The Kid with the Leash: To Jaqen, and later, The Hound.
  • The Kingslayer: In the Battle of Ice and Fire, she kills the Night King.
  • Knife Nut: When she's not using Needle, she favors a dagger to kill her enemies.
  • Lady of Adventure: Becomes this in Season 8's epilogue, seeking to explore the world west of Westeros.
  • Laughing Mad: Zig-Zagged. After Arya and the Hound are told that Lysa Arryn — Arya's last confirmed living relative and one of her last hopes of being reunited with family — died just a few days before their arrival in the Vale, Arya's reaction (after a few seconds of stunned silence) is to laugh at the Hound for not getting his reward. Thus, she does break down in a huge laugh but not out of Sanity Slippage.
  • Little Miss Badass: "I'm good at killing fat boys. I like killing fat boys." And others.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She often has witty and snarky one-liners.
  • Lonely Together: She proposes Gendry the offer of becoming his family; ironically, he responds saying that he is too lowborn for her.
    Gendry: These men are brothers note , a family; I never had a family
    Arya: I can be your family!
    Gendry: You wouldn't be my family; you'd be my Lady.
  • The Mentor: Has a range of them from the good (her father Ned and her dancing master Syrio Forel), to the morally ambiguous (Jaqen H'ghar). Her moral compass alters under their tutelage, young and still pure-hearted under her father and Syrio but smarter and more sneaky when she interacts with Jaqen. When she becomes The Hound's hostage and they form a quasi-friendship, she gets progressively darker and more violent, verging on Straw Nihilist by the mid-point of Season 4, her body-count noticeably increases as well.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: She suffers this greatly since her mentors tend to die or abandon her: Ned Stark, Syrio Forel, Yoren, Jaqen H'ghar, Thoros of Myr, and Beric Dondarrion and finally, Sandor Clegane. Indeed her decision, to refuse to go with Brienne is a result of her constant frustration at being left without a parental figure she can rely or depend on, to which she decides to sail to Braavos on her own and disappear entirely from Westeros.
  • Mouthy Kid: Definitely was in Season 1, from telling her older brother to shut up to calling Joffrey a liar in front of the royal family and she mostly got away with it because she's a Lord's daughter. Once she ends up on the run and forced to pose as a runaway orphan boy, though she still retains her snarky streak, she does learn when to keep her mouth shut.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Subverted with Tywin. He does seem genuinely fond of her but it doesn't stop him from leaving her to Gregor Clegane, and probable death, once he leaves town.
    • Played straighter with Sandor Clegane, who spares a farmer after she pleads for him to do so and gradually treats her with increasing respect. Noticeably, the point where Sandor clearly gets on board with killing Polliver, is when he suggests trading Sandor a chicken in exchange for being able to rape Arya.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: She makes it with Gendry just before the final battle of Winterfell in Season 8, citing this trope.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Although she blames Joffrey and Cersei for it later, she's horrified when Cersei demands Sansa's direwolf Lady is killed in Nymeria's place.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: After she kills the Waif and shows her removed face to Jaqen, the following exchange happens as she leaves the Faceless Men for good.
    Jaqen: Finally... a girl has become no one.
    Arya: A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I'm going home.
    • Does it again when she gets her hands on Walder Frey in the very next episode.
  • Nerves of Steel: She's developing these as she goes from horrifying experience to horrifying experience. She is absolutely unafraid of characters such as Tywin, Melisandre and the Hound who terrify everyone else in the series.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Hitting Joffrey and running away with Nymeria, leading directly to Mycah and Lady's death.
    • Her attempt to steal a letter from Tywin is discovered by Amory Lorch, who is in turn killed by Jaqen right in front of Tywin's eyes. Tywin believes then that the assassination was meant for him, and he responds by ordering all the farms and villages around Harrenhal to be ravaged and his own men to be decimated as punishment. Later Arya realises she should have gotten Jaqen to kill Tywin, the Dragon-in-Chief of House Lannister, right from the start. And why not Joffrey and Cersei while she was at it, as Gendry later points out.
    • Arya's Hot-Blooded personality finally takes a direct toll on her in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", when she irrationally runs away from the Brotherhood, in a war zone, with no supplies and in the middle of the night, only to find herself made a prisoner by The Hound immediately.
    • Murdering Meryn Trant in Braavos provided an opening for the undead Gregor Clegane in the Kingsguard.
    • In Season 6, when she decides to abandon the Faceless men, she's stabbed several times for her troubles and manages to get help from a woman she previously saved...which then leads to Lady Crane getting brutally murdered by the Waif.
  • Nice to the Waiter: What separates Arya from Sansa is her visible lack of snobbery. Arya is kind to everyone regardless of their class and remembers the violence committed on the poor like Mycah and Lommy Greenhands long after most people have forgotten them. It also hurts her when Gendry gives her a reality check that if they were to return to safety, Arya would go back to being a highborn daughter while Gendry will be a mere commoner again and they would not enjoy the close friendship they had known until then.
  • Noble Fugitive: A high-ranking member and a child of House Stark forced to be on the run after her family starts being purged.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Yes, Meryn Trant was an absolute scumbag of a person who completely deserved to die, but Arya has to find out the hard way that no one steals a Face from the Faceless Men and gets off scot-free, even if it is for a noble cause.
  • Not Like Other Girls:
    Tywin: Aren't most girls interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, flowers in her hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
  • Not So Different:
    • Tywin compares her to Cersei because both are driven, intelligent and clearly underestimated, though he means that as a compliment and refers to the young Cersei.
    • She and Brienne as they both notice to their initial delight.

    O-Z 
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • A big one when Littlefinger arrives at Harrenhal, as he is one of the few people who could expose her. He does recognize her but being who he is he doesn't expose her and later informs Sansa that her sister is alive.
    • And an even bigger one when the Hound recognizes her in the company of Thoros and the Brotherhood Without Banners.
  • Odd Name Out: Just like her father, she's the only one of her siblings whose name starts with a vowel.
  • Only Sane Woman: Seems to be the only one who thinks that the Hound murdering Mycah the butcher's boy is something that actually deserves action, and, unlike Sansa, managed to avoid inheriting the Horrible Judge of Character gene; she sees both Joffrey and Cersei for the monsters they are.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After witnessing evil men getting away with committing some of the worst atrocities in the series, Arya starts taking justice into her own hands.
    • Makes a start on avenging Robb's murder in "Mhysa" by flat-out wrecking a Frey camp with Sandor and personally stabbing to death the Frey soldier responsible for desecrating her brother's corpse. This marks the first time she kills a person since the first season, and her first adult kill.
    • Later, she earns two more adult kills in "Two Swords": Polliver, the Clegane footman who killed Lommy and stole her sword, and one of his men. She kills the former in the exact same way as his most prominent victim, down to repeating his words during the deed. Later, in "Mockingbird", she murders Rorge, the prisoner who'd threatened to "fuck her bloody", without a second's hesitation, once he adds himself to her list.
    • In the Season 5 finale, she finally avenges Syrio (and Sansa, unknowingly) by brutally murdering Meryn Trant, who is revealed to be a paedophile who gets off on beating little girls.
    • At the end of Season 6, she finally makes good on her vow to avenge the Red Wedding by slashing Walder's Frey throat in his own dining hall, much the same as what happened to her mother. She immediately follows it up at the start of Season 7 by poisoning all of Walder's male relatives, effectively exterminating House Frey entirely.
    • At the end of Season 7, she gets to be the executioner of Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, the man who started the entire Stark/Lannister conflict in the first place, which led to the deaths of her parents and her brother.
  • Pet the Dog: After poisoning each and every Frey involved in the Red Wedding, she makes a point of keeping Walder's new wife from drinking any of the wine, as she had nothing to do with it and likely had no say in marrying Walder Frey at all.
  • Plucky Girl: Despite all the loss and suffering she goes through, Arya just keeps on going.
  • Power Trio:
    • She is The Hero to Gendry's lancer and Hot Pie's The Chick.
    • Come the end of Season 7, she forms a new, sibling version, with Sansa and Bran during Littlefinger's trial. The three use their respective skillsets to reveal Littlefinger's treacherous actions to the Lords of the North and the Vale then summarily execute him for his crimes.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In "Breaker of Chains", following in Robb's example.
      Arya: (To the Hound) You are the worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms!
    • The precision then proceeds to fade away, as Arya fairly quickly becomes the foulest-mouthed Stark on the show. Seasons after his departure, Sandor's influence is still evident.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Almost gives one when she sees the body of The Tickler. She definitely gives one after killing Polliver.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Just look how moe she can get...right before she bloodily stabs a man to death. It has officially reached memetic levels.
  • Rebellious Princess: To a degree, she listens to her father but she abhors and dodges the traditional roles meant for noblewomen. Ned is cool enough with that and puts her under the tutelage of a "dancing" master.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The gutsy, extroverted red to Gendry's calmer, introverted blue in Seasons 2 and 3, ironically inverting the dynamic in their fathers' friendship as Ned was blue to Robert's red). She gets colder and more emotionless in later seasons. This comes back up a bit in Season 7 when Arya opts for execution in response to some Northern lords complaining about Jon not being currently in the North, while Sansa opts for talk and mediation.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Tywin expresses his doubts about Arya's tale that she was taught to read by her lowborn stonemason father, Arya's response is: "Do you know many stone masons?"
  • Revenge Before Reason: When she returns to Westeros, she knows the Boltons occupy Winterfell. She uses this to justify heading to King’s Landing to kill Cersei. She seemingly ignores the implications that the only house to feature mutilated corpses as their sigil turned hostile, violently took her family home, and is most likely mutilating what is left of her childhood friends and family. If anything had gone terribly wrong between Sansa’s lucky escape or the Battle of the Bastards, she would absolutely have been the only Stark left. Given Arya’s skillset by this point, it would have made more sense for her to head straight to Winterfell to assassinate the Boltons, then head south for Cersei. In the penultimate episode of the series, Sandor gets her to see how utterly pointless living for revenge is by using himself as an example and gets her to move on with her life at long last.
  • Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: Serves Walder Frey a pie made from the remains of his two sons she had just killed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Has an ever-expanding kill list of people who have wronged her, her family or her friends, and of those who she sees as particularly evil.
  • Royal Rapier: Needle is essentially a smallsword.
  • The Runaway: She escapes King's Landing with the Night's Watch conscripts.
  • Sadist: One of the darker personality traits she develops overtime is that she actually seems to enjoy frightening and killing her enemies, smirking and mocking them when she cuts their throats or feeds them human-flavored pies etc. That being said, she doesn't enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on just anyone, only assholes whom she believes deserve it in retaliation for the suffering they themselves have inflicted.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the Red Wedding and the news that her aunt is dead, with the Hound beaten and battered in a fight with Brienne, ostensibly her mother's sworn sword but also a friend of Jaime Lannister's, Arya clearly has no trust or hope in anyone in Westeros, so she decides to cash in her Plot Coupon from Jaqen H'ghar and sail for Braavos.
    • Even earlier, after she attacks Joffrey and throws his sword into the river, she and Nymeria hightail it.
    • Has this trope forcefully invoked into her by Sandor in the penultimate episode, making her realize how utterly stupid it is to continue her revenge against Cersei when there is a freaking fire breathing dragon laying waste to the city, and she's still in the city rather than running for her life.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Arya seems to forget a few key details from earlier seasons when during her conflict with Sansa in Season 7. One, she accuses Sansa of standing by and doing nothing to save Ned from being executed, ignoring that Sansa was in fact pleading for Joffrey to stop. Two, she argues that she'd rather die than willingly help a Lannister, again conveniently forgetting that she served as Tywin's cupbearer during Season 2. Ultimately, this is subverted; it was all part of a ruse to trick Littlefinger into thinking he was turning her against Sansa so they could trap and kill him.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: She has spent years training to be an assassin, and all the people in her kill list are murderous and evil people who hurt her family.
  • Shame If Something Happened: In the penultimate episode of Season 7, after Sansa discovers her faces, she explains how they let her become anyone she wants. Then, conversationally, she adds that she could even become Sansa, if she wanted, before grabbing a knife and advancing on her sister, musing aloud about what it'd be like to live Sansa's life. She stops just in front of her sister, then gives her the knife and walks away, message clearly delivered.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Gendry certainly seems to think so.
  • Ship Tease: With Gendry in Seasons 2 and 3, including her checking him out shirtless and offering "to be his family" — although the wording didn't make it clear whether she had deeper feelings for him or just didn't want to lose her only friend. Gendry rebuffed her by pointing out her noble social standing meant any close friendship or relationship wouldn't be allowed. It finally comes true in the second episode of Season 8, where she (now an adult) has sex with him because she wants to know what it's like at least once before her potential demise at the hand of the Night King and his White Walkers. Ironically, when Gendry is legitimized as the Baratheon heir and made Lord of Storm's End, even going as far as to propose to Arya, she turns him down because the life of a lady was never for her, and she certainly couldn't go back to it at that point after everything she had seen.
  • Shoo the Dog: She is forced to do this to her beloved direwolf Nymeria after the latter bites Joffery on the arm. If Nymeria had stayed she would have been killed by the Lannister's so Arya makes sure that Nymeria leaves her for good.
  • Shorttank: Arya is tomboyish and doesn't do well in many activities that have been assigned to her gender.
  • Signature Style: When she approaches her particular targets (especially those on her list) she makes it a point to kill them in an appropriately Karmic Death, in a manner that specifically echoes the way her victims killed people she cared about. This began with Polliver in Season 4, where she — in an Ironic Echo — replayed his exchange with Lommy Greenhands and it continues from there, culminating in her murder of Walder Frey by slashing his throat the way Catelyn died, and feeding him pies of his children in a manner echoing the Rat Cook.
  • Sincerity Mode: Arya thanks Sandor for saving her life, in more ways than one, and getting her to abandon revenge and see sense in the penultimate episode, before they part ways forever.
  • Slashed Throat: How she kills Ser Meryn Trant and Lord Walder Frey. And, in Season 7, Littlefinger. Alongside Impromptu Tracheotomy, it seems to be a favorite move.
  • The Southpaw: As in the books, Arya is a left-handed swordsman. For the record, Maisie Williams is right-handed.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Seems to be becoming a recurring theme for her to lock eyes with the most dangerous characters in the land without backing down. The list includes Melisandre (who is actually disturbed by what she sees in Arya's eyes), The Hound, and Tywin Lannister. And pretty much no one stares down Tywin Lannister. Though averted with the Mountain; the one person who tries this trope gets tortured to death in front of her.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: She refuses to admit it (even to herself) but Jaqen can tell that she didn't completely hate Sandor, even though she left him alone to die a slow and painful death.
  • Survival Mantra:
    • In Season 1, she picked up one from Syrio Forel. "What do we say to the God of Death?" "Not today. Not today."
    • In Season 2, she gains a new survival mantra in the form of listing off the names of the people who have harmed her and those she cares about and who she will bring to justice. The list is a coping mechanism that gives her the illusion of control while horrific things happen around her.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: She is disguised as a boy by Yoren so she can be taken north to safety. After a while, Reality Ensues and it becomes a Subverted Trope: Arya is only able to conceal her gender from truly stupid people, while anyone with a working brain (Gendry, Tywin, Jaqen, The Hound) sees past the disguise at first glance. By the third season, she's more grown up and it's pretty obvious to people that she's a girl.
  • Tap on the Head: Arya is rendered unconscious (apparently from a head injury) during an enraged Daenerys's rampage on King's Landing but once she wakes up she goes right back to alternating between running and trying to save others.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Partly due to the show's timing differences, which means she's reached her mid-teens faster than the novel version. Growing up has not stopped her being creepy. At the end of Season 6, she murders Walder Frey's eldest sons, feeds them to him in a pie, and then cuts his throat once she's told him this. In Season 7, she goes from poisoning at least the majority of the male Freys to casually threatening to Kill and Replace her sister (though this turns out to have been a ploy), to casually and rather gleefully slitting Littlefinger's throat.
  • Thicker Than Water: With her sister, Sansa. Despite their differences, the two ultimately do love each other and they're not about to betray one another for one of Littlefinger's games. As such, they work together to take down Littlefinger once and for all.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to her sister Sansa's girlishness. Arya, in her own words, has a different kind of needle than Sansa's.
  • Took a Level in Badass: *Repeatedly.* Much of her story arc is how incredibly badass she becomes with every passing second. She stands up to bigger bullies, travels with the Night's Watch recruits, survives encounters with the Mountain, orders around a super-assassin, stares down Tywin Lannister without flinching, attacks the Hound with a knife and has to be restrained, frequently stands up to the Hound, kills the Frey soldier who defiled her brother's corpse and murdered the shit out of Lannister toadie Polliver, psychotic rapist Rorge, and Kingsguard Meryn Trant.
    • And let's not forget training under the greatest assassins in the known world, learning how to fight blind, killing one of said assassins while blind, and then murdering Walder Frey right after serving him a pie made from his own sons. And then right after that last bit, she goes on to poison almost every single remaining Frey responsible for the Red Wedding.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 7, owing to her belligerence with Sansa, her Self-Serving Memory regarding Ned’s execution, and threatening to kill Sansa and take her face. Granted, it was all part of their ploy to trick Littlefinger into believing he had them at each other's throats, but she still took a bit too much joy in the act.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her Cool Sword Needle is also this. Given to her by her brother Jon, it's the one thing from her old life that she refuses to cast off when she starts anew in Braavos because Needle is Winterfell and Needle is her family.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Over the course of three seasons, her best friend is murdered for a crime he didn't commit, her father is unjustly executed, her rescuer is murdered right before she is taken captive, she witnesses murder and torture on a daily basis while living in filth at Harrenhal, her other best friend is sold out to a witch by people she thought she could trust, she learns firsthand that the "Lord of Light" doesn't give a shit about her murdered friend, and when she's finally about to be reunited with her brother and mother, they're murdered horrifically and she witnesses the profaning of her brother's corpse. To top it all off, the only ally (or the closest thing to an ally) she has left is the man who murdered her aforementioned best friend.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Oh Gods yes (see Creepy Child).
  • True Companions: Despite the general dangers of her journey she becomes this with Gendry, even going as far to trust him with her true identity. As such she doesn't take it well when he's taken by Melisandre.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Arya ultimately has a good heart, but is fully capable of murdering without a second thought and goes to absolutely ghastly lengths to secure vengeance for herself and her family. The only thing that keeps her from losing much sympathy is the fact that her enemies are, almost universally, colossal assholes. Really, as of the sixth season, she's basically the Westerosi answer to The Punisher: a deadly, terrifying vigilante who would amount to little more than a Serial Killer if not for the fact that her enemies are far, far worse and absolutely deserving of a grisly end.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Though she spent the last few seasons dressed in filthy clothes and messy hair, she is quite cute.
    Gendry: (...) All I know is that you're beautiful(...)
  • Uptown Girl: To Gendry. This is in fact what initially stops them from ever pursuing a relationship (well, that and the fact Arya was barely a teenager when they first met), because she's highborn while he's an unacknowledged bastard and blacksmith's apprentice. After Daenerys legitimizes him and makes him Lord of Storm's End, he asks Arya to marry him because they're now of equal social standing, but she turns him down because being a lady isn't for her.
  • Waif-Fu: Has demonstrated an ability to kick serious ass with a sword and a bow. And she's twelve.
  • Weapon of Choice: Arya has two weapons she keeps with her and she receives them from two of her brothers. The first is a Cool Sword she names 'Needle', which is given to her by her Cool Big Bro Jon. The second is a Valyrian steel dagger she receives from her younger brother Bran, which she eventually uses to kill the Night King.
    • In season 8, she commissions a dragonglass double-ended spear from Gendry which she can split into two smaller spears as needed, and uses it to deadly effect against the wights in the battle against the Night King.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: An in-universe example. While the audience knows where she is, aside from Tyrion's brief mention that they need to keep the Starks thinking she's in their custody, but how the Lannisters managed to cover up her escape isn't particularly elaborated on. However they did it, it seems to be working, since despite the overactive rumour mill present in King's Landing, no-one seems to have noticed that Arya has not been seen for about a year and a half now! By Season 4, the secret seems to be formally "out" (there's no way they could keep it from the Tyrells), but nobody cares anymore since the world at large assumes that the Starks have been completely annihilated. Even Arya is said to be "presumed dead".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Has a bit of one in Lord Snow when she asks Ned why he would allow Sansa to marry Joffrey when the King and Queen put Sansa in the position where she would have to lie out of duty towards Joffrey or call the Prince a liar in front of them. Ned doesn't have an answer to this question and it seems to have had a factor in his later decision to call off the wedding and go back to Winterfell so that Sansa would later have a match with someone worthy of her.
    • Gendry gives her one in Season 2 when he points out she wasted Jaqen's three favours and could have ended the war right then and thereby having him kill Joffrey, Cersei, or even Tywin (who was in Harrenhal when they were at the time). Arya herself has no decent rebuttal to this.
  • White Stallion: Arya gets one after executing her friend's murderer. On her new horse, she creates a stark contrast with the Hound on his black courser, Stranger.
    • One also mysteriously appears to Arya after Daenerys and her dragon lay waste to King's Landing - coincidentally moments after the Hound's apparent death. She apparently uses it as a vehicle to escape the carnage.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: She's right outside the building where Robb and Catelyn are, but she's actually arrived just in time to see the entire Northern army massacred, her mother and brother among them.
  • You Killed My Father: Her entire goal in a nutshell. She wants to kill the people who caused misfortune to her family and friends. She executes Meryn Trant (who killed Syrio Forel (and unknown to her, beat Sansa on Joffrey's orders)), Polliver (who killed Lommy and whose party killed Yoren), she kills The Waif, who killed Lady Crane, and finally she kills Walder Frey and his sons (who murdered her mother). The only ones left are Cersei (for killing Lady and betraying Ned), and Melisandre (for selling Gendry) who noted that they would meet again in the future. Melisandre dies after the battle with the wights, and Sandor talks her out of killing Cersei, but she dies anyway crushed by the crumbling Red Keep.
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