‘Game of Thrones:’ 3 Reasons the Final Season Destroyed Arya’s Character Arc

One of TV’s most disappointing moments was the ending of Game of Thrones. Criticized for its less than satisfying conclusion and poor execution, the final three episodes had some of the lowest audience ratings in the show’s entire run.

While fans found issues with Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Cersei, and Jaime  Lannister’s endings at the hands of showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss, less outrage was put on Arya Stark’s storyline.

After Daenerys is killed by Jon and Bran is declared king, Arya makes the decision to get on a boat and leave Westeros to sail around the world and discover new lands. Two years later, here are three things about the Dawn Bringer’s ending that make no sense. 

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark | Helen Sloan/HBO

The tiny assassin didn’t use her many faces in the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’

Arya Stark spent the entirety of seasons 5 and 6 getting beaten up by the House of Black and White only to realize her identity as a Stark made her who she was. The one skill she picked up along the way was the ability to steal faces

Of course, she famously wore a face to wipe out Walder Frey and his entire army, but she never picked them up again. Arya could have donned one to kill Little Finger or to kill Cersei during the fall of King’s Landing. Heck, she could have worn a face when stabbing the Night King. Despite the many opportunities for her to wear faces, the show just let the plot point die. 

Arya Stark created a found family

Throughout the series, Arya is pulled toward older sibling-type characters. Her favorite brother turns out to be her cousin. The Hound, Lommy, and even Brienne of Tarth all function in Arya’s story as a family member would. While at the House of Black and White she tries to get closer to Jaqen H’ghar only to fail. She is unable to kill the actor Lady Crane because she views her as a surrogate mother. 

Even with the trauma she faced throughout her storyline, getting on a boat felt out of character for Arya. She would have at least gone North with Sansa or to King’s Landing with Bran or even kept Jon company while banished. She spent the entire series training to avenge and return to the ones she loved. It wouldn’t make sense for her to just leave.

‘Game of Thrones’ should have honored Arya and Gendry’s past

One of the final season’s biggest controversies was Arya and Gendry hooking up. Fans forget that when with the Brotherhood Without Banners, the youngest female Stark would ogle Gendry while working as a blacksmith. Their ending left Gendry with a title but no Arya to share it with.

Does this mean that Arya would go off with Gendry to have babies and be the Lady of Storm’s End? Absolutely not. If the Bull had to ask her, she would of course still say no. 

However, this brings up Gendry’s storyline. Throughout the show, Gendry just wants to have a family and be loved. Whether it’s going with Melisandre at the first sign of her affection or why he followed the Brotherhood in the first place, Gendry is constantly trying to compensate for his parents’ absence. In season 3, when he tells Arya he never had a family before she whimpers “I could be your family.”

If Weiss and Benioff were to stay true to his character development or any character development for that matter, the minute Arya told Gendry that she wouldn’t marry him, he would have left his newfound lord position behind. He had no allegiance to his father, yet every one to ‘Arry. There’s no way they wouldn’t be bickering on a boat or at Winterfell if the story was done correctly.

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