Here’s Why Arya’s Biggest Skill Went To Waste In Season 8 of ‘Game of Thrones’

Despite the backlash Game of Thrones’ Season 8 received, Arya Stark was a bright light throughout the final six episodes. She was the second youngest Stark child and was a tiny girl at the start of the show. Her arc took her far away from Winterfell and the rest of her family, but she became one of the fiercest fighters in Westeros. She combined combat skills with the technique of the Faceless Men. She proved to be lethal and had one of the highest body counts on the show. But unfortunately, the final season didn’t put that to good use. 

Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, fighting in Season 8.
Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, fighting in Season 8 | Helen Sloan/HBO

Arya Stark had the biggest advantage out of everyone in ‘Game of Thrones’

Arya went to Braavos after escaping The Hound and found Jaqen H’ghar, who she had met earlier. She studied under him and the other Faceless Men at the House of Black and White. They worship the Many-Faced God, and they have the power to shapeshift into whomever they kill.

Yes, Daenerys had three full-grown dragons, the most-dangerous weapon or creature one could possess in Westeros. But Arya’s skill was definitely the most-lethal skill one could have without a weapon. She deceived Walder Frey because of it, killed his sons and all his men, and got away with it. Her kill list wasn’t just some fantasy; she was easily checking it off. 

She killed Littlefinger, yet never used his face to her advantage

That brings us to Season 8. She killed Littlefinger in the season finale of Season 7, yet never uses his face to her advantage in King’s Landing or anywhere else, or at all for that matter. Reddit user u/MissRevivalArmy wrote, “Remember when Arya went through [sic] a shitload of training to wear faces and killed Littlefinger, one of the most influential and powerful people in Westeros but never used his face.” 

She could have pretended to devise a plot or have inside information on Winterfell. She could have literally done anything and used his face to get closer to Cersei, who was number one on her list. Or, even better, she could have killed Jaime and used his face to poetically kill Cersei, fulfilling her prophecy (which never happened). But, nope! And fans were left with the lackluster death-by-cement Cersei got instead. 

Arya Stark (Williams) kills off Littlefinger in Season 7.
Arya Stark (Williams) kills off Littlefinger in Season 7 | Helen Sloane/HBO

Some people on Reddit rebutted that and noted Arya did publicly kill Littlefinger, therefore word could have spread of his death, rendering this skill useless. However, user u/TheIconGuy has a good point, too. “A few dozen people on the other side of the continent saw him die. That information wouldn’t necessarily get back to Kings Landing,” they pointed out. “Even if it did, would Cersei know to suspect someone had stolen his face if he showed up to there? That’s a wild thing to believe if you don’t know that the faceless men are an actual thing.”

But it easily could have stayed in Winterfell for her to devise a plan. Arya’s people aren’t going to snitch on her if she told them not to and it was a lot of generals and warriors in the hall when she did it. They’re loyal to the Starks through and through. 

Her character obviously was the MVP of the season

Even though you might be a little salty about the missed opportunities that Season 8 made, Arya still had some of the best moments on the show. In the final season, no one killed the Night King but her. And in the most epic fashion: the drop-knife into his gut. Nothing will beat the adrenaline audiences must have felt while watching that scene. 

So even though the full range of her skills weren’t used, she never faulted as a true warrior. She protected her family and Winterfell and was truly the best part of the season. And despite what Tyrion said, she definitely had a better story than Bran.