(Spoilers for GoT season five and six and ASOIAF books.)
Despite what happened in the finale, Arya Stark was really the only member of the clan that was having a less-than-awful time in season five. Rickon was who knows where (cannibal country, possibly), Jon was embarking on his terminal mission of holding the Seven Kingdoms together, and Sansa was, well, having the worst time of all of them at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
Arya, on the other hand, actually had the freedom of her own self-interest, pursuing her own goals of vengeance at the House of Black and White. She didn’t want power, at least in the same sense as most of the other characters, and wanted nothing more than to slide Needle into the throats of those remaining on her kill list. Her arc seemed to be one of the few in Game Of Thrones that was actually removed from the, eh, Game Of Thrones in Westeros and beyond.
Or was it? With Arya training to be an assassin, Hell-bent on taking out some of the biggest players in the Game, season six could be her most important season yet. She may be trying to become No One, but with the preservation of her sword, she’s preserving herself and her ultimate wishes. Based on production footage of the next season, Arya’s skills are building fast, and while she’ll still be blind for part of the season, that didn’t slow her down in the books and only made her a better killer.
So what could be in store for her? One of the leaked shots is of Arya swimming in a canal, which appears to be in Northern Ireland a.k.a. the Iron Islands. Though they haven’t been very prominent in previous seasons, the Iron Islands and the Greyjoys that inhabit them will be a part of season six, so it’s very possible Arya will play a role in that action. Balon Greyjoy still needs to die in the series, and it is rumored he lost his life to a Faceless Man in the books, after all. So why not have it be a Faceless Woman?
Sure, she won’t be at the top tier of assassins at the start of the season, but Arya already proved she’s a capable killer way back in season one. It would be a huge leap from the books for Arya to be the one pushing Balon to his death, but it’s not unheard of.
If she isn’t out killing Greyjoys, Arya will undoubtedly be still trying to cross names off her list in season six. I don’t think she’ll ever fully give up her family name, no matter how much time she spends at the House of Black and White. She just took too much satisfaction in ending the life of Meryn Trant to stop now. She’ll keep learning and honing her craft of death, but she’ll still crave revenge. And once the House has taught her everything she needs, she’ll be heading back to Westeros with Needle. And Cersei better watch her ass.