Ever since we watched what happened to Arya Stark on last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, fans have been scrambling to figure out some way she’ll manage to live. Because let’s be honest here: Stab wounds to the belly aren’t the kind of thing people can survive, so something really creative is going to have to happen to get Arya out of the bind she’s currently in. With a whole week to wait, many fan theories have popped up on how Game of Thrones is going to pull this off.
You may have noticed the sharp increase in Game of Thrones theories lately. Book readers have been dissecting George R.R. Martin’s works for decades, discovering small tidbits that connect to other tidbits to create a larger understanding of what’s happening behind the scenes of Westerosi politics. And now the show watchers are in on it, too. A lot of speculation is quite silly, but some turn out to be right. In the game of theories, you win, or oh well, it was fun to consider.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at all the theories surrounding that Arya stabbing scene.
The Waif Is Arya
Is Game of Thrones pulling a Fight Club? That’s what Redditor CatNamedStupidity thinks might be happening. They note that the Faceless Men have been plying Arya with water from the fountain in the House of Black and White, liquid that kills everyone else who drinks it, but doesn’t seem to cause Arya any problems. But what if it is actually putting her into a dissociative state where she becomes two people, Arya and the Waif?
The Waif represents Arya’s transformation into No One, and while this theory implies the stabbing only occurred in her mind, the death of Arya the Stark at the hands of Arya the Waif would be an extremely dark development.
Arya Wasn’t Arya
Others think there’s enough evidence to conclusively say the Arya we saw getting stabbed by the Waif wasn’t actually Arya after all. They point to several pieces of evidence for this: her hairstyle changing from Braavos buns to a Westeros style, Arya holding her hands behind her back as she walks (a noble trait she’s never exhibited before), and the lack of Needle by her side. When she speaks to the ship’s captain, she calls him “Westerosi” which is what foreigners call people from Westeros. And when she throws her money on the table and then steals it back, she does it all with her right hand, while Arya is left-handed. Where did she get those pouches full of coins, anyway?
But if it’s not Arya, who is it? The most popular theory is it was Jaqen H’Ghar somehow. Some also think Melisandre’s sudden scarceness up in the North means she may have somehow crossed the Narrow Sea to sacrifice herself for Arya. There’s even a theory that supposes the actress from the play, Lady Crane, was a former Faceless Man. When Arya saved her life instead of killing her, she became indebted to Arya and decided to sacrifice herself (because no one survives when the Faceless Men are hunting you) to give Arya a chance.
This Was A Test For The Waif
The Waif is obviously far ahead of Arya as a Faceless Man, but is she done with her training? When Jaqen gives her permission to take Arya’s life, he does so with the condition that Arya is not to suffer. The Waif goes against this by stabbing Arya in the belly (a famously slow and painful way to die) and leaving her to bleed out in the streets. The Faceless Men seem to enjoy testing their recruits, and this could be an example of that.
A Mysterious Stalker In Blue Will Save Her
Eagle-eyed fans spotted a young man in a distinctive blue outfit hovering around in several scenes leading up to the attack on Arya. The man in blue that passes Arya as she staggers wounded through the streets. That blue outfit shows up again a few seconds later… Did the character turn around and follow Arya? And from a screenshot from the trailer for the next episode, a similar looking man in blue is on the balcony.
Is this all the same man in blue, following Arya around for some purpose? Or is this blue outfit and haircut just a popular style in Braavos? Fans have been arguing over how many extras Game of Thrones uses and whether we’re just seeing the same extra or similarly dressed extras and jumping to conclusions. But if it’s not a random Braavosi, then who is it? Some have noted that it looks an awful lot like Littlefinger’s former brothel manager and spy Olyvar, who always wore similar clothing:
And then there’s those who think he looks an awful lot like the Joffrey actor from the play … you know, the one with warts on his very visible penis?
If the boy in blue doesn’t turn out to be anyone important, there’s another dark horse possibility for a savior to come out of nowhere. Fans noticed this familiar shadow in the background of a publicity shot for next week’s episode.
The Return Of Syrio Forel?
Do you remember Syrio Forel, Arya’s dancing master from season one? He also happens to be a former First Sword of Braavos, so if he did somehow manage to survive the end of the season, it would make sense for him to return there. Syrio’s return has been the source of wild speculation for years, and now we have this ‘proof’ that points to it:
So now you’ve gone pretty far down the rabbit hole of Arya theories, where everything is ridiculous and yet probable all at the same time. Is any of this right? Is there even a shred of truth to any of this speculation? Or is it all tinfoil hat material? We’ll admit it’s all quite far fetched, but it seems like fans will twist reality in a lot of different directions to try and save their favorite character from a terrible fate. To quote Syrio, “What do we say to the God of Death? Not today.”