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Where Was Arya During “The Queen’s Justice”? We Have a Theory…

Warning: The following article contains major spoilers from the Game of Thrones episode “The Queen’s Justice.”

If you were sad that Arya (Maisie Williams) wasn’t in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, cheer up. It’s possible she was there after all, hiding in plain sight.

To be blunt, I think this was Arya Stark:

Hear me out.

At the end of “Stormborn,” Arya makes a bold decision after having a brief chat with Hot Pie about her family still being alive. Instead of riding for King’s Landing and revenge, she turns away and (ostensibly) heads North.

But then she encounters her long lost direwolf Nymeria in the forest, and after trying to coax her back to Winterfell, she lets the beast go with a Ned Stark callback, “That’s not you.” It was a recognition that Nymeria’s true nature was wild, that she belonged in the forest. It was also, possibly, a recognition that Arya doesn’t belong on the road to Winterfell for a family reunion, but on the road to King’s Landing to follow through with the biggest name on her list. It was left vague, although my wife (who came up with this messenger theory) was convinced Arya was gearing up to go assassinatin’.

Last night during “The Queen’s Justice” (which is either Edgar Allan Poe-esque in its cruelty or involves a bunch of Dragonglass that’s of no personal value), the episode gave us a long look at a messenger/chambermaid that came to tell Cersei the rep from the Iron Bank of Braavos had arrived. The young woman was rocking a distinctive pixie cut, has a few lines, and the camera lingers on her longer than the average day player. In short, we get a really good look at an ostensibly unmemorable person.

And it also gave the show an opportunity to display Cersei’s complete disregard for discretion, but Game of Thrones rarely plays a scene for a singular character beat—especially for such a well-established character. The moment stuck out. Scenes typically do three or four things at once, and I believe this one was showing us the vessel Arya will use to get close to Cersei to kill her.

If that’s the case, there are three possibilities:

  1. Arya will arrive in King’s Landing and befriend a pixie cut messenger.
  2. Arya is already playing the role of the messenger and waiting for the right moment to strike.
  3. None of this is true, and Arya Stark will show up at Winterfell next episode, and the whole clan will be back together.

If the lesson of Arya’s encounter with Nymeria was that home is not where she belongs, then 1 and 2 are plausible, especially considering how fast the show is moving right now. Her getting to King’s Landing isn’t far-fetched considering how fast the Unsullied made it to Casterly Rock.

If Arya goes home, she’s going to find out quickly how stark that decision really was, because Sansa and company are looking north to the undead instead of south to the Mad Queen.

It makes a lot more narrative sense for her to continue on to King’s Landing after all. She’s spent the past 4,000 episodes training to be a silent killer, and those skills will be far better utilized against Cersei than they will against an army of the undead. If she returns to Winterfell, she returns to the same family dynamics of her childhood. If she heads to the capital, she can be the wolf.

Maybe she’s already there. Right under Cersei’s nose. Learning that Jaime spends his nights in her bed.

What do you think, though? Let us know in the comments below.

Images and GIFs: HBO

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