[WARNING – This article contains SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season 6.]
Only two episodes remain in Game of Thrones season 6 and they promise to be absolutely bonkers. This Sunday’s episode looks to be focusing almost exclusively on the Battle of the Bastards, for which it is named, and the following week’s finale will feature Cersei’s trial. Though, given that its title is ‘The Winds of Winter,’ we have to expect The Night King and his squad of “everyone dead ever” will also put in an appearance during the season 6 finale.
Additionally, we may get to see Arya board a ship for Westeros, seeing as she declared to Jaqen H’ghar in last week’s episode that she is “going home.” Of course, she was only able to make such a claim because she narrowly avoided a real messy death, having been stabbed repeatedly in the abdomen by The Waif and miraculously surviving thanks to Lady Crane’s impeccable bed side manner and medical know-how. Arya’s recovery was then put to the test as she vaulted and rolled herself through the streets with The Waif hot on her tail – an astonishing feat for someone suffering a single stab wound, let alone many.
But Arya’s survival and subsequent recovery aren’t simply amazing or incredible – or even very lucky. According to one Game of Thrones fan, it’s downright inconsistent with what the series has presented in the past. Zahn1138 explains (via Reddit) that practically every other instance of a character suffering from a major wound – like being stabbed or losing a limb – has resulted in at least days, sometimes weeks or months, of recovery, and in the extreme cases even death. Except for Arya, who seemed to take a nap for a few hours and awaken sore, but not nearly as incapacitated as someone who’d have lost a lot of blood and endured severe lacerations of abdominal tissue.
To make their point, Zahn1138 examines 11 different wounds suffered by several characters, analyzing the wound itself, the likely infections, the treatment, and the end result. It’s a staggering amount of information, but it does seem to prove the point: Arya should have died, and if not from the injury itself, then definitely from the onset of infection. That was some disgusting water she fell into, after all, allowing who knows what to enter her gaping stomach wounds – not to mention the likelihood that the stabbing itself ruptured something, like her stomach or another organ, that would flood the area with bacteria.
The whole analysis is well worth the read (especially if you have a love for data tables), but Zahn1138 sums it up thusly:
“Infection is a serious threat in Game of Thrones. For the overall story to be consistent and understandable, Arya’s stab wounds should have been fatal, if not immediately (like Talisa Stark), then soon thereafter from vulnerability (like Khal Drogo) or from a massive peritoneal infection (like King Robert).”
With as many examples as Game of Thrones has already included of characters suffering from deadly infection – even when the wound itself isn’t all that serious – the fact that Arya survived and was capable of parkouring through the streets of Braavos is preposterous. Yes, even for a show with dragons, blood magic, and zombies. Because while those elements may be fantastical in nature, they are as Zahn1138 argues, consistent within the realm of Game of Thrones, whereas Arya’s miraculous recovery and resiliency just isn’t.
Game of Thrones continues next Sunday with ‘Battle of the Bastards’ @9pm on HBO.