A girl received a dagger on this week’s episode of Game of Thrones.
Arya Stark’s long-awaited return to Winterfell didn’t disappoint. The youngest and deadliest Stark daughter, Arya (Maisie Williams), reunited with her surviving siblings Brandon (Issac Hemstead-Wright) and Sansa (Sophie Turner). Things have definitely changed since the Stark children last saw each other all the way back in season one. Today, Sansa is Lady Stark in charge of Winterfell in the absence of their brother Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the King in the North. Bran no longer considers himself Brandon Stark; he’s the Three Eyed Raven now. Bran also has no need for weapons, such as Valyrian steel daggers with dragonbone hilts.
The dagger Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) gave Bran in “The Spoils of War,” which Bran in turn gave to Arya, might be the most important weapon in the history of the show, in terms on its impact on the events that have transpired since season one. Littlefinger is the only man to claim ownership of the dagger, but as he told Bran, where the dagger came from and who it really belongs to is the question that essentially launched the War of the Five Kings. Given to a cutthroat assassin and meant to be used to kill Bran, the dagger passed to Bran’s mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), to his father Ned (Sean Bean), and back to Littlefinger when he betrayed Ned to the Lannisters. The dagger’s whereabouts were unknown until season 7, and now it belongs to Arya.
In Arya’s hands, the dagger could have its final and most significant impact still to come. Herself now an assassin trained by the Faceless Ones of Braavos, Arya may be back in Winterfell, but she still harbors a list of enemies she plans to kill. Ayra told Sansa that most of the people on her list are dead, but that’s not exactly true.
Arya began mentally compiling a list of enemies of her family and people who have harmed her and her friends since the second season. Her list grew to thirteen names: Joffrey, Cersei, The Hound, The Mountain, Tywin Lannister, Walder Frey, Melisandre, Ser Meryn Trant, Ser Illyn Payne, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Polliver, and Rorge.
At this point, half the names of the list have met their demise, four by Arya’s hand. She killed Polliver, the torturer at Harenhaal, and Rorge, the rapist who threatened to rape her. In Braavos, Arya encountered and killed Ser Meryn Trant, the man who murdered her sword teacher Syrio Forel, and she not only murdered Walder Frey, but most of the Frey men, as revenge for The Red Wedding. The other two people from her list who are now dead that she most wishes she got a chance to kill herself are Joffrey, who was poisoned by Lady Olenna Tyrell, and Tywin, whom Tyrion killed by crossbow in the privy.
The people on Arya’s list still breathing are Cersei, The Mountain (Gregor Clegane), The Hound (Sandor Clegane), Melisandre, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, and Ser Illyn Payne. Payne was Joffrey’s royal executioner who beheaded Ned Stark with his own greatsword, Ice. Melisandre makes the list for taking Genry away, and Thoros and Beric from the Brotherhood Without Banners earned Arya’s enmity for selling Gendry to her. The Mountain made the list for the torture she saw him perpetrate at Harrenhaal, and she has never forgiven the Hound for killing Micah, the butcher’s boy, back in season one.
Cersei is now the name at the top of Arya’s list, but Arya surrendered her chance to become a Queenslayer when she decided to turn back from her course towards King’s Landing and return to Winterfell to reunite with her family. As Cersei is unlikely to venture to the North any time soon, especially with her war with Daenerys Targaryen still raging, the Queen is safe from Arya – for now.
However, counting Cersei out as an achievable target for the time being, there are now two very intriguing new potential victims in the North a girl can add to her body count thanks to her new Valyrian steel dagger.
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