Warning: SPOILERS for the Game of Thrones series finale ahead!
In the Game of Thrones series finale, Arya sets off on a new adventure - sailing west of Westeros and across the Sunset Sea. Season 8, episode 6 "The Iron Throne" brings HBO's epic fantasy series to a close, wrapping up its monumental run with an episode filled with both tragedy and hope. Ayra gets to enjoy one of the more hopeful endings, though, leaving Westeros behind for points unknown. But what does lie west of Westeros?
Game of Thrones season 8 is the final season of the hit HBO show, concluding the story of Westeros and the many wars for the Iron Throne well before George R.R. Martin could finish writing his ending for A Song of Ice and Fire. Nevertheless, the ending to Game of Thrones is here and practically every character is given some kind of send off - though it'll be left to audiences to decide just how appropriate is each send-off. Already, season 8 has been a much debated season, and the way in which the series finale wraps up some matters is sure to fuel only more debate. And yet, it's unlikely there will be many who find fault with Arya's ending as it is by far one of the most fitting of any character.
In the Game of Thrones season 8 finale, "The Iron Throne", Daenerys is killed, Bran is crowned, and Jon exiled. Sansa demands the North remain an independent kingdom, which it does with her as its new monarch. And all of that is well and good for Westeros, but Arya is moving on. Her plan is to sail west, farther than anyone has ever sailed before. Arya is embarking on an adventure of discovery, free of the burden of being some servant of death. The final shot of Arya sees her on the prow of a ship, sailing west towards the unknown. What will she discover? A new continent? New cultures? Or perhaps just that their world is, in fact, round?
Arya sailing across the Sunset Sea to discover what lies west of Westeros couldn't be better future for her. In fact, Arya going on just such a journey was hinted at as far back as season 6. While in Braavos, Arya asks the actress, Lady Crane, "What is west of Westeros?" Lady Crane replies that no one knows because that's where the maps stop, suggesting it may just be the edge of the world. Arya responds that she'd "like to see that", and come the end of the Game of Thrones season 8 finale, that's exactly what she's setting off to do. She's already killed the Night King, what worse monsters could the Sunset Sea or a new world hold that Arya can't handle?
Throughout Westerosi history there have been a brave few who've gone out exploring the Sunset Sea, but those who left with the intention of crossing it never returned. Arya is hoping to be the first. Since Westeros is roughly modeled after Europe, and Essos and Sothoryos after Asia and Africa, it would stand to reason that beyond the Sunset Sea is a new world not entirely unlike North and South America. There, Arya may discover new animals, plants, and people, expanding the horizons of how those back in Westeros view the known world. Sadly, such a discovery may also lead to colonization and the atrocities which often come with it, but then again, just such an endeavor could be a suitable challenge for the somewhat progressive attitude Westeros now has towards governing.
More than almost any other character, Arya has always known who she is. Arya isn't a lady like her mother and sister, nor is she someone bound by duty like her father and brothers. Arya has always been a free spirit, and her embarking on journey to see what no one else has ever seen is just the sort of adventurous life she's always wished to have.