Game of Thrones fans have voiced disquiet over the conclusion to Arya Stark’s storyline in Braavos with the Faceless Men and The House of Black and White. At the end of the latest episode, titled ‘No One’, to imply Arya finally becomes ‘No One’ after her training under Jaqen H’ghar, Arya rejected him in favour of returning to Westeros. Before exiting, she declared “I am Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.”
However, after being stabbed by the Waif and stalked – then hunted in Terminator fashion – through the streets of Braavos, Arya killed the Waif herself and it was a move that fans hated, especially considering the theories purporting that Arya was actually Jaqen disguised when the Waif tried to kill her.
NANAS_Mic wrote on the Game of Thrones subreddit: “You were right, cynics. I concede the point. Arya really was just acting completely out of character, and she really did just get completely caught off guard while acting like an idiot. You win. I just had too much faith.
— R+L=Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) June 9, 2016
“As it turns out, S06E07 was just some filler to get us right back to where we should have been at the end of S06E06. Arya kills the waif in the dark, then returns her face to the Hall of Faces. Shit. It wouldn’t even be bad if they’d just skipped that middle bit.
Discoteca chimed in by criticising the writers: “If they were going to have her run around like a cheetah and vaulting off high places they shouldn’t have had her been stabbed multiple times. That was a botched sell by the writers. If they wanted to roll with this idiotic way of doing it they could have at least had her stabbed somewhere that doesnt guarantee death.”
One other commenter rather slyly drew comparisons to the heavily-maligned Dorne storyline on the show, as an indicator of just how poor they regard the Arya reveal to be.
“Arya’s training is now complete though. She is ready to fulfill her destiny, and join the Sand Snakes,” KalastRaven said.
The fact that Arya was stabbed in the stomach with a 5″ blade, fell into the canal and just happened to sleep it off before doing some hardcore parkour moves while running away from the Waif was also highlighted as poor writing and implausible.
The episode’s director, Mark Mylod, explained the crucial Arya scene to Tech Insider.
“For Arya to be successfully ambushed by the Waif, she had to make a mistake,” Mylod said. “She had to let her guard down.”
Mylod stressed that Arya is human, so she makes mistakes from time to time, especially considering that she is still young.
“We had to set up a situation where it was plausible that a warrior like Arya messes up,” Mylod explained. “She allowed herself a moment [of reflection]- and this is where you have to remember that despite what an extraordinary warrior she is, and all the hell and back that she’s been through that she’s still such a young woman, and is vulnerable and flawed like every wonderful character in the show and every human being on earth.”
“When she stops to look over the city and has a that moment of reflection … and she looks towards the great statue in the harbor, she just drops her guard for a moment in a very human way and it almost costs her her life,” Mylod said. “And I’m sure that Arya will be furious at herself for that.”
“One of the many things our writers are so great at is allowing our characters to be flawed,” he explained. “Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes all the time, and Arya nearly pays dearly for it. Thankfully her determination to survive is such that she is able to come through it. But it is a really close call.”
Mylod also revealed he was fully aware of the prolific spree of Arya theories on the internet following ‘The Broken Man’ episode and said he loves being part of a show that incites such endless discussion, debate and speculation.
“To be involved in something that causes that much of a conversation is really a genuine privilege,” Mylod said. “It really is quite extraordinary to be involved in something that causes so much fervor. It’s just wonderful.”
Speaking of wonderful, HBO has officially released the trailer for next week’s episode, giving us a full look at the Jon Snow/Ramsay Bolton showdown in The Battle of the Bastards. However, watch a fan-made extended trailer below, which is much superior.