Thursday 19 September 2019

Game of Thrones creators explain meaning behind Arya Stark's bittersweet reunion

Arya Stark
Arya Stark

Jack Shepherd

**Spoilers for the episode ‘Stormborn’ ahead**

Season seven of Game of Thrones is truly underway, the second episode seeing the Queens of Westeros make their first moves towards seizing/keeping the Iron Throne.

One notable scene saw Arya finally reunite with her long-lost direwolf, Nymeria, as teased in the episode’s trailer.

Unexpectedly, very little actually happens during the scene; the direwolf’s pack surround Arya, deciding not to kill her after seemingly recognising the Stark. As the animal walks away, Arya comments, “That’s not you”.

During a post-episode discussion, creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explained how the phrase was a callback to season one. One early episode sees Ned Stark tell his daughter that she will one day be a lady and get married, to which she replies:  “No. That’s not me.”

Benioff describes how Arya wants Nymeria “to come back home with her and be her loyal companion again. But Nymeria’s found her own life.”

Weiss continues: “‘That’s not you’ is a direct reference to what Arya herself said to her father when her father painted this picture for her as a lady of a castle and marrying some lord and wearing some frilly dress.

“Arya’s not domesticated and it makes total sense her wolf wouldn’t be either. Once the wolf walks away, at first she’s heartbroken to have come this close. Then she realises the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf.”

Whatever the case, chances are that won’t be the last time we see the Direwolf (although the showrunners have previously explained how bringing the beasts to life is technically quite difficult). Read our recap and review of the episode here.

Game of Thrones is available on NOW TV and Sky Atlantic.

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