38 Fierce Facts about Arya Stark


Arya Stark is one of the best-loved Game of Thrones characters. She is a tough, resilient young girl who has survived on her own while traveling through Westeros and seeing the worst humanity has to offer. Even if Arya is your favorite of the Stark siblings,  there are still a lot of facts that you may not have known about this pint-sized hero.

38. Little Lady

In the first book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Arya Stark is only nine years old. The actress who plays Arya in the Game of Thrones TV series, Maisie Williams, was 12 years old when she began playing the part.

37. Academia

Believe it or not, there are actually nine different colleges and universities that teach classes on Game of Thrones! Arya is a huge subject in all of these classes because of how her character challenges female stereotypes.

36. Miss Independent

Even at a young age, Arya knew that she hated the idea of growing up just to get married off to a Lord. She wanted to be independent, and was bored with traditionally feminine activities. This caused some friction with her older sister Sansa, who is desperate to be seen as a lady. Even so, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, the actresses who play Arya and Sansa, are close friends in real life.

35. Sisters

Williams and Turner got matching tattoos that say “07.08.09,” which is the date they both found out they got the parts on Game of Thrones.

34. Odd One Out

Arya forms a strong relationship with her (alleged) half-brother, Jon Snow. Jon gives her a sword that is small and thin, which she names Needle.

33. Cat Lady

In the books, Arya spent a lot of her time playing with stray cats around The Red Keep in-between her lessons with sword master Syrio Forel. She would try to keep up with them and chase them around. This actually contributed to her sword training, making her faster and more agile.

32. Ambidextrous

In the books, Arya is left-handed. Maisie Williams is actually right-handed, but learned to sword fight with her left hand in order to make it more authentic to the series.

31. Pupper

Arya and the rest of the Stark children get their own direwolf puppies. Arya names her world “Nymeria” after a woman who sailed 10,000 ships and became the ruler of Dorne.

30. Like Father Like Daughter

Out of all of the Stark children, Arya resembles her father Ned the most. In the books, her face is described as being long and horse-like even though in the TV series actress Maisie Williams is cute as a button.

29. Family Name

Ned Stark named Arya after his grandmother on his mother’s side. Her name was Arya Flint, and she lived in the northern mountain clans.

28. Just Like Auntie

In both the books and show, Ned Stark mentions to Arya that she is a lot like his sister, Lyanna. They look alike, and they both had similar skills.

27. Lost Innocence

Since Arya was so young when her family fell apart, she was forced to grow up in a world where rape and murder were happening around her on a regular basis. This became the new normal, and desensitized her to violence.

26. Visions

In the books, Arya is a Warg just like her brother, Bran, who becomes the Three Eyed Raven. This means that she can see through the eyes of her direwolf, Nymeria; she does this a couple times in her dreams. However, Bran’s powers are more in-tune, and he can do it on-command.

25. Reincarnation

When Wargs die, their souls can live on in the bodies of their animals. The downside? The longer someone is an animal, the less and less they remember who they were as a human.

24. Rodent

Throughout the books, Arya goes by an insane number of aliases and nicknames. These include Arya Horseface, Arya Underfoot, Arry, Lumpyhead, Lumpyface, Stickboy, Rabbitkiller, Weasel, Nymeria, Nan, Squab, wolf girl, Salty, Cat of the Canals, Blind Beth, the blind girl, the ugly girl, Mercedene, and Mercy.

23. Undercover

Soon after the death of her father, Arya decides to cut her hair and pretend that she is a boy; she becomes Tywin Lannister’s cupbearer after Lannister recognizes she has disguised herself. In the books, she serves Roose Bolton instead.

22. Let Me At ‘Em!

In the TV series, Arya gets help from Jaqen H’ghar to escape from Harrenhal along with Gendry and Hot Pie. In the books, she simply kills her way out all on her own.

21. Future Hubby

In the books,  although unbeknownst to her, Arya was engaged to marry Elmar Frey. In the TV series, Elmar appears to be renamed as Waldron.

20. Missing in Action

For most of the books and the TV series, Arya’s family assumes that she is dead. This is what pushes Catelyn Stark to comply with Lannister demands; she believes Sansa is one of her only surviving children.

19. The Replacement

Although Arya’s family thinks that she is dead, they still want to benefit from a strategic marriage. In the books, Littlefinger finds one of Sansa’s friends, a girl named Jeyne Poole, and pretends that she is Arya Stark. He marries Jeyne off to Ramsay Bolton. In the TV series, it is Sansa Stark who marries Ramsay instead.

18. Drinking the Kool Aid

Arya becomes involved with a guild of assassins, The Faceless Men. The Faceless Men consider themselves servants of the Many-Faced God and grew out of a group slaves who worked in the mines and worshipped different gods of death. Eventually, they consolidated this god into the Many-Faced God.

17. Daddy Issues

Jaqen H’ghar, the “Faceless Man” who recruits Arya, acts as surrogate father-figure (if a fraught one). This make senses; Arya is young, out of her element, and desperately seeking some kind of guidance.

16. Multilingual

In the books, we learn that part of Arya’s training as a Faceless Man is to learn High Valyrian as well as the languages of Lys and Pentos.

15. Frenemies

During her training as a Faceless Man, Arya is accompanied by a young woman only known as the Waif. In both the books and show, we are told that the Waif came to the Faceless Men after her stepmother attempted to (or did) poison her in order to give her biological child the family inheritance, but details differ after this point. Moreover, since the Faceless Men practice mixing truth with lies, we may never know what is real and what is fabrication about her tale.

14. In the Darkness

In the scenes where Arya goes blind, Williams was wearing contacts that were hand-painted and 16mm thick. During the fight scenes, the contacts had tiny pin-sized holes so she had just enough vision to act in the scene.

13. She’s Lost Her Senses

In A Dance With Dragons, Arya’s blindness in caused by the milk she drinks every night while living with the Faceless Men.

12. Meow

In the books, Arya gets so good at her skinchanging abilities that she is able to transform into a cat, an ability she uses, among other things, to be able to see.

11. Me too!

During an interview, Maisie Williams said that the number one thing fans ask of her when they meet her is to recite Arya’s list of names—but they also want her to add their own name to the list so they can record it on their phones to show their friends.

10. The Prayer of Death

The people on Arya’s kill list on the show currently are (including the ones she has killed): Cersei Lannister, The Mountain, Walder Frey, Polliver, Joffrey Baratheon, Rorge, The Hound, Tywin Lannister, and Meryn Trant.

9. Narrow Escape

She’s phased out the Red Woman, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, and Ilyn Payne from her list.

7. Outstanding Supporting Actress

In 2016, Williams was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance as Arya Stark.

8. Spoiler Alert

The people on Arya’s list are only the ones Arya knows have committed crimes against her family. Because of this, Littlefinger is never on the list (though she does  kill him). Neither is Roose or Ramsay Bolton or Theon Greyjoy.

7. Outstanding Supporting Actress

In 2016, Williams was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance as Arya Stark.

6. Alternate Universe

Some of George R.R. Martin’s letters to his publishers reveal that he had completely different plot ideas for Arya that never ended up happening. For example, Jon Snow and Arya are very close, and he was going to write in a forbidden romance between the half siblings; it was eventually scrapped.

5. What Did You Say?!

In the books, a man named Dareon abandons Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch to get married. When Arya, who is in the town Dareon is posted up in, hears him boasting about ditching, she slits his throat.

4. The Favorite

Arya is the only character who gets a POV chapter in every single one of the books in A Song of Ice and Fire.

3. Maybe One Day

During an interview, Williams was asked if she thinks Arya will ever rule Westeros. She replied that she doesn’t think Arya is motivated by wanting to rule the Iron Throne; she just wants to get home. She also thinks that some day Arya could become an excellent Hand of the future King or Queen.

2. Get it Right

George R.R. Martin says that the proper pronunciation for Arya’s name is two syllables: “ARE-ya.” However, most people pronounce it with three syllables, like a musical term “Aria.”

1. Safety Zone

George R.R. Martin’s wife Parris has said that if he kills off either Arya or Sansa, she will divorce him.

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38 Fierce Facts about Arya Stark

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