Season 4 of ‘Game Of Thrones’ premiered on April 6 and we caught up with a number of our core characters — including Arya Stark. Is she too intent on revenge? SPOILERS for the Season 4 premiere below!
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is easily one of our favorite Game Of Thrones characters. She has defied expectations since her birth, since simpler times when we met her in Season 1 as just a Princess of Winterfell, dying to learn swordsmanship. However, her actions in “Two Swords” made us wonder if she’s maybe a bit too far intent on revenge. Read more below, but beware of SPOILERS!
‘Game Of Thrones’: Has Arya Stark Gone Too Far In Her Quest For Revenge?
In “Two Swords,” Arya gets her opportunity to to take back her precious Needle — the sword that her half-brother, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), gave to her. It was taken from her in Season 2 by Polliver (Andy Kellegher), one of the Lannister bannermen responsible for taking her and her friends — including Gendry (Joe Dempsie), Hot Pie and Lommy — to Harrenhal.
On their way to the Vale so that Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) can try and sell Arya to her aunt Lysa Arryn, they come across an inn at which Polliver is staying. Predictably, a fight breaks out, and Arya smashes a pot over one man’s head and uses his sword to cut the backs of Polliver’s knees, and grabs Needle from his scabbard before he falls.
Their exchange, then, is chilling, as Arya echoes Polliver when he killed Lommy for being unable to walk after an injured leg.
“Something wrong with your leg, boy?” Polliver, confused, asks, “what do you mean?” “Can you walk? I’ve got to carry you,” Arya continues, stepping closer. “Carry me?” “Funny little blade. Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it,” Arya finishes, as she slowly pushes Needle through his throat.
There’s self-defense, and then there’s revenge, and then there’s revenge. It’s clear that Arya is focused like none other on her mission for vengeance; this is made clear by the death list prayer she used to recite every night at Harrenhal, which included Cersei (Lena Headey), Polliver, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), and others.
‘Game Of Thrones’: Arya Stark Is Just 14 Years Old; Is She Going Too Far?
Shortly after her death list became a nightly ritual, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) offered to kill three men for her in exchange for the three (including his) that she saved. She does not question it, nor does she squander the opportunity, naming The Tickler, Ser Amory Lorch, and would have gladly had Jaqen kill himself had he not helped her, Gendry, and Hot Pie escape Harrenhal.
At the end of Season 3, after the Red Wedding, Arya overhears a group of Frey soldiers around a campfire mock her mother, Catelyn, and describe the process of sewing Grey Wind’s head on to Robb Stark’s body. She approaches them under the guise of seeking food, and then stabs one of them repeatedly, with Sandor coming in to finish off the three others.
While her first, true kill can be written off as an emotional, heat-of-the-moment kind of thing, her murder of Polliver cannot be. The last words Lommy ever heard before he was killed have been rattling around Arya’s brain ever since, and she obviously wasn’t going to forget them. She did not need to kill Polliver, but she did, and without remose — or any emotion, really — written on her face whatsoever.
Arya Stark has been through a lot, but she is also 14 years old. Can you say that you’d be behaving the same as her, given the same circumstances? The way her mind is being shaped is a bit scary. However, at the same time, it’s difficult to begrudge her the deaths that she seeks. I mean, King Joffrey? Someone please kill him, ASAP.
Sansa, who has been through just as much horror, has not been turned by fate into a murderer. Joffrey, on the other hand, has only been given everything and is a monster of the highest order. (Though, to be fair, incestuous genes may be playing a part in his brain being off kilter.)
Given all of the facts, I don’t think that Arya has gone too far yet, but she is certainly going down that path — especially with Sandor Clegane as her traveling partner. She may need to reel it in if she wants to be of sane and healthy mind should she ever meet up with her family again.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Is Arya too hellbent on revenge? Or are these the normal reactions from someone who has had to deal with so much at such a young age? Vote above and comment below! (Oh, and I’ve read the books — but a lot of viewers haven’t! So, I’m operating on what we’ve seen in the show. So, let’s all beeee cool and keep the comments section more or less spoiler-free, shall we?)
— Amanda Michelle Steiner