Arya Stark is by far the character that has had the most tumultuous storyline in Game of Thrones. It all began with her being separated from her family, as well as the many groups of friends she tried to build and get a sense of belonging with. Death has been the center of her story ever since her Father’s execution in the first season. Following her capture in season 2, and to get back at all those that have wronged her and her family, she started a list of names she promised herself she would kill in order to avenge them all.
That list has been constantly changing, with names added and removed from it, as well as some names eventually finding their demise. Some at her hands, others not. As we look at that list, we’ll first start with all the deceased names:
Joffrey Baratheon: DEAD
Sadly, Arya did not get to tick that name off her list. That honor goes to Lady Olenna Tyrell, Petyr Baelish, as well as her sister Sansa who had been indirectly involved in the King’s poisoning at his own wedding. She did however, have her Direwolf Nymeria injure him on their trip from Winterfell to Kings Landing.
Nevertheless, the Purple Wedding remains one of the most satisfying moments in Game of Thrones. So satisfying that even Arya herself would laugh each time its rendition in the Mummers Troop’s play in Braavos would be performed.
Tywin Lannister: DEAD
Changing Roose Bolton from the books to Tywin Lannister in the show while Arya is captive at Harrenhall was probably one of the best changes that the HBO show made from the original source material.
The mutual respect between these two, despite being on opposite sides of a war, belongs in the archives of greatness. It was a rare moment where we got to see Tywin Lannister, at the time the richest and most powerful man in Westeros, open up about his past, his father, as well as his family and what it all meant to him.
As much as she wanted him dead, Arya learnt a great deal from him; strategizing a war against an enemy in particular. Sadly, Arya did not get to kill him; that deed went to Tywin’s own son Tyrion, with a crossbow hit (2 in the show) to the heart as he was seated in the privy.
The Tickler: DEAD
Technically speaking, Arya’s list was born after she witnessed the horrors done by Lannister men in Harrenhall. The tickler was the first she saw, performing his torture tricks on villagers and other prisoners to extract on the Brotherhood without Banners, a lot of which are on her list as well.
Seeing him perform his Rat Torture trick had him automatically added to the list, and made him the first one to be ticked off. Jaqen H’ghar and the other 2 prisoners he was with had been spared from death, and so 3 names had to offered to the Many Faced God. Arya chose the Tickler as the first name.
Ser Amory Lorch: DEAD
One of the first name on her list for killing Yoren, the Nights Watch recruiter who had helped her escape Kings Landing, Amory Lorch caught Arya stealing information from Tywin Lannister’s chambers and was about to report her.
That is until she handed her second name to the Many Faced God by asking Jaqen H’ghar to kill him quickly. He never made it to Tywin in time, and was hit by Wolfsbane, a rare and deadly poison, just as he had reached his door steps.
Polliver and Rorge: NEEDLED!
Polliver had stolen Arya’s sword Needle from her, and used it to kill her friend Lommy before capturing and bringing her to Harrenhall. Rorge was first a prisoner of Yoren to head to the Wall, but joined the Lannister men after they released him. They were among the first ones on her list, although Rorge was officially added once she knew his name.
Polliver went out in the same way he had taken Lommy, with Needle piercing right through his throat.
Rorge died trying to kill the Hound and collect his bounty: Big Mistake, as Arya also stuck him with the pointy end right in the heart, the Hound having just taught her where it was located.
Meryn Trant: (BRUTALLY) KILLED!
Arya’s first official kill as a Faceless (Wo)Man. Even though her mission was for her to kill the thin man in the harbor of Braavos who exploited other sailors the same way modern issuance companies do, she was distracted at the sight of Ser Meryn Trant, Kingsguard escort to Mace Tyrell on a mission in Braavos to secure a repayment plan between the Iron Bank and the Crown.
Believing Meryn had killed her first dancing instructor Syrio Forel back in Season 1, and seeing his pedophilic tendencies in action, Arya did not hesitate to borrow a face from the Hall and trick Trant before blinding him, and slashing his throat mercilessly. Ironic since her punishment for such disobedience was her becoming blind herself.
Walder Frey: DEAD
Her latest kill as of the end of season 6, and also one of the moments that contributed in making the season 6 finale “The Winds Of Winter”, one of the best episodes in the entire series. After betraying guests rights and killing her mother and brother at the Red Wedding, Walder Frey had his days counted.
It was most satisfying to see Arya slice his throat, in the same way his son has slashed her mother’s. Perhaps Arya will take over the role of Lady Stoneheart from the books, and seek vengeance towards all the ones that wronged House Stark. That might mean Littlefinger as well….
We now go over the list of those still alive and ripe for Arya’s taking. Ilyn Payne is the Royal executioner who beheaded her father in front of her with his own Valyrian Steel sword Ice.
He hasn’t been seen much since season 2 due to Wilko Johnson, the actor who portrays him, being diagnosed with cancer. While the actor did succeed in having the tumor removed, he has been phased out of the series for now.
Among Tywin Lannister’s last words to his son Tyrion were the confirmation that the character is still alive. Tywin had tried to comfort his son in letting him know he wouldn’t let “Ser Ilyn take out his head”.
Cersei Lannister is most probably the next target on Arya’s list. The newly crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms may have rid the capital of her enemies in the Faith Militant and the Tyrells, she still has an allied Tyrell/Martell/Greyjoy and Targaryen Fleet with Dragons and Dothrakis heading for her gates.
That is unless Arya doesn’t reach Kings Landing first to tick that name off herself, if she is heading south after ridding the Riverlands of Walder Frey.
Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane
After seeing the horrors that Gregor Clegane is capable of at Harrenhall, Arya was quick to add his name to the list. Although he technically died of poisoning by Oberyn’s spear, Qyburn’s experiments gave the Mountain a second life as a now resurrected Ser Robert Strong, vowed to rid the realm of all of Cersei’s enemies. Will Arya get to him before she gets to Cersei?
The Red Woman, guided by the Lord of Light, met with the Brotherhood without Banners in season 3 to acquiring Gendry, King Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, for his Royal (Targaryen) blood. Gendry had become a close friend to Arya, and both had found solace in the Brotherhood and their mission to free the Riverlands of Lannister invaders.
She confronted Melisandre for the witch she is and it is then that the Red Woman saw the darkness that would take over Arya’s soul. Seeing eyes she would “shut forever”, she also let her know they would meet again.
If Arya’s to head North after killing Walder Frey, she could cross path with Melisandre, who is riding south after being banished by Jon Snow in Winterfell for having burned Shereen Baratheon.
Beric Dondarrion (DEAD) & Thoros Of Myr
Beric and Thoros of Myr were both added to Arya’s list, the moment they sold off Gendry to Melisandre. Claiming to be a Brotherhood for the people, yet selling one of their for Gold to fund their endeavors did not sit well with Arya.
At the end of the 6th season, they are headed North to fight the real war against the White Walkers, where they will most likely encounter Melisandre again, having all three ready to be taken in one sitting for Arya. That is unless their latest recruit gets added again…
They join Jon Snow Beyond the Wall to capture a White Walker. The adventure proves perilous for Thoros, who dies from his wounds after being attacked by a Wight Bear. Berric is on his last life now…
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
That one is debatable, as she has confirmed to have had him removed from the list before she left him to die. After his defeat to Brienne in the Season 4 finale, the Hound was left in a pretty rough shape. Arya chose not to mercy kill him, as she had grown fond of him for protecting her, and for being the only one there for her at a point where she truly believed all her family was dead.
Although he is dead to her, she might get a surprise should she head North and cross paths with him and his new crew, her former, the Brotherhood Without Banners. Having a Brotherhood, Hound, Melisandre and Arya meet in Season 7 could prove to be quite a scene to come…
UPDATE SEASON 7: With the Hound heading to Winterfell from Kings Landing after the meeting at the Dragonpit, it wouldn’t be far fetched for these two to reunite in Winterfell in Season 8, the reunion being interrupted by the approaching army of the Dead that just breached the Wall…
I want to mention that Ary’s first experience with death was the butcher’s boy who she asked to help her learn to sword fight. It was the aftermath of the Hound’s cruel killing of the boy that set Arya on her path and began her loathing and hatred of the Hound. Whether she still hates the Hound remains to be seen, as you mentioned. Great article, thanks!
For a blog dedicated to Game of Thrones, I am surprised at the two obvious mistakes I found. Gendry is not a Targaryen, he’s a Baratheon, and you also spelled Beric Dondarrion incorrectly. If you have a need of a top-notch copy editor, I’m available.
Gendry is a Baratheon, whose bloodline descends of the Targaryen, hence why Melisandre is interested in his “Kings Blood” (It’s really Targaryen blood). Robert, Stannis and Renly’s Grandmother was a Targaryen. As for Beric, corrected as it should. Thanks for pointing it out.(in reply to Jasminda)