Game of Thrones is literally just around the corner!
I can’t wait for the new season to start and see what David Benioff and Dan Weiss have in store for us this year. As a tribute to my favourite character from the series, i.e. Arya Stark, I decided to do a first person recap of the most badass Stark’s journey through the previous 6 seasons, leading up to the upcoming one. Here goes!
The middle child of an Honorable Lord and a Lady from the South;
I was born in the cold and frozen land of the North.
Often mistaken for a boy and called “Arya Horse-face;”
I prefer swords and arrows over sewing needles and lace.
Had to say goodbye to my home and half my family;
When the King came asking for my father’s fidelity.
So I left Winterfell with my father and sister;
Not knowing I would never again see my family together.
While my sister Sansa dreamed of becoming the Queen;
I looked forward to learning how to fight like men.
Armed with my sword Needle, gifted by my half-brother Jon;
I began practicing with Mycah, the butcher’s son.
But then it all went downhill when the vile Prince got him killed;
And I lost my direwolf Nymeria on the way to King’s Landing.
Filled with sly Lords, the Capital was intimidating to us Starks;
Until A First Sword of Braavos taught me that, “Fear cuts deeper than Swords.”
While Syrio Forrel continued giving me Water Dancing Lessons;
My father unearthed the Lannister’s treasons.
But then they falsely labeled him a traitor;
And got him executed in front of me at the Sept of Baelor.
Meryn Trant killed my dancing master as he tried to protect me;
While I took the chance to escape from the Lannisters and flee.
Yoren promised to take me North along with his Night’s Watch rookies;
But not before cutting my hair and disguising me as a boy named Arry.
We made our way through the murky Kingsroad;
To reach the cold and icy Wall in the far north.
With us was a man who preferred to stay nameless;
But was the only prisoner who showed me some kindness.
Then the Gold Cloaks came and halted our journey;
Said they were looking for a bastard named Gendry.
Yoren saved the day by threatening to nick the Gold Cloak’s femoral;
And told them to go back to their masters in the capital.
Hot Pie, Lommy, Gendry and Yoren became my friends;
But then Amory Lorch and Polliver came and attacked us.
Lorch stabbed Yoren and Polliver killed Lommy with my Needle;
So I decided to include them in my kill list recital.
The Lannister men then took us to the ruined castle of Harrenhal;
Where I met the Mountain That Rides, Tickler and Weasel.
They tortured everyone around me, but I held my ground;
And added their names after “Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne and Hound.”
Tywin Lannister was the next to come to the castle;
After he was defeated by my brother Robb in another battle.
He identified me as a girl and made me his cupbearer.
Then came along Jaqen H’ghar;
The nameless man disguised as a Lannister soldier.
He told me he owed me three lives;
A debt that must be paid.
Because I freed him and two others;
On the night Lommy and Yoren were slayed.
So I took the chance and named Tickler as my first;
And smiled when he was killed by just a little thrust.
Then when Amory Lorch discovered me spying on Tywin Lannister;
I had to give his name before he could expose me to his master.
Finally, when I gave Tywin Lannister as my last name;
Jaqen refused, saying it will take time to end his game.
So I asked him to help us escape from the Lannister men;
Which he refused saying it was not part of the bargain.
I named Jaqen as my final name, much to his surprise;
So he had no choice but to help us, or pay a heavy price.
When I thanked him and asked him to come with us;
He asked me in return, to accompany him to Braavos.
When I refused, he gave me an iron coin with a faceless man;
And told me to find him by giving it to any man from his land.
Then he asked me to remember a very important phrase;
“Valar Morghulis,” he said, and turned away to change his face.
As he walked away from me I stared after him for sometime;
And memorized the phrase that I would never forget in my lifetime.
I decided to go to Riverrun with Hot Pie and Gendry;
In the hopes of rejoining what was left of my family.
But then we were mistaken as refugees of the war;
And captured again by the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Thoros of Myr promised to let us go after feeding us at an inn;
Then the Hound came and ruined it all by revealing my origin.
He was captured for murdering innocent villagers;
And was challenged to Trial by Combat by the Brotherhood’s Commander.
But even Beric Donadarrion’s flaming sword couldn’t stop the Hound;
Who cut him in half and brought him down to the ground.
Then I witnessed the magic of the Lord of Light;
As Thoros of Myr brought Beric Dondarrion back to life.
They found the Hound not guilty in the eyes of Rh’llor;
And told me I would be ransomed for Gold to my brother.
After Gendry was taken away by the Red Woman;
I decided to run away alone and reach Riverrun.
But like always, the fates would not let me win;
And I was caught by the Hound who wanted to take me to the Twins.
He too wanted to demand a ransom from my mother and brother;
Who were at the Twins for the wedding of my Uncle Edmure.
We entered the castle disguised as a hog farmer and his daughter;
Only to find ourselves in the midst of a slaughter.
Freys and Boltons butchered my countrymen as they wined and dined;
And also killed my brother’s direwolf Grey Wind, who was kept confined.
I ran to help and reach my brother and mother inside;
But the Hound knew that going in would be as good as suicide.
He knocked me out and carried me away from the fighting;
While my family got massacred at what was called the Red Wedding.
As we wandered around aimlessly on a horseback;
We came across some Frey soldiers boasting about their attack.
I approached them to ask for some food;
And offered them Jaqen’s coin when they refused.
As a soldier tried to take the coin from my hand;
I dropped it on the ground so he would have to bend.
With every fiber of my being screaming payback;
I stabbed him with a knife till he bled to death from his neck.
While the Hound finished off the remaining Frey soldiers with ease;
I took the coin in my bloodied hands and whispered “Valar Morghulis.”
Now the Hound said he wanted to sell me;
To my Aunt Lysa who resided in the Eyrie.
As we made our way to the Vale of Arryn;
We saw some Lannister men in a tavern.
I suggested we attack them slyly;
Then I saw Polliver, the man who killed Lommy.
While the Hound took care of other Lannister soldiers;
I sneaked up from behind and slashed Polliver.
As he lay injured, with no fighting spirit left;
I snatched my sword Needle from his belt.
I reminded him of what he’d said before he’d taken my sword;
And then killed him by sticking it in his throat.
I had finally ticked off one name from my kill list;
So we continued on our way to pay my aunt a visit.
Later we were given shelter by a generous farmer and his daughter;
But that night, the Hound decided to rob them of their silver.
So off we went again, stopping every once in a while to take rest;
Where I continued to recite my growing kill list.
My dangerous adventure was far from over;
As next, we were ambushed by Rorge and Biter.
Biter bit the Hound on the neck before he got killed for the same;
And I stabbed Rorge with my needle after he gave me his name.
When we finally reached the Bloody Gate after so much difficulty;
We were told that my aunt had died just three days previously.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the tricks of destiny;
While the Hound gaped at me disappointedly.
Finally we left the Vale through the mountainous path;
Only to be encountered by Podrick and Brienne of Tarth.
After a vicious fight between the two fierce warriors;
The Hound was brutally defeated while Brienne came out victorious.
I concealed myself from Brienne by hiding behind some stones;
And went to see a dying Hound down the cliff after she was gone.
He asked me to stab his heart and give him the gift of mercy;
But I said nothing and left him there after taking his money.
After showing Jaqen’s iron coin to a captain from Braavos;
I boarded a ship to the free cities and said goodbye to Westeros.
As I entered Braavos aboard the Titan’s Daughter;
I was greeted by the Titan’s gigantic sculpture.
The captain was kind enough to row me to the shore;
Where he said I’ll find the man I came looking for.
With the iron coin of the faceless man in hand;
I waited outside the House of Black & White to meet Jaqen.
An elderly man opened the door and turned me away;
But I waited on the steps reciting my kill list for days.
Finally, I gave up and tossed the coin into the sea;
And began hunting pigeons on the streets of the city.
When some boys threatened to steal Needle, my only prized possession;
I prepared myself to face any threat without trepidation.
But the elderly man scared them away before I could fight;
And prompted me to follow him to the House of Black & White.
After returning me the coin which I’d thrown in the water;
He changed his face to that of Jaqen H’ghar.
When I looked up at him with awe and confusion;
He insisted he’s not truly Jaqen, but “No-One.”
With the hopes of learning how to become a faceless assassin;
I entered the House with great apprehension.
Inside, I was asked to forget who I was and get rid of all my possessions;
Only then, Jaqen said, could I truly become “No One.”
So I threw away my clothes and silver into the water;
But kept Needle hidden, as it was my family’s only reminder.
Then Jaqen taught me the true meaning of “Valar Dohaeris;”
So I served the Many Faced God by helping the Waif clean corpses.
The Waif knew how to play the game of faces, and conceal her true identity;
That’s how she lied and fooled me into believing her made up origin story.
Then Jaqen began teaching me how to lie convincingly;
A skill which I used to help a father end his sick daughter’s misery.
Jaqen was finally impressed by my skills of deception;
So he took me inside the Hall of Faces for my initiation.
I had to disguise myself to poison a fraudster, in my first assignment;
So I began selling oysters, clams and cockles as a fish merchant.
But then the familiar face of Meryn Trant caught my eye;
And I decided another man from my list needed to die.
So I entered a brothel disguised as an underage whore;
And stabbed him repeatedly until he could speak no more.
But just before slashing his neck and sending him to hell;
I made sure he knew I was Arya Stark of Winterfell.
Then as a punishment for killing and taking a wrong life;
I was blinded for defying the Many Faced God, by Jaqen and the Waif.
Blind as a bat, I roam the streets of Braavos as a beggar;
While the Waif comes to me every day with a stick to spar.
When I don’t give up even after getting beaten repeatedly;
Jaqen finally takes me in, impressed by my sincerity.
I assure him that I am truly No-One;
But he puts me through a final test;
And makes me drink what I think is poison.
Instead, the drink gives me back my sight;
And I ready myself to continue the fight.
My first task is to kill an actress called Lady Crane;
So I go to watch her play Cersei in the Bloody Hand.
Hoping to know more about her and the other actors;
I go backstage and listen to them chatter.
I notice that she only drinks rum from one bottle;
And decide to poison it while she’s distracted in her tattle.
But before I can leave the place and be done with it;
She catches me and asks what I thought of the skit.
I tell her to include both grief and anger in her portrayal;
But when she suggests it to her team, they dismiss her proposal.
I decide I like Lady Crane and her frank nature;
So I prevent her from drinking from the poisoned container.
I fail to see the Waif following my progress;
As she goes and tells Jaqen I’ve failed at my quest.
He orders the Waif to kill me without making me suffer;
So I retrieve my Needle to defend myself against her.
I no longer want to become a Faceless killer;
So I secure a passage to Westeros by bribing a trader.
But the Waif stabs me before I can disappear;
And I escape from her by jumping in the river.
Bleeding, I stumble through the streets looking for shelter;
Only to be taken in by Lady Crane behind the stage of the theatre.
She nurses my wounds and gives me Milk of Poppy;
So I fall asleep in her bed, forgetting my pain briefly.
When I wake up I find Lady Crane murdered cruelly;
So I run for my life as the Waif pursues me through the city.
I lure her to a place where I’ve hidden my Needle;
And decide to kill her in the dark as I blow off the candle.
I win with my abilities to fight without sight;
And go to confront Jaqen about my plight.
He tells me I am now No-One, and signals the end of my drill;
But I tell him I’ll always be Arya Stark of Winterfell.
I return home to Westeros with only one agenda in mind;
To avenge my family and make my enemies pay for their crime.
So I disguise myself as a serving girl and go to the Twins;
Where I decide to kill Walder Frey and a few of his off springs.
I murder and bake Lothar and Black Walder into pies;
And feed them to their father before lifting my disguise.
After slicing his throat and revealing my identity;
I smile down on him as he suffers and dies slowly.