First of all, this post will contain SPOILERS, so turn back if you’re disinclined to hear them.
This week, many interesting photos leaked from the set of Game of Thrones Season 7, including shots of Maisie Williams (Arya) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran). What do we make of their proximity? Their costumes? Will we get more Stark reunions in Season 6? Do we want them? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Discuss.
SARAH: YES. Yes. If needed, I will learn how to drive and give Bran and Arya a ride home myself. Bran can repay me for my trouble with a vision of the winning lottery numbers. Arya can repay me just by being there.
Benjen may have dropped Bran about a mile from the Wall and left Meera with no visible means of moving him around, but they’re still within spitting distance of the Night’s Watch. I’m sure that Dolorous Edd would be happy to whisk Bran off to Winterfell in a vegetable cart, catch up with his buddy Jon and blush furiously whenever Sansa notices his presence. Winterfell even has a weirwood for Bran to binge-watch, so he could do me a solid by having a vision of Petyr Baelish being a conniving, Ned-betraying sociopath, and tell his family about it. I’m tired of watching Littlefinger sniff around Sansa’s bottom like a malnourished bloodhound. He claims to love her, but he’d let her family burn if he had the choice, and needs to go.
As for Arya, who has just shown up in a set photo wearing an outfit reminiscent of Ned’s season one browns, I believe she’s heading home too. The prospect of murdering Cersei is undoubtedly attractive to her, but when last we saw her she likely believed that Winterfell wasn’t an option. Once she hears that Winterfell is safe, she’ll move faster than Varys crossing an ocean. The photo of Sophie Turner’s doppelganger wearing a sword belt also makes me wonder – it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Sansa might consider some self-defense lessons, and who better to teach her than her little sister?
Look, it’s winter in Westeros, and the Starks have been threatening us with winter for sixty miserable episodes. This is their show, and winter is their season. Now that it has arrived, they’ve got to pull something spectacular out of the bag. I may be an optimist, but I don’t find it unbelievable that the show will finally give us something to cheer for. When the snow falls and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives. I have little doubt that the pack will come together to stick out the season as a united front.
— Winter is Coming (@WiCnet) October 25, 2016
DAN: So it seems pretty clear that Arya will head north in Season 7. If the fact that she was filming alongside people like Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), and Kristofer Hivju (Tormund) wasn’t enough, that costume clinches it. Check it out below. It looks a lot like the outfits her family members have worn in the past, and it covers her from head to toe. That’s the kind of insulation you need in the North in wintertime.
Honestly, I’m not sure I like this development. Obviously, a Stark family reunion would be wonderful—Sarah’s idea about Sansa learning swordcraft from her little sister is especially intriguing—but I was looking forward to watching Arya cut a swath through King’s Landing. I figured that would be the more dramatically satisfying direction, you know? Choosing vengeance over family? We would mourn for Arya’s lost innocence, but we also be on the edge of our seats.
Of course, the show might have its cake and eat it, too. Arya could head down to King’s Landing in the early part of the season, make an attempt on Cersei’s life, and then hightail it up north. That strikes me as too tidy, though. I’m willing to bet there’s some complication we don’t know about yet. If Arya does end up at Winterfell, it will only be after a difficult struggle.
It’s easier to picture Bran heading there, despite he and Meera’s current mobility problem. That’s where he was heading anyway. Of course, knowing this show, Bran will be the one who never gets home and Arya will show up outside the gates at the top of Episode 1.
— Game of Photos (@gamofphoto) October 11, 2016
COREY: One little picture leaks out and the internet loses its mind! I want to throw a bit of water on the proposed Stark family reunion. Yes, Arya is dressed in a Northern outfit, and yes that makes it appear that she is returning to Winterfell along with the rest of her family. But something just strikes me as wrong in that photo. I don’t have solid evidence to support my claim, other than when looking at the outfit Maisie is wearing, it just seems wrong for Arya to wear among her family. It seems too formal and stiff for our fun-loving
tomboy assassin. The way Maisie’s hair is pinned back also strikes me as an odd choice.
So to me, the whole get-up screams disguise. Either this is an outfit Maisie wears to blend in while she makes her way north, or it’s a disguise she is wearing whilst attempting to continue her career as a heartless assassin. Either way, I also don’t think this outfit, whether its used for hanging around Winterfell with the fam or an assassination attempt, precludes Arya from visiting King’s Landing as we all believe she might.
We don’t know when this scene takes place within the context of the season, meaning it could very well come at the end after Arya’s adventures in King’s Landing. We saw Varys and Littlefinger both whisk from one end of the world to the other in the span of minutes, so there’s nothing to stop Arya from catching some sun down in King’s Landing before heading north.
Don’t get me wrong—no one is rooting for a Jon/Arya reunion more than me, so I hope I’m wrong. Jon and Sansa was nice last season, but Jon and Arya will likely bring tears to my eyes. It was Jon that gave Arya Needle, and we saw how attached she was to that little sword in Season 5. Arya and Jon were always closer, so their reunion will likely be in the top moments of the show for me. Give us what we want!
[PICTURE] Maisie and Isaac in the makeup trailer! (via maisiestyle on Instagram) pic.twitter.com/M9Fg6g9B1P
— GoT Source (@GoTsources) October 12, 2016
RAZOR: Pay no mind to Corey. He likes to hold onto his theories, despite all of the evidence suggesting otherwise. I firmly believe that this is the outfit Arya would wear if she were traveling home to Winterfell. And once there, why would she change? Arya is all grown up now, and if there is one thing we know about her, is that she is 100% tomboy. So of course, she would wear these leathers around her family, especially now that no one is there to tell her to put on a dress like a proper lady.
And if something as insignificant as her hairstyle is throwing you off, making you think it’s not very Arya-like, then you’re looking at the wrong thing. First of all, we don’t know that Maisie Williams’ hair will look like that once the cameras start rolling. She could have been coming out of that trailer for any number of reasons. Perhaps she had already filmed her scene and she was having her hair taken down and makeup removed. Or maybe Arya just wears her hair like that now. I mean, she’s older now—why wouldn’t she wear her hair a little different than she did as a child?
Lastly, I can absolutely see Arya wearing those leathers around Winterfell and around Jon in particular. Jon was her favorite sibling before they all went their separate ways. If King Jon and the North are preparing for war against the White Walkers, then Arya would most certainly want to be in the middle of it all…not in the back, sewing dresses with little wolves on the sleeves, like Sansa.
KATIE: First of all, I’m 100% on board with Sarah. If I could just copy and paste her entry, I would, but that’s plagiarism, so…
Of course the Starks are going to reunite. An important cog in each of their stories is how much they want to be with each other again. It hasn’t exactly been anyone’s main focus, but it’s always lingered in the background. Their reunion is really inevitable.
I’m most looking forward to Arya and Sansa seeing each other again. They didn’t get along the last time we saw them, but as Ned once told Arya, they need each other. Now, they both realize that. There have been threads that connect the Stark sisters throughout the series, indicating their bond and importance to one another. (Think about Brienne reassuring Sansa that Arya is alive. Think also of Meryn Trant’s death. While Arya killed him for Syrio, she also gained justice for Sansa. Trant hit her more than once and, from what we learn of him in Season 5, he probably gained sexual pleasure from it.)
Now, there are a lot of fans who seem to think that Sansa is either going to die, or she’s going to sit in the background when the White Walkers come. But as Sarah pointed out, the new redhead looks too much like Sophie Turner to be an entirely new character. We’ll see what happens, but I’m willing to bet that’s Turner’s body double. There’s no reason why Sansa wouldn’t have a sword at this point, and learn to use it. Whether she’d rather be “in the back, sewing dresses with little wolves on the sleeves” is irrelevant. She knows what’s coming, and she needs to learn to physically protect herself, even if she’s not on the battlefield.
She said it herself in Season 6: “No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone.” There comes a time when you’re all you’ve got left, and Sansa doesn’t go down without a fight. Arya would be more than willing to teach her, as she’s always been fiercely protective of Sansa (see: Season 1.)
Of course, while Jon certainly won’t make Arya wear dresses, it’s going to take some major convincing to allow her to fight the White Walkers. It’s rather shortsighted to think that Arya will just be permitted to jump into the fray, however much she wants to. I’m sure she’ll manage it, but that will probably be the biggest point of contention among the Stark siblings: who fights, and who waits.
ANI: In the story of A Song of Ice and Fire, we begin in Winterfell. The world is small. Bran (our opening narrator) is a child. His experience outside the walls of his home is limited at best. Dany, in Essos, also lives in a small sheltered world. Ned and Catelyn have more experience, but most of our narrators are Sweet Summer Children, who know nothing of real hardship and sacrifice.
As the story unfolds, the world unfolds with it. The travels to King’s Landing, to the Wall, to the Great Grass Sea, expand our horizons, until continents lay at our feet, and those who dwell upon it number in the thousands.
And then…the world begins to contract again. Dany crosses the Narrow Sea, Arya comes back to Westeros, an entire continent is left behind. Sansa and Jon finally make it home again. The characters is King’s Landing characters shrink by the hundreds as Cersei murders them.
Is this a Stark family reunion? How can it not be? How many times must Arya pass her family like a ship in the night? The world must contract down, bring them all back to Winterfell, where their story began, so they can learn the truth together and face the enemy in the place where Winter falls.