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The lost wolf

Spoiler warning for Game of Thrones

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Illustration for article titled The lost wolf
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I've been reflecting on something in yesterday's article about what we will and won't see in the next season of GoT. They put forth the theory that Arya will not go all the way to Braavos, but instead be trained as a faceless man in Westros. While I can see how that might be a good idea from a production standpoint, it runs contrary to the core of Arya's story. Sure, the fans would like to see her talking to people she knows while wearing other faces, so no one knows who she really is, but that small thing could not make up for losing the isolation that is so central to her story.

One by one each hope for something better, each thing that could be an anchor for her has been taken away. She has to say goodbye to John, to Nymeria (who is, just like Arya, alone in the woods, and I think is a foreshadowing of all the things that will happen to Arya), her father, sister, and mother. Then she loses protectors and mentors just as they start to define her life.

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This is what her story is about. Circumstance has never allowed her to fall completely into one philosophy, and so she learns that there is no one answer, no one truth about who she will become. She takes from each of these encounters, each of these people and these places and make them part of herself, reshaping herself. And we are going to find out, if at the end of all that, she can still be a wolf, or if she will be something new. To set the faceless training in Westros, to let her be surrounded by cities and people so closely tied to her family's struggle, will remove a very important element from her story.

I do understand that at the end of the day, the showrunners will do what works best in their medium. Martin has no limits on what he can put on the page, HBO does not have the same luxury. But still, I will be very sad if they aren't able to take her through the journey her character deserves.

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