There are few characters in Game of Thrones characters quite as beloved as Arya Stark, who grew from a wild and irreverent girl to one of the most formidable warriors in all of Westeros. She had many great storylines and managed to survive the numerous conflicts that destroyed so many members of her family–including both her father and her elder brother – and ended up getting one of the happier endings in the series.
Despite this, though, Arya’s story has plenty of problems and plot holes – especially in the later seasons of Game of Thrones. Some are more forgivable, but these are the issues fans just couldn’t get past.
9 Killing The Night King
The Night King was, for most of the series run, the most important and seemingly intelligent villain in Game of Thrones, the character that threatened to bring all of Westeros under his shadow. What’s more, it seemed as if he was going to eventually face off with Jon Snow. What actually happened, however, was that Arya was the one to strike him down, and while this made some sense, considering her training as an assassin, it feels in hindsight like a misdirect and doesn’t fit with the other aspects of her character.
8 Seemingly Teleporting To Kill The Freys
Given that Walder Frey–one of the most evil and dastardly villains of Game of Thrones–killed her family, it makes sense that Arya would want to seek vengeance on him, and she manages to kill both him and his entire family. While this part of the story works, the fact that she is, seemingly, able to teleport from Braavos to Walder’s fort at the Twins (as she is never shown actually traveling there, and the timing doesn’t line up) is one of those moments in the final season of Game of Thrones that demonstrates, particularly in hindsight, how sloppy its essential storytelling had become. Timing and distances, in particular, stopped lining up in the final seasons.
7 Murdering Littlefinger
Petyr Baelish, known as Littlefinger, was one of the series’ more cynical and cunning characters, but as the seasons wore on his presence became more and more extraneous. Ultimately, his scheming ended up leading to his downfall and death at Arya’s hands. While this was cathartic in the moment, it simply wasn’t well set up, and Arya has little history with the character, so it essentially becomes a convenient way of getting rid of an inconvenient character.
6 Focus On Death List
After she witnesses the downfall of her family at the hands of the Lannisters, Arya creates a list of those that she wants to see dead and that she will kill as an act of vengeance. While this seemed like an important plot point, it largely fell by the wayside as yet another plot point abandoned during the course of the series.
While it seemed for many seasons as though this was her prime focus, in the end, she abandoned many of the names on the list, and didn’t even reference it after returning to Westeros – making it shallow character ‘development’ rather than a real plot point.
5 Invincibility Against The Waif
One of Arya’s nemeses once she goes for training at Braavos is the character known simply as the Waif, who has a formidable fighting ability that Arya struggles to match. It turns out, though, that Arya is far more intelligent and is ultimately able to defeat and kill the waif. While this was necessary plot-wise for getting her back to Westeros and the main action of the series, it’s also one of those aspects of the plot that feels underdeveloped, especially as it would have been good to see more of Arya between the stages of ‘utterly incapable against the Waif’ to ‘killing the Waif while blind’.
4 The Scene With The Horse After The Fall Of King’s Landing
There are many flaws in Dany’s final siege of King’s Landing and its conclusion–it is arguably one of the worst moments in the eighth season–but equally strange is Arya’s finding a white horse in the midst of the carnage and bloodshed. At the time, it seemed like this moment was going to have some sort of major significance, but it ultimately didn’t lead to any major plot development. It now seems like little more than another unnecessary flourish in an episode already burdened by other missteps.
3 The Shallowness Of Her Training Among The Faceless Men
When Arya first went to Braavos to train with the group of assassins known as the Faceless Men, it seemed as if that was going to be a major part of her story. Unfortunately, the series didn’t seem to want to spend too much time developing that part of her storyline, spending little time showing viewers just how she was learning to be the ruthless assassin she would later become.
One of the most disappointing things about this, too, was that other than a quick Frey-slaughter, Arya never again used the face-changing ability she gained there. Sansa saw that she had faces with her, but in the end, Arya’s big kill happened because she snuck up on the Night King.
2 The Lack Of Reunion With The Hound
The relationship between Arya and the Hound was arguably one of the best in Game of Thrones, as they became reluctant allies as they trekked from one end of the Seven Kingdoms to the other. Ultimately, of course, Arya parted from him, and that was the last time that they saw one another. Given that the Hound ultimately survived his wounds and went on to have a climactic duel with his brother, it seems that the series could have found an opportunity to show Arya and the Hound coming together for a moment before his death.
1 How Much She Seems To Like Killin
One of the most noteworthy changes to Arya’s character is her increasing love of killing for its own sake. True, she does it to gain vengeance, but it’s clear that her pleasure comes as much from the act itself as it does for finally getting revenge for the betrayal and death of her family. It’s an odd choice for the character, as she was not originally portrayed as particularly vicious or villainous.