game of thrones stormborn arya

Arya Stark finally made her way back to the Seven Kingdoms in the Season 6 finale, and she's been murdering her way south ever since. In "Stormborn," however, she discovered that Jon Snow had defeated the Boltons and retaken Winterfell, and that was enough to send her toward the North once more. On her way north, she finally reunited with Nymeria. Sadly for Arya, her long-lost direwolf turned away when Arya asked her to come with her, and Arya was forced to realize that Nymeria isn't who she used to be. Co-showrunner Dan Weiss has explained that the scene was actually an important callback, saying this:

'That's not you' is a direct reference to what Arya herself said to her father when her father painted this picture for her of the life she could have as the lady of a castle and marrying some lord and wearing a nice frilly dress. Arya's not domesticated. It makes total sense the wolf wouldn't be either. Once the wolf walks away, at first she's heartbroken to have come this close, but then she realizes the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she was that wolf.

Nymeria and Arya hadn't actually seen each other since the second episode of Season 1, after Nymeria savaged Joffrey. Arya threw rocks at her wolf to drive her away before Lannister forces could capture her and kill her. A great deal has happened since those early days, and Dan Weiss makes the point to THR that Arya could understand why Nymeria didn't want to join her. Just as Arya was never going to fit Ned's vision of her as the lovely lady of a castle married to a lord, Nymeria was never going to be Arya's beloved pet direwolf again. Arya was clearly devastated when Nymeria first turned her back, but she realized that she and her wolf have their refusal to fit into somebody else's vision in common.

As somebody who was concerned that Nymeria was so far gone that she'd actually harm Arya, I'm okay with how the reunion happened. For one thing, her bond with Nymeria is yet another sign that Arya is getting back in touch with her Northern roots. For another thing, I have to believe that Game of Thrones didn't introduce a full-grown Nymeria with a gang of wolves just for a one-off appearance. Perhaps this was Chekhov's pack of wolves; we see them briefly now, and they'll return with a vengeance later on. While she undoubtedly wouldn't be much help against White Walkers if they get past the Wall, Ghost has proved that direwolves can do some damage to wights, to say nothing of what they can do to normal humans. Nymeria may still have a part to play.

Interestingly, the Arya of the A Song of Ice and Fire book saga has a close connection to Nymeria even through their years of separation. Like Bran, she is able to warg into Nymeria, although only in her dreams. Bran's earliest experiences with warging happened with he had Summer around; maybe Arya's reunion with Nymeria will spark some warging abilities in her. We'll have to wait and see.

Tune in to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Game of Thrones Season 7. The next episode looks to be must-see, as the trailer indicates that we're in for a reunion that we've all been waiting for. Take a gander at our summer TV guide for all your other small screen options.

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