Beyond The Wall

Here's Where Arya's Going at the End of 'Game of Thrones'

arya game of thrones finale
HBO
This post contains spoilers for all seasons of Game of Thrones. Proceed with caution. And visit Beyond the Wall, our official Game of Thrones hub page for recaps, theories, spoilers, explainers, and the best episodes of all time.

Against all odds, the Starks wound up doing pretty well for themselves. Sure, there were some hiccups along the way -- Ned's execution, the Red Wedding, Rickon's poorly planned run before the Battle of the Bastards -- but in Game of Thrones, entire families go extinct in a single episode. Which makes it all the more surprising that Sansa, Bran, Jon Snow (half Stark!), and Arya survived the bloodbath of the show's final season. 

But while the fates of the first three are firmly established, Arya's future remains a bit of an open book. She's going to explore? Sure! Arya could use a gap year after all she's been through, just as long as she makes sure to finish her college degree when she comes home. Given that she's traveling west of Westeros, though, where no one has ever gone, it's unlikely that she'll ever come back to her home continent.

arya talking about west of westeros
Arya recovering from her wounds in Season 6. | HBO

What exactly is west of Westeros? 

As was the case with Daenerys' Season 2 vision in the House of the Undying, a previous Arya scene hinted at what the show had in store for her. Back in Season 6, Episode 8 ("No One"), Arya is tasked with assassinating Lady Crane, an actress who plays Cersei Lannister in a play called The Bloody Hand. When Arya finds herself sympathetic to the actress, who's playful and envied by a less-talented member of the troupe, she fails to go through with the murder. 

This obviously runs her afoul of The Waif ("No One" is incidentally the episode when the show disposes of The Waif for good), who stabs her in the gut. Lady Crane finds her and helps nurse her with soup and milk of the poppy. Along the way, Lady Crane asks Arya to join the troupe and travel with them to Pentos. 

Arya declines, however, and when Lady Crane asks her where she'll go with The Waif (The Waif, ugh!) hunting her down, she replies, "What's west of Westeros?" Lady Crane tells her she doesn't know, to which Arya responds, "Nobody does. That's where all the maps stop." 

The edge of the world, as Lady Crane puts it. "I'd like to see that," Arya says with a glint in her eye. With the wars over and her remaining family members safe, she'll have the chance. 

It's a fitting conclusion for Arya Stark. 

In truth, Arya's story more or less wrapped up when she became the show's undisputed hero by killing the Night King, aka the greatest threat in the history of the known world. She didn't wind up murdering green-eyed Cersei, and along the way had a revelation about the nature of a revenge-driven life. Her ride out of King's Landing on a pale horse didn't wind up to be the metaphor for death some thought it might be

Arya is one of the show's most likable characters, and after years spent running, hiding, and training to be an anonymous killer, it's time for her to live a little, see the world. Or the edge of the world, whichever. So what if no one knows what's out there? At least Arya has plenty of experience becoming "no one." 

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Anthony Schneck is an entertainment editor at Thrillist. Follow him @AnthonySchneck.