And, unlike the long-haired Jaqen, who managed to retain most of his mystical dirtbag charm throughout Arya's ordeal, the Waif had to bear the brunt of this clumsy, ultimately pointless plotline on her sturdy-looking shoulders. Instead of being a Yoda-like mentor for young Arya, she was a tormentor and a bully, the Johnny to Arya's Danny in the inevitable Game of Thrones-The Karate Kid mash-up of the Braavos plotline. In two seasons, we never got to watch the Waif grow or show signs of compassion. She didn't get good gags like Viserys. She never got to be heroic like Sam. She didn't even get a love interest like Ramsay.
Like the bastard of Bolton, the Waif is a cypher. The best characters on Game of Thrones are always motivated by a sincere, occasionally deranged desire that justifies even their most inhumane decisions. As Jaime Lannister explained in last night's episode, he'll do anything for the love of his sister Cersei, who likewise has already gone mad to protect her children. It's that simple! The Waif didn't even get a backstory -- or, at least, not a true one. In one of her longer scenes last season, she told a sob story about being the daughter of a widowed lord, but that ended up being yet another lie, a mask she tried on to teach Arya the way of the Faceless Men.
The character is so thin, her motivations and inner-life so poorly sketched, that the internet created a whole insane conspiracy theory to make her interesting. The last week was filled with rumors that the Waif would end up being a Tyler Durden-style figment of Arya's imagination. It's fan theorizing at its dumbest: an attempt to patch up lackluster writing by inventing an elaborate twist that will never happen. Rather than admit the show's creators might have made a mistake, we wrap ourselves in theories to bolster their infallibility.
It's hard to blame anyone. In the end, the Braavos arc felt like three episodes stretched across two seasons, basically stalling Arya's inevitable -- and highly anticipated -- revenge tale so that the rest of the characters could position themselves. There was no saving the Waif, who kept the wheels spinning by repeatedly berating our hero. In a show filled with hateable people, the Waif is probably too boring to be the worst Game of Thrones character ever. Even when it comes to being the worst, she is not the best.