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.