WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Season 6, Episode 7 of Game Of Thrones. If you haven’t watched the episode yet then turn back now. Why, you ask? A man does not ask questions, he does as the Many Faced God commands.
I think we’ve all spent the best part of a week trying to think of ways that Arya Stark survived that brutal attack on this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, but if I’m being honest, I don’t see how she could have. Remember that she was sliced across the chest before being stabbed repeatedly. It’s rare for anyone to survive such an attack and remember that Arya is practically poor in a foreign land with nobody to help her. I can’t see her escaping this.
But then I started to think about it: What if it wasn’t Arya? I don’t really dabble in fan theories much so I’ve no idea what the internet is speculating about this but bare with me, if you will. I know that there is a scene in the episode that shows a girl waking past Arya dressed in a similar outfit to the one that she wore in previous episodes, but I think there’s more to it than that. I think that we’re looking in the wrong places – lets look at the Arya that we did see in the episode. I’ve got this crazy theory that the Arya that we saw this week was actually Jaquen H’ghar. Several plot points have led me to this theory, so bare with me and I’ll enlighten you with the things that have led me to this conclusion.
Okay so first things first, last time we saw Arya she looked a little terrified, eyeing up the walls around her before blowing out the candle. There was definitely a sense of fear. Moreover, as soon as she broke her promise to H’ghar and sabotaged her own attempt to kill Lady Crane, Arya made a run for it and ended up hiding in the dark cavern. She knew who she would be dealing with and she knew she would be hunted. Thus, the fear that was so evidently on her face. So, taking all this into consideration, why would Arya step outside in the middle of a crowded public place? That doesn’t really make sense.
Okay, so lets get on to the episode in question. Firstly, Arya looked different. Up until now, her hair was rather shoulder length, but in “The Broken Man”, her hair looked a lot longer. It could be argued that it was now similar in style to H’ghar’s.
Furthermore, Arya acted different – she was more confident than usual when chatting with the merchants. She was quick witted and cocky, tactics also used by H’ghar. Also notice the expression on her face – it’s that look of sly confidence that H’ghar often uses.
Looking at the above image, is it just me or can you not see H’ghar in Arya? The expression is identical! Moreover, look at the stance – confident with the arms behind her back. When did Arya ever stand like that? The little Stark warrior was often quick paced and not really what one would describe as poised in her mannerisms. She approaches the merchants with confidence, in a H’ghar like manner. She speaks to the merchants in a tone of voice that I wouldn’t imagine Arya using, saying to man, “You’re Westerosi”. ‘Westerosi’ is also word or term that I wouldn’t have imagined coming out of Arya’s mouth – perhaps something more along the lines of, “are you from Westeros?”. Moreover, she has more than enough money to get the merchant’s attention, and when questioned as to where she got it from, she does not answer. I thought such an important scene like Arya stealing or earning money would’ve been shown on screen. Perhaps the money was one of the props that H’ghar needed when portraying Arya – we’ve seen in the past, H’ghar is capable of getting the extras that he needs (remember the cockles and the outfit that Arya used to blend in?) when completing a mission.
Also, did anybody else notice her expression as she leaves the table? She does that cocky, pursed lips expression moments after leaving the merchants, something that H’ghar has also done in the past. The outfit is also an unusual style for Arya, something that I never would’ve imagined her wearing. If Arya is aware that she’s going to be hunted, why would she get a decent outfit? Or perhaps more of an appropriate question – where would she get a decent outfit? One thing Arya was never really concerned about was her appearance, so the outfit does seem a little out of character. It’s almost rich looking and robe-like, something that H’ghar would most certainly wear.
When the little old lady appeared on screen, did anybody else immediately know or predict that it was the Waif? I can’t see that Arya would’ve knowingly went out in public and let her guard down that easily. This is Arya Stark – the warrior that we know would’ve never been that stupid. Moreover, where’s Needle? Arya did reunite with her small sword last week as she knew that she would become a target – so why did she step out in public without her most trusted ally?
If my theory is correct, then I believe that H’ghar was pretending to be Arya to catch The Waif in the murder attempt. If we remember back to last week, H’ghar made the Waif promise that she wouldn’t make Arya suffer, yet she brutally stabs her. Perhaps this was his way of catching her in the act. Also, notice the look on Arya’s face when she realises that it was The Waif in disguise. She’s suddenly more annoyed at her attacker’s identity than she is at the fact she’s just been stabbed. Suddenly she has what it takes to retaliate and get away.
If you think about it – We’ve seen H’ghar die before and live to tell the story. He cannot die – he is no one. Moreover, next weeks episode is called “No One”, so perhaps this theory will come to pass.
This is just a theory from a guy who has too much time on his hands, but if it’s correct then it could open up a whole new territory for Game of Thrones. if not, then we’d better say a couple of prayers to the many-faced God, because it’s not looking good for Arya Stark if she really did get stabbed.