Arya Stark ("Game of Thrones" spoilers, rumors, theories, and speculation as we approach Season 7, and her name just came up two more times.
For one, Aidan Gillen (Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger) weighed in on something that the show never overtly confirmed or denied -- that Littlefinger recognized Arya when she was acting as Tywin Lannister's servant at Harrenhal in Season 2.
Here's what Gillen told Entertainment Weekly:
"It was unclear if he recognized her or not, but I have my own thoughts on that. Yes, I did recognize her — I just didn't say anything or do anything about it."
Hmm. That's his story and he's sticking to it, but it's not exactly canon -- the showrunners haven't said anything on it yet -- and it's not like Littlefinger to ignore that kind of valuable information. Since when does he sit back and let something play out without using it to his own advantage?
But that's being billed by EW as confirmation, so that's Arya theory 1.
This next one is potentially spoilery for Season 7, so...
TIME magazine has a new cover story on "Game of Thrones" -- including Kit Harington shading Jon Snow a bit -- and one part caught the attention of Vanity Fair as potential confirmation of an Arya/Nymeria reunion.
UPDATE: Arya and Nymeria did reunite in "Stormborn," although the reunion was brief and bittersweet.
In his TIME story, reporter Daniel D'Addario writes about a wolf pack. Here's Vanity Fair's take on that:
"During my visit," he writes, "wolves described in the script as 'skinny and mangy' showed up to the shoot looking fluffy and lustrous." Wolves haven't appeared on Thrones in pack formation, well, ever. And with the Stark direwolves dropping like flies (R.I.P. Summer, Grey Wind, Shaggydog, and Lady), there really only seems to be one option for these particular "mangy" mammalian guest stars. In the books, this pack belongs to Nymeria, the direwolf Arya sent away in Season 1.
[...] Arya's reconnection with Nymeria would signal a significant return to her familial roots, which was teased in her dramatic exit from the House of Black and White in Season 6. Some dialogue from the Season 7 trailer—'the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives'—also hints that this potential reunion will carry weightier thematic significance for the upcoming Stark plot."
The showrunners did tell Entertainment Weekly that Season 7 will feature a "whole bunch of reunions" and "first time meetings that people have been waiting for for a long time." One of the reunions could be Arya and Nymeria, which wouldn't be shocking, just exciting and heartwarming and a LONG time coming. It's also possible one of the Season 7 reunions will be Arya and Littlefinger, if Arya does head home to Winterfell now that she's in the Seven Kingdoms. Otherwise, how did she get that dagger?
"Game of Thrones" premieres Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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