This post contains SPOILERS for the latest episode of Game of Thrones, so beware.
Episode 7 of Game of Thrones Season 6 had Arya fans shocked at the turn of events in Braavos. Well, more from shock at Arya seemingly forgetting how Faceless Men do things than from the sudden slash-stab-stab she got from the Waif.
From the previous episode it looked clear to Arya that she knew that she won’t be allowed to live after failing her final test. And that it would likely be the Waif coming after her with another face. So why was she just standing there out in the open when she should be hiding?
FANS COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT SHE WAS THAT CARELESS.
So they’ve tried to rationalize what just happened, coming up with at least three fan theories about Arya Stark who we know to be a smart girl with honed survival instincts.
THE FIRST THEORY IS THAT ARYA PLANNED THE BRIDGE SCENE ALL ALONG.
Arya knew that the Waif or even Jaqen himself would be coming to kill her after her failure to kill Lady Crane. So she planned the events that would lead to her being attacked on the bridge, probably with the help of the actress she spared too. [via reddit]
WE SEE HER WALKING IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, LOOKING LIKE A TOURIST WITH NO WORRIES.
Then she flaunts money at a captain to get word out that she’s sailing for Westeros soon.
THE BRIDGE WAS A GOOD CHOICE TO BE ATTACKED BECAUSE SHE CAN ESCAPE EASILY.
Arya would figure out that the Waif would attack her body, where she hid pouches of pig’s blood and maybe meat too (notice how bulky her clothes looked). She jumped into the water so the Waif doesn’t watch her die and she leaves a trail of blood to lure her into a place where she can be the one to do the ambushing.
ONE PROOF TO THIS THEORY IS THAT ARYA HAS ACTUALLY SEEN THE FACE THE WAIF IS WEARING BEFORE.
She probably noticed her but played it cool, and got into position on the bridge perfectly.
Now take a look at even crazier fan theories about Arya’s fate.
THE SECOND THEORY IS THAT THE WAIF IS ARYA HERSELF.
So basically, Arya has joined her own Fight Club, and formed the Waif due to a sort of bi-polar dissociative identity disorder. It might be an effect of the water that Jaqen made her drink or it may have finally manifested when she entered the House of Black and White. [via reddit]
SEVERAL OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE WAIF SUPPORT THIS THEORY.
The Waif seems to only be seen by Jaqen and Arya and nobody else. She also seems to know where Arya is and what she’s doing all the time, and even correctly tell when she’s lying.
ALSO, THE WAIF’S OBJECTIVE IS TO DESTROY ARYA RATHER THAN TRAIN HER.
Arya’s personality split into the Waif, who aims to destroy the original Arya to fully become the No One that the Faceless Men require. From the start the Waif continually forced Arya to give up her training, and when Arya finally did, she was adamant at being the one to kill her herself, telling Jaqen, “You promised.”
PERHAPS THE FINAL PART OF FACELESS MAN TRAINING IS LITERALLY KILLING YOUR OWN IDENTITY.
If the Waif is really Arya’s killer personality, then Jaqen could be glad that the Arya who still holds onto her Stark name will finally be destroyed, and they’d welcome a new Faceless Man. Or, it could be that he’s allowing Arya’s two personalities to meet in a final showdown and see which is stronger. If original Arya prevails, then Jaqen would’ve helped her rediscover herself and trained her along the way.
FINALLY, THERE’S THE THEORY THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY A DISGUISED JAQEN WE SAW AND NOT ARYA.
The mission to kill Arya might indeed be a test for the Waif. Jaqen specifically said not to make Arya suffer, but instead of slitting her throat, the Waif stabbed her in the gut which could mean a long and slow bleed to death.
THE WAIF DOESN’T SHOW THE MERCY OF THE MANY-FACED GOD.
Her triumphant look at killing Arya shows Jaqen her satisfaction and even pleasure at murder, which is not how the Faceless Men are supposed to be. “The Faceless Men see death as a gift from the Many-Faced God to end human suffering: either to euthanize the sick or bereaved who can no longer stand the suffering of living, or as a “gift” to end the lives of those who are causing suffering to others.”
Of course these could all be way off the mark, but we’ll know for sure in the next episode, as it’s titled “No One.” What do you think of these theories and which one seems to be the likeliest to be true?