Arya Stark

From becoming a boy to joining a league of assassins, Arya Stark’s journeys made her grow to become a cunning, brutal, and relentless girl.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Arya Stark is a House Stark member and the third child of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn Stark. She is the second daughter after Sansa Stark. Born in Winterfell, Arya loved exploration and adventure and tried learning how to fight with a sword. When King Robert Baratheon employed Ned as the Hand of the King, he took Arya and her older sister Sansa to King’s Landing. However, everything goes wrong as Eddard gets arrested.

Arya Stark Profile Details

Personal Profile

  • Name: Arya Stark.
  • Year of Birth: 289 AC in Winterfell.
  • Allegiances: House Stark, Faceless Men.
  • Parents: Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn Tully.
  • Titles: Princess, Acolyte, Lady of Winterfell.
  • Siblings: Robb Stark, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark.
  • Aliases: Weasel, Stickboy, Rabbitkiller, Lumpyface, Arry, Lumpyhead, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface, The Ghost in Harrenhal, Squab, Nan, Nymeria, Squirrel, Cat of the Canals, Salty, Wolf Girl, Blind Beth, The Night Wolf, The Blind Girl, The Ugly Girl, Mercedene, Mercy.
  • Culture: Northmen.
  • Religion: Old Gods of the Forest, The Many-Faced God.
  • Eye Color: Grey.
  • Hair Color: Brown.

Fighting Details

  • Weapons Used: Needle, Poison.
  • Special Abilities: Face Changing, Warging.

Appearance and Personality

Arya has a look that favors her father’s side more than her mother’s. She has a long face, grey eyes, and brown hair. Because of her face, she got mocked by her older sister and her friends, who called her ‘Arya Horseface.’ However, according to Ned and the Kindly Man at the House of Black and White, she is pretty. Her father stated she looked like her late aunt, Lyanna Stark, a woman so pretty that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen crowned her the Queen of Love and Beauty over his wife, Elia.

Arya is a left-handed girl with a knack for fighting and adventure. She loves fighting with a sword, unlike her sister, who prefers the lifestyle of noblewomen. Arya is close to her half-brother, Jon Snow, and is excellent at mathematics, horseback riding, and household management. She also knows a bit about High Valyrian. Because of her free-willed nature, Arya is fiery in temperament, stubborn, and often bites her lip.


Early Life

Arya was born to Eddard and his wife in 289 AC. She is the youngest daughter of the Warden of the North. Arya spent most of her life in Winterfell and only left the castle with her father to White Harbor twice. She got tutored by Septa Mordane in the acts of being a woman. However, she found the lessons unfit for her. She learned how to ride on horseback from Maester Luwin but got bullied by Jeyne Poole and her sister, Sansa. Because of her quick wit, she got nicknamed ‘Arya Underfoot’ by House Stark Guards.

Once, Jon Snow tried scaring his half-siblings by covering himself in flour and [pretending to be a ghost in the Crypts of Winterfell. Though Sansa and Bran got terrified, Arya punched him in the face. 

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After Gared, a deserter of the Night’s Watch, gets found, Lord Eddard Stark executes shim. On the way back, Ned’s children find six direwolf pups, and after persuading their father, they adopt them. Arya takes one of the direwolves, calling her Nymeria. Ned learns of Lord Jon Arryn’s death and King Robert Baratheon’s journey to Winterfell.

When Robert arrives, he asks Ned to become the Hand of the King. Catelyn persuades her husband to accept the post for their safety, and he does. Ned plans to take three children to King’s Landing, Bran, Arya, and Sansa. However, before he leaves, Bran gets thrown off a tower after he finds Ser Jaime Lannister sleeping with his sister, Queen Cersei Lannister. Eddard goes with just Arya and her sister Sansa. Before she heads for King’s Landing, Jon Snow gives her a slender sword which she calls Needle.

En route to King’s Landing, Arya befriends Mycah, the peasant son of a butcher. They play sword fighting together. One day, Prince Joffrey Baratheon and Sansa stumble across Arya and Mycah. Arya tries defending her friend when a fight ensues, and Nymeria comes to her aid, injuring Joffrey. Mycah and Arya run away, and when Jory Cassel finds her, he helps her chase Nymeria to save her from getting killed. On returning, Cersei Lannister asks for Sana’s direwolf, Lady, to get killed as Nymeria goes missing. Later, Joffrey’s hound, Sandor Clegane, finds Mycah and kills him; this makes Arya hate him.

After the incident with Mycah, Arya and her sister fight, and she tells her father she hates her. When Ned finds Needle, he asks Arya who gave her the sword, but she refuses to give up Jon’s name. Ned then hires Syrio Forel, an expert swordsman from Essos, to train Arya in the Braavosi Water Dance Style. Syrio begins training Arya and gives her difficult training and exercises.

When Ned sees the wounds on Arya, he asks her if he should replace Syrio with Jory, but she refuses. While trying to catch cats, Arya discovers a secret passage in the Red Keep. She sees two men talking about the death of the Hand of the King, spies, and Cersei Lannister. She rushes to meet her father and warns him about people trying to kill him, but Eddard tells her not to worry.

After Eddard learns the truth about Cersei’s children, she arranges for her husband’s death. When Robert dies, Cersei orders the Starks in the Red Keep to get killed, except for Sansa and her sister. Oblivious to what is happening, Arya trains with Syrio Forel. Lannister guards arrive and order him to hand her over. However, he fights them and tells her to run away.

With the purge of the Starks, the gates of King’s Landing become heavily guarded. Unable to leave the city, Arya catches pigeons in Flea Bottom and exchanges them for food. She witnesses her father getting condemned to death by Joffrey, but before she sees Ser Ilyn Payne kill him, Yoren covers her eyes.

After Eddard’s death, Cersei tells Sansa to write a letter to her mother. To negotiate an alliance with Lord Walder Frey, Catelyn offers Arya’s hand in marriage to Elmar Frey.

A Clash of Kings

After taking Arya from her father’s execution, Yoren decides to smuggle her out of King’s Landing by putting her among the recruits for the Night’s Watch and taking her to Winterfell on his way back to the Wall. He shaves Arya’s head and changes her name to Arry.

On the way, Hot Pie, one of the boys heading for the Wall, tries to steal Needle after getting encouraged by Lommy Greenhands. She beats him up, and when Yoren breaks up the fight, he tells her Ned was supposed to get taken to the Night’s Watch, not killed. 

When Yoren’s wagon reaches a deserted town near the God’s Eye lake, they get attacked by Lannister soldiers led by Ser Amory Lorch. Yoren gets killed, but Arya escapes with Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy, and Weasel. Before she runs away, she saves three chained prisoners, Jaqen H’ghar, Rorge, and Biter. Later, Arya and her friends get captured by Ser Gregor Clegane.

As she travels to Harrenhal, she lists people she wishes dead: Cersei Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon, Ilyn Payne, Ser Meryn Trant, Amory Lorch, Sandor Clegane, the Tickler, Chiswyck, Raff the Sweetling, Gregor Clegane, Polliver, and Dunsen.

On getting to Harrenhal, Arya is assigned to the Wailing Tower to work with Weese. After some days, Jaqen arrives at the Harrenhal. He meets her and tells her to give him three names to offer to the God of Death. After hearing Chiswyck boast about gang-raping a girl, Arya gives his name to Jaqen. Three days later, he dies. She later names Weese, and he also loses his life.

Arya later regrets her choices when Lord Tywin Lannister leaves Harrenhal. She finally decides to choose Jaqen himself. To make her unsay his name, she makes him partake in an uprising. Jaqen helps her free Robett Glover, and Harrenhal falls to the Northmen. Jaqen changes his face and shape in Arya’s presence and gives her a coin. He tells her to show it to any man from Braavos and say: ‘Vala Morghulis.’

Lord Roose Bolton takes command of Harrenhal and names Arya, who takes on the new identity of Nymeria, his cupbearer. She meets Elmar Frey, and when Roose decides to leave the castle, she asks to join him. When Roose denies her request, she kills a Bolton guard and escapes the castle with Hot Pie and Gendry.

A Storm of Swords

After leaving Harrenhal, Vargo Hoat sends some men of the Brave Companions after Arya and her friends. During a dream, she enters the body of her direwolf, Nymeria, and kills the men sent after her. She later meets some people from the Brotherhood without Banners and gets taken to the Inn of the Kneeling Man. At the Inn, Arya meets Harwin, one of Ned’s former guards. To receive information on the whereabouts of Lord Beric Dondarrion, Harwin and his men travel to meet the Lady of the Leaves. They later capture Sandor Clegane. 

Meanwhile, Catelyn frees a captured Jaime Lannister and orders Brienne of Tarth to take him back to King’s Landing. On the way, Vargho Hoat finds him and chops off his sword hand. On getting to Harrenhal, Roose denies having anything to do with Jaime’s decapitation. He tells him Arya got found, and he planned on taking her back to the North.

Arya accuses Sandor of killing Mycah, and he is sentenced to a trial by combat with Lord Beric Donadarrion. When Sandor survives, he gets freed. A fight breaks out between the Brave Companions and the brotherhood, leading to victory for Lord Beric.

Though she witnesses Thoros of Myr bring Lord Beric back to life, Arya learns he cannot revive her father. Lord Beric knights Gendry, and when Arya returns with the brotherhood to the ghost of High Heart, the old witch screams at Arya. When she learns the brotherhood will ransom her to her older brother Robb, Arya tries to flee but gets captured by Sandor, who makes her his prisoner.

With Edmure’s wedding to Roslin Frey, Sandor takes Arya to the twins to meet her brother. However, she reaches to discover the slaughter of the Red Wedding. Arya tries running into the castle but gets hit by Sandor, causing her to faint. With her brother and mother dead, Sandor plans to take her to the Vale of Arryn, where her sister resides. Sandor and his prisoner stop at the Crossroads Inn. They come across the Tickler and Polliver. Arya learns that she is allegedly to wed Ramsay Snow. A fight breaks out, and she kills the Tickler, reclaiming Needle from him. 

Gravely injured from the fight, Sandor is unable to continue the journey. Arya leaves him on the road to a slow death. She then sells her horse and shows the coin from Jaqen to a Braavosi sailor. He then lets her on the ship.

A Feast for Crows

On the voyage to Braavos, Arya uses the alias Salty. The sailors tell her to learn their names, and they appear afraid of her. The captain’s son, Yorko, rows her offshore to prevent customs from finding her. On getting to Braavos, Arya reaches the House of Black and White, where she meets a man with a kind voice. The man asks her for her name, and she lies to him.

However, he sees her falsehood and keeps asking for her name until she reveals her true identity. Upon revealing herself, the Kindly Man removes the covering on his face, revealing a hideous decaying face. However, Arya sees through the illusion making the man impressed. He then asks if she is hungry, and she replies yes, but not for food.

Arya becomes a servant at the House of Black and White, she meets a waif girl, and the Kindly Man begins teaching her to detect falsehood. Arya learns Braavosi’s tongue from the waif, and the Kindly Man tells her the history of the Faceless Men. He asks her to discard her old identity as she cannot move forward.

Though she agrees to throw everything, she hides Needle. As Arya enters into the order, she assumes the identity of Cat of the Canals. She meets Dareon and Samwell Tarly, men of the night’s Watch. When Dareon decides to desert, Arya kills him. Upon revealing what she did, the Kindly Man gives her milk, and she wakes up blind.

A Dance with Dragons

Now blind, Arya continues working in the House of Black and White. She begins dreaming in the body of her direwolf, Nymeria. Being blind, Arya assumes the identity of a beggar called Beth. She later recovers her sight after impressing the Kindly Man.

When a group of eleven priests holds a meeting, Arya speaks privately with one of them, plague face. He gives her her first assignment, to kill a man selling insurance for ships. The man takes her to the temple’s chambers and shows her thousands of faces. Arya gets the face of an ugly girl. While in the girl’s face, she realizes she could dream of the girl’s past.

Arya stalks her target for days and ends up killing him by putting a gold coin in the purse of a ship’s captain. After her mission, she gets an acolyte’s robe and gets sent to train under Izembaro.

Meanwhile, in Westeros, Ramsay Snow gets married to a fake Arya. Theon Gregjoy, now Reek, realizes the girl is Jeyne Poole. in Castle Black, Melisandre tells Jon that she saw a vision of a girl fleeing a wedding. The girl turns out to be Alys Karstark. After getting married to a fake Arya, Ramsay humiliates his new bride and tortures her and Theon. With help from Mance Rayder, disguised as Abel, Theon, and Jeyne escape Winterfell and arrive in Stannis Baratheon’s camp.

Appearance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Arya Stark got portrayed by actress Maisie Williams. She appeared in seasons 1 to 8 and starred in 59 episodes. Ayra’s character was a fan favorite throughout the tv series. From leaving King’s Landing to becoming one of the famed Faceless Men, Arya’s journey throughout Game of Thrones was a unique adventure of the series. She eventually reunited with her sister, Sansa, played by Sophie Turner.

Arya played a critical role in the battle of Winterfell as she killed the Night King. She traveled to King’s Landing, set on killing Cersei Lannister. However, she witnessed the destruction of the city by Daenerys Targaryen and eventually abandoned her mission. After Daenerys’s death, Arya bade farewell to her siblings and adventures to the ends of the world.

Arya Stark: The Free Spirit

Arya Stark is one character that leaves a mark on a reader’s mind. She is a resilient and intelligent girl who scaled the terrors of life. Being only a little girl, she fought through terrors, witnessed the death of her family, and killed the people who caused her pain. Her transformations throughout A Song of Ice and Fire portray the realism of George R. R. Martins’s world, a world where one adapts or dies. With the intricacy of her existence, Arya remains one of the best characters ever written in the fantasy genre.


What makes Arya Stark such a beloved character?

Arya is a beloved character because of her resilience. From the beginning of A Song of Ice and Fire, she separated herself as someone who never accepted things for how they were. When she reached King’s Landing, she did not allow the confines of the Red Keep to stop her from learning how to fight. Her determination to break the norms of society made her a beloved character.

Is Arya a psychopath?

No. Arya is not a psychopath. To be a psychopath, one needs to lack the ability to get emotional. Arya was a spirited girl full of life. She loved her brothers and got jealous of her sister, Sansa. What Arya became is a sociopath. As she witnessed severe trauma, it changed her, and on getting to the House of Black and White, she fully embraced being a killer.

Who portrayed Arya Stark?

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Maise Williams portrays Arya. The actress gave a stunning performance in the show and quickly became one of the most beloved characters of the series.

How did Arya Stark go blind?

Arya went blind after drinking the milk the Kindly Man gave her. The milk seemed to contain a substance that weakened one’s vision as she had to take it regularly.

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