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Examining Arya’s Encounter With Nymeria

The ‘Talk the Thrones’ team breaks down the reunion

(HBO)
(HBO)

On Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, we weren’t treated to an Arya-Gendry reunion, but we did see the southernmost Stark come face to face with an important figure from her past: her direwolf, Nymeria.

The last time we saw Nymeria was in Season 1, when she wounded then-Prince Joffrey in defense of Arya and Mycah, Arya’s sword-fighting partner. Knowing that Nymeria would be executed in the aftermath of the incident, Arya threw rocks at her companion, exiling her into the wilderness in order to save her life.

In "Stormborn," Arya, heading to Winterfell to reunite with her siblings, encounters Nymeria, now the leader of a pack of wolves, in the Riverlands. Arya asks her wolf to rejoin her and head north, but Nymeria turns and leads her pack away. Understanding, Arya says, "That’s not you."

"‘That’s not you’ is a direct reference to what Arya herself said to her father when her father painted this picture for her of the life that she could have as the lady of a castle and marrying some lord and wearing a nice frilly dress," showrunner D.B. Weiss said of the scene.

When presented with this picturesque future by Ned in Season 1, Arya responded, "That’s not me."

"Arya’s not domesticated and it makes total sense that her wolf wouldn’t be either. And once the wolf walks away, at first she’s heartbroken to have come this close," said Weiss. "Then she realizes that the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf."

On this week’s episode of Talk the Thrones, the gang, overjoyed to see a direwolf again, took a look at the scene and broke down its implications.

Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.