Game of Thrones Arya Stark was instantly a fan favourite when the shows first season released. A child born in a noble family in the quasi-medieval world of Westeros, she never liked tasks befitting a noblewoman like sewing. She wanted to do what her brothers were allowed to do: horse-riding, sword-fighting, archery and so on. She was a born rebel, who was not satisfied with the status quo.
At Robert Baratheons invitation her father Eddard Stark had to go to Kings Landing, and with him went Arya and Sansa. When her father discovers she owns a sword called Needle, instead of taking it away, he invites a Braavosi swordmaster Syrio Forel to give her fencing lessons.
When Eddard is arrested, Arya escapes the Lannisters and witnesses her fathers execution by the hands of Joffrey. She then makes a kill-list, a list of people she swears to kill whenever possible and chants it like a mantra before sleeping so she will not forget it. Cersei, Joffrey, Tywin, the Hound and others figure in that list.
She is taken from Kings Landing by Yoren, the Nights Watch recruiter, with whom are people she befriends — Gendry and Hot Pie. She also meets the mysterious Jaqen Hghar, a Faceless Man.
The Lannister soldiers attack them, kill Yoren and take the recruits to Harrenhal. Tywin Lannister arrives at the castle and recognises Arya as a girl (she was posing as a boy). She serves as his cup-bearer, while waiting for the opportunity to kill him.
She fails, however, and Jaqen, as a reward for saving his life from the Lannister soldiers, helps her escape Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie. The three meet the Brotherhood Without Banners, the group of lords and soldiers like Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion who have the Hound in captivity.
Arya accuses the Hound of killing her friend Mycah and urges the Brotherhood to deliver justice. Beric and the Hound have a trial by combat. The Hound kills Beric, who lives again (thanks to the Lord of Light). The Hound, however, has to be acquitted. Gendry is sold to the Red Woman (Melisandre).
Arya leaves them in disgust, only to be captured by the Hound who intends to ransom her to her brother Robb who is at the Twins. But then the Red Wedding happens and then the Hound takes her to the Vale of Arryn, where they are told that Aryas aunt Lysa has committed suicide (in reality Littlefinger pushes her to her death).
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