Spoiler alert: do not read on if you have not yet seen season six, episode seven of Game Of Thrones.


In this week’s Game of Thrones, Arya was stabbed in the stomach by the vengeful Waif, who has held a grudge against the lord’s daughter ever since she set foot in Braavos. In the scene prior to her stabbing, Arya was being very indiscrete by dressing fancier than normal, walking like she owned the place, throwing pouches of silver at a boat captain and demanding passage home. Then, instead of blending into a crowd, she stood on a bridge by herself and made herself and easy target. Errors. A suspicious number of errors, really. Almost like she wanted to be noticed.

As we all saw, the Waif stuck the knife into Arya several times and twisted it for good measure, sadistically enjoying our heroine’s pain. But then Arya kicked back, jumped over the bridge and into the water, presumed dead by the Waif. Later she crawled out and left a trail of blood as several people looked on. And some fans are in complete denial, insisting everything wasn’t as it seemed. They think Arya’s actually fine. Here’s some of the crazy ways they’re explaining the situation.

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1. Arya was faking her injuries

The theory: Arya isn’t an idiot. She knows that she’s being hunted. She has a plan. By chucking about her money and walking around like she owned the place (see above), she knew she would draw attention to herself, and she also knew that by standing on the bridge she would bring the Waif out of her hiding place to attack her.

Theorists think she was wearing a pouch of pig’s blood over her stomach – provided by her actress friend Lady Crane, whose life she saved – to fake her bloody injuries, before wandering through the crowd and leaving a blood trail to wherever she had hidden her sword, Needle. The idea goes that she’ll lie and wait for the Waif in the dark – in which she now knows how to fight, thanks to her former blindness. The Waif will presume she’s injured, will lower her guard, and fall victim to Arya.
The problem with the theory: That look of utter horror on Arya’s face as she gets stabbed by the Waif (who’s in disguise as a kindly old woman) seems very genuine. Not the kind of face you’d pull if you were expecting to be stabbed.

2. Arya was actually Jaqen H’ghar and the Waif failed his test

The theory: Jaqen H’ghar was testing the Waif last week, when he dispatched her to kill Arya and said “Don’t let her suffer”. The Waif literally twisted the knife as she stabbed Arya, disobeying her master Jaqen and not even confirming her kill after Arya had fallen in the water.

Some fans really think Arya is really Jaqen H’ghar wearing Arya’s face in this scene. Why? Well, he owes her a death (Remember when she saved him and two other men from a fire in season 2? She’s used up two of those deaths he promised her already). Then there’s the way she’s walking differently and she’s being completely unsubtle. Jaqen might be playing on how much Arya is underestimated by the Waif.
The problem with the theory: Arya isn’t dead yet. The Faceless Men wear the faces of the dead, so Arya would probably need to be dead for this theory to be true. And, you know. We’re kind of hoping she’s not. Some fans think the below scene, in which Arya sees her own face on Jaqen, proves he can use her face – but this was after she drank the potion that turned her blind, so it’s probably down to some strong hallucinogens.

3. The Waif and Arya are the same person

The theory: Fight Club. Wait – don’t run off yet. This has the support of loads of people. Arya and the Waif are two sides of the same coin: the Arya side is vengeful and holds on to her past, storing her sword Needle away and keeping her list of names. The Waif side, meanwhile, is the girl Arya wants to be: a girl without a name, who keeps trying to train Arya and knock the sentimental side out of her completely. It’s a battle of wills, and the Waif’s latest attempt to kill off her emotional side was near-victorious.
The problem with the theory: Game of Thrones is not Fight Club and this would be highfalutin even for this show. How would they go about explaining this in the next episode? It would be weird.

4. She did get stabbed, but the Waif is going to pay and Arya will no longer be a target

The theory: Everything happened as it seemed to do on screen, but Arya is now going to head to Lady Crane, the actress who was her assassination target, for help. Jaqen is going to find out that Arya was made to suffer by the Waif and will kill her himself, freeing Arya from the crosshairs. Remember what he said before sending her to kill Lady Crane? “One way or another, a face will be added to the hall.” That face could be Waif’s.
The problem with the theory: This is the least random of the theories, but there was something really weird about the whole scene with Arya, so if anything this theory treats it too normally.

What do you think – what actually happened, and how does it leave Arya now? Vote in the poll the below: