Arya Stark, Mary Sue? Not quite.
Following the calamitous events of “The Long Night,” in which Winterfell crumbled in the face of certain death, a number of critics have dismissed Maisie Williams’ character as a Mary Sue, which is to say that Arya is so faultless she strains credulity. Let’s unpack this.
As of this writing, there are 70 episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones, during which time Arya Stark has trained under the best swordsman in all of Westeros, studied the powerful politicking of Tywin Lannister, trained with the Hound, and literally enrolled as a would-be assassin under the watchful eye of Jaqen H’ghar, a faceless man of Braavos and one of the finest assassins in the land.
Is Arya faultless? Far from it. So why on Earth are people referring to her as a Mary Sue? We imagine it has something to do with her slaying the Night King, given that
Jon Snow Aegon Targaryen was the bookie’s favorite to overcome death incarnate. Twitter certainly had a few interesting perspectives on the debate, some of which are included below:
People calling Arya a Mary Sue may have missed the part where she trained for six seasons to be an assassin. #gameofthrones
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 29, 2019
*spends 8 seasons watching a character train and evolve into essentially a shapeshifting assassin and executioner*
Online Gentlemen: neat
*she protects one dude*
Online Gentlemen: BEHOLD! A Mary Sue in our midst.
— Brock Wilbur (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The (@brockwilbur) April 29, 2019
Before you call Arya Stark a Mary Sue lemme hit you with some goddamn fact.
1. Trained by the best swordsman in Westeros.
2. Trained by the best assassin
3. Studied/Watched the brilliance of Tywin Lannister
4. Studied/trained with The Hound
Shes a full bred warrior, fuck off.
— Trash Bag NHL Bracket Matt (@Jaigeyes_) April 29, 2019
MORE FROM THE WEB
So you think Arya is a Mary Sue but you don't think Jon Snow is? pic.twitter.com/vloKOOPVxz
— Agent Carter’s Biggest Stan (@ThatShaniaTween) April 29, 2019
To everyone throwing around the term Mary Sue about Arya Stark, I say this: pic.twitter.com/ChxZkWCNhk
— Justin Pearson (@StarLord_Justin) April 29, 2019
The Arya Mary Sue argument is really bizarre. Stealth has been something we've seen her do a lot already (perhaps even to supernatural degrees) and they even set it up again two weeks ago when she snuck up on Jon in that exact same spot.
— neontaster (@neontaster) April 29, 2019
So that’s that, then? Indeed, for those calling out Thrones‘ creative team, series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were quick to point out that they chose Arya to kill the Night King months ago, as she was the perfect candidate – a battle-ready Stark who knows the many serpentine corridors of Winterfell like the back of her hand.
With just three episodes remaining, Game of Thrones is officially in the endgame. There is just one war that remains, and we’ll give you a clue: it involves a power-mongering queen, one wounded dragon (?), and those haggard warriors who fought in the Battle of Winterfell and lived to tell the tale.