Arya did not die in the Game of Thrones series finale episode, she actually set out on a new adventure to explore Westeros even further.
Arya Stark was one of the most beloved characters on Game of Thrones because of her bold, defiant personality.
Fortunately, even though Arya has a few close calls with death in the last episode of the show, she does not die and is able to set sail to explore what is west of Westeros in the end.
Why do people love Arya Stark?
By the time that the eighth season of Game of Thrones premiered, it was still one of the most popular shows ever to be aired on television.
Arya Stark was a fan-favourite character from the moment that she appeared on the screen as Ned Stark’s defiant youngest daughter.
During the course of the eight seasons of the series, Arya completely transformed from a naïve little girl to the hero who finally killed the Night King, conquering many impressive feats and sword fights along the way.
Game of Thrones: Does Arya Stark die?
To give credit where credit is due, Arya Stark is one of the few characters in the history of Game of Thrones that made it all the way to the final season alive.
It was clear pretty much from the moment that Jon gave Arya her sword, “Needle”, that she was determined to forge her own path in the world.
However, not many people knew from the beginning that Arya would fight with the Faceless Men in Braavos or that she would ultimately be the one to kill the Night King south of the wall.
This was arguably one of the most pivotal battles in the final season of the show and it proved what a resilient and skilled fighter Arya had become.
In fact, even in the series finale episode, when Daenerys and Drogon are burning down King’s Landing, Arya continues to persevere and fight for survival.
For a few moments during this finale it seemed as though Arya could have been killed by falling rubble, but she eventually emerged alive.
In the following scenes, she is shown sailing her own ship, complete with Stark banners, presumably to go investigate what is west of Westeros.
Even though there are some fan theories that would have you believe otherwise, Arya ends up being one of the very few characters that are still alive by the end of the show.
Fan theories about Arya’s death
Although most Game of Thrones fans were content to see Arya set out on a voyage to the west at the end of the series, other keen-eyed fans have developed a theory that it was not Arya on that ship, but it was actually the Waif from Braavos.
This theory basically insists that instead of Arya killing the waif on Braavos, the Waif actually killed Arya and took her face.
While this would explain why Arya seemed to forget about her kill-list by the end of the show, it does not explain why she would still be interested in exploring outside Westeros.
Why did Arya not want to go back to Winterfell?
Although Sansa and Arya’s brief reunion in season seven was sweet to see, Arya was adamant about the fact that she would not return to Winterfell when all was said and done.
This makes sense because Arya never wanted to be a lady of Winterfell, and now that she knows that Jon is really a Targaryen, she may feel like she has no real family left, except for Sansa, who she knows can rule on her own.
Winterfell is no longer her home and she needs a new quest to keep her content.
Which other characters are still alive by the end of the show?
The Game of Thrones finale definitely did not shy away from killing off some of the characters that fans had been rooting for from the beginning, but like Arya, some of the important characters managed to survive Daenerys’s wrath.
Among these are Arya’s other “Stark” siblings, including Jon Snow, who ultimately returned to the wall with Tormund and the wildlings; Sansa Stark, who was crowned Queen in The North; Bran Stark, who was crowned King; and two of the dire wolves, Nymeria and Ghost.
Under Bran’s rule, a few of the surviving characters also got promoted, like Ser Brienne of Tarth who became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard; Bronn, who became Master of Coin; Davos Seaworth, who became Westeros’ Master of Ships; and Samwell Tarly, who was appointed to the new council as Grand Maester, along with Tyrion Lannister who was named the Hand.