Arya Stark has already fulfilled many of our Game of Thrones reunion wishes. In Season 7, Episode 2 we were treated to that eagerly anticipated meeting with Nymeria, as well as a (arguably more satisfying) catch up with Hot Pie. With a return to Winterfell in the cards, an Arya/Sansa reunion scene seems inevitable, while the longed-for reunion with Jon also appears likely at some point this season. With rumors of Gendry making a reappearance, Arya seems set to catch up with yet another familiar face. WARNING: Game of Thrones spoilers to follow!
However, there is one reunion popular among fans that seems uncertain at present: a reunion with The Hound. Despite their strained relationship, there was mutual respect between the pair, and after their dramatic parting, it would be interesting to see how each would respond to a reunion. One thing we can be certain of is that these two are surprisingly similar.
1. Their Personalities Are Alike
When we first met these characters in Season 1, both were misfits struggling with lives that didn’t really suit their authentic selves. Arya was forced to learn to sew and wear dresses but rebelled by sword fighting and responding to her father with "No. That’s not me" when he suggested that she would grow up to marry a Lord and be a Lady.
The Hound, on the other hand, was Joffrey's "Dog," obeying orders with cold indifference. However, he refused to be a knight, saved Loras Tyrell from the Mountain and displayed gentleness toward Sansa. This all revealed that there was another side to the character. As the show progressed, it became evident that they are both bold, willful characters who stand by what they believe in and ferociously express their truth.
2. They Have Similar Storylines
In ways, Arya and the Hound have similar storylines. Both are shaped by childhood trauma; we learn about The Hound's past through stories, while we've seen Arya's family die in front of her. Each have reached a breaking point where, hopeless, friendless and without direction, they did the only thing left when feelings hurt too much: they flicked the switch on their emotions. Both resolved to avoid getting close to others and became heartless killers when they had cause to be, leaving carnage in their wakes.
There was always an undercurrent of caring though, and in Season 6 we saw the extreme opposites of their personalities. Ruthless assassin Arya became friends with an actress, and eventually disobeyed the commission to kill her. She also realized that in spite of her attempts to turn her back on the past, her heart still lay with her family — her soul was still Arya Stark. Violence also seemed second nature to The Hound, but after being embraced by a community, for the first time he allowed himself to become more emotionally invested in his companions.
3. Their Characters Share A Theme
Throughout #GameOfThrones Arya and The Hound have shared the theme of self discovery — and Season 7 has continued this. Arya was cold to her enemies when avenging her family, but displayed greater judgement than her anger when she chose to spare the Lannister soldiers she met in Episode 1. She was also visibly touched by the prospect of a reunion with Jon, even choosing to head to Winterfell over following through with her plan to kill Cerci.
The Hound, despite being characteristically grumpy, showed remorse for his part in the death of the farmer and his daughter, and even seems to have developed friendships among members of The Brotherhood Without Banners. It seems very likely that this misunderstood pair will grow even more lovable as Game of Thrones draws to a close, but what might be in store for these characters?
4. Their Futures Could Be Similar
Both characters are significant. Arya is potentially the most dangerous character in Westeros after training to be a Faceless Man in The House of Black and White, while The Hound has recently discovered prophetic visions when gazing into his greatest nemesis: fire. That Arya and The Hound will continue to have pivotal roles to play is something we can be certain of.
As for their reunion, Arya could be set to join Jon Snow's fight against the White Walkers, a cause The Brother Hood Without Banners are likely to share with their Lord Of Light connection. As The Hound seems to be their newest member, there's hope yet for the pair to meet again.
What Could All This Mean For The Future Of Game Of Thrones?
The fact that Arya and The Hound have such unique and unconventional personalities represents one of the many ways that Game of Thrones is not afraid to be unpredictable. Characters that could easily have been presented as "lost causes" are given solid storylines that makes it easy to understand and love them. It's impossible not to wish the best for these two, but Game of Thrones' willingness to deter from the expected might suggest that we should be preparing ourselves from the opposite of what we want for every character.
Of course, there have been satisfying moments, such as Jon's resurrection and Joffrey and Ramsey's demise, but maybe we should predict the unpredictable from a show that is so eager to embrace the unique. After The Hound had a premonition of White Walkers marching around the wall (in the show's opening credits, the sea is freezing over at the side of the wall), maybe a happy ending is more than we can hope for.
What do you think about the characters of Arya and the Hound? Do you want to see them reunite? Comment below!