Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8.
Arya Stark has always been destined for greatness, but that never included marriage. Despite being the second daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark, Arya has always shirked the responsibilities and expectations of being a noblewoman. So, it’s only fitting that Arya rejected Gendry’s proposal on Game of Thrones after Daenerys named Gendry Lord of Storm’s End (the Baratheon family home). Becoming a lady — especially Gendry’s lady — was never in the cards for Arya, so expecting her to just up and marry the first man she’s ever had a crush on and slept with makes absolutely no sense.
When Gendry proposed marriage following the Battle of Winterfell he also asked Arya to become his wife and Lady of Storm’s End. Given how much Arya has been reading Jon the riot act about sticking with and defending family (plus her increasingly sentimental streak over the season), you’d been forgiven for thinking that Arya would accept Gendry’s proposal and she’d settle down to start her own family. Instead, Arya rejects Gendry with a kiss followed by a simple, “that’s not me.”
Since GoT has mastered the art of the callback and the “history repeating itself” trope, Arya’s rejection was actually a masterful echo of a season 1 conversation she had with Ned (RIP) during their time in King’s Landing. As Vanity Fair points out, Arya says the same thing to her father after he tells her one day she will marry and be a lady.
GoT has never been interested in developing Arya as a skilled assassin only for her to end up tending house and giving birth to Baratheon babies. Gendry has always seen Arya as a lady and has even, albeit jokingly, referred to her as a lady since season three. But he didn’t acknowledge her big victory in killing the Night King, nor did he explain why he loves her. He doesn’t really know Arya and Arya doesn’t really know him, but it’s okay that for a brief time, they consummated their crushes and took comfort in one another.
For now, she has bigger fish to fry and more names to cross off her list.
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