Who's Left on Arya's Kill List?
Over the course of 8 seasons of Game of Thrones, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) has transformed from a stubborn young tomboy into a straight-up assassin, kicking ass alongside some of the best fighters in Westeros. Everyone's favorite not-a-lady is now on her way to King’s Landing, heading south with The Hound, to take care of some unfinished business — and there's little doubt about what that business is. She still has a couple names to scratch off her list. (She has murdering to do, in other words.)
There’s not a Stark alive (or dead) who has had an easy go of things since King Robert Baratheon died in season 1. To say they’ve experienced more trauma than one family should is an understatement but for the most part, they’ve rallied and are on the road to recovery. While each of the siblings has dealt with the last eight years differently, Arya’s coping mechanism has been a viewer favorite.
Early in Season 2, after witnessing her father’s public execution and committing her first murder, Arya creates her kill list version 1.0. The people who’ve wronged her or her loved ones are added to her to-do list of vigilante justice. To ensure she never forgets a name, she recites her list every night before she falls asleep, a soothing mantra of vengeance and retribution.
But how much killing has Arya done in the last several seasons? It can be hard to keep track of, but rest assured Arya has killed a lot of people and marked off more than a few names. Below, a refresher course on who has been brought to the Arya Stark court of law, and who’s been left alive — for now.
Arya’s Kill List: The Dead
Ser Meryn Trant
Arya’s journey to badass started early. Her father, the benevolent but short-lived Ned Stark, agreed to let her take “Water-Dancing” lessons, which is Braavosi-talk for sword fighting for small people. Her instructor, Braavosi dancing master and First Sword of Braavos, Syrio Forel, was killed by Ser Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie) when the Lannisters first started down the path of mad tyranny under the leadership of Joffrey. Forel, whom Arya loved and respected dearly, died giving Arya a chance to escape evil Lannister clutches, cementing Ser Meryn Trant’s place on Arya’s list.
In Season 5, Arya spots Trant in a brothel in Braavos and proceeds to murder him thoroughly.
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) orchestrated pretty much every bad thing that happened to the Starks in the first few seasons, but the most heinous was The Red Wedding in season 3 (when Robb, his wife Talisa, Stark Matriarch Catelyn, and pretty much everyone else were slaughtered during the reception).
Arya didn’t get the chance to rain vengeance down on Tywin, however. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has that honor in season 4, shooting his father with a crossbow while the latter answered the call of nature.
Rorge (Andy Beckwith) first crosses Arya as they journey north to Winterfell with Yoren. The group is attacked by Lannister troops and their camp set on fire. Arya helps free Rorge and two other criminals before they could be roasted alive in their cages. They’re all captured and sent to Harrehnal, where Rorge threatens to do all manner of horrible things to Arya, and tortures others with impunity.
Arya has the pleasure of dispatching of this piece of filth in season 4 while traveling with Sandor Clegane (a.k.a. her best frenemy, The Hound).
Oh, Joffrey. Cruel, spoiled, entitled, evil Joffery Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) did a lot of bad things to a lot of people and was probably on many lists of people who should die. He made Arya’s list in season 1 by ordering the execution of both Ned Stark and Arya’s friend Mycah, the butcher’s boy.
In the scene now referred to as The Purple Wedding, which depicts Joffery’s marriage to Margaery Tyrell, he’s poisoned by Olenna Tyrell with the assistance of Littlefinger, and dies in a suitably horrific and gruesome fashion. Like a true boss, Arya checks this one off without doing a thing.
Part of the group of Lannister soldiers who raid Yoren’s group, Polliver (Andy Kellegher) messes up big time when he steals Arya’s Needle then taunts and kills her friend, Lommy Greenhands, who was injured in the attack.
When Arya and Sandor find Polliver with a group of Lannister men robbing a tavern, she makes short work of him, recreating Lommy’s death and driving the point home. Needle’s point that is.
One of the Lannister army who took over Harrenhal, The Tickler (Anthony Morris) chose one prisoner daily to interrogate, and by interrogate we mean torture by attaching a bucket with a hungry rat inside to the prisoner’s chest then heating up the bucket until the rat tries to escape by any means necessary. He made Arya’s list the day he chose Gendry, who’s thankfully spared by Tywin.
Jaquen H’ghar promised Arya three deaths in repayment to the Many-Faced God for her saving him, Biter, and Rorge. The Tickler was her first pick and succumbed shortly thereafter.
Lord of the Twins, father of at least 30 children from seven wives, and in general a gross old man, Walder Frey (David Bradley) was the host and co-conspirator of the Stark slaughter at the Red Wedding.
Arya checks him off her list in season 6 in probably her most spectacular, multi-stage kill-spree ever. Step one: kill two of his sons and cook them into a pie. Step two: wear the face of a serving girl and feed said pie to old Walder. Step three: remove the face, slit the old man’s throat and make sure he knows who killed him. Step four: Using Walder’s face, throw a feast for all his many sons, serve them all poisoned wine, and watch as every man in the room dies a pretty gruesome death.
Melisandre, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr
In season 3, Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye), both members of the Brotherhood Without Banners, decide to sell Gendry to Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) so she could make use of his royal blood in a ritual dedicated to R’hollor, the Lord of Light. This lands all three on Arya’s list.
In season 7, Thoros ends up beyond the wall with Jon Snow and his mismatched band of merry warriors. In true Game of Thrones style, Thoros is mauled by an undead snow bear and freezes to death overnight.
Melisandre and Beric Dondarrion make it all the way to season 8 before they are both casualties of the Battle of Winterfell after they each play a part in saving the day — Berric by saving Arya from wights so she could put an end to the whole mess, and Melisandre by doing all sorts of helpful fire magic. Berric is killed by zombies, and Melisandre walks slowly into the sunrise and hyper-ages herself to death.
Arya’s Kill List: The Living
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
Arya and Sandor (Rory McCann) got off to a rocky start when he killed Mycah, the butcher’s boy at Joffrey's command in season 1 and earned a spot on the list.
She leaves him for dead in season 4, but he’s saved by the Brotherhood Without Banners. It’s safe to say he’s off the list now that he and Arya have accepted that they’re really pretty much BFFs even though neither would ever say it out loud.
Ser Ilyn Payne
Head executioner and tongueless mute Ser Ilyn Payne earned a spot on Arya’s list by not just beheading her father, but beheading her father with his own sword, Ice, a Stark family heirloom and icon of the North.
Ser Ilyn has not made an appearance since season 2 and has not been mentioned in the show since Season 4. The actor who portrays him, Wilko Johnson, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012 and the character was subtly removed from all his storylines. Though Johnson was reportedly cancer-free as recently as mid-2018, his status in the world of Game of Thrones is unknown and, at this point, he is unlikely to be reintroduced.
Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane
The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), who is Sandor’s brother, was running the show at Harrenhal and was complicit in the torture of innocent people by The Tickler.
He actually dies in season 4, killed by Oberyn Martell’s poisoned sword in Tyrion’s trial by combat, but is then resurrected by Cersei’s favorite weirdo, Qyburn. Since then he can be seen hulking behind Cersei, making threatening advances toward anyone who approaches her, and most recently, beheading fan fave Missandei of Naath in season 8 episode 4. He is still actively on Arya’s list and we are left to wonder if he has the green eyes mentioned in Melisandre’s prophecy.
Queen Awful. The Worst. Cruella DeLannister. No matter what you call her, there’s no doubt Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is number one on the list of people Arya wants gone. It all started when Cersei falsely accused Ned Stark of treason and stood by while Joffrey ordered his execution. And as we all know, her crimes against the Starks and pretty much the whole rest of Westeros have skyrocketed since.
Arya is currently heading south to King’s Landing and one can only assume it’s to scratch this last name off her list. But with so many other people headed in the same direction for the same reason, it’s going to be a tough call to decide who finally gets the honor. For what it’s worth, our money is on Jaime.