A Song of Ice and Hot Takes
Looks Can Be Deceiving in Braavos
In this past episode “The Broken Man,” we saw a graphic, brutal scene in which Arya Stark was stabbed in the gut by the Waif. She rolls off the bridge and now seems almost certain to bleed out and die in the streets. But I shouldn’t say “she” because we don’t really know who it was that was stabbed in the gut. All I can say is it probably wasn’t Arya.
It’s been pointed out by redditors and others all over the internet that she was mysteriously without her prized possession, her sword Needle, which seems strange given they made a point of showing Arya go back to the rocks and dig up her sword in last weeks episode. Why go out into the streets of Braavos with no protection, knowing the Faceless Men are looking to kill you? It doesn’t make sense. It’s not pragmatic. And if we know Arya to be anything, it’s pragmatic.
Also, where did she get all that money? Sure she could have stolen it, but her entire demeanor in this weeks episode felt a little off. She looked and acted a little too perfect, which leads me to believe that it isn’t actually Arya Stark, it’s a Faceless Man in her skin.
But why would Jaqen or another Faceless Man want to pretend to be Arya and try to book passage for her back to Westeros? That’s the million dollar question, but as I wrote last week, it could be that Arya wasn’t the one who failed her test. It could be that Arya passed her test and the person who failed was in fact the Waif, who for whatever reason seems to want to kill Arya, which goes against everything the Faceless Men stand for.
Could it be that Jaqen wore Arya’s face out into the streets of Braavos knowing the Waif would come after him? If you remember, Jaqen told the Waif “not to let [Arya] suffer” and if I do say so myself, that death looked awfully painful. It may feel like Arya is the hunted and the Waif the hunter, but I think it’s the other way around.
Also, we have seen Jaqen wear Arya’s face once before, when he poisoned himself and she went blind. Arya started peeling one face after the other off of him and the last one she saw before losing her sight was her own. That was the first time we saw Jaqen sacrifice himself for Arya, this could be the second.
Now, the other theory would be that it was Arya and she was walking around town making lots of noise because she wanted the Waif to find her. She needed to smoke the Waif out so to speak, so she made her presence known and stood on the bridge waiting.
As our redditor says, maybe she enlisted the help of her actor friend Lady Crane and the blood was fake stage blood seems awfully dangerous, like sure it works if the Waif stabs you in the one place where your bag of blood is, but what if she slits your throat? It feels a little half baked to me.
We won’t be left seeing Arya’s dead body on the streets of Braavos. Arya will kill the Waif. It is known.