In the television adaptation of the series, she is played by Maisie Williams.
Appearance and CharacterEdit
Arya Stark is a tomboyish girl who likes fighting and exploiting, unlike her older sister Sansa Stark. Her fierce temperament is often discouraged by Septa Mordane. She is left-handed, skinny and fast. With her dark hair, grey eyes and long stern face, Arya resembles more of a Stark than a Tully, despite all her siblings. Jon Snow, her half-brother, is the other one of the Stark children who have more of a Stark appearance. The bastard son of Eddard is also the sibling she likes the most. She is very good at mathematics and horse riding. Her behavior and appearance makes people often mistake her for a boy.
When each of the Stark children got a direwolf pup to keep, she named hers Nymeria. They travel to King's Landing with her father. When Nymeria attacks Joffrey, Arya throws rocks at her to scare her away so Cersei will not kill her. Sansa's wolf Lady was killed in place of Nymeria's attack on Prince Joffrey.
While in King's landing, Her father discovers Needle, but instead of taking it from her; Eddard realizes that she must be trained. Arya begins training under Syrio Forel, a water dancer from Braavos. Along with teaching Arya fighting in the Braavosi style, Syrio gives her strange exercises--like standing on one foot, and chasing cats. During one of those exercises, Arya discovers secret passages in the Red keep. She overhears two men, who by description seem to be Varys and Illyrio, speaking about her father and Cersei. She tries to tell Eddard about Cersei's plans to get rid of him, though he doesn't listen.
When Cersei's men come to get Arya During the purge of Stark from the Red Keep, Syrio defends her, resulting in his apparent death. Meanwhile Arya got out of the castle using the passage she found earlier, but she couldn't get out of the city since the gates are heavily guarded. She lives on the streets of Flea Bottom, catching pigeons and rats to trade for food, until the day she witnesses her father's public condemnation. She is found in the crowd by Yoren of the Night's Watch, who recognizes her and then saves her from the sight of Eddard's execution and drags her out of King's Landing.
When her father is executed, Arya manages to escape with the help of Yoren and his party of recruits of the night watch. He cuts her hair, leaving her posing as a boy named Arry.
Lannister freeriders led by Ser Amory Lorch kill Yoren on the shores of Gods Eye and burn the bard where he and his recruits were hiding. But Arya manages to escapes along with Gendry, Hot Pie, and Lommy Greenhands. In the process she saves the lives of Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter - three criminals found in the Black Cells that Yoren was bringing to the wall. Shortly after, Arya is captured by men under the command of Gregor Clegane. They take her to Harrenhal and put her to work as a servant in the undermanned castle.
Whilst Arya serves as a servant at Harrenhal - going by the name 'Weasel' - H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter reappear as members of the Brave Companions. For saving his life during the attack, H'ghar promises to repay Arya by killing three men of her choice. For her three choices, Arya selects Chiswyck, a soldier in Gregor Clegane's forces. Weese, her servant overseer, and Jaqen H'ghar himself. The first two murders he carries out without question. However in lieu of the third choice, Arya leverages H'ghar to help her free the Northmen in the dungeon and stage an uprising. No long after H'ghar fulfill her third wish, he gives Arya an old iron coin and tells her to give the coin to any man from Braavos if she should ever desire to find him and learn his secrets. He then adopts a new identity and leaves.
The next day, Lord Roose Bolton arrives to take charge of the Harrenhal. Arya, now calling herself Nymeria, or Nan for short, is made one of Roose's cup-bearers for her significant role in the freeing of the North men. She inadvertently meets the squire she would have to marry under Robb's agreement with the Freys, though they remain unknown to each other.
After Lord Roose Bolton tells Arya about his plan of leaving Harrenhal to Vergo Hoat, Arya kills a guard and escapes Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie.
Arya Stark and her friends encounter a group of men known as the Brotherhood Without Banners, led by Lord Beric Dondarrion and the red priest, Thoros of Myr. Arya eventually tires of following the Brotherhood around and tries to break free, but is captured by Sandor Clegane instead. Clegane decides to take her back to her family in exchange for service, and they head north.
Arya and Sandor are in the outskirts of the castle when the 'Red Wedding' takes place, and flee downriver. Arya has a strange dream that she is actually her long-missing direwolf, Nymeria, who now leads a huge pack of wolves in the Riverlands. She dreams of Nymeria finding a corpse floating in the Green Fork south of the Twins and pulling it ashore, only to flee as a group of men approach.
Arya and Sandor Clegane run afoul of some freeriders in the service of Sandor's hated brother, Gregor, in an inn. There is a fight and the freeriders are killed, but Sandor is wounded. Arya leaves him dying under a tree and goes to the nearby port town of Saltpans, on the Trident. She finds a ship from the Free City of Braavos there, but they refuse to take her north. She pulls out the coin Jaqen H'ghar gave her and the ship crew suddenly become more cooperative. They won't take her north, but do agree to take over back to Braavos beyond the Narrow Sea with them. She agrees.
In the Free City of Braavos, Arya Stark finds her way to the House of Black and White, a temple to the Many-Faced God. There Arya is inducted into the ranks of the Faceless Men as a novice. She learns that the Faceless Men are not simply a band of skilled assassins, but also a religious sect dating long before the Doom of Valyria. They consider their assassinations to be holy sacraments to their god of death. As Faceless Men must have no true identity, Arya assumes the role of 'Cat of the Canals' and becomes a familiar sight on the streets of the city. However, her old identity occasionally slips through. She hides her sword Needle rather than discarding it as ordered and later kills Dareon for forsaking his vows to the Night's Watch.
The priests of the House of Black and White strike her blind by some means as part of her training. With her sight gone, she learns to develop her other senses. When her blind training is completed, the priests remove her hearing to further train her other sensory skills.
Arya is a major POV character and the only one confirmed to appear in each of the first five novels of the series.
Arya and her Death ListEdit
During her journey, Arya is often faced with deathly situations. In the Riverlands, she started to "pray", constantly repeating for herself the names of the people she wishes dead. In the fourth book, when she became an assassin trainee, it was supposed to come to an end, but it continued. The list was frequently changed, with names being dropped or even added, as her travels went along. Curiously, an impressive number of people she wished dead actually died: King Joffrey Baratheon (poisoned by Olenna Tyrell), The Tickler (killed by Arya herself), Ser Gregor (died in severe pain due to the manticore venom Oberyn had in his spear), Ser Amory Lorch (eaten by Vargo Hoat's bear), Polliver (killed by The Hound), Chiswyck (killed by Jaqen Haghar) and Weese (killed by his own dog)