How It Feels to Be the Only Arya Hater in a Sea of Game of Thrones Fans
As I write this, I'm mentally prepared for an angry mob outside my front door. After all, there's no fandom more passionate than the one surrounding Game of Thrones, and unpopular opinions don't often go over well. But here it goes: I think that Arya Stark is the most overrated character in the series. *dodges rotten tomatoes*
I don't actively hate Arya. I just don't necessarily like her.
Hear me out! I don't actively hate Arya. I just don't necessarily like her. And for most people, that's enough to label me crazy. I'm not trying to convert anybody else away from the Arya fandom . . . I think loving her character is perfectly valid, and there's no denying that she's fun to watch! I just personally don't believe that she's worthy of all the hype that she receives from the show's fans.
Perhaps it's because, from the start of the show, she's been used as a means to tear down her older sister, Sansa, one of the series's best characters. Many Game of Thrones fans — both book-readers and show-watchers, mind you — hold tomboyish Arya up as an example of somebody who's better than Sansa because she can fight with a sword and doesn't trifle with "girlie" things. I won't delve into the inherent sexism of this reasoning, but suffice to say that it's put a sour taste into my mouth about Arya from the start.
Don't get me wrong: Arya Stark is one badass motherf*cker. But is that enough to deserve the hype?
Don't get me wrong: Arya Stark is one badass motherf*cker. There is no arguing that she is an incredible fighter and that her faceless skills make her a valuable asset when it comes to exacting revenge. But is being badass enough to deserve all of this hype?
Arya has done very little by way of character development. Hell, her entire House of Black and White plotline proves that she is incapable of truly changing as a person. From season one, Arya has proven that violence is her go-to answer for nearly everything . . . and in season seven, when she lashes out at Sansa for not beheading bannermen who disagree with her family, she proves that she hasn't changed a bit (except, of course, to become more like Joffrey Baratheon, who executes their father for the exact same reason and also enjoys cruelly taunting people he has power over. Just saying).
Of course, I am extremely lonely in this belief, and the response from GOT fans who disagree with me consistently proves it. Check out a day in my life as a lone wolf in the Arya-ambivalence camp. Spoiler alert: it ain't pretty.