In Praise Of Arya Stark: The Mighty Warrior We Got, The Badass MRAs Don't Deserve

With the hint of a cheeky smile, she has disarmed many lionised for their battle skills. How could there be anyone more worthy of a hero's end?

The longest episode of Game of Thrones, The Long Night has divided up the GoT fandom. While one half cannot stop raving about it, the other half is left fuming about how underwhelming the epic conclusion was (for them). Both sides have decent arguments to make their case, but the Arya haters don’t belong to either side.

*spoilers ahead*

This is a show where people come back to life regularly without any involvement by Ekta Kapoor whatsoever, dragons exist, and witchcraft is real. And people are honestly upset about a “little girl”, seemingly just an ordinary one at that, saving the day? For possibly being the prince(ss) that was promised in prophecies of yore?

Many have taken to social media to whine about Arya Stark being an undeserving hero. They aren’t happy that a “little girl” gets to walk away with the glory they thought a man would get to have. Or, at least a woman who has some supernatural aid boosting her powers. Some have even gone so far as to call her a Mary Sue, a trope, mostly restricted to female characters, who are seemingly too flawless without adequate explanation. But fans were swift to call out the whiners.

The thing about a story fans have waited nearly a decade (two if you started with the books when they came out) to conclude, is that some will always walk away with disappointment. But people who are screaming that a “little girl” killing one of the mightiest super villains in pop culture is BS, need a reality check.

If it isn’t what some were expecting, then that’s exactly what the creators of this epic saga wanted. After getting us addicted to shocking twists and turns for almost a decade, GRR Martin, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss deserve a pat on the pack for pulling this off with such finesse.

Arya Stark is the most badass of them all, whether trolls like it or not.

She doesn’t need a claim on the Iron Throne or dragons to become one of the deadliest fighters in Westeros. With the skills she acquired, painstakingly, over the years, there really wasn’t anyone else present at Winterfell that night, who could’ve killed the Night King…with a little bit of help from the Three-Eyed Raven who not only gave Arya the weapon made of Valyrian steel needed to vanquish the Night King but also tricked him to come to the very spot where he was created to meet his end.

The Night King would’ve seen Danaerys charging at him with her fire-breathing dragons from miles away. And he did. The Night King would’ve heard the hilariously heavy-footed Jon Snow, aka Aegon Targaryen, trying to sneak up on him. And he did.

For someone who was as cocky as the Night King, he would’ve underestimated someone like Arya, a “little girl” trying to jump him from behind. Arya has always been underestimated because of her size, age and gender. Instead of letting that get to her, she has always used it to her advantage.

Often with the hint of a cheeky smile, she has disarmed many lionised for their battle skills.

But that’s not all.

  1. She also trained with the Faceless Men and can now move like the shadow, seemingly undetected
  2. If Sansa got to observe and learn from twisted strategists like Cersei and Ramsay, Arya got to observe and learn from Cersei’s literal baap Tywin Lannister
  3. She also picked up skills from some of the best fighters in Westeros: the Hound being one of them. Even Brienne of Tarth was impressed with Arya’s swashbuckling skills

Another thing about Mary Sue characters is that they are supposed to be perfect and Arya is far from it. She has her flaws, one of them being that she could never follow orders or be a perfect little foot soldier. Well that can also be interpreted as Arya being an independent rule breaker with a mind of her own and perhaps MRAs are having a hard time wrapping their brains around that.

These are possibly the same people who think GoT became a “feminist propaganda” because “that’s what sells now”. Or maybe the ones who have a problem with Captain Marvel being the strongest Avenger because she’s a woman. So maybe they should go shed their male tears and hide their internalised misogyny somewhere else?