'Game of Thrones' Season 7: Why Arya Stark's Fight with Brienne was More than Just Training
'Game of Thrones' Season 7: Why Arya Stark's Fight with Brienne was More than Just Training
Alexandria Gunn
Alexandria Gunn
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Arya Stark returned to Winterfell in Game of Thrones season 7 episode 4, "The Spoils of War." At first it looked like she might decide not to reunite with her family, but in the end she reconnected with Sansa and Bran. This was also a chance for Arya and Brienne to meet again, with Arya requesting to train with the woman who beat the Hound.

That fight was more than just training for Arya and the Game of Thrones community, though. With Sansa watching (whether Arya knew or not), the training session had a deeper meaning.

It Was a Chance for Sansa to See Her New Sister

There is no denying that the three surviving Starks have been through a lot over the last few years. Bran has become the Three-Eyed Raven, Sansa has been manipulated, assaulted, and forced to grow up in a dark place, and Arya has become a mini assassin. When Arya and Sansa first reunited, it was clear that Sansa didn't believe Arya's talk about the list of people she wanted to kill. Why would she?

However, that training session between Arya and Brienne was a chance for Sansa to see the fighter and assassin her sister has become. It was clear on Sansa's face that she feared her little sister, not knowing just what Arya was now capable of. But there was something else: regret.

As the big sister, Sansa should have been able to protect Arya from the darkness in the world. That training scene told Sansa that Arya hasn't had an innocent life over the years. She has been to hell and back, and isn't ready to let Queen Cersei take over the Seven Kingdoms. There was also likely a little pride mixed in, because Arya is another Stark who has been thrown into the deep end of life and swam to the top.

It was a Chance for Arya to Show Everything She's Learned

One of the first things Game of Thrones fans would have noticed was Arya's fighting style. It was quick, nimble, and flowing. There were connections back to the very first season, when Arya's "dance tutor" taught her the art of sword fighting.

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However, that's not the only lesson Arya has learned over the years. The training session was a chance to show Brienne that she has picked up more than just fighting techniques. The Hound taught her where to attack during a fight. Whenever Arya won a round, she went for Brienne's weakest parts of her body when in the past she would have gone for the armor. Arya attacked the legs, neck, and arms, making it clear that she wasn't someone to mess with.

There was also a chance to show that Sansa wasn't the only person to learn from a Lannister. Back in season 2, Arya came across Tywin Lannister, who taught her that great warriors don't underestimate their opponent. During the training session, Brienne clearly underestimated Arya's abilities due to her size and age. Arya never underestimated Brienne's abilities or her own, helping her search for weak spots and constantly be one step ahead.

For the Game of Thrones audience, it was a chance to see how much Arya has grown over the years. We've watched her training in the House of Black and White, but this was a chance to see the psychological training Arya had received long before that.

Did you enjoy Arya and Brienne training together? What was your favorite part of the scene? Share in the comments below.

Game of Thrones season 7 continues on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO. Don't forget to follow the Game of Thrones Facebook page for updates straight to your newsfeed.

(Image courtesy of HBO)