If they survive Game of Thrones season 8, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) should end up together. It may be presumptuous to assume one or both will survive the Great War against the White Walkers but, if they do make it to the end of season 8, Arya and Gendry are an ideal match to continue their Houses and lineage.
Arya and Gendry come from backgrounds as opposite as you would find in Westeros: the second daughter of Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) grew up (and rebelled against being) a Lady in Winterfell. Meanwhile, Gendry is the lone surviving bastard son of King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). Gendry had a difficult life toiling as a blacksmith in Flea Bottom, though endless hours swinging a hammer forged physical strength similar to his late father’s. Arya was much younger than Gendry when she arrived in King’s Landing after Ned Stark was named Hand of the King; they were thrown together by Yoren (Francis Magee) of the Night’s Watch after Ned was executed for treason in season 1. Arya and Gendry traveled towards the North together, were held captive by the Lannisters, and escaped from Harrenhal in season 2. After they encountered the Brotherhood Without Banners in season 3, Gendry was sold to Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who told him of his royal lineage and took him to Dragonstone to be sacrificed – Arya and Gendry haven’t seen each other since.
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Arya’s journey to Game of Thrones season 8 has been exotic, difficult, bloody and troubling; she trained to become a Faceless Man of Braavos and has become a ruthless killer who executes her family’s enemies. Meanwhile, Gendry was saved by Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and hid in Flea Bottom for several seasons before joining Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in season 7. After many years, these two unlikely old friends (one of the few friends each other has known) will be reunited in Winterfell for the war with the White Walkers.
But if Arya Stark and Gendry make it out in one piece and if the army of the living defeats the Night King – two big ifs – there are ample reasons why Arya and Gendry could find a future together:
- This Page: Gendry and Arya Has Been Set Up Since The Start of Game of Thrones
- Page 2: Gendry and Arya Together Would Fit Game of Thrones’ Ending
King Robert Foretold A Stark/Baratheon Marriage
Game of Thrones began with King Robert journeying to Winterfell to name his best friend Ned Stark as Hand of the King. As part of their pact, Robert decreed his oldest son Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) would marry Ned’s oldest daughter Sansa (Sophie Turner): “I have a son, you have a daughter, we’ll join our houses.” In Robert’s mind, the great Houses of Stark and Baratheon should be intertwined since Robert grew up with Ned at the Vale, won the Iron Throne with him, and he loved Ned more than he did his own brothers. Robert didn’t know Joffrey wasn’t his biological son, but to the King, Joffrey marrying Sansa would be a replacement for how Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark (Aisling Franciosi) was supposed to marry Robert before she died during Robert’s Rebellion.
In Game of Thrones, things rarely turn out the way characters intend them to and Arya and Gendry marrying could be what finally fulfills Robert’s plan that House Baratheon and House Stark be joined together. Of course, there are legal complications: Gendry is a bastard and few know who his true father is – not even Arya when Game of Thrones season 8 begins.
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Some key steps are needed for Gendry to become a true Baratheon: first, they’d have to survive the Great War. Then, whoever sits upon the Iron Throne at the end would have to legitimize Gendry as the sole heir of House Baratheon, which has been wiped out with the deaths of Robert, Renly, Stannis, and Shireen Baratheon. (It’s unlikely that Jon Snow as King in the North has the legal authority to legitimize Gendry to claim Storms’ End, which is its own kingdom). And, of course, Arya and Gendry would have to want to marry each other – but of the remaining characters, they would be each other’s best match.
Arya and Gendry Was Set Up At The Very Start of Game of Thrones
Arya and Gendry are two of Game of Thrones‘ longest surviving characters and they were literally thrown together at the end of season 1. Arya was trying to escape King’s Landing and return home to Winterfell disguised as a boy named “Arry” while Gendry was sold to the Night’s Watch by Master Mott (perhaps to spare his execution after the Iron Throne learned about King Robert’s numerous bastards). They became true friends since he was the only one who knew she was really a girl and she confessed she’s Arya Stark of Winterfell. Before they were separated, Arya told Gendry, “I could be your family,” to which he replied, “You wouldn’t be my family. You’d be my lady.” Many fans interpreted Gendry’s words as a romantic declaration (there are even stronger hints of a romance between them in George R.R. Martin’s novel A Clash of Kings), but Arya and Gendry were soon separated before this could be explored further.
While Sansa is closer to Gendry’s age, she would not be as good a match for him, especially politically. Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell who suffered two horrible marriages to Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Maintaining power in the North and running Winterfell are likely Sansa’s main priorities unless she is lucky enough to actually fall in love. Meanwhile, a legitimized Gendry would have claim to Storm’s End and he would need a suitable wife. Arya would fit the bill, not just politically as a Stark, but because Gendry is also the closest Arya has ever come to expressing any romantic notions towards someone in Game of Thrones.
Page 2 of 2: Gendry and Arya Together Would Fit Game of Thrones’ Ending
Arya And Gendry Will Reunite In Game of Thrones Season 8
Gendry seeing Arya again at Winterfell is one of the many exciting reunions fans look forward to in Game of Thrones season 8. After becoming a Faceless Man and wiping out House Frey, Arya finally made it home to Winterfell in season 7, where she and Sansa exposed Lord Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) for his many crimes. Arya personally executed Littlefinger with his own Valyrian steel dagger, avenging his betrayal of their father Ned Stark in season 1. Meanwhile, after being absent since season 3, Gendry came out of hiding in Flea Bottom and joined Jon Snow’s plan to journey to the North to capture a Wight and prove to Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) that the White Walkers are real. Gendry was last seen at Eastwatch-By-The-Sea but he is firmly on the side of Jon and Daenerys Targaryen going into season 8.
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Both Arya and Gendry have important roles to play in the Great War: Arya is now a skilled and dangerous fighter while Gendry’s skills as a blacksmith are invaluable. Jon Snow is returning to Winterfell with tons of dragonglass mined from Dragonstone, which Gendry will help forge into weapons against the White Walkers at the Battle of Winterfell. But if they both make it through alive, they will have to consider what happens next – and their best futures would be alongside each other.
Why Arya And Gendry Together Would Fit Game of Thrones’ Ending
Arya and Gendry ending up together neatly concludes both of their narrative arcs with touches of irony: young Arya never wanted to become a Lady like her sister; instead, she wanted to be a fighter and she achieved that goal, but not without great cost and emotional damage. Gendry had no great ambitions in life and wanted to stay out of the game of thrones, but he is the son of a King and he is now the only hope for House Baratheon to have a future. If Arya were to marry a legitimized Gendry Baratheon, she would be the Lady of Storm’s End. They would both get rewards they never actually wanted, but in that reward, they could actually find happiness together. By this point in the series, the age difference between Gendry and Arya doesn’t matter.
Of course, all of this presumes things work out not just for Gendry and Arya but for their loved ones and allies like Jon, Daenerys, Sansa, etc in season 8. A lot of moving pieces have to fall into place for a happy ending such as Arya Stark and Gendry Baratheon married and ruling Storm’s End together (if that’s even a life Arya could even accept for herself at this point). Even if the Night King is defeated, there’s also the matter of Arya surviving whatever revenge Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) has planned for her after she escaped the Faceless Men in Braavos. But if they were married, Gendry would likely let Arya be Arya and not attempt to domesticate her.
Game of Thrones isn’t known for happy endings, but Arya and Gendry are two characters who deserve a hopeful future. If Arya has any hope of a ‘normal’ life in Westeros, her best future would be as Ayra Baratheon of Storm’s End. It’s a longshot, to be sure, but Arya and Gendry together would also be one of the best endings for two fan-favorite characters in Game of Thrones season 8.
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Game of Thrones season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 on HBO.