On Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones” (Season 7, Episode 2), a long-awaited reunion finally happened: Arya reconnected with her beloved direwolf, Nymeria.
Arya and Nymeria first parted ways all the way back in Season 1, when the Stark daughter set her massive wolf free to save her from Cersei and Joffrey’s clutches. Their reunion all these seasons later was so heartbreaking, in part, because it was all too brief. But also, because Arya delivered a puzzling goodbye: “That’s not you,” she told Nymeria.
Thankfully, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have explained the confusing farewell in full detail.
In a behind-the-scenes interview (available on HBO Go) released after Sunday’s episode aired, Benioff and Weiss explained that that line harks back to a Season 1 exchange between Arya and her father, Ned. The late, great Stark once told his daughter that she’d be a lady of a castle one day ― that she’d marry a lord in a “nice frilly dress” ― to which Arya responded passionately: “No, that’s not me.”
“When she finally finds Nymeria again, or Nymeria finds her, and she of course wants her to come back home with her and be her loyal companion again, but Nymeria’s found her own life,” Benioff says.
“Arya’s not domesticated,” Weiss adds, and so it would make sense that Nymeria wouldn’t be either.
“Once the wolf walks away, at first she’s heartbroken to have come this close,” he says, “and then she realizes the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf.”
There are still so many questions: Will Arya continue on to King’s Landing to take on Cersei? Or will she end up in Winterfell, as she’s just found out that her brother Jon is the King of the North? Will we meet Nymeria again?
We do know one thing for sure: It’s going to be a long, stressful couple of weeks for “Game of Thrones” fans.