Arya Stark's Kill List: who's still left for Needle in Game of Thrones season 8?

Amy Blumsom
Arya has steadily been ticking names off her murderous list - but who is still left to kill?

Whilst some people count sheep to get themselves off to sleep, Arya Stark recites the names of all who have wronged her. The aim, in case you haven’t worked out already, is to quite literally strike those names off.

Over the course of the show, Arya has received training from some of the best in the business, and it’s all helped her on the way to becoming Westeros’ most ruthless assassin. First, Syrio Forel taught her the art of sword fighting like a nimble Braavosi, then, she learned how to fend for herself in the unforgiving real world from the Hound. More recently, Arya has returned from the House of Black and White, where she learned the art of disguise from the enigmatic Faceless Men.

Even if we don't count her foray into Night King-slayingGame of Thrones’s youngest assassin has made good headway on the list she started constructing back in season two. But with the promise of even more bloodshed in season eight's final episode (the mad queen has to go, right?), here is a refresher of who was on Arya's list – and how many people have been struck off thus far.

Season 8 spoilers ahead.

Cersei Lannister

Cersei Lannister

Why does Arya want to kill her?

Cersei falsely accused Arya’s father, Ned Stark, of treason and organised his arrest, all the way back in season one. What began a trickle of unpleasant events led to a deluge of horror for the young Stark. First, Ned was executed, which led the North to declare war on the Lannisters, and swathes of Arya’s family being slain in various horrifying ways.

Is she dead yet?

Finally. For far too long, Cersei continued to make herself comfortable on the Iron Throne. If anything, the golden-haired queen became more powerful since she was added to Arya’s list. Then Daenerys lost her mind and decided to kill everyone in King's Landing (leaving Cersei and Jaime under its rubble). Arya was clearly determined to tick this name off as soon as possible but a paternal nudge by The Hound has resulted in different kill list target who has green eyes.

Ilyn Payne

Ilyn Payne

Why does Arya want to kill him?

This somewhat defies the advice of “don't shoot the messenger”, but royal executioner Payne lopped off Ned Stark’s head on the orders of Joffrey. One could argue that he didn’t really have a choice, especially as Ser Ilyn doesn’t have a tongue (it was torn out by the Mad King), so couldn’t exactly challenge the instruction.

Is he dead yet?

We’ve not seen Ilyn die on screen, but the man who plays him, Dr Feelgood’s Wilko Johnson, has been out of the spotlight with a remarkable battle against cancer in recent years. He’s now in recovery, so Ilyn may return to the show.

The Mountain

The Mountain, before his armoured days

Why does Arya want to kill him?

She was forced to witness The Mountain (aka Gregor Clegane) lead a group of Lannister troops in torturing local people at Harrenhal. 

Is he dead yet?

Technically he has already died once (his enormous body was creepily re-animated by Maester Qyburn) but Arya wasn't the one to deliver his final blow. The nimble Oberyn Martell and his poisoned spear managed to fell The Mountain first time around and The Hound (aka Sandor Clegane) fulfilled poetic justice by stabbing him numerous times – even through the face – before pushing his brother off King's Landing's walls into dragon fire.

The Red Woman

Melisandre

Why does Arya want to kill her?

Melisandre purchased Arya’s friend Gendry from the Brotherhood Without Banners, to use his blood for black magic. Arya bears a grudge, despite the fact The Red Woman also brought her beloved brother Jon Snow back from the grave. 

Is she dead yet?

Though Melisandre prophesied that she was fated to die in the Seven Kingdoms, it was not at the hand of Arya. Instead, the Red Woman used her magical abilities to strengthen Winterfell’s forces before removing her life-preserving necklace and, essentially, committing suicide. (Don’t feel too bad; she was hundreds of years old...)

Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr

Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr

Why does Arya want to kill them?

The pair sold Gendry to Melisandre.

Are they dead yet?

Thoros met his icy maker in season seven when he froze to death after being bitten by a wight bear. Beric was still alive, and – as of episode 2 of season 8 – off Arya's list until meeting his seventh death in the Battle of Winterfell. In one of his final acts, he actually tossed his flaming sword to save her life.

Polliver

Polliver

Why does Arya want to kill him?

The Lannister servant knocked Arya over during the attack on Yoren before stealing Needle and mocking her beloved sword. The utterance that sealed his fate? “Fine little blade; maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it”.

Is he dead yet?

Very much so. Arya exacted her revenge after encountering him in a tavern, where he tried to buy her virginity for the price of a chicken. After Polliver was ambushed by The Hound, Arya retrieved Needle and slew him while repeating his own words back to him. The astonished look on his face as he finally clocked his killer’s identity made it one of the show's most satisfying death scenes.

Joffrey Baratheon

Joffrey Baratheon

Why does Arya want to kill him?

Let’s face it, who wouldn't want to kill Joffrey? Of course, Arya’s reasons are more specific than most: she blames the sadistic former boy-King for ordering the murder of her friend Mycah, and the execution of her father Eddard.

Is he dead yet?

Thankfully, yes. Joffrey was poisoned back in season four, at the so-called Purple Wedding. The murder was engineered by Olenna Tyrell, with some aiding and abetting on the part of Littlefinger. Rather than delighting at Joffrey’s demise, Arya was annoyed that she wasn't there to watch: “I wanted to see the look in his eyes when he knew it was over.” 

Rorge

Rorge

Why does Arya want to kill him?

Rorge threatened to rape her when he was a prisoner of the Night’s Watch and they were both en route to Castle Black. 

Is he dead yet?

Yes, after a little kill list admin from Arya. Rorge ambushed her and The Hound at a rural homestead, and was swiftly captured. It was only after Arya learned Rorge's name that she decided to add him to the list – then immediately kill him.

Walder Frey

Walder Frey

Why does Arya want to kill him?

Aside from being a thoroughly odious individual, Walder Frey carried out the brutal murder of most of House Stark – who were his guests – at the Red Wedding. 

Is he dead yet?

Oh yes. Arya, disguised as a servant, slit Frey’s throat, but only after feeding him a pie filled with the flesh of his two sons. She then took on his appearance, before poisoning what was left of House Frey in a feast that was eerily reminiscent of the Red Wedding.

Meryn Trant

Meryn Trant

Why does Arya want to kill him?

It was greasy Kingsguard Meryn Trant who murdered Arya's old ‘dancing master’, swordsman Syrio Forel (although Syrio’s death was never shown on screen, and some believe he may have secretly escaped).

Is he dead yet? 

Yes. Last season, Arya used her newly acquired ‘Faceless’ skills to disguise herself as an unknown young girl in a brothel, to exact revenge upon the unsuspecting Trant. It was one of the most gruesome yet satisfying murders of season five, with Arya revealing her true identity, then stabbing the hapless knight in his eyes and chest before, finally, slitting his throat.  

Tywin Lannister 

Tywin Lannister

Why does Arya want to kill him?

While he wasn’t there in person, Arya knows that Tywin was the mastermind behind the Red Wedding.

Is he dead yet?

Yes, very much so: Tywin’s own son Tyrion managed to beat Arya to the punch, dispatching his not-so-dear old dad with a bow and arrow back at the end of season four.

The Hound

The Hound

Why does Arya want to kill him?

In season one, acting upon the orders of Joffrey, he murdered Mycah the butcher’s boy, Arya’s friend. Since that fateful day on the King’s Road, we’ve seen the pair form a reluctant but endearing double act. They ate chicken, murdered ne’er do wells and haphazardly roamed the countryside together. This unlikely bond still didn’t quite soften Arya’s sense of justice, as she left him injured in the middle of nowhere rather than giving him the satisfaction of a swift death.

Is he dead yet?

Just when mutual, venge-hungry respect seems to have moved The Hound into her good books, 'The Last War' (and the creepily, quasi-immortal Mountain) took Sandor's life. The long-awaited Cleganebowl saw The Hound stab his brother multiple times, but his resilience and brutality left him with only one option; to knock them both off the wall and into dragon fire.

The Night King

The long-awaited death of the Night King Credit: HBO

Why does Arya want to kill him?

Though he was a rather late addition to Arya’s kill list, the Night King has long stood at the driving force for the apocalypse. It was quite literally do or die.

Is he dead yet?

Surprisingly, yes! Out of nowhere, Arya leapt from the shadows of the Weirwood forest to stab the Night King with Valyrian steel and destroy his entire undead army – zombie dragon and all – in the process.

 

Catch up on Game of Thrones season 1-8 on NOW TV with a 7 day free Entertainment Pass trial.