You'd be hard pressed to find a character more likable in Game of Thrones than Arya Stark. What happens to her in season 4 might be a tad difficult to predict if you're a fan who has read A Storm of Swords. Yes, the show has been off the air for quite some time, and yes, season 4 won't premiere until 2014, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate what might happen to this fan favorite based off of what went down in the book.
Arya has been trying to get back to her mother, brothers, and sister ever since, well ... jeez, hasn't it seemed like forever? After the twists and turns in season 3, she has been more alone and bereft than ever before. Of course, knowing Arya, she will more than rise to the occasion, but as a little girl, who can she turn to now? And, as book readers know, the show will have to diverge from the original source at certain points in Arya's storyline.
BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD. You have been warned! And you probably could have figured that out by now already.
Arya is left with the Hound after she finds out her brother Robb and mother Catelyn had perished in the Red Wedding. At the end of season 3, she viciously stabs a man who was making fun of Robb, and now she is left alone with the Hound of all people.
Sandor Clegane (that's the Hound) believes the only option he has left is to take her to her Aunt Lysa to the Vale of Arryn. If you recall, Lysa was the one who wanted to throw Tyrion from a tower in the sky and was breastfeeding her sickly grown son. She's a little cray.
Soon enough, Arya finds a horse and names him Craven, but then the pair finds out they can't get to the Eyrie. The Hound, running out of options, turns around to Riverrun to see if Brynden Tully, aka Ser Brynden the Blackfish (Catelyn's uncle), would pay the ransom for Arya. Brynden, if you remember, fortuitously left the Red Wedding early and escaped the slaughter.
They stop at an inn and happen to run into the Tickler (who was the torturer in season 2) and Polliver, two men on Arya's list of people she wants dead that she recites every night.
Now, in the TV series, the Tickler is already dead, as Arya had wished for his death and he was assassinated by Jaqen H'ghar.
In the book, this represents kind of a huge moment for Arya, as she saves the Hound from the Tickler as he closes in on him. Arya viciously stabs the Tickler while shouting the questions he asked his victims at Harrenhal over and over again. Sandor then orders Arya to take out Polliver, and she is able to reclaim her sword Needle from him, which was given to her by Jon Snow in one of the very few happy moments in this damn series.
You'd think Arya would begrudgingly warm up to Sandor after everything they've been through ... but he cannot go on due to his injuries from the brawl at the inn. She is just about to kill him to give him a merciful death, but instead leaves him and doesn't look back. She sells Craven and is able to get on a ship called Titan's Daughter, which is heading to Braavos, one of the free cities. She's able to get on board by using the coin Jaqen gave to her back in season 2 and saying the phrase, "Valar Morghulis."
So even though we won't get to see Arya take out the Tickler in one of her most badass moments ever in the book, perhaps she'll be able to take out Polliver with equally dramatic flair instead. It's unfortunate the show deviated from the book in this instance, as it'd be amazing to watch Arya wail on the Tickler while screaming those questions at him as she kills him. But hopefully she'll have that defining moment in season 4 somehow and try to get some justice after enduring all the tragedy that has befallen her once happy family.
Is Arya one of your favorite characters in Game of Thrones? Who do you think she'll take out in season 4 since it can't be the Tickler?
Image via HBO