The final season of Game of Thrones has finally premiered, and there’s a lot to talk about. While the Season 8 premiere saw a lot of different reunions and new introductions, many of those interactions have already teased potential conflict during the HBO show’s last season. However, one pair of characters reuniting offers hope for one of the leading characters of the series.
Major spoilers for the entire Game of Thrones series, as well as Episode 1 of Season 8, follow.
Maisie William’s Arya Stark has gone through a lot. Starting out as a young child in Season 1 of Game of Thrones, Arya initially saw her father beheaded, lost her home, and had to wander through Westeros and beyond for the majority of the series. During her adventures, she transformed from the sweet and high-spirited young woman to a cold-blooded killer.
Arya’s journeys are one of the most interesting and tragic of the series, as her entire arc has focused on her spiral into becoming cold and calculated. The character hasn’t experienced much joy or anything resembling much fun. So when she is reunited with an old friend, Gendry (Joe Dempsie), in the first episode of Season 8, some sparks can be seen, literally.
When forging weapons from the newly mined Dragonglass, Gendry is visited by Arya. After a brief reunion between her and the Hound (Rory McCann), Gendry and Arya reconnect. It can be remembered that both the characters were initially seen together all the way back in Season 1 through Season 3, as they were being transported in chains for manual labor. At the time, Arya had her hair cut short to avoid the discovery as a Stark, causing Gendry to think she was a boy. They eventually became friends, with Gendry knowing her true identity.
During their reunion in Season 8, the two shared strange chemistry that could be considered borderline flirting. Arya provided Gendry a diagram for a new weapon to be made for her and left with a smile and even did the last turn to look at Gendry before she left.
The interaction very much felt like the two were flirting and could possibly signify more to come between the two. Gendry as a character, and as Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) bastard son, has been wholly underserved in the show. After Season 3, the character was largely absent from the proceedings, besides a brief appearance in Seasons 5 and 6, until his eventual return in Season 7, as Time covered.
With Gendry and Arya both at Winterfell together and both part of the same side and mission, it’s unclear if there will be more between the two. But if so, it may be the only bright and happy moment reflected in this last season of Game of Thrones, given how doom and gloom everything else is.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays on HBO.