After an almost two-year wait, Game of Thrones has returned for its final season. The premiere offered up a whole bunch of moments that have fans in a tizzy. From massive reveals and reunions to smaller more intimate scenes, it was an episode filled with theory-inspiring, internet-baiting sequences. But this piece is only about one fleeting encounter that left us with a burning question: what on Earth is going on between Gendry and Arya?
The pair ended up coming across each other in the ironmongery where Gendry was forging dragonstone weapons for the Wildlings. After a cold reunion with the Hound, the pair find themselves alone. Quickly they fell into their bantering and bickering. But this time there was something a little more there. Before Arya left, they certainly seemed to realized there was the potential for them to be more than friends.
It shouldn't necessarily seem strange for two young characters to flirt. In the world of Game of Thrones, most people would likely have sex with you before they talk to you. But Arya has been solely unsexualized to this point. During her seven-year trek across Westeros, she has never had the time or interest in any kind of romantic entanglement. Gendry has shared a similar arc. In fact, the only time we've seen him with a sexual partner was during his attempted sacrifice by the Red Woman.
Another thing that struck us as odd was the pair's age difference. It appears that Gendry is a fair bit older than Arya, especially when they meet in season two. That could definitely be due to the fact that Joe Dempsie who plays Gendry is 31 whereas Maisie Williams is only 22. The show has Arya at 18 whereas Gendry doesn't have a definite age. In the books he is five years older than the youngest Stark, making him 23 years of age. As Game of Thrones pairings go, that's a very reasonable age gap.
If the pair's flirtation does lead somewhere it will fulfill one of the show's earliest prophecies. Robert Baratheon suggested Ned Stark marry his daughter to Robert's son. At the time, King Robert meant Joffrey and Sansa, but as we all know, Joffrey was not Robert's true born heir. So if Gendry and Arya end up together, it would finally bring to life the wishes of their dead fathers. It could also offer a nice respite for the young warriors who've both had incredibly hard lives. But will Arya realistically be able to turn her back on her life as a ruthless killer to balance a working relationship with the kindest man in Winterfell?
It's also probably worth noting that this is one of the most popular ships among fans of A Song of Ice and Fire. Perhaps Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are paying homage with a little fan service. Whatever happens we'll keep a close eye on the Stag and the She-Wolf going forward.
Don't miss our full breakdown of Game of Thrones S8E1: "Winterfell" on All Kings Considered! Join Jessica Chobot, Dan Casey, and special guests Terri Schwartz (IGN) and Yolanda Machado (The LA Times, The Wrap) as they unpack everything from the premiere.