Before death and destruction march into Winterfell, the powers that be over on Game of Thrones gave fans a true gift: the sailing of the good ship, Gendrya.
That’s right, Arya Stark of Winterfell finally got it in guys, and boy was that romp in the sack … er, on the sacks hotter than a blacksmith’s forge.
Arya and Gendry have been circling each other since the show’s second season when both were captured from their journeys with the Night’s Watch and taken to Harrenhal. Back then, Arya was a skinny little scrap, passing as a boy so she wouldn’t be taken hostage by the Lannisters and used as leverage against her brother in the war. And Gendry was a blacksmith from flea-bottom escaping the city before Cersei purged it of any of her late husband’s remaining bastards.
Time is just a concept on a show like Game of Thrones, but because of the age difference between Maisie Williams and Joe Dempsie, a romance just didn’t seem in the cards. Sure, Arya liked to tease Gendry on his abysmal sword technique and gaze longingly at his washboard abs while Gendry spouted some swoon-worthy game about calling her “M’lady” but none of us were actively rooting for a pre-teen and a bearded twenty-something to hook up.
Oh, how things have changed.
After Arya spent years training with the Faceless Men, feeding her enemies human pot pies and sticking them with Needle, she returned to Winterfell a grown woman, more than capable of making her own decisions. Gendry, who we can only assume spent a few seasons rowing away in the boat Ser Davos lent him before setting up shop once again in King’s Landing, is also in Winterfell now, pledging his services to the King in the North.
The two are experienced, hardened, and both of age, and with a battle against the White Walkers severely impacting everyone’s survival odds, it’s only fair that Gendry and Arya get one night of passion – sprinkled with regurgitated plot points about lineage, red witches, and cock-leeches – before everything goes straight to hell.
And while the banging is all well and good, Arya and Gendry’s union is much more than just a nice bit of fan service on the parts of creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, it’s the fulfillment of a promise made all the way back in the first season of the show.
Looking back fondly on the simpler times, season one spent most of its early days building the foundations for conflict on the show. An important relationship established early on was the friendship between Robert Baratheon, then King of the Seven Kingdoms, and Lord Eddard Stark, the Warden in the North. The two men grew up together, considered each other brothers, and had plans to join their households. Robert intended to marry Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark before she eloped with Rhaegar Targaryen, a pairing that started a long and bloody war.
When we met the two men in season one, both were still grieving for Ned’s sister, with Robert quickly making his way to the crypts of Winterfell to pay homage to her tomb, Before the men leave, Robert expressed regret for never becoming part of Ned’s family and suggested another way to join their two noble houses: through the marriage of their children.
“I have a son,” Robert told Ned. “You have a daughter, we’ll join our houses.”
Of course, back then, Robert was referring to his “son” Joffrey, who would soon take his place on the Iron Throne, and Ned’s daughter Sansa. That marriage never happened – thank the Gods – but seven seasons later we been gifted with the most bittersweet of callbacks.
Arya, the daughter of Ned, and Gendry, Robert’s bastard and the only living Baratheon, haven’t made it official in the Godswood, but they have, probably unknowingly, fulfilled a dream of their fathers’ by becoming friends, allies, and partners before the War for the Living begins.
Cue the tears.