After being brutally knifed in the gut during a showdown with the Waif last week, Arya threw herself off a bridge and staggered around Braavos clutching her stomach. The internet sniffed a trap. She’s not Arya! Arya is the Waif! Jaqen is a cat! There were even fan theories that Syrio Forel, Arya’s tutor from Season One, would crop up to save her (full disclosure: I helped fuel these rumours a lot last week).
Turns out the fantastic conspiracy theories were bogus; that really was Arya, the Waif really did let Arya fall in a river without chasing her, and Arya’s wounds slowly healed after she tracked down Lady Crane and begged her for help.
After a hazy sleep fuelled by milk of the poppy (Thrones’ answer to Calpol, although it’s laced with opiates) Arya was roused from her slumber after hearing Crane get mutilated by the Waif, who tracked her down Terminator style, cocked head and everything.
What followed was a high-speed chase through the winding streets of Braavos (including a detour in a steam room) and though Arya seemed to be suffering, she was revealed to actually be luring her killer into a trap, guiding her with smears of her blood on walls, steps and cobbles.
When the Waif finally found Arya in the hiding space we saw her in two weeks ago, Arya drew Needle, extinguished the only candle, and killed her.
At the House of Black and White, Jaqen followed a trail of blood that led him to the Wall of Faces, where Arya had placed the Waif’s face, sans eyeballs. Eurgh. Arya’s carefree attitude last week was revealed as a ruse to draw attention to herself but only after she’d done some pitch-black training and honed the skills she learned while she was blind.
She might not have followed their training to the letter, but Arya drawing on her blindness (an area the Waif apparently didn’t train in, given she’s never broken the rules) to overcome her attacker was testament to the young Stark’s ability to embrace her experiences rather than try to erase them.
Though she was finally told she was “No-One”, Arya rebuked the title, claiming herself Arya Stark of Winterfell and finally getting the hell out of there.