Arya Stark

Arya Underfoot


Known affectionately (or sometimes with considerable annoyance) as “Arya Underfoot” by the staff and servants of Winterfell, Arya Stark is a wild and free-spirited child who wants nothing to do with the world of knights and nobles that so enchants her sister Sansa. A grubby, wildhaired nine-year old, Arya is easily mistaken for a boy, and her taste for excitement and adventure seems much more like that of her brother Bran than Sansa or even Robb. Lord Eddard has been known to nearly tear his hair out over his youngest daughter’s antics, but in his heart, he truly loves her and is proud of her wild and untamed nature, traits well suited to the wild and dangerous lands of the North.

Arya is more Stark than Tully, with unkempt dark hair and a long, serious face. She disdains fine clothing and rarely, if ever, dresses for court, preferring to wear rough tunics and trousers, which are more suited to exploring and mock combat with the boys.

Arya’s nurses and septa frequently complained she simply could not be persuaded to sit still, and to this day, she chafes at her lessons and the everyday requirements of her station. Her sewing is appalling, she dislikes music except for adventurous ballads and heroic songs, and she sees dancing as something fit only for stupid, courtly ladies like her sister. Eddard does his best to encourage Arya, and Catelyn is often on the verge of despairing for her future, but Arya remains a wild child with more interest in fighting and exploring than in becoming a proper noblewoman. Whenever she can, she sneaks off to explore or to socialize with her brothers. She maintains an especially close relationship with Jon Snow, a situation her mother finds deeply troubling. For entertainment, Arya loves to read or hear stories about the exploits of ancient heroes and warriors. Her favorite is the warrior-queen Nymeria, who founded the Dornish kingdom of the south.


Arya was born soon after Eddard Stark’s return from the Greyjoy Rebellion, and she quickly showed herself to be an independent and strong-willed child. Whenever she could, young Arya ran off by herself and seemed more interested in playing war with boys than in the more serious and stifling womanly arts of dancing, singing, and sewing. In her nine years, she has driven both her parents and tutors, particularly the dour Septa Mordane, to distraction, and she shows no sign of changing. She is close to her brothers, especially Jon Snow, but she finds her sister Sansa to be both boring and stupid. Conflict between the two girls is an almost daily occurrence, despite Eddard and Catelyn’s attempts to create a peace between them.

Arya Stark

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