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Remember that part in The Princess Bride, when Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts are going toe-to-toe and sword-to-sword atop the Cliffs of Insanity? The pirate appears to be outmatched after Inigo goes right, but ultimately smiles and lets Inigo know that he’s “not left-handed either,” then promptly knocks the mercenary out? Well, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is kind of like the Dread Pirates Robert in that regard.
**SPOILER WARNING: If you’re the one who hasn’t seen Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3, “The Long Night,” then White Walker your way outta here until you have!**
If only Arya would have said that line whilst dropping the Valyrian steel dagger from her left hand to her right, then that last episode of Game of Thrones would have really hit home. As is, she still knocked out the Night King, and rid the world of those pesky White Walkers and zombie dragons.
While some shortsighted folks are calling Arya a “Mary Sue” for her efforts, they’re most certainly wrong, as pointed out on Twitter by Rob Sheridan, the art director for Nine Inch Nails and the creator of cyberpunk Vertigo comic, High Level.
Take that, haters! And while you’re at it, go ahead and add to the fact that the creators have been setting up Arya for many seasons as the baddest assassin in all the realms. Of course, credit to Williams for taking the role so seriously for so long, to the point that she became an ambidextrous sword player.
“I’m right-handed, and when Mom was reading the first book, she told me about Arya being left-handed. From then on, I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to try to do everything left-handed,’” Williams told TV Guide in 2011 (via Vanity Fair). That hasn’t always translated to left-handedness (the first time we see her in Episode 1 she’s unhappily sewing with her right hand), but it sure has translated to some epic lefts.
The video example that Sheridan posted is a snippet from the Game of Thrones featurette above, showing off behind-the-scenes action from Season 7 Episode 4, when Arya and Lady Brienne first meet. You can see at around the 35-second mark that Williams already had the knife flip down, though she went right to left on this occasion.
So yeah, you still think Arya is a “Mary Sue”?