The Real Meaning Behind Arya's Reunion With Her Direwolf

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
During last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, many fans were excited to see the return of Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria. After hearing that her brother Jon Snow has been named King of the North, Arya finally sets out to go back home. For a minute there, we thought her wolfy companion would be coming with her when the two come face to face while the young Stark is on her journey. However, Nymeria turns away from Arya and heads back into the woods with her pack. It is then that Arya utters three words, “That’s not you.”
Viewers were left wondering what exactly those words meant. Some hypothesized that they were trying to show that Nymeria no longer recognizes Arya because of who/what she has become. Others wondered if that really was Nymeria after all, or just another wild direwolf. Well, don't worry, you can stop your theorizing because we've got the answer.
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With help from showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, we now know that the direwolf in last night’s episode was indeed Nymeria. During last night's "Inside The Episode" clip, which aired immediately after "Stormborn" ended, Weiss explains that "That's not you" is a direct reference to something Arya said in a season 1 scene. In this scene, Ned Stark is speaking to his youngest daughter about her future as the lady of the castle. She responses to that prospect with, "That's not me." According to Weiss, "Arya’s not domesticated, and it makes total sense her wolf wouldn’t be either. Once the wolf walks away, at first she’s heartbroken to have come this close. Then she realizes the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf."
Benioff also said when Arya found Nymeria, "she, of course, wants her to come back home with her and be her loyal companion again, but Nymeria's found her own life." This just goes to show how much every character has changed over the course of the show's seasons. Even the direwolves have developed.
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