It's officially time to throw in the towel, Lady Stoneheart truthers. Our favorite zombie failed to make her debut in Game of Thrones' finale, but that doesn't necessarily mean the show won't incorporate her storyline moving forward.
In the books, the resurrected Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) becomes Lady Stoneheart, a figure of vengeance who leads the Brotherhood Without Banners on a mission to kill everyone who wronged her family. But rather than bring Catelyn back from the dead and have two Starks running around Westeros on revenge-inspired killing sprees, it's possible Arya (Maisie Williams) will absorb some of Lady Stoneheart's storyline.
If you have any doubt about this theory, the cold smile on Arya's face as Walder Frey (David Bradley) bled out in her arms definitely hints that she might have her own heart of stone.
However, it's very unlikely that we'll see Arya team up with the Brotherhood to help check names off her list, since they plan on heading North to fight the White Walkers. Instead, we'll likely see Arya following Stonheart's path solo and running into Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Pod.
In the books, the last thing we see Lady Stoneheart do is threaten to kill Brienne and Pod unless Brienne agrees to kill Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Brienne objects, insisting that her possession of Oathkeeper and a writ signed by Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) isn't proof that she's working for the Lannisters. But Lady Stoneheart can't be swayed and in the end, it appears as though Brienne gives in. She's last seen luring Jaime away under the false pretense that she needs help saving Sansa (Sophie Turner) from the Hound (Rory McCann).
Arya, Brienne and Pod are all currently in the Riverlands, so it makes sense that the trio will run into each other next season. And if Arya notices Brienne is carrying a Lannister sword - a fact the Blackfish (Clive Russell) immediately picked up on earlier this season - the show could easily get to a similar endpoint for Brienne, where she's pitted between the vow she swore to Catelyn and her friendship with Jaime.
What happens if Arya doesn't become a Lady Stoneheart-like figure is a much bigger question. Arya has been away from society for so long, it's hard to imagine her re-integrating herself into life at Winterfell. She seems much more at home roaming the countryside with murder on her mind than she ever did being a noble lady. And can you really imagine her talking political strategy or swapping stories with Jon and Sansa over the dinner table? What else is Arya really to do but roam the countryside seeking vengeance?
If Arya does go this route, our only hope is that she isn't forced to do it alone. Her direwolf is still out there somewhere, and with Summer and Shaggydog now dead, it would be nice to bring Nymeria back into the fray. That means Arya could get her own wolf pack to help carry out her revenge mission (which is totally a step up from the Brotherhood Without Banners, imho).
What do you think is next for Arya?