It was a much simpler time when then-King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) told his Hand-to-be Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) in Game of Thrones' inaugural episode, "We were meant to rule together. If your sister had lived, we'd have been bound by blood. Well, it's not too late. I have a son, you have a daughter. We'll join our houses."
Back then, he meant for Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) to make the all-too-eager Sansa (Sophie Turner) his queen, but then all manner of crazy happened: Robert was killed by a lethal combination of stiff wine and a wily boar; Joffrey was discovered to be the hideous product of Lannister sibling in-breeding; and Ned Stark lost his head for trying to reveal that last bit and become the Protector of the Realm, as Robert had decreed on his deathbed. Oh, and Joffrey never married Sansa, thank the Seven.
So, needless to say, House Baratheon and House Stark were never joined by marriage or blood ... at least, not yet.
On Season 8's second episode, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," Arya (Maisie Williams) decided that she didn't want to risk dying a virgin as the Night King's army drew nearer and got Gendry (Joe Dempsie) to take off his pants and show her what he'd learned about love-making with those three partners in King's Landing.
Apart from making Tumblr explode with #Gendrya rhapsody, the encounter might also signify a future for the long lost House Baratheon.
Sure, Gendry is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon (born to a bar maid who died when he was very young), and it's unclear whether the erstwhile king even knew he existed (although Jon Arryn certainly did). But legitimacy is just one royal decree away, and right now he's fighting for not one, but two Targaryens with potential claims to the Iron Throne. If Gendry fights for the living and then helps Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and/or Jon Snow (Kit Harington) win control of King's Landing, he could easily exchange fealty and the relinquishment of his claim to the Throne — which he has expressed exactly zero interest in anyway — for little legitimacy as the last living Baratheon.
Alternatively, if Gendry were to perish in the battle(s) ahead — sorry, sorry — perhaps Arya could have gotten a bonus from her little seduction romp and bear the child of the last Baratheon. By later earning a decree of legitimacy for him or her in return for her services to the cause, her child would also revive the house that seemed to fall upon Robert's death.
There are also some who believe that Gendry is actually the legitimate son of Robert and Cersei (Lena Headey). In the show's second episode, Cersei told Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) about the loss of her firstborn son. Nevermind the fact that the existence of this child would upend that prophecy from Maggy the Frog — if you listen closely to her descriptions of the baby, Cersei seems to have had some disdain for him.
Cersei described her "lost" infant as "a little black haired beauty" who was "a fighter" and "looked just like" Robert. "That little bundle, they took him away and I never saw him again," she said of his body, after he succumbed to a fever. "Never visited the crypt, never." Due to Gendry's age, the fact that he's got the same bright blue eyes as Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), and the terrible truth that no one could ever put it past Cersei to cast away the true-born heir of Robert Baratheon to make room for her lover-brother's children to come along and rule, it's just as possible as anything, really.
In any case, Arya and Gendry's hookup seems like it could be building to something significant — if not, though, it was at least another key callback to Season 1, which Season 8 seems to be doing a lot of right now.
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.