“I’m your family?” “You’re my family.”
In honour of Gendry’s soon-to-be return to the show, here is a drabble of Arya and Gendry’s potential meeting in S8
She was water dancing when the gates creaked open. Brienne now trained with her every morning and night once done sparring with Pod. The young squire always seemed to find an excuse to still be there when Arya would glide up, eyes sparkling, Needle in one hand, dagger at her waist. He claimed to Brienne that Arya was a natural, and he wished to learn from her. After several weeks, Brienne stopped even pretending to believe him.
The sound of two horses and the howl of the cold winds outside made Arya and Brienne pause, turning to see who had come. Arya felt like a girl of 12 again as her heart raced, her mind whispering, Jon, big brother, he’s home, he’s home.
She couldn’t help but feel disappointed as she saw it was a Wildling man with a huge red beard and glinting, laughing eyes. He broadly smiled in their direction, and Arya turned to see Brienne furiously staring at her feet, her hand clutching at Oathkeeper as though it were a support.
“My lady!” the man shouted.
Brienne nodded stiffly. “Tormund.”
Tormund? Arya thought to herself. She had heard of Tormund from Sansa; a Wildling who Jon called his closest friend, a brash man with a kind heart who currently cared for two girls who’s mother died at Hardhome. Arya had learnt to be wary of everyone though, however kind they may seem.
Tormund slipped off his horse and swaggered towards them, talking loudly of great deeds and ice spiders. Why was Brienne looking as though the ground needed to swallow her up, Arya wondered. Pod was hovering nervously around them, clearly wondering whether to cause an intervention or just leave Brienne to it. Brienne hastily blurted to Tormund that Winterfell had received a raven that Ser Jaime Lannister and a group of Lannister deserters were riding North to fight alongside the Starks. Now it was clear that he no longer fought for Cersei, Brienne always seemed to bring up Ser Jaime when she was flustered, and it always made Pod roll his eyes.
Smirking, Arya turned back to the gate, sure that it was two horses, not one, that she had heard.
And then her heart stopped.
She hadn’t seen him for four years. His hair was still black as night, and the eyes that shyly looked through it were still the blue of a warm summer sky. A huge warhammer swung off the horse, and Arya could see the sigil of House Baratheon on it. Why did he have that?
She found herself tentatively moving forwards. Could it be him? Was it truly him? The Red Witch hadn’t killed him?
His clothes were covered in ice and snow, and as he jumped off the horse she saw his hands were turning grey from cold.
“Gendry?” she heard herself whispering, feeling the eyes of Pod burning into the back of her head.
He looked up, and swallowed hard. “You finally got home to Winterhell…”
She took a sharp intake of breath, mixed with a laugh, thinking what Hot Pie would say to that subtle jab in his absence. “You’re alive. She didn’t -”
He shook his head. “I - Arya, I -” and suddenly his arms were around her, squeezing her, holding her in a way he had never once held her before. Arya found her head resting against his chest, her heart racing…
And then she pulled back and punched him square on the jaw.