In Westeros, a simple paper cut can prove to be fatal. Robert Baratheon was killed by a boar.

Khal Drogo was killed by a mere scratch on his chest.

Talisa was killed when she was stabbed in the abdomen while she was pregnant.

But the way Arya was stabbed should have been immediately fatal to her but she survived somehow by diving into water. How is this possible? Is she some kind of mutant or metahuman?

  • 10
    If you're African diarrhoea can lead to death, but if you live in Europe it's a mild inconvenience at best. The Dothraki probably don't have the same quality of healthcare that the Westerosi or Bravosi have. Also not all stab wounds are equally fatal. It's entirely possible that Arya's organs were undamaged. Mar 27, 2019 at 14:33
  • 20
    In medieval times, when you got stabbed, it was pretty much luck that played the most important role. Wound got infected? You die. Bonemarrow spilled into blood? You die. Bits of Clothes/Chainmail got into the wound? You die. Got gutted? You definitely die albeit more painfully. It all depended on the wound and how quickly you got medical help which was mostly disinfecting the wound with hot metal (Also served to stop the bleeding), or by pouring some boiling hot liquid into the wound. It all came down to luck. Arya's wound may have missed the guts, may have penetrated only flesh.
    – Aegon
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:46
  • 40
    Robert was gored by a boar, Drogo was poisoned by Mirri Maz Duur, Talisa was repeatedly stabbed and left to die. All of those are far more extreme than the injury sustained by Arya.
    – svenvo7
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:52
  • 18
    Your wording implies that being "killed by a boar" is unlikely and only a result of poor medical treatment of the era. In reality, wild boars are among the most dangerous animals out there. Getting impaled by a boar is no less threatening than being deathrolled by a crocodile or being mauled by a bear. Humanity invented a very particular weapon - the Boar Spear - specifically to help reduce the threat of boars murdering them. Mar 28, 2019 at 5:46
  • 3
    Maybe she didn't survive. Perhaps after the assassination, it's been Jaqen H'ghar posing as Arya the whole time. But also becoming insane, aka the Tyler Durden plot twist.
    – ourmandave
    Mar 28, 2019 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


Arya survives simply because she has the will to go on and more importantly was saved by Lady Crane who treated her wounds.


ARYA is lying in bed. LADY CRANE sits beside her, treating her wounds.

ARYA: You’re good at that. Where did you learn?

LADY CRANE: I’m a jealous woman. I’ve always liked bad men and they’ve always liked me. They’d come home wherever home was that night stinking of some whore’s perfume.

LADY CRANE stands and carries her tray of medical supplies into the abutting room.

LADY CRANE: So we’d fight and I’d put a hole in them. And then I’d feel terrible, so I’d patch them up. I got good at patching them up.


ARYA is afflicted with pain from her wound. LADY CRANE stands and pours a milky white liquid into a glass.

ARYA: What’s that?

LADY CRANE: Milk of the poppy.

ARYA: I don’t want any.

LADY CRANE hands ARYA the glass.

LADY CRANE: Sleep is the only way you’ll heal. Trust me, if my soup didn’t kill you, nothing will.

ARYA takes the glass, stares into it, and then drinks it down. She lays back and LADY CRANE tucks her in. ARYA falls asleep. LADY CRANE touches her hand and dims the candlelight.

Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 8, "No One"

The director for the episode, Mark Mylod, explains that it is her will for survival that also helps her survive the attacks.

"One of the many things our writers are so great at is allowing our characters to be flawed," he explained. "Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes all the time, and Arya nearly pays dearly for it. Thankfully her determination to survive is such that she is able to come through it. But it is a really close call."

Business Insider, 'Game of Thrones' director explains the crucial Arya scene fans have been obsessing over

It's also worth noting that we don't really know the extent of the wound Arya receives, it could be...

Just a flesh wound! (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Black Knight)

...and as such wouldn't really have been "too bad" respective to some other wounds.

Now just to expand on the counter examples you make for why Arya should have survived.

  • Robert Baratheon: Robert's death was engineered by Cersei Lannister and so it was all a set up so he would die. Add to this that Robert was then treated by Grand Maester Pycelle who was under Cersei's payroll it is no wonder that he passed away from his severe wounds.

  • Khal Drogo: He had more than just a scratch but it wasn't necassarily a bad wound. However, the Dothraki don't really have the same level of medical care as the rest of the world. On top of this we then have the fact that Dany convinced him to let Mirri Maz Durr treat him who then might have had a helping hand in his death.

  • Talisa - She dies pretty quickly so it seems obvious that her wound was a lot worse than the one Arya sustains.

  • 9
    This is not shown in the show I guess. In the books, Khal Drogo constantly removes the poultice that Mirri Maz Durr makes to cover his wound as it's itchy and this bothers him. In the books, is Dany that convinces him to give the poultice at least a chance, just as @TheLethalCarrot stated. But there's no hard evidence that shows that this poultice was poisoned or anything of sorts, actually, is implied that Drogo's wound would have healed if he had used the poultice properly. Mar 27, 2019 at 15:03
  • 2
    @FernandoRibeiro I think that's similar to the show as well, my main point was simply that the two cases aren't equivalent so was giving a brief overview. This question and answer set goes into more detail on Drogo's specific case.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Mar 27, 2019 at 15:05
  • 2
    Is it bad that I knew this was one of yout answers just by seeing the meme?
    – Möoz
    Mar 28, 2019 at 8:28
  • Thanks, @TheLethalCarrot. That was a great answer regarding Drogo's death circumstances ;) Mar 28, 2019 at 12:06

Just a few misconceptions to clear up. Robert was gored by the boar, leaving a large round stab wound that can't be closed easily leading to infection. Drogo was treated by Mirri Maz Duur, who hated the Dothraki and easily could've poisoned him or caused an infection. Talisa was stabbed multiple times, and even if she lived more than a few minutes would never have escaped that room alive.

After Arya was stabbed she ran/swam away and was saved by Lady Crane very quickly. She had experience with medicine after she repeatedly fought with her lovers, put holes in them, and patched them up. According to her, she got very good at patching them up. With how quickly she was able to get to someone with competent medical skills, it's possible she was treated well, had the bleeding stopped, and had infection was prevented.

This is all ignoring the most powerful and dreaded thing that saved her though, plot armor.

  • 10
    FWIW it is unclear as to whether Mirri purposefully poisoned or mistreated Drogo.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:53
  • 6
    @TheLethalCarrot I recall in the show it's implied by not for certain, that's why I left it open as easily could've poisoned. From the books I imagine it was more Drogo's stubbornness than anything though.
    – Virusbomb
    Mar 27, 2019 at 15:01
  • 6
    Being "gored" doesn't mean a stab wound -- it means the boar ripped at the intestines, releasing their contents into the abdominal cavity. Robert Baratheon died of an infection, very, very slowly. While it was likely exposed to the air, quick bandaging with clean bandages would have stopped EXTERNAL infection. What killed him was (ironically?) his own guts. Mar 27, 2019 at 19:13
  • 4
    @RobCrawford: gore: (of an animal such as a bull) pierce or stab (a person or other animal) with a horn or tusk (see link). So being gored means precisely a stab wound.
    – TonyK
    Mar 27, 2019 at 21:34
  • 4
    @TonyK - "The severity of the injury varies widely depending on the body parts involved, the characteristics of the penetrating object, and the amount of energy transmitted to the tissues." – Penetrating trauma. - You get 'stabbed' by a half-ton wild animal, and I'll have a human stab me; let's see who wins.
    – Mazura
    Mar 27, 2019 at 23:39

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