Game of Thrones: The Heartbreaking Meaning Behind Arya's "That's Not You" Line

Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers below!

The second episode of Game of Thrones filled us with a ton of emotions, but few scenes were as affecting as Arya's long-awaited reunion with her direwolf, Nymeria.

While traveling to Winterfell on horseback, Arya stops in the middle of the woods to make camp. As she builds a fire, her horse gets spooked and a large pack of wolves soon surrounds them. Leading the wolf pack? A massive gray and white wolf that Arya immediately recognizes as Nymeria, who she had to release into the wild back in season one after the young direwolf attacked Joffrey. She asks Nymeria to join her on her journey to reunite with Sansa and Jon Snow, but Nymeria turns her back on Arya and leaves. The young assassin looks at her with a sad smile, saying, "That's not you."

So, what exactly did Arya's line of dialogue mean? Although it might seem like she thought the direwolf wasn't Nymeria, it's actually a callback to something said in season one.

"'That's not you' is a direct reference to what Arya herself said to her father when her father painted this picture for her of the life she could have as a lady of a castle and marrying some lord and wearing a nice frilly dress," showrunner D.B. Weiss explained during a behind-the-scenes look at the episode. "Arya's not domesticated, and it makes total sense that her wolf wouldn't be either. Once the wolf walks away, at first she's heartbroken to have come this close, and then she realizes the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf."


The scene Weiss mentions is from season one, when Ned is trying to convince Arya that a life spent flitting around a castle could make her happy. She rejects the notion, replying simply, "That's not me."

Fellow showrunner David Benioff also touched on the connection and how the scene signifies how Nymeria and Arya's paths are literally (and figuratively) diverging. "This scene hearkens back to season one . . . . When she finally finds Nymeria again, or Nymeria finds her, and she of course wants her to come back home with her and be her loyal companion again, but Nymeria's found her own life."

Although Nymeria might be out of the picture, the scene is yet another reminder that Arya's homecoming is drawing near. Whether or not that means something terrible for Littlefinger, we'll have to wait and see.