Game of Thrones S07E02: The real meaning behind that Arya scene

Arya Stark in Game of Thrones episode 'Stormborn'.
Arya Stark in Game of Thrones episode 'Stormborn'. Photo credit: HBO

The latest episode of Game of Thrones featured an Arya scene that was layered with extra meaning fans probably missed.

Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones S07E02 below.

While everyone was predicting a Stark family reunion this season, the reappearance of Arya's direwolf Nymeria was unexpected and moving.

We haven't seen the beast since season one, when Arya chased her off to save her from being murdered by Lannisters.

In the latest episode, entitled 'Stormborn', Arya discovers that her brother Jon has retaken Winterfell and after changing course to meet him, comes across Nymeria in the wild.

"I'm heading north, girl. Back to Winterfell. I'm finally going home," Arya tells Nymeria in the emotional scene.

But instead of going with her, the direwolf turns her back and walks away with her fellow wolves - shocking Arya at first, before she knowingly adds, "That's not you".

That line is also a call-back to season one, albeit perhaps not an obvious one.

In a scene Arya shared with her father Ned, he tells her she'll end up getting married to a lord and living a life of luxury as the lady of a castle.

"That's not me," she replies, before continuing to practice sword fighting, knowing well that her life would go very differently.

"Nymeria has created her own world and created her own [wolf] pack and isn't ready to be Arya's pet," Maisie Williams, who plays Arya, told Entertainment Weekly.

"To be someone's pet would reverse everything she's learned. So they almost just regard each other and go their separate ways."

Showrunner Daniel Weiss agrees, adding, "Arya's not domesticated and it makes total sense that her wolf wouldn't be either.

"When the wolf walks away, at first she's heartbroken to have come this close, then she realises that the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf."

Although the direwolf isn't joining Arya on her journey to Winterfell, fans will be hoping this isn't the last we see of Nymeria.

The next episode of Game of Thrones will screen in New Zealand on July 31.