TV

Dear HBO: If You Murder Arya Stark I Will Spend The Rest Of My Life Avenging Her

Do not do this to me.

Arya Stark looks at the skies in mild apprehension

Since its very first episode premiered, all those years ago, Game of Thrones has been a curious exercise in what happens when a show decides to hurt the people that love it the most.

After all, if the fantasy series has a golden rule, it’s this: any character that seems basic, or decent, or lovely, or kind has approximately 32 seconds before they’re going to have their eyes poked out, or they come into direct and immediate contact with the business end of a sword.

The show’s survivors, Cersei Lannister chief among them, don’t exactly get off easy either — they get tortured and shamed in equal measure too. Only, they quickly learn to be as evil as the world around them, dispatching enemies and allies with equal disdain.

But, ahead of the final season of Game of Thrones dropping later this year, there’s one character that the audience aren’t prepared to see killed off, let alone even hurt: one Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).

To that end, when the latest trailer for the series opened with Arya in significant and potentially mortal trouble, the internet reacted the only way it knows how: with violent, all-consuming rage.

It’s not hard to see why the young Stark has found such a receptive and supportive audience.

Beginning the series as a true innocent, set adrift by the sudden and abrupt death of her father and facing a cold and cruel world, Arya fought back without ever sacrificing her moral code.

Unlike Cersei, who let an evil world send her evil, Arya learnt the ways of murder and stealth without becoming an almost comically fucked-up foe, and has remained one of the shining lights of the dark, dark Game of Thrones world.

Of course, it is exactly Arya’s status as a force of good and light that puts her in danger — as previous seasons have proved, there’s nothing that the showrunners like more than cutting innocence down in its prime, because they are a collection of violent sadists who want me to be sad and disappointed literally all of the time.

Game of Thrones premieres on April 14.