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During a scene in "Stormborn" (Game of Thrones, S07E02), Arya Stark runs into an old friend in the Riverlands...

While she is trying to keep warm, alone in the forest, she is surrounded by a pack of wolves, and Nymeria, her long-abandoned direwolf, presents herself as the leader and they exchange greetings.

Near the end of that scene, Arya says, "That's not you."

enter image description here

Does this mean she hallucinated the entire interaction? Otherwise, what does she mean by "That's not you"?

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    Why do ppl post spoilers in thread titles? I understand it's an "old show" but, in a show where characters' lifespans are short, putting a character's name + season in a title spoils the fact that any danger said character is in in s1-s6, will be resolved. That said, this is movies.SE so feasibly one can expect spoilers in titles; my larger complaint is that SE doesn't let us filter out exchanges like tv/movies/scifi.SE, where spoilers in thread titles are a monthly occurrence. – HC_ Jul 25 '17 at 20:14
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    @HC_ "old show"? It's not even finished running at the time of writing. As for spoilers in titles, I did not spoil any plot-points. "That character is still alive" is not considered a spoiler, even if it does literally spoil for you any suspense for the longevity - at most it's a minor spoiler that is totally acceptable within an SE question. If I'd written an actual plot point spoiler, for example about two of the Sand Snakes getting killed, your point might resonate more. – Ghoti and Chips Jul 25 '17 at 20:27
  • @GhotiandChips Being a part of a community isn't only about following the rules of that community, it's also about respecting the views of everyone else within that community, even when you disagree. You may consider spoilers like this to be minor or insignificant, but not everyone feels that way. Perhaps you could at least attempt to respect that. – b1nary.atr0phy Aug 19 '18 at 1:14
  • @b1nary.atr0phy If you speak to people in the community, especially moderators, you may find that there are two distinct schools of thought regarding "spoilers", and I know plenty of moderators who would agree with me that avoiding spoilers is your responsibility, so you censor the content you consume (i.e. it's not a bright idea to visit a site about answering (predominantly hot\recent theory) questions about the show you aren't up to date with, if you care about spoilers) rather than the site's job to sacrifice searchability and censor itself. ~to be continued>> – Ghoti and Chips Aug 19 '18 at 10:40
  • so, I use the site, while adhering to the guidelines as I interpret them, and if that is skirting outside the lines, I am more than happy to have mods suggest edits or outright edit my content. So, of course I will follow guidelines, but a community is also ever changing and an amalgam of its users' ideas, so I'm happy to be on this "avoiding spoilers is your responsibility" camp, along with many other users and mods, because we represent a chance for guidelines to accommodate that school of thinking in the future. – Ghoti and Chips Aug 19 '18 at 10:43
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No, she did not hallucinate the interaction.

"That's not you" is a reference to Season 1 of Game of Thrones, in which Arya tells her father, Ned Stark, "That's not me" in response to her having to go to court and marry a prince.

Eddard Stark: You will marry a high lord and rule this castle, and your sons shall be knights and princes and lords (smiles) Hmm?

Arya Stark: No... That's not me

Game of Thrones, S01E04, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

After this touching moment with Nymeria, in which she pleas for her to come with Arya to Winterfell, she realises that Nymeria belongs with her pack, out in the wild, not as a pet or companion, and she comes to this realisation poetically, by using a variation on her own words, "That's not you".


This has been confirmed to be the official answer by the production crew in behind the scenes or commentary blogs/programmes like HBO's official Making Game Of Thrones website:

enter image description here

Back in Season 1, Ned Stark comes across his younger daughter balancing on the stairs in a Red Keep hallway. Sitting together, he offers Arya a glimpse of what her happy future could be: marriage and children. Knowing herself even then, the young girl looks at her father and simply says, “No, That’s not me.”

Now in Season 7, Arya asks her direwolf to come home with her, but is rejected by the creature. Disappointed at first, she realizes that, just like her, Nymeria is not meant to be tamed.

Making Game of Thrones Blog, "Did You Catch This Thrones Throwback in ‘Stormborn’?"

As well as by series creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, in HBO's Inside the Episode, in which they explore the episode.

David Benioff: This scene hearkens back to Season 1.

[...]

D.B. Weiss: "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 the lady of a castle, and marrying some lord, and wearing a nice frilly dress.

Arya is not domesticated and it makes total sense that her wolf wouldn't be either. And once 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.

—Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 2: Inside the Episode (HBO)

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    -Continued- and this is key to her character arc because during this episode she is rejecting the child-soldier, assassin side of her, and committing to becoming a Stark again - so in a way, this moment serves to tell us, the audience, that the characters are developing and seizing their own true nature. This is echoed in the next scene in which Theon's Reek resurfaces, too. – Ghoti and Chips Jul 24 '17 at 8:37
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    @GhotiandChips The reference/allusion is clever, but at the cost of in-context clarity. And most people won't remember a single line of dialogue from 6 years ago. I initially thought she meant that it wasn't actually Nymeria. I personally think "That wouldn't be you" would meet both the needs of the intertextual reference and the in-context clarity, but that's a matter of preference. – curiousdannii Jul 24 '17 at 13:32
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    @curiousdannii "And most people won't remember a single line of dialogue from 6 years ago." Thus why they immediately began the after show (for those who watch it) explaining that this is what it's in reference to. Honestly it's at worst a throw away line, and at best a nice little wink at Arya's character development since season 1. – kuhl Jul 24 '17 at 16:55
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    I'm not sure that going to Winterfell is actually a rejection of her assassin side, but I guess we'll get to see how that plays out. – PoloHoleSet Jul 24 '17 at 20:50
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    This is clearly right, but the parallelism is needlessly lost on 99% of the audience who won't remember a non-critical line from six years ago. Given that the parallelism is almost needed to even follow the line, at a minimum, it would have made sense to include the original line in the "previously on GoT" intro bit. (Putting it in a special aired after doesn't really help while you're watching, even for those who do see it.) – Jaydles Jul 25 '17 at 20:26
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Not sure if we're looking for non-canon interpretations, but I think there is a highly plausible double meaning to this scene:

In the books, Arya frequently experiences dreams where she wargs into Nymeria, much as Jon does with Ghost. She wonders if she is losing her mind and her identity as a person. Therefore, when Arya cannot control Nymeria, she realizes she has separated from Nymeria, and tells herself "that's not you," reaffirming her human identity as Arya Stark.

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    Very nice additional easter egg! Unfortunately, the answer posted above just happens to be the answer, however adding this info in would go above and beyond a good answer. – Ghoti and Chips Jul 24 '17 at 18:53

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