Much of the fighting on “Game of Thrones” is a brutal and graceless sort, led by men shouting battle cries in heavy, clanging armor that still somehow doesn’t manage to stop things like arrows. Once in a while you get to watch an equal match between fighters whose different strengths add suspense to the ordeal. And once in a very long while, you get a little friendly sparring ― for fun. Or something like it.
An all-too-brief teaser that aired on Sky Atlantic this week revealed an upcoming scene of the last sort, between two characters whose styles in battle could not be more different: Arya (Maisie Williams) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie).
These two have met only briefly in the series thus far. Back in the Season 4 finale, while still acting on her oath to protect the Stark daughters, Brienne happens upon Ayra, then held by the Hound (Rory McCann). While Brienne defeats the Hound in a shockingly savage fight, she loses track of Arya, who has approximately zero interest in following a stranger. Since then, the towering swordswoman has pledged her service to Sansa (Sophie Turner), who is currently managing affairs at Winterfell.
HBO confirmed Arya’s long-awaited return to the Stark homestead in its description of the season’s fourth episode, “The Spoils of War”:
Daenerys fights back. Jaime faces an unexpected situation. Arya comes home.
Aside from what will surely be a bittersweet reunion of Stark children, an upcoming scene will apparently witness a lighthearted battle of wits and swords ― Arya with her dainty Needle and Brienne with her Valyrian steel Oathkeeper, a gift from Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) forged from one-half of Ned’s (Sean Bean) greatsword, Ice.
In the clip, Arya dusts off her water dancing skills with some fancy swishes and swooshes while Brienne goes with the hack-a-thon technique of Westerosi knights. Surely, these are two of the country’s most unconventional highborn ladies.
Sansa, meanwhile, observes the action from above, having last known Arya simply as her obstreperous younger sister back in Season 1.
Elsewhere in the episode, Daenerys will be dealing with her recent setbacks on sea and land, after the Greyjoys’ fleet has been mostly sunk and the Unsullied army is stranded at Casterly Rock. And Jaime’s “unexpected situation” may have a little something to do with the gold he will likely procure from Highgarden to pay off his sister’s debt to the Iron Bank.
But, as always, we know, essentially, nothing.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.