This week's episode of Game of Thrones featured the surprise return of not one, but two characters. Arya reunited with two characters from her past when she met Hot Pie at the Inn at the Crossroads, and then met her old direwolf Nymeria later that evening.
For those who don't remember, Hot Pie was one of Arya Stark's traveling companions in season two and season three. Although he initially was an orphan recruited to join the Night's Watch, he and Arya were captured by the Lannisters and sent to Harrenhal.
Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie eventually escaped from Harrenhal and then met the Brotherhood without Banners. Hot Pie departed Arya's company at the Inn at the Crossroads to become a baker. Hot Pie is notably one of the few characters in Game of Thrones who didn't meet some sort of grisly death or fate when they were written out of the show.
While Hot Pie didn't have a large role in the series, he did give Arya some invaluable lessons on how to bake a pie, which she then used when she baked two of Walder Frey's sons into a dish that she then served to the head of House Frey before killing him. Arya even referenced her own pie making abilities when speaking to Hot Pie in the Inn.
After departing the inn for her evening, Arya and her horse were beset by a large pack of wolves, led none other by her old direwolf Nymeria. The wolf recognized Arya, but Arya couldn't convince Nymeria to join her on her journey back to the North.
Arya was given Nymeria by her father Ned at the beginning of season one, but was forced to let it go when it attacked Joffrey after Joffrey threatened to kill Arya.
While Nymeria hasn't been referenced in the TV show since, it's implied that she took over a giant pack of wolves in the Riverlands that has made several attacks on Lannister forces. In the books, Arya still has a connection to Nymeria as she often wargs into the wolf as she sleeps.
While both characters only made brief appearances in tonight's episode, they showed Arya and the viewers just how far she's come since the last time she tried to make her way back home.
We'll have to see if Game of Thrones brings any other characters later this season.
Scroll Down to See Game of Thrones Characters Who You Overlook but Shouldn't:
Role: Leader of the Brotherhood without Banners
Unless you're Jon Snow or Beric Dondarrion, death is usually permanent in Game of Thrones.
We briefly saw Dondarrion in season one when Ned Stark sent him and Thoros of Myr to stop Sandor "The Mountain" Clegane's assault on the Riverlands. That fight went poorly for Dondarrion, but Thoros's prayers to the Lord of Light somehow resurrected Beric after he was cut down by the Mountain in battle.
In season three, We saw Beric and Thoros's rebellious Brotherhood without Banners group after they encountered Arya and the Hound during their travels to the Red Wedding. Although Dondarrion died during a "trial by combat" against the Hound, Thoros resurrected him again.
The Brotherhood reappeared last season and successfully recruited the Hound to their side. They seem to be making their way North, where the forces of evil are gathering outside of the Wall.
Dondarrion has not only cheated death multiple times, he also wields a flaming sword that hearkens back to the fabled Azor Ahai who defeated the White Walkers' first assault against Westors. Is Dondarrion the "Prince Who Was Promised?" We'll likely find out this season.prevnext
Role: Leader of Daenerys's Fleet
The older sister of Theon Greyjoy, Yara arguably embodies the ideals and spirit of House Greyjoy far better than her brother.
In early seasons, Yara made several appearances of Game of Thrones, but she largely remained on the periphery of the War of the Five Kings and its aftermath. After reuniting with her brother last season, she and Theon fled the Iron Islands after their uncle Euron murdered their father and ascended to the Salt Throne.
The Greyjoys fled east and joined Daenerys's growing army. More importantly, Yara offered up her fleet to help Daenerys FINALLY cross the Narrow Sea and make her claim on the Iron Throne.
Once Daenerys steps foot on Westeros, it seems like she might not have much use for Yara and her ships. But Yara still has a confrontation ahead with her uncle, one that might get violent before too long.prevnext
Role: Ruler of House Mormont
Easily, last season's breakout character was Lyanna Mormont. Although only a 12-year-old girl, Mormont was the only Northern Lord to put her support behind Jon Snow and Sansa Stark in their quest to free the North from Ramsey Bolton's tyranny.
Lyanna shamed the other Northern Lords for sitting on the sidelines and was the first to proclaim Jon Snow as the "King of the North," when Snow's army unexpectedly won the "Battle of the Bastards."
Now that Jon and Sansa's battle against the Boltons is over, they'll need to turn their attention to the White Walkers' army on the other side of the Wall. They'll need some strong allies to back their fight against the growing darkness and there doesn't look to be a wiser woman in the North than the Lady of Bear Island.prevnext
Role: Bastard son of King Richard Baratheon
Last season, The line of Robert Baratheon officially ended with the death of Tommen Baratheon...even though we all knew he wasn't Robert's real son. However, Robert does have lots of children still alive thanks to his constant infidelities and trysts.
The only bastard child of King Robert ever named in Game of Thrones is Gendry, a young blacksmith's apprentice from King's Landing. After Robert's death, Gendry's master sent him away to avoid any retribution from the vengeful Queen Cersei.
Gendry made his way north with Arya Stark, before the Brotherhood without Banners found him and then sold him to Melissandre. Melissandre used Gendry's "king's blood" in a ritual, but Davos freed him before anything worse could happen to him.
The last we saw Gendry was way back in Season 3 when he was rowing away from Dragonstone. However, he's now the last of the Baratheons and we could still see him play some part in the coming wars ahead.prevnext
Role: Bran Stark's companion
Way back in season two, Bran Stark first encountered Meera Reed and her brother during their flight from Winterfell after Theon Greyjoy betrayed the Starks. Meera became Bran's primary protector and followed the young Stark beyond the Wall to find the three-eyed raven, even after her brother died at the hands of wights in Season 4.0comments
Meera and Bran were the only survivors of the White Walkers' attack on the three-eyed raven's hideouts and literally dragged Bran away as Hodor made his tragic sacrifice and last stand.
Bran is the new "three-eyed raven" and as such will have to confront the Night's King at some point. And since the Night's King is also responsible for the death of her brother, Meera probably has a score to settle with the White Walker king as well.prev