The Game of Thrones series finale sent Arya Stark on a new adventure into the unknown, but the books give us some information about what she will find in her travels.
Warning! Spoilers for the Game of Thrones series finale lie ahead!
When the wars are finally over in Westeros, some characters remain to oversee the realm, and some go their separate ways. Among them is Arya Stark, the scrappy girl-turned-assassin who saved the world from the Night King. After freeing herself from her quest for vengeance, Arya turns her eyes westward in the finale, looking to the horizon of the Sunset Sea.
In both the show and the books, none of our characters know what lies beyond the western horizon. Ships that sail that way do not generally come back. However, George R.R. Martin's latest book, Fire and Blood, gave us more insight into that mysterious sea than we have ever seen before. He even introduced a new character whose westward voyage may show us what's coming for Arya.
The book recounts the life of Elissa Farman, daughter of a minor lord and friend of Princess Rhaena Targaryen. About 250 years before the main storyline, Elissa became fed up with her life in Westeros and the expectations that she would become a "proper lady." She stole three dragon eggs from Rhaena and sailed to Braavos, where she commissioned a great ship called the Sun Chaser.
Elissa returned to Westeros and gathered two more lords for her voyage west into the unknown. They sailed into the Sunset Sea, battled a giant kraken and found three small, exotic islands. From there, Elissa's companions turned back, satisfied, but Elissa sailed further west by herself.
While one of the other ships made it home to report Elissa's discovery, she and the Sun Chaser were never seen again. However, a generation later, another Westerosi sailor traveled to the far east, to the port of Asshai by the Shadow. There, he claims he saw a Westerosi ship that could only be the Sun Chaser docked in the port, suggesting that Elissa circled the planet and made it to the other side of the continent Essos.
With that in mind, Elissa and Arya's stories could be perfect parallels for each other. Both girls despised the life that Westerosi culture had set out for them, and both fled to Braavos, where they acquired mysterious power from the city of freed slaves. It looks like Elissa escaped her old life in the Seven Kingdoms and found a place where she could be herself in the east. Hopefully the same will be true for Arya.
Next weekend, HBO will air a feature-length documentary on the making of Season 8 titled Game of Thrones: The Last Watch in the place of the series. It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. The next novel in the series is expected soon, although no release date has been announced yet.