"I Don't Need Saving": An Exploration into How Arya Stark Is Her Own Epic Hero



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis strives to prove how Arya Stark from HBO’s Game of Thrones (GoT) is an epic hero. In order to work through how Arya is an epic hero, the researcher first establishes the definition of “epic” through A Glossary of Literary Terms and the Oxford English Dictionary. While GoT is not an epic poem, this fantasy television show has much in common with old stories and oral tales. After establishing what creates an epic, this thesis works through the evolution of the epic hero to further understand the purpose and exigence behind studying literary characters and how these characters represent the cultural values of their home nations. In order to fully examine Arya’s journey, the researcher compares her to Gregory Nagy’s analysis of the epic hero, aligning Arya with the heroes of old and establishing how she fits the mold of the epic hero despite the genre differences. The researcher found that Arya is, indeed, a modern-day epic hero, acting as a merger between those heroes who established the genre and newer generations who have revolutionized it. Despite the limitations in research, reception, and genre, Arya’s journey holds importance not only in literary study, but also within cultural studies of the present and future.



Game of Thrones, Arya Stark, epic hero, HBO


Permalink for this item. Use this when sharing or citing this source.