The first two episodes of Game of Thrones Season 8 witnessed many reunions between characters that haven’t seen one another for years, and one of the more serious meetings was between Arya and Gendry. Unsurprisingly, this has rekindled an item that has been staying on fans' wishlists for a long time: a romantic relationship between the two.
Fans have been asking for a romantic relationship between Arya and Gendry for years
Arya has not had many friends over the years. The majority of her relationships were fueled by her desire for vengeance, as she's worked tirelessly to hunt down those who have harmed her family. She does make friends occasionally, though, as with Hot Pie and Gendry, two kids that fled King's Landing with her all the way back in Season 2. Gendry, in particular, appeared very important to Arya, and having to part ways with him in Season 3 was part of the reasons that drove her to become the super-assassin she is today.
Arya got very close to Gendry when they were on the run together. When Gendry made the decision to accompany the Brotherhood Without Banners, they shared a particularly emotional moment, with Arya pleading for the young blacksmith to come to Winterfell with her, even saying that "I could be your family" when he told her he had no one left. Though things weren’t meant to be right then, there was no doubt that the two had very strong feeling for one another. And then there was that moment when Arya saw Gendry without his shirt, which definitely had some serious ... effects on her.
Arya is impressed by shirtless Gendry, and even said she could be his family
Ever since, many fans have been "shipping" the couple, and that had not been deterred at all by the fact that they were apart literally for years. There are tons of fan fiction about them going on the internet, and they even have a hashtag of their own: #Gendrya.
Note, however, that this is not exactly a thing in the source novel A Song of Ice and Fire that inspired the show. Arya and Gendry were much younger when they parted ways in the books, around 10 and 15, respectively. And this intimate moment between the two in the latest episode might have felt kind of weird for fans that haven't been shipping Gendrya as Arya is the youngest Stark (that is still alive), and viewers practically watched her ever since she was a kid, so an adult scene is certainly rather jarring, to say the least. Arya in the show is already 18, though, and while the exact age of Gendry is not specified, he’s about 5 years older than her in the books, so somewhere around 23. In real life, Maisie Williams, the actress who portrays Arya, is 22, while Joe Dempsey, Gendry’s actor, is 31.
Maisie Williams is 22, and Joe Dempsey is 31
It's been about 7 years since fans began their dreams of the grumpiest Stark finding some sort of happiness in a relationship with the bastard son of the late King Robert Baratheon who just longs for a family, and now it has finally come true. If things last, their relationship will fulfill a wish that goes back all the way to Season 1 when Robert first came to Winterfell to meet Ned Stark and the two best friends talked about joining their houses through marriage.
A wish that dates back to season 1
Season 8 episode 2 also delivered on another major fan ship, although maybe not exactly in the way fans imagined: The longstanding and complicated relationship between Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister, both of whom have changed the other for the better over the course of their lengthy, fraught, and initially hostile relationship.
The first time Brienne met Jaime was in Season 3, when he was still a prisoner of the Starks. Catelyn Stark then tasked Brienne with taking Jaime back to King's Landing in exchange for her daughters Sansa and Arya (she was not aware that Arya had escaped King's Landing and was facing her own adventure out there in the world). Even though Jaime was constantly insulting Brienne at first, her unwavering sense of honor gradually began to leave a serious effect on him, particularly after she saved his life multiple times.
The first time Brienne met Jaime was when he was still a prisoner of the Starks
Jaime, in turn, made Brienne understand his own good side when the two had an intimate moment in the bathtub and the Lannister explained how he became the Kingslayer: he did kill Aerys Targaryen, the king he had sworn to protect, but only because the Mad King was intending to use wildfire to blow up King's Landing, mercilessly killing everyone, rebel and innocent people alike. Brienne realized that Jaime was not the evil, arrogant betrayer she thought him to be, while Jaime was inspired by Brienne's example and dedication to become a better man.
It’s clear that both of them have come to care a lot for the other, but unfortunately, the Lannister will forever harbor a strong feeling toward his sister Cersei despite all of her atrocities – something about himself that he has lamented being incapable of changing. But during Season 4, when the Queen met Brienne in King’s Landing, she called out that the latter was in love with Jaime, which has led a lot of fans to hope that they can move further and become something more.
The two eventually became close over the course of their journey
The latest episode had just that, although not in the sexual sense like with Gendry and Arya. The climax of Brienne and Jaime’s relationship comes under the form of an abiding mutual respect when Jaime makes use of his rights as a knight of the Seven Kingdoms to bestow knighthood upon Brienne. This is a huge moment. Despite all her words of denial, becoming a knight is what Brienne has wished for throughout her entire life, but she never dared to dream that it’d actually come true given that she’s a woman. Now, having her wished delivered by a person that she cares very much about just shows how important they are to each other.
This is a massive moment
It’s a shame that all these touching moments of friendship and love are happening under not-so-desirable circumstances, though. Arya and Gendry might have finally taken their relationship a step further, and Jaime and Brienne might have established a wholesome kinship, but now any or maybe even all of them might get killed by the invading army of undead.