The Stark family reunion on Monday's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Spoils of War," was emotional for many fans who waited seven long years to see Arya, Sansa, and Bran together in the same place once again. But while you might have been caught up celebrating in the moment, you may have missed some of the numerous nods to the past that the Stark sisters subtly dropped throughout the highly anticipated chat.
For instance, Sansa often daydreamed (and whined) about marrying her prince, while Arya was much more interested in roughhousing with the boys in the dirt. The young Stark girl could shoot an arrow better than her brothers before she could probably tie her own shoelaces. It was Arya's desire to get her hands dirty that ultimately gave her a different type of bond with the Stark men – her father included – and those memories weren't lost on Sansa, who rehashed her jealously about her sister's bond with Jon Snow.
"I remember how happy [Jon] was to see me," Sansa said to Arya within minutes of seeing her. "When he sees you, his heart will probably explode." If you sensed a little envy in her voice, Vanity Fair argues that yeah, you did.
But the biggest callback in the episode happened when Arya first approached the gates at Winterfell, Vanity Fair reports. Like most people travelling for a long distance, Arya looked like she might have been in need of a bath when she arrived back at her family home. The guards, whose main job is to protect Sansa from threats, thieves, and otherwise grungy plebs, noticed Arya's dirt-laced fingernails and her well-worn threads and were like, Yeah, no, someone just mopped and you're definitely not walking in here claiming to be a Stark.
The moment was almost too good. If you can remember all the way back to Season 1, the literal same thing happened in King's Landing when Arya was trying to see her dad at the Tower of the Hand. This time was no different, and Arya gave the goofy guards — both of whom seemed just as clueless as the guys from the first season— a run for their money by threatening to unleash her sister (rather than her father) if they didn't obey her demands.
While Vanity Fair goes on to mention a few other moments, the one that struck us the most didn't rely on what the characters said but rather where they said it. Upon arrival, Arya headed down to the family crypt, where the girls were forcibly separated seven long, trying years ago. As they talked, a statue of their father (ominously? lovingly?) watched over them. Could this be a sign that the Stark patriarch approves of the gang getting back together to form a new-and-improved Winterfell?