Sunday night’s premiere of Game of Thrones featured a series of reunions, some heartwarming (Jon Snow and Arya), some terrifying (Bran and basically everyone he stared at with his not-quite-human eyes). But the one reunion I was hoping would happen, even though it logistically would have made absolutely no sense in the arc of the story, was for Arya to meet up with her friend, orphan, and maker of delicious baked goods, Hot Pie.
Sadly, Hot Pie’s legions of fans were disappointed. We first met him in Season 1 at King’s Landing, where to be honest he was kind of a dick to Arya, who was at the time disguised as a boy named Arry. But Hot Pie would transform from a bully into the sensitive, kind soul we now know him to be over the course of the next few seasons, always ready to dispense some pretty good cooking advice. You cannot give up on the gravy. Have you ever heard wiser words? I have not. YOU. CANNOT. GIVE UP. ON THE GRAVY!!!
While merely a minor character in the eyes of some fans, Hot Pie, to me, has always been the ethical heart of the show—an example that personal transformation is possible and a symbol of the kind of goodhearted people the leaders of the noble houses of Westeros have trampled on for centuries, but will need in order to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating war to come. Sure, Hot Pie might have doomed Westeros to a brutal war when he told Arya in Season 7 that the Boltons were dead and that her siblings were back at Winterfell, compelling her to change her plans from killing Cersei to instead go back home. Oops! But that’s not on Hot Pie, who just was happy to see his friend “Arry” and share some relevant personal news.
“I’m like you, Arry. I’m a survivor,” Hot Pie told Arya at their last meeting. The world of Westeros has so little room for boys like Hot Pie, a sensible young man who would much rather bake bread and kidney pies than fight an army of White Walkers. Here’s hoping Hot Pie is still turning out delicious pastries—ya gotta brown the butter kids!—at the inn, and that we get one last glimpse of Westeros’s most beloved baker. Give the people what they want. More Hot Pie!