Season 4, Episode 10: The Children
Arya won’t put a Hound out of his misery.
After Brienne defeats The Hound in the Brawl of the Century by forcing him over a cliff (after punching him into submission), Arya goes to find her longtime companion/captor mortally (?) wounded at the bottom of the hill. He begs for her to kill him, but she just kneels down next to him staring at him intently. It’s as if we could see her wheels turning as he pleads for his life… Should I end his misery? Is he still on my list? Should I let the Gods decide? How do I feel about this man who kidnapped me, yet protected me? Is it possible that I’ll survive because of what he taught me? Does it matter since he’s a self-proclaimed killer who murdered my friend?
Her feelings are probably pretty complicated about the man, so when she decided not to kill him and instead just left him there to die, it was the most fitting end to the murky feelings surrounding their friendship. Was it that she couldn’t bring herself to kill a man she’d grown to consider a friend? Did she consider it more cruel to leave him there to suffer and die? I think the answer lies later in Season 6 when she said that she’d removed The Hound from her list. My guess is her feelings were so muddled that she couldn’t decide what the correct action would be – and that there ultimately there wasn’t a correct one. So she chose inaction, and took her newfound freedom to Braavos where she’d seek out Jaqen’s tutelage.