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“Pretty Little Liars” Theory: Aria is A

“It’s the greatest burden I can think of, wanting to be extraordinary, but being mind-numbingly, sickeningly, painfully ordinary.” -Unknown

It’s not A for Ali but A for Aria. The evidence is too much to deny. Aria was the original person threatening Alison and was responsible for her disappearance. She’s the “Her” that Mona and the A Team take direction from but have never actually met. She’s been hiding in plAin sight! No one would suspect shy, caring, innocent Aria. We’ve always known A had to be someone the girls trust because of how much information she finds out so quickly. But what motive does Aria have?

Compared to her friends, Aria’s character is just so, well, basic. She’s the one worrying about her friends and helping them out when they’re in trouble. She’s the sidekick that follows them around and tries so hard to fit in. Her family is ordinary, her life is ordinary, Aria is ordinary. But her best friends are not…

Ali

  • More popular and outgoing than Aria and always the center of attention

  • Lies, blackmails, and manipulates to get what she wants, and she always get it

  • Dramatic family life, spontaneous and intense love life

  • Double life as “Vivian Darkbloom,” lies about her age and identity

Spencer

  • Smarter than Aria, addicted to amphetamines and frequent stays in Radley

  • Dramatic family life, suspicious older sister, and lawyer mom

  • Dad had an affair and child with Ali’s mom

  • Parents hired a private investigator to spy on her because they thought she killed Ali

Emily

  • Ali’s favorite and love interested

  • Lesbian and all-star swimmer

  • Her mom’s a cop

  • She gets herself into trouble often and her friends come to her rescue

Hannah

  • More exciting, spontaneous, and funnier than Aria

  • She used to be fat, so losing the weight has been a big accomplishment of hers

  • She became best friends with Mona after Ali’s disappearance

The only noteworthy thing to ever happen to Aria: Her dad had an affair with a student and was blackmailed… BY ALI! Also, her illicit relationship with her teacher Ezra, but that had to be kept secret, and of course, HE DATED ALI FIRST.

Aria’s prime motive: Jealousy. Compared to the girls, she’s not the best at anything, or the most popular, or the most attention-worthy. She just follows them around. A normal person wouldn’t be driven to the lengths of A just because of jealousy, so Aria must have mental or emotional issues.

The pilot episode features Aria meeting Ezra in Iceland after she spent a year there and this was probably when she developed a plan to make Ali disappear. Maybe because Ali was the ringleader or because Aria would never be the clever one, the popular one, or the important one with Ali around.

(Sidenote: Makes sense that the key character would be focused on in the pilot, doesn’t it?) It’s later revealed that Ezra purposely met Aria because of her association with Ali. But what if Aria also purposely met Ezra for revenge on Ali?)

Ali isn’t innocent; We know she’s a con artist and a sociopath who bullied and tortured people (even her friends), which may have contributed to Aria’s motive. We know she’s planned “A” attacks on herself. Ali is a sketchy, cunning, selfish and free of guilt, but she’s not A.

There’s evidence that Aria, on the other hand, does feel guilt. We see her express deep emotions even when she’s alone. Remember how terribly heartbroken she was after she killed Shauna in an act of self defense? How can she be A with an easily guilted conscious?

  1. Aria never wanted to kill anyone, just to scare them in order to gain attention and infame for herself. Violent acts are committed by others who may or may not be on the A Team.

  2. Aria does feel guilt behind closed doors, but her feelings of jealousy and need for revenge overpower her feelings of guilt. She just feels so insignificant that she’d do anything to become noticed, even negatively.

  3. She is simultaneously good and evil (she’s been associated with a snake symbol). Maybe unknowingly, such as a multiple personality disorder. Or, she consciously loves her friends yet hates them at the same time. Have you ever honestly really liked a friend, but secretly wished to be better than them?