Clues You Missed About Arya & The Night King On Game Of Thrones

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

This post contains spoilers for episode 3, season 8 of Game of Thrones.

Gasps and cheers were likely heard around the world on Sunday night when Arya (Maisie Williams) jumped out of nowhere and killed the Night King after it seemed like all hope was lost. The past season or so had been leading up to the moment when presumably Jon Snow (Kit Harington) would be the one to end the White Walkers and their undead army for good, but as he found himself trapped between Viserion and a bunch of wights, it was Arya-goddamn-Stark who leapt through the White Walkers and plunged her Valyrian knife into the Night King's chest.
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To put it lightly, this moment was a game changer. This didn't just save Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and the rest of the (remaining) fighters at Winterfell, but totally repositioned Arya's potential role in this whole story. It's not just anyone who can defeat the Night King...which is why we maybe should have guessed it was going to be Arya all along. There are a number of clues that suggested our youngest heroine would be the one to change history. Here's what they were and what they mean for the final three episodes of the show.
Game Of Thrones loves a twist.
We always knew this giant battle would surprise us, and Harington pointed out to Entertainment Weekly that not only was it "the right thing for the characters," but that this switcheroo was very Game Of Thrones.
"There’s also something about it not being the person you expect," he told the outlet. "The young lady sticks it to the man."
We hadn't seen her in a while.
Logistically, director Miguel Sapochnik had been setting this moment up all episode long. The fact that we hadn't seen Arya in a while after her confrontation with Melisandre (Carice van Houten) was on purpose.
“I thought, ‘Hmm, if I see Arya running then I know she’s going to do something,'" he told EW. “So it’s about almost losing her from the story and then have her come in as a surprise and pinning all our hopes on Jon being the guy going to do it — because Jon’s always the guy. So we follow Jon in a continuous shot I want the audience to think: ‘Jon’s gonna do it, Jon’s gonna do it…’ and then he fails. He fails at the very last minute. So I’m hoping that’s a nice switch that no one sees coming."
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She's been training for years.
If we zoom out a little bit, this is also the appropriate conclusion to all that training she's had over the years. Arya's first ever storyline was about being a good fighter, and her entire journey since was about becoming the most formidable, cunning, faceless warrior. Only one person in that castle had the fighting skills to fend off over six wights at once, plus the supernatural ability to creep through a whole hoard of them to surprise the Night King from behind, and the quick thinking to switch hands when the Night King had her by the throat.
It was a prophecy from Melisandre.
Melisandre reminded us of a season 3 prophecy in the last scene we have with Arya before she makes her surprise kill. When Melisandre first told Arya the “brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes… eyes you’ll shut forever” prophecy, we had no idea until last night that the "blue eyes" referred to those of the Night King. It's literally always been Arya's destiny to kill him.
Oh, and she might be Azor Ahai.
Speaking of prophecies, this heroic move has officially put her in the running for Azor Ahai, or the “prince that was promised."
"Darkness will fall heavy on the world," the prophecy reads. "Stars will bleed. The cold breath of winter will freeze the seas, and the dead shall rise in the North. In the ancient books, it is written that a warrior will draw a burning sword from the fire. And that sword will be the Lightbringer."
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Basically, Azor Ahai should be showing up any day now if history is to repeat itself, and he or she will possess the following qualities:
1. He or she must be born of smoke and salt
2. He or she must wake dragons out of stone
3. He or she must be born under a bleeding red star
4. He or she must make a sacrifice
5. Darkness must fall upon the earth
Previously, the big contenders for the title were Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), with Bran Stark, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), or Baratheon bastard Gendry (Joe Dempsie) also being suggested. But none of those people have killed the Night King. After Sunday night's episode, who would you task with saving Westeros?
Arya Stark, that's who.
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