Game of Thrones is nothing if not convoluted. Blink, and you’ve missed a hieroglyph on a Dragonstone mountain that explains the entire plotline to season eight. It’s a writing device that has kept millions of people hooked for the entire eight seasons, and it’s the reason so many of us are going back into the Game of Thrones archives to find out exactly what scenes foreshadowed the big Battle of Winterfell climax on Sunday night.
When you see them, it’s difficult to understand why we were so surprised that Arya’s role would be so integral in defeating the Night King because they’ve clearly been laying it out since season one. Literally, season one. Honestly, it’s a level of intricate detail that – considering the writers are no longer following the book series – puts the writing team onto a whole new playing field of skills.
So, what are they, I hear you scream? Well, according to the Twitterverse – a place where a record 7.8 million tweets have been shared about last night’s episode - it all began on the fateful day we saw Arya hit her first target.
Clues About Arya Stark - Grazia (stacked)
As Bran attempts to draw his arrow and hit the target, Arya interrupts him with a sudden intervention and hits the target with her own arrow – to the surprise of Jon Snow and Rob Stark. It was one of the first times we saw Arya's skill with a weapon, and her surprise Bran with a secret attack.
Her first lesson, Jon tells Arya 'stick him with the pointy end', advice she then gave to Sansa in Sunday night's episode. Considering many expected Jon to kill the Night King, the foreshadowing is quite chilling.
The most obvious clue came in season three - while still following the narrative of the books – when Melisandre, the red priestess, told Arya, 'I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes sealed shut forever.' Of course, she's killed many brown-eyed men, including Walder Frey. Now the Night King with blue eyes, and who do we know with green eyes?!
Then came her training with Syrio Forel from season one. 'What do we say to the God of death?' he asked her, 'Not today', he taught. The Night King largely represented death, and she sure proved it was NOT today. In service of the House of black and White in Braavos, Arya goes blind in her training with Jaqen H'ghar. As she struggles with her identity, she becomes 'no one', and able to wear the masks then will see her kill many men. When Bran explained the danger incoming, he stated 'no one can kill the Night King'. And 'no one' truly did.
In service of the House of Black and White in Braavos, Arya goes blind in her training with Jaqen H'ghar. As she struggles with her identity, she becomes 'no one', and able to wear the masks then will see her kill many men. When Bran explained the danger incoming, he stated 'no one can kill the Night King'. And 'no one' truly did.
Of course, the clues came thick and fast in the most recent season. We saw Arya sneak up on Jon in episode one of season eight, to his surprise ('how did you sneak up on me?', he asked), in the exact same place she would sneak up on the Night King on Sunday night's episode.
Then, when Arya is reunited with Bran for the first time in years, he returns the dagger that would later be used to kill the Night King in the exact place she would kill him.
And just before battle, as Arya trained with Brienne of Tarth (that's Ser Brienne of Tarth to you), she used the same move flipping her knife from one hand to the other to stop her in battle.
Of course, will all of these clues, there are now tons of fan theories about what's happening next. The main clue comes from that Melisandre quote about green eyes, are we to expect Arya to kill Cersei next, or at least one of the green-eyed Lannister's? It almost seems too obvious at this point, given that we literally missed every tiny clue they gave us about Arya's fate for an entire eight seasons – would they make it that easy for us? We're betting not.