- Warning: Spoilers ahead for all aired episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
- “Game of Thrones” fans were shook when Arya killed the Night King at the end of the Battle of Winterfell.
- But it shouldn’t have been such a surprise to anyone who picked up on clues throughout the series, starting from episode one.
- “Game of Thrones” writers have been hinting this would happen for a few seasons. Watch the video above for all the clues they left along the way.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: It’s one of those “did I really see that?” TV moments: In season eight episode three of “Game of Thrones,” we see Arya jumping towards the Night King and stabbing him in the heart with a Valyrian steel dagger.
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss claim that they have known for years that she would be the one to kill the Night King. But you might not have spotted all these clues that the put in other episodes. We’re going to break it down for you.
1. The first episode
Right from the start, in season one episode one, Arya is introduced to us as a force to be reckoned with. While her brother Bran is set up to not be a great warrior, Arya comes in with a sneak attack and hits the target.
2. Arya’s first weapon
In season one episode two, Arya is bestowed with her first weapon, Needle, by Jon. Jon’s advice is …
Jon Snow: Stick ’em with the pointy end.
Narrator: This line is repeated in “The Long Night.”
Arya: Stick ’em with the pointy end.
3. Syrio Forel’s teaching
Narrator: Arya’s teacher after Jon was Syrio Forel, who taught her to be fast, coining the phrase “What do we say to the god of death? ‘Not today,'” which again was repeated in “The Long Night.”
Ironically, in her first lesson with him, he throws a sword towards her, which she fails to catch.
Syrio: Tomorrow, you will catch it.
4. The Catspaw dagger’s journey
Narrator: The Catspaw dagger’s journey through the seasons is actually a clue in itself.
It makes an early appearance in season one. A mysterious assassin tries to murder Bran with it, but Catelyn Stark protects him.
So Catelyn takes it to King’s Landing, where she shows it to Littlefinger. He frames Tyrion, which then turns into the War of the Five Kings.
Ned Stark has it, then loses it to Littlefinger when he betrays him, leading to Ned Stark’s death, which then sends Arya on her long journey to becoming a badass assassin – only for Littlefinger to give it back to Bran at the same location it was first introduced.
5. A book Sam reads
In season seven episode one, that exact dagger shows up in one of the books that Sam is reading in the Citadel in Oldtown to find out how to defeat the army of the dead and the Night King.
6. Melisandre’s prompt
Melisandre meets Arya in season three episode six, telling her…
Melisandre: I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever.
Narrator: This is the prompt Melisandre uses again in season eight episode three to send her over to the weirwood tree.
7. The Hound
In season four, Arya picks up a few tips from the Hound. In their travels across Westeros, he teaches her to look for weak spots in armour, and also how to stab someone in the heart.
8. Bran’s vision
In season six episode five, Bran has a vision where he experiences the creation of the Night King by the Children of the Forest.
What we now know as the Night King gets stabbed in the chest by a dragonglass dagger. It’s under a similar-looking weirwood tree that he would meet his demise, again being pierced in the chest.
9. Arya sneaks up on Jon
In season eight episode one, Arya sneaks up on Jon Snow in exactly the same place where she kills the Night King. He says…
Jon: How did you sneak up on me?
10. The Littlefinger scene
Narrator: In season seven episode four, Bran gives Arya the dagger that he in turn was given by Littlefinger.
The Littlefinger scene had seemed a bit random at the time, and he turns it over to her, saying …
Bran: I don’t want it.
Narrator: It’s a testament to Isaac William Hempstead’s portrayal of Bran that without realising its significance, he has a wistful and kind of knowing look on his face, as if giving the dagger some significance.
11. The blade is visible on Arya’s belt
Once Bran gives the dagger to Arya, it’s extremely visible on her belt throughout the next episodes.
12. Sparring match with Brienne
She then uses it in a sparring match with Brienne, using the same “drop” move that she did with the Night King.
13. Saving Arya
Characters die protecting Arya, almost as if saving her life is the main objective – Ser Beric Dondarrion and Syrio Forel.
14. The Hound’s breakdown
Then we come to season eight episode three itself. The Hound has a seemingly distracting breakdown during the episode, saying to Ser Beric …
The Hound: We’re fighting death! They can’t beat death.
Narrator: His reply is to point to Arya and say, “Tell her that.”
15. Arya’s season 6 training
Arya also repeats moves during the episode that we’ve seen her do in previous fights. Her first encounter with a wight mimics her season six training with the Faceless Men, stopping the staff in the same position.
16. Arya was being built up
It should have been obvious that Arya was being built up for something special. Throughout the show, she has gone through a lot of training. It was never really clear what this training would be for, other than killing people on her list. We now know that it was to save the Seven Kingdoms from its most dangerous adversary.
Footage courtesy of HBO. You can watch “Game of Thrones” on Sky Atlantic on NowTV.