SPOILERS for Game of Thrones.
After last night’s epic battle, it was sort of a downer to realize that oh, right, Cersei is still getting wine-drunk in Kings Landing. Like, if I was an average Westerosi, I would be like “you know what, I’m not going to follow this Cersei bitch anymore, she didn’t even care that the undead were ravaging half of Westeros.” So it was a downer to see the trailer for the next episode:
Apparently, some eagle-eyed viewers caught sight of Ghost in the “survivors outside of Winterfell” shot. Thank the lord of light. I need a Ghost-Jon reunion scene NOW. I also need Cersei to stop with her f–king smirking because there are badder bitches in Westeros, and their names are Daenerys, Sansa and ARYA. Once last night’s episode was over, one of my first thoughts was “so Arya was Azor Ahai this whole time.” Azor Ahai is an ancient prophecy in the Game of Thrones world, and as of this moment, Arya has the strongest claim to the name:
Arya’s defining moment does beg the question of whether or not she — and not Jon or Dany as has been widely speculated — is the One Who Was Promised. According to the prophecy of the One Who Was Promised, the One, a prophesied savior in the religion of R’hllor who is the reincarnation of legendary hero Azor Ahai, is destined to “lead the people against a darkness” by wielding a flaming sword called Lightbringer.
“There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world,” it reads. “In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”
Obviously Arya didn’t kill the Night King with a sword, let alone one that was on fire. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Game of Thrones it’s that prophecies don’t usually pan out in a literal sense. And with three episodes to go, it’s likely that there’s still plenty we don’t know about the truth of the Azor Ahai prophecy. Whether or not Arya does turn out to be Azor Ahai reborn, it’s clear that she’s an important figure in the religion of R’hllor. Not only was Melisandre’s fate directly entwined with hers, but we now know that Beric Dondarrion was brought back to life six times by the Lord of Light purely so that he could sacrifice himself to save Arya from death by wight during the battle.
Of course, we also have to find out what Jon’s ultimate purpose is in the Lord of Light’s grand scheme since he was brought back as well. But with Cersei gearing up to go head to head with the survivors of Winterfell, it’s likely that revelations about every unresolved prophecy are about to rapidly be made.
The show has already mentioned the Azor Ahai prophecy – it was Melisandre who spoke of it to Daenerys last season. Melisandre, like Bran Stark, knew a lot more than she told people. Both Melisandre and Bran understood which pieces to move around – Dany and Jon had to meet, Jon had to know about his parents, but what if Arya was the most important piece of the puzzle? When Mel turned up at Winterfell, she was there to help everybody, of course, but it felt like her ultimate goal – perhaps a goal given to her by the Lord of Light – was to help Arya, because Mel had finally seen it in the flames. Bran knew too – that’s why he gave Baelish’s dagger to Arya. He gave her the dagger at the exact same spot she would use the dagger to save the world. Also: what if NEEDLE is Lightbringer??
Also: in the trailer, it really looks like Dany won over the North, right? I hope at the very f–king least, Dany, Sansa and Arya are 100% on the same page now.
Photos courtesy of HBO/Game of Thrones.
My Girl. I’m so proud.
Me too! I sure would’ve like Jon and Sansa to see Arya in action though. Davos had a good seat for that at least!!
my favourite part. somebody had to be witness. I think she’s going to kill Cersei. I think the biggest battle will be against Cersei.
Dany lost most of her army fighting for the North. If they can’t get behind and support her now??? Also, where were the Knights of the Vale? I didn’t see them during the battle.
They were fighting with Brienne. I saw some run back inside the castle during the retreat, but who knows how many lived.
Yes! No one is talking about how Dany’s entire army has been obliterated except for the two dragons. There is a reason why Bran wanted just Jon to find hear about his birth the moment he did.
Maybe that was part of the point of the whole AOTD and NK storyline – at this point at any rate – it wiped out Dany’s armies (or at least it seemed to, if they all made it I’m going to scream, bc that was definitely not what it seemed like happened last night) – so now she has to fight Cersei with a mainly Westerosi army, if there are enough survivors, and Cersei has the foreign army.
Was anyone else bothered that the poc army was used as fodder, followed by the former slave army, while the predominantly white army was shielded?
As a poc, that felt shitty to watch.
Syd – Yes. As a Xicana, I was HELLA bothered. It also bothered me that she doesn’t seem to be all that broken up about it in the trailer for next week. “Oh, well … c’est la vie! On to King’s Landing!”
I’m white and it bothered me. The optics were terrible.
@syd- I noticed this too. And my first reaction was oh great here they go milking the Black people first. I actually thought of the opening scene from Scary Movie. It’s also historical
to use Black forces in this way, which is disgusting. I kept thinking they better not Kill greyworm.
Seeing how the white writers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss treated the poc armies, I’m really glad they didn’t get the green light for their show, Confederate. If people remember they tried to make a show about an alternate history where the south won the civil war?!!
I read the NY times recap of this episode and the writer was very impressed by the dimming light of the dothraki army. No clue as to the bigger significance of a wildly popular show, based on one of the many European tribal wars that somehow chooses to use a poc army as war fodder against an army called ‘white walkers’. That is a narrative choice that needs further commentary.
At Syd – Yes, I noticed that too. And then we had to listen to Sansa, a white woman hiding in the crypts, STILL complain about Dany’s army. The same army that was out there fighting and dying to protect her. At least Missandei reminded Sansa that she was still alive because of that army, but I would have liked to hear a stronger dressing-down of the entitled white woman.
At NewKay – I wasn’t thinking of Scary Movie, but “Undercover Brother” when Dave Chappelle’s character “Conspiracy Brother” goes on a rant about the black guy dying first: “A movie? C’mon man! Why, so I can fall in love with a cute black man that teaches white people everything they know about the shrimp industry before they kill him 30 minutes into the movie? Huh? Hey, why don’t you walk down that tunnel, black man? Hey Black Man, turn on the generator, there’s dinosaurs out there! Hey Black Man, look out! He’s got a gun!”
@Syd it bothers me. The books are far from perfect when it comes to race, but they are a lot better in the show. Like, the Dothraki actually have names and personalities in the books. Daenerys has Dothraki with her throughout her journey in the books. Irri, the Dothraki handmaiden who died S2 is still alive in the books.
I swear to God, if they kill Missandei or Greyworm, I’ll riot
So I see this in multiple levels.
1. it was sooooo bad in terms of optics that the POC were the ones who died and sacrificed the most. I saw it immediately and it was… not great.
2. A side-note: in the books, the Unsullied are not all POC. The slaves of Essos are all different colours. Slaves are from different races, backgrounds, areas and religions. Grey Worm has no identifying racial descriptions and GRRM has refused to be drawn on what race he is as of yet. There are many slaves that look like Daenerys – the bed slaves of Lys are white blondes with fair hair, Dany saw a Lyseni slave killed in the fighting pits, etc. Essos is a great heaving mass of differing cultures and colours and religions and creeds. In the TV show they cast most of their main slave characters as POC and also their extras and they had some really effed up moments as a result. The optics were never good. I’m sure they were trying to up their quotient of POC and did not think that through at all (lack of diversity at the top – it shows). Their excuse was that they filmed some of those key Essos scenes in places like Morocco and when they did the callout for extras they got POC. Thus the scene when brown people hold up the whitest of white people. In the books they would have been people of all colours. I do think the showrunners are pretty blind when it comes to a lot of this stuff though and their unconscious bias does pop up a fair bit. This is why you need representation at all levels of production.
3. The books are not up to here yet so we don’t know if those armies will die in the books – so any excuses about the book being mixed race Unsullied etc. are irrelevant.
4. I do think they decided that they had to kill off the Dothraki somehow because a horde of brutal foreign men who enjoy ransacking, pillaging and raping was never going to go down well in Westeros and would never win fans amongst the common people to Dany’s side. What would happen to them after the conquest? They would never settle down. we know how they live. It was a complicated question that they didn’t want to take the time to answer.
5. The Unsullied were foreign soldiers but less problematic – they are more disciplined, they don’t rob and burn and rape. I don’t see why they had to sacrifice themselves! They are foreigners, yes, but that really upset me and I didn’t see the show’s logic for that so much.
6. I am sure it will be twisted that the Unsullied were the most heroic. They stood their ground, they were the bravest, etc. It still upset me and I didn’t see that as necessary.
7. Dany’s reaction to her Dothraki being decimated is a crucial plot point in the episode. She and Jon are supposed to wait for the Night King to reveal himself. She has a huge emotional reaction to seeing her guys go down and rushes off to help (thank god, because they really needed it!) That plan always sucked anyway. But yeah, killing off the POC as a plot point to motivate a protagonist is a bit of a racial girl in the fridge issue.
8. Perhaps Dany being stripped of her forces is a necessary plot point for the politics and battles to come. She is now reliant largely on Westerosi forces – they don’t love her the way her old forces do. She will need to use different tactics with them. That could be interesting. Unfortunately the racial optics are still there and they should have thought of that!!!!
9. Sansa’s timing was terrible and I think more for future plot than anything else. However, I totally get her objections to Dany as Queen. Considering everything she and her family and the people of the North have been through, they finally got their independence and her brother immediately gave it away – to her mind, because he’s in love. The White Walkers and wights are still fairly new to her and I don’t think she really gets it until she sees them up on the wall. So in a bit of banter she reverts to her ingrained way of thinking I guess. Less about her colour and the colour of the armies (although, if she was prejudiced along those lines it would be unsurprising considering she has lived all her life surrounded by white people who think their culture and way of life is superior to others’); and more about the Queen herself and what she represents to the North. At this point she is still thinking ahead. Missandei rightly slaps her down. Dany’s forces and their fight doesn’t absolve Dany of some of her sh*ttier behaviour though and I think that will be an issue going foward – one that Sansa recognises.
9. Sansa’s timing was terrible and I think more for future plot than anything else (the characters are increasingly plot driven rather than character driven since they have gone off-book). However, I totally get her objections to Dany as Queen. Considering everything she and her family and the people of the North have been through, they finally got their independence and her brother immediately gave it away – to her mind, because he’s in love. The White Walkers and wights are still fairly new to her and I don’t think she really gets it until she sees them up on the wall. So in a bit of banter in a moment of insane tension, she reverts to her ingrained way of thinking I guess. Less about her colour and the colour of the armies; and more about the Queen herself and what she represents to the North. At this point she is still thinking ahead. Missandei rightly slaps her down. Dany’s forces and their fight doesn’t absolve Dany of some of her sh*ttier behaviour though and I think that will be an issue going foward – one that Sansa recognises. I think Sansa sees some serious flaws in Dany that she recognises from some of the many political players she has had to survive and reckon with.
Although, that said, if she was prejudiced along those lines it would be unsurprising considering she has lived all her life surrounded by white people who think their culture and way of life is superior to others’.
I suspect the Dothraki being wiped out was a direct result of the decision to set the Battle of Winterfell at night. Dozens of ‘armed’ stunt people on horses ‘fighting’ at night seems like it would be a recipe for disaster – injury and worse. And the way it was handled at the start of the episode was pretty compelling – the visuals of the weapons lighting up, the force racing through the dark and then disappearing was chilling.
But then… how the Unsullied were handled as the next in line wight fodder, while there were archers and catapults and the ‘left flank’ or whatever Brienne was commanding, while the Northern women and children, who Jon had been so hepped up about training to fight the AOTD, were all stashed away in the crypts, is a mystery…as is most of the North strategy for that great battle. Why was only Theon’s group charged with protecting Bran. Why was there only one line of fire? Why were Dany and Jon & the dragons held back…only to rush in as soon as the fighting started. Why didn’t they use dragon fire on the wights until after the wights were in hand to hand combat with the live fighters? Why didn’t they flame up the dead so that they couldn’t be raised by the Night King – Jon HAD seen that happen before at Hardhome, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
Also, in that scene that they were celebrating, maybe she will leave North to be its own Kingdom if they help her defeat Cersei? Everybody is happy that way.
That’s what I was thinking.
By Brinne and it looks like most them are no more.
I honestly just think the showrunners lost the plot and dropped the ball on the prophecy. Maybe it was GRRM’s fault. It makes sense that Arya killed the NK, and there have been subtle hints for seasons but it doesn’t fit with the prophecy at all and I’m okay with it. The whole AOTD storyline has turned out to be rather anti-climactic. Again don’t know if that’s GRRM or the showrunners since they love Cersei so much.
1 million percent agree!!
MTE. Arya being Azor Ahai doesn’t fit at all, but I like her so much that I don’t really care that it makes no sense.
I think that’s exactly what happened too. They saw Arya get really popular during her weird Braavos storyline, and figured they would ride that train to the end of the line. There are A LOT of angry book readers right now.
They’ve mentioned the seeds of Arya been the one to kill the Night King have been laid since Ayra’s previous encounter with Melissandra. They didn’t change it on a whim.
GRR Martin has been involved in these plots for the seasons that go beyond the book – both he and the show runners have said that. Martin allowed the show runners freedom with his story and characters but he also guided them so that the show and the final books (whenever he finishes them) compliment each other.
Agreed. Making the Prince that was promised Azo Ahai a Stark girl not a Targaryen ruins the prophecy. So Rhaeger Targaryen leaving his wife and children to elope with his 15 year old hottie which lead to a major war and his family loosing the iron throne was ultimately just your average man with no control of his d!ck. “Yeah baby I have to fulfill this prophecy, my wife will die if she gets pregnant again, how about I knock you up and you die in childbirth instead? I know you’re hot for me!!
2. So the NightsKing is really just a blank villain? No layers to his characters? After 7 seasons of menace?
3. I’m sorry but any battle after this is going to be a yawn. They just have to sneak Arya into Cersei’s bedroom, kill her and her army surrenders. The end
I thought the showrunners said we’d get the NK’s backstory. Also, if they get rid of Cersei they still have Euron to content with, he wants the Iron Throne. I think he’s cut a deal with the Golden Company and they actually work for him and not Cersei. In getting into bed with him Cersei has made another big mistake that is going to bite her on the ass. I don’t think she can have any more children and once Euron realises that he is going to turn on her.
Well, Dragon glass is volcanic in origin, so it was made by fire, in effect. That could fit the Lightbringer part, couldn’t it?
The dagger she killed him with has a Valerian steel blade, not obsidian.
I think the threads needed to draw the prophecy together were too complicated and too difficult to convey and get the audience to remember. They wanted to finish in this amount of time, so they found shortcuts.
For example, there is NO WAY GRRM is sending those guys over the Wall to get a wight and then losing Dany a dragon which the Night King (who doesn’t exist in the books!) then raises to breach the Wall. That would violate so many rules of his world that he has painstakingly built. The Wall will likely be brought down by the horn that is prophesised (the one Sam found?), something to do with Bran, ice dragons in the Wall itself, or by some other coming together of many events and threads that they have skipped over in the TV show and therefore couldn’t use.
GRRM supposedly gave them the broad strokes of what he planned to do, but then they moved away from some of that and went their own way. In the Behind The Scenes 40 min show for this episode they explained that they decided 3 years ago that Arya would be the one to do it. That suggests that they decided without GRRM. They said it was too obvious and boring if it was Dany or Jon, and that it was a bigger “surprise” if it was Arya.
I just don’t think that is how GRRM goes about things. Yes he shocks and surprises the readers; but when you think about it there was always foreshadowing and little subtle hints all the way through and it makes perfect sense in the end.
I don’t think the three mythologies will have basically no meaning like they did here. I don’t think Mel will suddenly just put aside her hatred for Weirwoods and Three Eyed Ravens. I don’t think a lot of things will go this way. I think the fight with The Others will be much longer and more fraught and that all sorts of things will come into play that didn’t here.
Winterfell was built by Bran the Builder who also built the Wall and the Walls and crypt of Winterfell are supposedly imbued with that same magic. Wights shouldn’t be able to just climb the Walls. There is all sorts of stuff that could happen in the Crypts (which also hold secret escape passageways).
I think there is just so much MORE in the books. Including the back story and driving purpose of the Others which I believe he will also explain, as he will the messed up seasons.
That is… if he ever finishes the books! 😛
So damn proud,my mouth just went wide open as soon as she jumped at the Night King.A girl is a bloody Night King slayer…
There are three figures in the prophesy. Azor Ahai, The Prince Who was Promised and the last hero. The first two are conflated. The third is separate. She is the last hero, who saves the world from the long night.
Thank you Melissa! I dont know why everyone is hung up on Azor Ahai or why they think Arya is him/her!
Thank you for clarifying that….it seems things have been conflated.
That’s excellent! Thank you for pointing this out. I’m going to spread that news in my neck of the world.
Azor Ahai, the Prince that was promised and the last hero refer to the *same person*. He/she is called one of the three names based on what part of the world you live. But the prophecy along with the Light-bringer sword is the same regardless of region. Book fans have studied this prophecy for literally years. They discovered Jon was Rhaegar and Lyanna son and most likely Azor Ahai, the remaining mystery was which woman he will kill to forge Lightbringer.
There has been debate as to whether or not they are the same person. It is unclear, especially since Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa do not factor in to the Last Hero legend.
There is a school of thought that thinks that the three characters are distinct, which seems to be a pattern considering the “Dragon has three heads” prophecy.
I’ll wait for GRRM to weigh in.
The Last Hero has a broken sword (it snapped from the cold) according to Old Nan. Sam found a reference to the Last Hero slaying the others with a sword of dragonsteel – which Jon then supposes might be Valyrian Steel. The flaming sword, Nissa Nissa, etc. is not at all in the Last Hero’s story.
I yelled out loud “slay b*tch slay” after that blue eye comment, knew then she was headed straight for the NK and it was her destiny. If you look at Arya’s rise everything has led to it. I also laughed when Sandor once again was left behind by Arya with a look on his face like “not again where is she going”? He has had that look more than once with her and knows she is off to destroy and take names, literally.
The prophesy doesn’t match up with Arya’s circumstances. I believed for the longest time Dany was the best fit. Now it’s anyone’s guess. The finale is definitely going to be shambolic. Already anticipating the think pieces from outraged fans. Lol
Sorry to all those who want Arya to give birth to a load of Gendry babies but…
I think Arya will become No One for good. I know everyone wants that Baratheon Baby but as we learned in the first season, that isn’t her. I think Gendry will die somehow and which will break Arya and cause her to return to The House of Many Faces as she will have no purpose as Arya any longer.
In line with what Beric Dondarrion said last season about death being the enemy and the enemy always wins, The Prince That Was Promised could mean Arya is The Prince of Death that is always promised.
It’s the House of Black and White. The Hall of Faces is inside the House of Black and White.
I stand corrected. Thank you.
No, she has too much of a strong identity and loves her family too much to become a no one. We’re seeing her find herself again and fight for her home and family. She won’t go back to that life.
We will agree to disagree on that point. Especially if no one from her house is left.
I’m fairly sure she’ll die and the House will claim her face… Arya has killed too many, oftentime with too much glee, to survive. While she had reasons to kill all of those people (and she’ll kill more), it’s still a lot of executions. I’m not sure she’d be able to get back to a more normal life during peace time.
Yeah, she can’t become NoOne – she is incapable of it. Her background and ties to her her House and family are too strong. Her trainers recognised that about her too. If anything they will kill her or punish her; but I do not think they would want her back. She is too independent. A happy ending for her would likely be to become an adventurer and travel the world.
Nah after this war she’ll head west. “What’s west of Westeros?”
Are we not gonna mention Arya totally making out with Gendry in nexts weeks episode?! I realize it’s not THE storyline for the show and her being the prince promised trumps sexy times BUT can’t this badass have it all?! Hot blacksmith included??? I’m gonna be in Europe so won’t be watching it live but definitely excited to watch it when I get back!!!
I don’t think Gendry is safe. I think his death will break Arya something fierce though.
I know…I’m actually more scared now because the writers are giving me hope for them and that’s exactly where they want us before they destroy us!!!!!
JB I think his death will cause her to return to Braavos.
She was there when her father was beheaded, she will survive.
I think al the women have lost so many beloved ones, they can survive.
Arya will survive. She’ll return to The House of Many Faces and become No One. That’s my prediction anyways.
I hate this line of thinking, with all due respect. Arya saw her father be beheaded, her brother and mother murdered, she has trained to be an assassin and Gendry’s death will “break her”? It makes no sense. She is a warrior, I don’t know why people are either hoping she’ll either be birthing a ton of his babies or abandon her life because he died.
Okay break her was a bad phrase. Pardon my poor English. That said, I think she is fated to the House of Black and White.
She doesn’t. But the show isn’t over yet. Prophecy hasn’t always been literal. Maybe they mean the one that brings the kingdom out of the dark ages. Cersei has been revealed to be the ultimate villain. NK had simple motivations. Cersei was always the more compelling baddie.
And no I don’t see Arya killing her. I see Jaime doing it and dying in the process. Remember Bronn is out there with orders to shoot on site.
Let’s also remember Qyburn and Cersei still have the Scorpion dragon killer.
Main characters are still not safe by any means.
Well, they may have ANOTHER giant scorpion, but they don’t have the first one–Drogon destroyed it when he and Dany attacked the Lannister forces after they brought the Tyrell’s gold and grain to Cersei.
The Azor Ahai and the Prince that was Promised may not be the same people. Melisandre is the only one who calls them the same person and we’ve known her to misinterpret what she sees. I truly don’t believe the showrunners are considering the prophecy in determining who kills the Night King. I think they wanted someone who was Dany or Jon because it would be so obvious and Arya is the only one who is believable enough to kill the Night King.
Agreed on their motivations – they said as much.
Prophecies are only important if you believe in them… And they can make you blind and stupid if you focus on them too much. I thought it was a given. Old Gods, New Gods, foreign God: they all have their own prophecies, their followers can do magical/useful stuff (fire/3ER/Maesters), but that could probably all be done without believing in whatever deity. Melissandre has been wrong 3 dozens of time, ultimately, someone had to make her being right even if she was at a point where she claimed everyone she met was the “Prince” (until they died and whoops! They weren’t)
It’s like astrology to some extend: if you believe in it, eventually, parts of the predictions will seem to fit, albeit at the 100th attempt. Arya killed the NK cuz she was trying to survive: she fought for the livings and it’s her house and knows all the passages, she didn’t care about prophecies and was unburdened by them. She cared about poking with the pointy end.
She doesn’t. I know it’s fun to try and make it seem ~clever~, but really, the showrunners are just not that good. They overplayed their hand this season and had to rush to pare the conflict down to something manageable, hence why the NK is dead by episode 4 after so many episode of dramatic buildup.
I’m really hoping that they can pull this all together, but after last night, I’m not so sure.
After last season, I was worried about where the show was heading. It just feels like they are ready to get it all over with and are rushing towards the end.
I think the last two seasons are very insightful as to how far D&D really were relying on GRRM’s foundation to make it interesting. It’s pretty clear that without his story, they start to fumble, which doesn’t surprise me because I’ve always considered them hacks. The way Dany and Sansa have been handled for the last two seasons is, uh, extremely sexist to say the least. The ambitious one is being set up for a “humbling” as a foil to Cersei, and Sansa is…well, what exactly does she do beyond stir up drama, usually with other female characters? She talks but rarely acts beyond reacting. Complete waste of her character. Infuriating, since the two of them were my favorites from the books, along with Tyrion.
@Veronica S – totally agree! D & D lost the plot without the books! And can we talk about the awful dialogue too? Ugh!
Yeah, I don’t think she fits into the prophecy. Have we heard about Azor Ahai on the show at all? I know there have been some references to the Prince that Was Promised, but is that the same thing?
Regardless, right now the only prophecy that I think means anything is the one about Cersei, because that has formed so much of her motivation in her life.
Prine that was Promised isn’t going o be a plot line on the show. Terhe have been zero indications it was ever going to be written on the show. Not happening just as many things in the books aren’t in the show. Viewers need to move on from an something which isn’t going to be on the show and looks like was never intended to be wrote into the show. She is the kingslayer that is it not wrote to be anything other than Arya freaking badas* Stark.
Veronica S, you nailed it.
Forget Sansa, Arya, and Dany all being on the same page. This gives Sansa leverage to say, “My brother is the true king, a stark and a Targaryen—he’s on the throne with or without you or lose the north”.
Question about Night King: since he didn’t burn, do we think he was a Targaryen? Or did his incarnation pre-date those houses?
He’s much older than the Targs (by thousands of years), he/the White Walkers were made by the Children of the Forest to try to stop the First Men to invade their land and it backfired. He was resistant to the fire because he’s made from older magic, but Valeryian steel straight in the belly still worked (which sort of doesn’t make sense, but there are lots of stuff that don’t)
Thank you for clarifying!
I loved that Arya saved Winterfell.
But let’s not forget that Dany not only lost her army, she was on the ground exposed and fighting against the dead herself.
She was there for her people.
Thank Gawd Jorah died protecting his Khaleesi 🤮
She was. She sacrificed everything and lost so much. She never lifted a sword before but there she was stabbing wights.
Mmmm… At that point, she wasn’t fighting for her people, she was fighting to stay alive because she was so exposed (not her fault, that’s what happens in battles). Her people had died already, they were used as cannon fodders. Arya did not only saved Winterfell, she saved Westeros all together; if Winterfell had fallen, the Walkers would have continue to bring death, night and destruction all the way down to Dorne, she literally saved the day! The point is exactly that there can’t be a “Chosen One” they all need each other.
She also saved Jon. He was in big trouble after the NK raised the dead. she could have left him and had the throne without challenge but she saved him. Got to give her props on coming back for him.
Exactly! She got her army, her dragons and herself exposed to fight for Winterfell and Westeros, and save Jon (again). Arya is the hero. But Dany played a major role in it. Much more than Sansa.
Sansa played a big role, but in a different way.
If it weren’t for Sansa, much of the North would have been scattered when the AOTD came south. Sansa coordinated the evacuation of the North and the gathering of forces at Winterfell, as well as many of the logistics/preparations for the battle. Jon, with Dany’s help, got the dragonglass, but Sansa made it possible for them to have a place, and people, to fashion into weapons and to house and feed the armies of the North as well as Dany’s forces at Winterfell and the surrounding towns.
And even once the battle had started, Sansa did what she had to do, even though she was terrified and essentially helpless at that point. I remember Cersei during a battle at Kings’ Landing holed up with the women and children getting drunk and terrifying/harassing everyone holed up with her. Sansa meanwhile, in a similar circumstance, held it together, and kept her mouth shut instead of freaking out and panicking everyone around her.
Sure, she wasn’t a conquering warrior queen with dragons and thousands of experienced fighters, but she led the forces/resources she had in such a way as to make the Living taking at stand at Winterfell a possibility.
I agree it was a stupid move staying on the ground and getting Drogon chewed up by Wights but Dany’s weakness has always been love. Prior to the she sacrificed her warriors for the North. She put herself at risk to fly over the battle and trim the herd of Wights as well as the recent dead to prevent them from raising up. She did a 100 times more than Jon in saving the day. Winterfell would have fallen without Dany.
Jon recognizes that. I’m pretty sure Jon is going to reach an agreement with her to leave the North independent (Ireland) and he will abdicate the throne to her.
This! It’s so wild to me how, if Dany were entirely perfect, people would have criticized her because that’s unrealistic and she’s too good. But because she has flaws that genuinely throw a wrench in her goals and larger plans, people think she’s not good enough for the prize.
She’s earned her stripes more than any man on the show has. Including Jon Snow, who surprisingly doesn’t get near the same sort of vitriol for being profoundly more useless during this battle.
So none of Craster’s sons (or Theon?) noticed Arya sneaking up out of nowhere and flying through the air at the Night King? That moment felt cheap to me.
That gave me pause in retrospect too, BUT she is a trained assassin -plus i suspect she knew of a hidden tunnel to the Sacred tree
One of them did. There was a slight breeze that lifted a lock of his hair and he looked around but didn’t see her. Then bam!
Yes, @Cheche I noticed that too, bam indeed.
Ah, I’ll have to rewatch it on my tv. I had to watch it on my iPad in the Charlotte airport last night, with my jacket wrapped around it to cut down on glare/reflection- couldn’t bear the thought of anything being spoiled before I got home!
I’m just so disappointed in last night’s episode. I do love Arya. That’s interesting for me because I really thought she had turned into a psychopath the last couple of seasons. But anyways. The showrunners don’t know what to do with these story lines, so they are being tied up in a really unsatisfying manner. Last year, they had Littlefinger skulk around halls for an entire season before they just got rid of him because they didn’t know what to do with him anymore. This season, they had the NK just kinda walk around until they killed him because they don’t know what to do with him anymore. Just disappointing. The battle was a spectacle but the story is not.
The One that was promised isn’t happening. The show in no way has ever indicated it was ever going to happen in the show, it has been a fan wish only. The show has left out many things in the book and this is probably one of them.
Instead we get Arya and her arc from a little girl who watched her Dad’s beheading with no where to go or hide to a grown woman trained as an assassin and an all out badas*. Arya is enough as well as Jon, Dany, Sandor, Brienne, Jamie then the brains like Tyrion, Sansa, Sam….who needs the Prince that was Promised when you have these characters on the show.
Thank you !!!
People rely on the prophecies because they want to be able to predict what happens later in the series and how it all ends.
I don’t blame them, because a lot of the fun is definitely in the speculation. Authors know this, which is why they use the device in the first place. It’s a useful one in a lot of ways. But given that we’ve clearly seen what function prophecies serve in GoT in particular, it’s wild to me that so many people are annoyed that it might not be coming to fruition.
I get that on some level, we all have a vision for how we’d have liked things to go. I feel a lot of empathy for people who are entirely beholden to that vision. But come on. This was genuinely one of the most satisfying, actually subversive subplots on the show, one that was carefully crafted through multiple seasons and didn’t rely on unnecessary shock value for it to work. There’s still three episodes left for everything to go pear shaped.
I think a big part of it is that after having watched the show for years, and having paid close attention to it, you want that time and effort to pay off. If you notice subtle interactions between characters, or pick up on references to a certain kind of weapon, or a certain person/history/prophecy, you want it to MEAN something, you want it to pay off. Not necessarily that you guess what is going to happen, but when something big happens, you want to be able to look back and say “oh, yeah, I can see how that all came together…the hints were there and this is a logical conclusion to what came before”
The problem over the last season or so of GoT is that they have relied a few times on “black boxes” …. stuff that happened off-screen that set things in motion so that we get a big reveal that shocks the audience: think the Nights of the Vale riding into to save Jon’s forces in the Battle of the Bastards – surprise! … but wait, Sansa knew about them…so why, exactly didn’t she tell Jon (something like a whole ‘nother army would have been helpful him to know about, no, when planning the battle strategy?) But the audience had been given no hints or clues that that was happening, and no information why it happened afterwards. And also, think of Sansa and Arya at odds when Arya got back to Winterfell…all sorts of clues dropped that there would be problems between them. But then – surprise! Sansa and Arya have been conspiring together against Littlefinger! But the audience has been given no hints about this or any scenes to move them from suspicious to in league together.
So, TPTB aren’t really playing fair with the audience, giving us breadcrumbs to follow to enjoy and make sense of and see the bigger picture when it comes into focus, and since the things we are seeing are becoming more and more misdirections, the audience starts to try to hold on to things that have been presented as meaningful in seasons past, to try to make *some* sense of how the plot develops, to try to get some ‘reward’ for having paid close attention for years. Because otherwise if it’s all just twists and turns and jumpscares for momentary audience reactions, it becomes a much less interesting show and much less worthwhile viewing experience.
tldr: if the show’s creators aren’t giving the audience a coherent, satisfying narrative (which ties together plot lines and occurrences and things the show has focused on over x # of seasons) some viewers are going to try to patch their own meaningful narrative together given the pieces the show HAS given them over the years.
People are putting way too much stock in the prophecies on this show, and are ironically enough missing the entire point that GRRM was trying to make in the first place, which is that 1) prophecies often don’t come to fruition UNTIL someone believes in them, which makes them a profoundly unreliable metric for predicting the future, 2) faith in prophecies with the expectation that it will play out as written is almost always misplaced, and 3) prophecies function with the same logic as horoscopes, in that they are usually vague and unspecific, and people often wind up pigeonholing their own details to make things fit.
We know this because multiple characters have suffered as a result of taking these prophecies at their word. Both Rhaegar and Aerys assumed, through their hubris, that these prophecies had to be speaking about them, and wound up setting off a series of events that eventually led to the downfall of the Targaryens. If they had just brushed it off as bullshit, they would still be in power.
Melisandre probably knows this better than anyone. Even Bran stated at the beginning that predicting the future is difficult, because the threads of the present are constantly in motion. Even if Arya doesn’t fit the description of the prophecy, she’s still the one who killed the Night King. I honestly think Melisandre was BSing Arya on some level when they first met, but then realized her words would come in handy in giving Arya the necessary push she needs to finish the task at hand. Because regardless of any of these prophecies, Arya is the only one who’s put in the necessary work required to kill the NK. If we were waiting around for the person to fulfill the prophecy to the letter, the Night King would still be alive, his army would have overrun Winterfell, even though they had a person who was fully capable of killing him but didn’t do it because of a fcking technicality.
Arya is the Last Hero who was prophesied to end the Long Night. Which coincidentally is the name of the episode.
Sam reads about the Last Hero prophecy at the Citadel. I can’t recall if they did that bit on the show or not, but he tells Jon about it in the books.
As for Azor Ahai & the Prince/Princess that was promised may still have a part to play & maybe it had something to do with the Night King, but something else. Or may have been a red herring GRRM threw in to fake out readers, which the show-runners went with.
As for Arya, I don’t think she will go off to the house of Black & White, she’s a Stark still.
I liked the scene, but it was definitely a show invention. There might not even be a Night King in the book and Arya doesn’t really fit the prophecy. D and D decided they wanted Arya to be the one.
And that’s ok, it works for the show. I have a lot of issues with the show, but that wasn’t one of my issues. It fits her character and story themes, and Arya is a great character.
But best not to over think and guess how it fits with the books. Since season 5, they have become very loose adaptations of the book.
Well you can’t blame them for that, there literally are no more books to adapt!
Fans can only blame Martin for this mess. If he had published the books on time maybe we would have all gotten a proper adaptation.
The entire series has been skeptical on magic and prophecies from the jump. Heck, I doubt the books will even stick to it to a T. This has been subverting the fantasy genre and the rules since the beginning. I don’t know why people would start expecting it to conform now. The Red Women have been wrong about just as many things as they’ve been right so it’s entirely possible that the whole Azor Ahai business is just goobledy gook meant to provide a guiding light in their religion/witchcraft.
But the series has also shown characters who can project their minds into other beings and control them (Bran and TNK) and raise the dead in some sense or another (Melisandre and TNK and Qyburn) and convincingly taken on the appearance of other people (The Faceless Men and Arya) and do really unexpected things with fire (Melisandre and Beric and others commanding fire, Dany and TNK surviving raging fires) not to mention ghost spirit baby assassins who can kill Baratheons.
Now, in the world of the series, those things may just be a reflection of that universe’s ‘science’ in ways that aren’t apparent to most of the in-world characters, but it does seem like ‘magic’ of some sort exists in this world and is accepted/presented by TPTB in the series, even if viewers don’t understand exactly how it works, and even if some characters get it hopelessly, horribly wrong in some/many cases.
The battle episodes are always pretty anticlimactic for me, so even though I enjoyed all the Arya stuff, what I’m taking from that preview is that Arya & Gendry are going to make out again. Yes, I’m shallow.
I honestly think killing the Night King or finally knocking Cersei off her list will be Arya’s final act as a murderer, and now that she’s reclaimed her humanity in many ways I think that’s where her future lies. Other contenders to kill Cersei are Jaime & Tyrion.
I think Sansa will end up as Warden of the North, and it’ll probably be Jon’s dumb ass on the throne. I’m really just team anyone but Dany on the throne. I think she’ll eventually betray Jon and he’ll take her out so I’m not too worried. I also really want Bran to keep being weird as hell.