HODOR! Spoilers ahead from the April 14 Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere, which was titled "Winterfell."
Is A Girl adding The Night King to her list? Game of Thrones Season 8, the final season, finally premiered last night and "Winterfell" included several reunions ranging from awkward (anything involving Bran) to amazing (anything involving Arya).
The long-awaited reunion between Arya Stark and Jon Snow may have even been topped by the -- gasp -- flirtatious reunion between Arya and Gendry. Thrones used their reunion as perhaps a new version of their old "sexposition" -- using a sex scene as a way to provide information.
In this case, it was more like flirtposition, since Arya's chemistry-fueled reunion with Gendry also included a very important plot note. Skilled blacksmith Gendry has been busy doing the really vital work in The Great War -- shaping the mined dragonglass from Dragonstone into weapons to use against The White Walkers moving south.
Arya (Maisie Williams) came to Gendry (Joe Dempsie) with the request that he make her a very specific weapon with a dragonglass tip, handing him specs she apparently drew out herself at some point. Here's the scene in question:
We know Arya Stark only came north to Winterfell after she heard that Jon was named King in the North. Until then, she had been riding south to kill Queen Cersei Lannister. We don't know how that storyline will play out now, but her little note of "dragonglass" on the parchment showed that this is about the White Walkers, not Cersei. This is to kill the dead.
Specifically The Night King?
Someone has to take down ol' blue eyes. It may be Jon Snow, since they have unfinished Come At Me Crow business after Hardhome. But maybe that's too obvious? Who is our best assassin? It isn't Jon. Jon has killed, as he's admitted, but if you put his track record next to Arya's, she's the best at the job. Bran Stark also seems to have unfinished business with The Night King, since they do seem to have a connection. Daenerys Targaryen is also up to this job, since she has the power of two fire-breathing dragons; The Night King is currently riding her undead baby Viserion, so The Mother of Dragons has a right to punish him for killing and stealing her child.
Arya Stark is an expert with Needle and with daggers. She can also kill through poison or whatever else she likes. In the case of The Night King, though, the parameters are clear: Fire, Valyrian steel, dragonglass. She can't just say "Winter has come for House White Walkers" like she did for House Frey. So she's being smart, as usual, about getting herself prepared for the major battle ahead.
Since Game of Thrones took pains to show us that scene, we should consider it akin to Chekhov's gun -- they're showing this weapon in the first act, so we should expect it to fire by the final act. Gendry is going to make that weapon and Arya is going to use it. She may just use it on every White Walker she finds, but it feels like a more substantial place-setting for a larger story to come.
We know the great battle of Winterfell is coming, the biggest battle Game of Thrones has ever staged. This new weapon from Gendry is surely going to play a role, but it feels like that battle -- supposedly in Episode 3 -- would be too soon to take out The Night King. Right? There are six episodes to the final season. The Night King isn't the only foe, since we still have Cersei and Euron and their lack of elephants to deal with. But The White Walkers are the true threat, as everyone keeps noting. The dead army has moved south beyond The Wall and they are ready to take out Winterfell.
What say you? Will Arya be the one to kill The Night King? If not, who will do it? Or will no one (as opposed to "No One") kill this already dead former human, who was turned into what he is by the Children of the Forest? Vote in our poll below, and keep watching Game of Thrones Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.
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