If you tuned in to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, there’s a huge chance that you were blown away by Arya Stark and her epic moment. However, some people believe that the youngest Stark sister didn’t earn the moment and she has been dubbed a “Mary Sue.” On the other hand, Arya’s big moment had actually been hinted at since the beginning of the HBO series. WARNING: Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen The Long Night, now is the best time to look away.
In Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3, viewers were shocked when Arya Stark came out of nowhere and jumped at the Night King. Although the villain caught her in mid-air, Arya quickly dropped the catspaw dagger and caught it in her other hand to stab the Night King in the heart. This caused the villain to shatter into ice pieces, followed by the White Walkers and the wights.
Don’t call her a Mary Sue; Arya Stark has been preparing to face the Night King since Season 1.
It’s an amazing moment that was praised by fans. However, some were also skeptical about how Arya managed to defeat the Night King. Here are all the hints that prepared Arya for her face-off against the villain.
Arya’s introduction in the first episode
Do you remember the first time you saw Arya Stark? She was so unhappy with having to sew and decided to join her brothers outside who were practicing archery. She even shot an arrow that hit the target, surprising her brothers. Any great assassin should be able to master several weapons, including the bow and arrow.
“Stick ’em with the pointy end.”
In the second episode, Jon Snow presented Arya with the sword that she would call Needle. He also gave her her first lesson about swords, something that she would later tell her sister Sansa.
In the same episode, Arya also assured Jon that she “can be quick.” This is certainly something that she worked on and perfected throughout the series.
The Water Dancing training
Syrio Forel didn’t just teach Arya how to wield a sword. The First Sword of Braavos also made her work on her agility by ordering the girl to chase cats and stand on her tiptoes for several hours. Arya would repeatedly prove that she has learned that lesson well.
Interestingly, Syrio would sacrifice his own life to make sure Arya isn’t captured by Meryn Trant. Perhaps he understood that the girl was destined for greater things.
Arya’s first encounter with the Red Woman didn’t turn out well. She had to watch her friend Gendry be taken away by Melisandre, who somehow stopped to give Arya a hint about her future. This is the first time that Arya was told that she would kill several people, shutting eyes of all colors forever.
“That’s where the heart is.”
He certainly wasn’t her best friend but The Hound actually taught Arya some interesting tricks. In Season 4, he stabbed a dying man in the chest and told her “that’s how you kill a man.” Although her aim wasn’t perfect when she fought the Night King, it was clear that she was aiming for the heart.
The Waif’s questionable training
Throughout the fifth and sixth season, Arya was repeatedly tested by The Waif at the House of Black and White. It seemed like the girl was only torturing Arya but as it turned out, she was teaching her some important skills like fighting in darkness and completing her training as a Faceless Man.
The executive producers of Game of Thrones had already admitted that they planned for Arya to be the one to kill the Night King “for three years.” Perhaps it was her training under Jaqen H’ghar and The Waif that convinced them.
“It’s wasted on a cripple.”
Bran Stark gave Arya the catspaw dagger in the same location where his sister would later kill the Night King. He certainly knew what he was doing.
Did you forget about her sparring with Brienne of Tarth?
The awesome hand switch move that defeated the Night King was previously displayed when Arya convinced Brienne to spar with her. Arya’s quick movements and efficiency should have already confirmed that she can take on anyone on the show.
Sneaking up on Jon
The reunion between Arya and her favorite brother (cousin) was certainly heartwarming but Jon wondering how she snuck up on him already gave away just how stealthy she has become. Needless to say, the Night King never had a chance.
Arya may have been an unexpected candidate to kill the Night King since everyone was expecting Jon or Daenerys Targaryen to do it. However, in a show where the lead character was killed off in the first season, people really shouldn’t be surprised. Perhaps fans have misinterpreted the whole Azor Ahai prophecy all this time.
Learn more about Arya’s epic moment below:
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