We’re still not over that HUGE Game of Thrones Battle of Winterfell surprise.
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GAME OF THRONES SEASON EIGHT EPISODE THREE**
No, not the mysterious return of Melisandre. Or Lyanna Mormont’s bloody bout with an undead giant. Or how most of the main characters – even Ghost – survived The Long Night.
Of course, we’re talking about the moment Arya Stark emerged from the shadows to save Bran at the last second, slaying the Night King and thereby defeating the army of the dead.
But however epic, looking back, it’s a moment we should have perhaps seen coming: throughout the show there’s been a LOT of foreshadowing.
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First and foremost, there was Arya’s encounter with Melisandre back in season three. While with the Brotherhood without Banners, the young Stark grabs the Red Woman, who delivers a very meaningful prophecy: “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.”
— Game of Thrones Facts (@thronesfacts) April 29, 2019
The brown eyes could refer to the Walder Frey, the repulsive Lord of the Crossing that Arya kills in season six. The blue eyes point to the Night King, famous for his neon gaze.
And the green? Cersei perhaps? Or Littlefinger, who was killed by Arya in season seven (despite being portrayed by the blue-eyed Aiden Gillen, the character has green eyes in the books).
Melisandre to Arya: brown eyes (Walder Frey), blue eyes (The Night Queen), green eyes (Cersei?). Eyes that you'll shut forever. pic.twitter.com/EeqLjUJfPF
— maría ramírez (@guaca_maia) April 29, 2019
Another foreshadowing came when Ayra first received the Valyrian steel dagger that was used to kill the Night King. Although it seemed odd at the time, Bran gave her the dagger – first seen in a failed assassination attempt on Arya’s brother – in exactly the same location where the Night King was eventually defeated.
It’s also the same spot where the White Walker chief was created by the Children of the Forest thousands of years earlier.
Bran gives Arya the blade in the Godswood that kills the Night King! He knew what was coming! This show is incredible pic.twitter.com/0JTvkJhMCv
— Michael Smith (@MichaelSmith06) April 29, 2019
There were more subtle hints in previous episodes. For example, earlier in season eight we saw Ayra by Godswood, where she managed to creep on Jon Snow without being heard.
Arya in episode 1: *sneaked up and greeted Jon near the Godswood tree*
Arya in episode 3: *sneaked up behind Night King and killed him near the Godswood tree*
— Nabil (@afi_auditore) April 29, 2019
Also, think back to season seven when Arya sparred with Brienne: doesn’t her knife-flipping move remind you of the trick she pulled to kill the Night King?
— kat (@kathleennwalker) April 29, 2019
(Incidentally, star Maisie Williams has been honing her own stage fighting skills for a long time too…)
— Gus 'Goose' Ronald (@goosemangus) September 19, 2017
Even within the Battle of Winterfell itself, there were big clues, such as when Beric pulled The Hound back into the fight with a line that foreshadowed Arya killing the Night King – aka Death himself.
Sir Beric gave us the ending when he yelled at The Hound.
— Dardin Warren (@DraydonWerra) April 29, 2019
This was similar to a line Melisandre told Arya just before the Night King’s fall at Winterfell. Echoing the words of swords master Syrio Forel from the very first season, she said: “There is only one thing we say to death…” To which Ayra replied, “Not today”.
The purpose always been protect Arya Stark until this last moment; Ser Beric Dondarrion, Melisandre, the hound, Thoros of Myr, Theon Greyjoy even Syrio Forel.
— Re’lar Fer (@LuisFernandoSR) April 29, 2019
And, of course, Arya passed the lesson Jon Snow gave her in Thrones’ very first episode with flying colours.
— ashley hufford (she/her) (@ashleyhufford) April 29, 2019
Watch the Game of Thrones season eight episode four trailer below
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