The third episode of Game of Thrones’ eighth season saw Arya Stark go from a woman to a warrior. Entitled “The Long Night,” the latest chapter in Game of Thrones’ final season centered on the battle between the Night King and his Army of Dead and the living citizens of Westeros holding strong at Winterfell. The episode also featured more incredible moments than we can count on one hand. Lots of spoilers beyond this point, obviously.
The Red Priestess Melisandre made a surprise return, uniting fire with ice by calling on the Lord of Light to set the Dothraki outriders’ weapons on fire. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow rode atop their respective dragons and attempted to burn out the enemy with flames from above. Several characters, like little Lyanna Mormont and Jorah Mormont sacrificed themselves battling the wights. Theon Greyjoy died defending Bran Stark, and the dead in the crypts of Winterfell rose and began a terrifying attack on innocent women, children, and elderly citizens.
As intense as these events surrounding the Battle of Winterfell were, they felt like small fish compared to what Arya Stark did at the end of the episode.
The youngest Stark sister made “The Long Night” that much more memorable by ending the very event for which the entire episode was named. In a moment few saw coming, Arya jumped at the Night King and stabbed him, driving her Valyrian steel dagger through an exposed section of his armor. The second the blade made contact with the frosty villain’s abdomen, the Night King shattered to smithereens – as did his army of White Walkers and wights.
Arya’s heroic surprise stunt dropped viewers’ jaws and elicited screams of delight from Game of Thrones fans. As the episode aired live on HBO, viewers lit up social media with real-time reactions to Arya slaying the Night King.
One fan tweeted:
“My head hurts from screaming since the episode started but man… this moment was just amazing! Arya Stark, well done queen. Arya killing the night king is probably one of the most iconic moments in this show. A truly amazing scene.”
Game of Thrones fan Cameron Stokes could barely contain his emotions over Arya stabbing the Night King and defeating the North’s greatest threat. Stokes posted to Twitter:
“Tonight was simply the most incredible 125 min in tv history, Arya is my favorite TV character of all time… That is all.”
Evidence suggests that Arya’s true destiny was to slaughter the Night King and his army – and this seemed to be confirmed during a chat she had with Melisandre. Before setting out to save the day – or night, as it happens – Arya finds herself face-to-face with the Red Woman, who brings up the notion of purpose in regard to Beric Dondarrion, the man who sacrificed himself protecting Arya from wights in the library of Winterfell. Melisandre reminds Arya of Beric’s history of dying multiple times, only to be brought back to life by the Lord of Light – suggesting that he had been kept alive so he could save Arya during the Battle of Winterfell, ensuring she would be alive to defeat the Night King.
During their conversation, Arya corroborates Melisandre’s claim of soothsaying when she remembers that the Red Woman previously prophesied that the youngest Stark girl would take the lives of many people. This eerie prophecy happened all the way back in season 3, when Arya confronted Melisandre for taking her best friend, Gendry, away for blood magic purposes. Melisandre told Arya she saw a darkness in the young girl, before alluding to the number of people she would go on to kill: Keep watching the rest of the video to see how Arya Stark leaves GoT fans speechless after latest episode in season 8!