Winter has come, ladies and gentlemen, and the big twist was that Arya Stark was there to meet it.
During the final moments of “The Long Night,” undoubtedly Game of Thrones‘ most ambitious episode in a long line of genre-defining episodes, the youngest surviving Stark (Bran isn’t really Bran anymore, is he?) leaped from the shadows to dispel of the Night King once and for all, jamming a Valyrian dagger deep into his exposed… flesh?
Whatever the case, the serpent’s head was severed; once the Night King fell, his undead army – including those strangely reticent generals – crumbled into dust, leaving our remaining heroes to mourn those who laid down their lives during the Battle of Winterfell. Lady Mormont was one such character, and it’s fair to say HBO gave Thrones‘ smallest hero a suitably huge moment.
And while we initially expected a higher death count, the Night King’s downfall had been a long time coming. We knew his origins, we knew his mission, and we knew his ultimate target; Sunday’s installment was merely the final nail in the coffin. And this one was forged from Dragonglass.
Arya Stark was the one to pull the trigger, so to speak, and below, actress Maisie Williams shared a photo of what she describes as the Night King’s “worst nightmare.”
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That’s right; they said no one could kill the Night King, but they didn’t foresee the undead king being killed by no one. Having returned home to Winterfell after years spent traveling across the land, this was Arya’s ultimate payoff, and it’s refreshing to remind ourselves just how far she’s come since moseying around an uncharted Winterfell during season 1.
Now that the Battle of Winterfell has drawn to a close, Game of Thrones season 8 will soon shift its attention to the Last War. That’s right, Cersei and the Golden Company are plotting a battle of their own, and it’ll begin to loom over the horizon once Thrones returns this Sunday.