For better or worse, the eighth and final instalment of Game of Thrones is still one of the most talked about TV events in recent memory. One of the HBO fantasy’s most pivotal moments came when Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams) took down the Night King (Vladimír Furdík) with her Catspaw dagger, but some viewers are convinced the dramatic victory had been telegraphed way back in season one.
Arya Stark’s sword-fighting lessons with Braavosi Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou) in Game of Thrones’ first season could contain an overlooked clue for how the Night King would eventually be defeated.
The vengeful young Stark arrived at King’s Landing in the first episode, whereupon Ned Stark (Sean Bean) immediately saw her potential.
Master swordsman Syrio Forel was hired to train Arya in the art of combat to better prepare her for the impending war in Westeros.
However, a new theory suggests the rebellious teen was being set up for greater things from the very beginning.
An unearthed Reddit thread has suggested Arya’s allies, the Faceless Men, recruited Syrio to train her as a weapon to eventually take on the Night King.
When he was later killed by Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie), the shadowy cult of assassins tracked Arya down mercilessly in order to complete her training.
Redditor cheekleaf proposed: “Let’s say that Arya was relentlessly recruited by the Faceless Men because they knew with their collective hive-minds that she’d be the one to eventually kill the Night King and end the long night.”
The theory went on to explain that the Faceless Men used Syrio and, when he was killed, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) in order to manipulate Arya into joining their cult.
Many fans were furious when, after years of build-up, Arya returned to Winterfell to end the long night with one simple move.
Rushing the Night King from behind, Arya is momentarily intercepted by the ancient White Walker and, for a second, all seems lost.
Thankfully, she is able to recall her years of training and drops her dagger, catching it in her other hand and stabbing her enemy in the stomach, who shatters into millions of pieces.
Just three episodes into the six episode final instalment, many disgruntled fans felt the brief and anti-climactic fight scene came practically out of nowhere.
Arya went on to leave the rest of her story open to interpretation as she set sail to explore the mysterious lands that lie to the west of Westeros.
However, this convincing fan theory tells a different story, and could prove Arya had been set up as the Night King’s final reckoning from the very beginning.
Of course, the White Walkers are still alive and well in George R.R. Martin’s original series, so readers are still waiting to see how the saga will come to an end in The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
Game of Thrones is available to stream on NowTV.