So Arya killed the Night King. She appeared as if from nowhere, after slipping through the White Walkers and stabbed the Night King before he could kill Bran and gain all his knowledge. It was one of the biggest television surprises ever, but some people are complaining.
These men think that Arya didn't deserve to kill the Night King, or that it was unbelievable. This is, of course, total nonsense, mostly as an attempt to cover up their antiquated and misogynist views that a man has to be the hero.
Let's take a look at what Arya did to lead up to this moment before we see how wrong these people's tweets were.
Arya was never going to be a lady.When GoT first began, Arya was a little girl. But even then, she knew that she didn't want to be a lady, like Sansa. When she asked her father if she could be a knight, he said that she could have sons who would be Lords, implying that she never would be. But she already knew herself and told Nedd 'That's not me.' We get to see the real Arya almost immediately, as in one of the first scenes Arya hits a bullseye with her bow and arrow, when Bran is trying to shoot.
Arya was trained by the best.Nedd Stark hires Syrio Forel, who was a master swordsman and the First Sword of Braavos for nine years, to train Arya. She trains using her sword, Needle, that Jon gave to her at Winterfell, and which she uses throughout. This was the first time that she began to learn how to be nimble, like the cats she had to chase, and how to ignore what was going on in the rest of the world.
Anyone can be killed.The whole of this final series has strong echoes of the first season. It was Syrio who first taught Arya that there is only one God: death. It was back then that she was taught what we say to death: 'Not today.' She has been clear throughout GoT that this is something that she truly believes. Even when she is with Tywin Lannister, she tells him 'anyone can be killed.'
Misdirection is key.Arya's first intentional murder (not including when she accidentally killed the stable-boy) was with misdirection and a dagger that wasn't hers. Following the Red Wedding, soldiers were mocking her dead family. She purposefully dropped a coin and when the man bent to look at it, she stabbed him in the back of the neck with a dagger that she had stolen from the Hound. Sound familiar?
Arya can move without seeing or being seen.Arya spent two seasons training in Braavos at the House of Black and White. She trained in fighting blind and without making a sound. It was this training that gave her the ultimate skills that make her such an incredible fighter.
A girl has no name.It was also at the House of Black and White that Arya both learned to be no one, but also that ultimately that she will always be Arya Stark of Winterfell. This was perfectly shown in the most recent episode, wherein she was able to slip through the hands of the White Walkers, as if she was no one, but all to help save her brother (and every living creature).
Arya reached a crossroads.There was a moment when Arya was going to head to King's Landing, to exact her revenge on Cersei. At the last minute she heard that Jon was still alive and had returned to Winterfell. She decided that she should go home to her family. It was this crossroad that Bran remembered when he saw her. He knows that it was a turning point in the fate of humanity, and also in Arya's life. She chose family over revenge, which made her capable of doing what it takes to save her brother.
Usually, Brienne is unstoppable.When Arya practiced with Brienne, she showed what an incredible fighter she was. Have you ever seen anyone else able to beat Brienne in combat? Brienne has always been able to beat anyone, except Arya. But that wasn't the most interesting bit about the fight.
Arya had been practicing.Brienne knocked Needle out of Arya's hand, which led to Arya grabbing her dagger. As she went to stab Brienne with the dagger, Brienne grabbed her wrist to stop her. This left Brienne open and Arya dropped the dagger from one hand and switched it to the other, going for the stab. Is that not one of the most perfect set-ups you've ever heard? This thing has been years in the making. And while we are on the topic of the dagger…
We've seen the Catspaw dagger before.In another point of coming marvelously full circle, the dagger, known as the Catspaw dagger, was first seen in the second episode of season one. It was this dagger, made of Valyrian steel, which someone used in an assassination attempt on Bran when he was bed-bound. It was used then to try to kill him, and now to save him. What poetry.
The war was built on a lie.The Catspaw dagger was what kicked off the War of the Five Kings. Littlefinger told Catelyn Stark that he lost the dagger in a bet with Tyrion Lannister, which prompted Catelyn to start the war of the Starks against the Lannisters. It turns out that one dagger can cause a lot of damage.
Who did the dagger belong to?We next saw the dagger in season 7 when Littlefinger presented the dagger to Bran Stark. When it was presented to Bran, he asked who the dagger belongs to, which was the same question that Catelyn had asked all those years ago. Littlefinger replied that it was that question that had started the War of the Five Kings. But could Bran have actually meant what are the origins of the knife?
Chaos is a ladder.
Having received the dagger, Bran didn't react as Littlefinger had expected. At the mention of chaos, Bran cut in with 'Chaos is a ladder.' Littlefinger had said those exact same words to Varys in season 3. He followed it up with 'Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again.' This sounds like Bran was letting Littlefinger know what was about to happen to him.
Bran thought that Arya could use the dagger better than himself.Arya's reunion with Bran was incredibly symbolic. They met at the Godswood tree, which is where Bran stayed during the Great Battle of Winterfell, to lure the Night King. It was there that Bran passed the dagger onto Arya, saying that he didn't need it as a cripple. Arya immediately went and tried it out with Brienne, as we discussed, dropping it from one hand to the other.
Was it Littlefinger who tried to kill Bran?When Bran passed the dagger onto Arya, she asked what a catspaw would have such an expensive dagger, and he advised that someone very wealthy wanted him to die. During Littlefinger's trial, it was suggested that the dagger was probably his all along, which could mean that he began the War of the Five Kings on purpose. However, it is still unclear where he originally got the dagger from, as it also seems like it used to belong to Rhaegar.
The dagger strikes again.In a nice piece of poetic justice, when the decision came that Littlefinger was guilty of causing the death of Nedd Stark, as well as murdering Lysa Arryn and starting the War of the Five Kings, he is executed by Arya, who uses his old Catspaw dagger.
Jon and Arya's reunion was prophetic.When Arya first met Jon again, it was also at the Godswood tree. He had his back to her, much like the Night King will later. The very first thing that he said was 'How did you sneak up on me?' This is a telling insight into how Arya can move as 'no one'.
How did Jon survive being stabbed?The first thing that Arya asked Jon is 'How did you survive a knife through the heart?' to which he replied, 'I didn't.' Arya also says that she is protecting her family. Again this is all very prophetic of what is going to happen there later.
Winterfell is Arya's home.
Can we just take a minute to appreciate the writers/everyone that’s worked on Game Of Thrones over the past 8 years… https://t.co/JOeQGYy543— Joe (@Joe)1556553687.0
Should it always be men that get to be the hero?
@JoeSaunders You mean the shit writing that made Jon Snow entirely obsolete? Arya should have been the one who kill… https://t.co/5CGbNwVamn— martin (@martin)1556554721.0
Jon was the obvious choice.Okay so we've all been gearing up for Jon to kill the Night King, but that didn't mean it had to be him. This show has always been full of wonderful twists and turns. Who expected Tyrion to be the one to kill Tywin? Or the young boy Olly to betray Jon at the Watch?
Jon Snow is still a hero.
@martinvanstein @Vikinggal @JoeSaunders All of Jon's journey built up to him managing to bring together massive am… https://t.co/1EiMyCxHTe— Zai (@Zai)1556576185.0
Somebody thinks that Arya is basic.Calling someone a 'Mary Sue' is meant to signify that they are flawless, and therefore unrealistic. It is rooted in sexism on so many levels, including the fact that writers often neglect to fully develop female characters and make them unrealistic. But that is not the case for Arya. This man obviously hasn't read all of the points above, especially as she had practiced the move before.
What do we say to death?
@SportsTalkBarry A Mary Sue? She spent years of her life training, and there was a scene right before where she was… https://t.co/BRU9URbyXO— Danny (@Danny)1556549089.0
Some people aren't having any of it.This Twitter-user is right. Jon Snow killing the Night King would have been a 'Mary Sue,' with a flawless storyline, but people don't describe men as being a Mary Sue. Instead, he would have been called a hero (which he already is). Calling Arya a 'Mary Sue' is the work of a small man who can't accept a woman being the hero.
Is there anything more ludicrous than this statement?
Sorry, but that ending was unearned.— Ezra Klein (@Ezra Klein)1556513719.0
People have got Arya's back.Melissandre told Arya years ago that she was destined to kill people with blue eyes. So much has been leading up to this moment, that saying it was unearned is completely unjust. If Daenerys had stabbed him that would be one thing, but we've seen Arya use the dagger like this before.
Jon has failed to impress.
@ezraklein Just because she hasn’t met the night king before that doesn’t negate that she has been training for yea… https://t.co/35qDyjVAWq— beccarobinson (@beccarobinson)1556536656.0