Game of Thrones took fans by surprise in the third episode of its final season. The episode, titled “The Long Night,” chronicled the battle between the forces of the Night King and the defenders of Westeros. Many fans felt that Game of Thrones had foreshadowed a coming showdown between Jon Snow and the Night King. That showdown never materialized. Instead, the episode reveals it was Arya Stark's destiny to end the threat of the Night King for good. The Night King had his target, Bran Stark, within his reach. Then, Arya lept out from the shadows with a Valyrian steel blade — the same blade that an assassin once tried to use to kill Bran — in her hand. Though the Night King turned in time to catch Arya around the throat, Arya’s training in Braavos came through. She used some fancy dagger work to stab the Night King in the gut. The Night King shattered, his White Walkers shattered with him, the reanimated Wights became corpses once again, and the battle was over.
Last night, HBO aired Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, a documentary chronicling the making of the final season fo Game of Thrones. During the documentary, fans got a look at the table read for “The Long Night.” The table read answers a lingering question about Arya’s big scene: how did she get up so high?
During the table read, executive producer Bryan Cogman notes that Arya "vaults off a pile of dead Wights” to come at the Night King. Fans would never know this from watching the episode since Arya appears from nowhere behind the Night King. They never see her atop the pile of wights. Some fans remain unconvinced by this explanation. The episode shows plenty of Wights littering the ground of the godswood where Bran was being kept, but no such “pile” to speak of.
And what about Jon? Fans had a theory that Jon was in on the plan, and that he was distracting the Night’s King’s dragon, Viserion. They believed he shouted out “Go!” while facing the dragon down to signal to Arya that she was clear. Emmy-winning Game of Thrones sound editor Tim Kimmel shot that theory down during an interview.
“To my knowledge, he’s just yelling,” Kimmel said. “He is doing his best to get to the Godswood to protect Bran because he knows the White Walkers and the Night King are headed in that direction and that’s his duty to go over there and protect him. Unfortunately, this ice dragon is in his way. So to my knowledge, he is not aware that Arya is heading over there. He is really just trying to protect himself and he realizes he’s caught in a bind. He’s screaming to try to psych himself up to take this dragon out somehow.”
What do you think of this new detail added to Arya’s big moment and the death of the Night King? Let us know in the comments.