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Arya Stark Leaves Game Of Thrones Fans Speechless After Latest Episode

Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3, "The Long Night"

On the second episode of Game of Thrones season 8, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) went from a girl to a woman. And on the episode that followed, she went from a woman to a warrior. 

Entitled "The Long Night," the latest chapter of Thrones' final season centered on the battle between the Night King and his Army of Dead and the living Westerosi holding strong at Winterfell, and featured more incredible moments than we can count on one hand. The Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) 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 (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) rode atop their respective dragons and attempted to burn out the enemy with flames from above. Several characters, like little Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), sacrificed themselves battling the wights. Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) died protecting Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright). The dead in the crypts of Winterfell rose and began attacking innocent women, children, and elderly people. 

Intense as those events and as heart-racing as all 82 minutes of the Battle of Winterfell were, they felt like nothing compared to what Arya did at the end of the episode. 

Arya Stark made "The Long Night" that much more memorable by ending the event for which the episode is named. In a moment few saw coming, Arya jumped at the Night King and knifed him, driving her Valyrian steel dagger through an exposed section of his armor. The second the blade made contact with the frosty baddie's abdomen, he shattered to smithereens — as did his armies of White Walkers and wights. 

Dropped jaws and drew out screams of celebration from fans this act certainly did. As the episode aired live on HBO, viewers lit up social media with real-time reactions to Arya killing the Night King. 

"My head hurts from screaming since the episode started but man... this moment was just amazing! Arya Stark, well done queen," one fan tweeted, adding a crown emoji to the post. Another wrote, "Arya killing the night king is probably one of the most iconic moments in this show. A truly amazing scene."

"That is how you do an episode!!  Pulse pounding. The score was incredible!  The moment Arya came out of nowhere and just owned the Night King not a single person didn't shout with excitement!" one Twitter user said. "I. LOVE. EVERY. MINUTE."

Game of Thrones fan Cameron Stokes could barely contain his emotions over Arya stabbing the Night King and defeating Westeros' greatest threat. "Tonight was simply the most incredible 125 min in tv history, Arya is my favorite TV character of all time... That is all," he posted on Twitter.

Another tweeted that it feels like Arya was always meant to kill the Night King, as everything has led her to this moment — from her sword-fighting lessons way back on the first season, to her training under Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) and the Faceless Men in the free city of Braavos at the House of Black and White, to her many brushes with death in her lifetime. "I am very very happy with Arya killing the Night King," the fan wrote. "I've been an Arya fangirl since the books and it's such a poetic, perfect fulfillment of her arc from the very beginning."

Evidence shows that perhaps Arya's destiny truly was to slaughter the Night King and his army. 

Just before Arya did the deed during the Battle of Winterfell, she had a little tête-à-tête with Melisandre, who brought up the notion of purpose. You see, someone saved Arya's life so she could live to defeat the Night King; that someone was Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer). Arya narrowly escaped an onslaught of wights in the library of Winterfell, then was met with the undead monsters yet again with no means of retreating or making it out alive. And so Beric sacrificed himself to allow Arya to flee. Melisandre says that was his purpose in life, that's why the Lord of Light resurrected him from the dead multiple times: to save Arya so she could kill the Night King. 

During their conversation, Arya also corroborates Melisandre's claim of soothsaying — she realizes that the Red Woman can see the future, as she previously prophesied that she and Arya would reunite and that Arya would take the lives of many people. 

On Thrones season 3, Melisandre told Arya, "I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes starring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes sealed shut forever. We will meet again." Arya has indeed killed — Meryn Trant and the Waif and Walder Frey, to name a few — and she and Melisandre did in fact meet again. 

Melisandre repeats her prophecy here, rewording the phrase about the eyes to place emphasis on the blue ones that Arya will shut. The scrappy Stark girl takes this to mean that Melisandre has seen into a future in which she kills the Night King, who has blue eyes. Arya's mind is made up already, but Melisandre seals the deal when she asks Arya a question her first sword-fighting instructor Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou) used to: "What do we say to the God of Death?" Arya knows there's a destiny she must carry out, and so she answers, "Not today."

It seems Arya was always the person intended to bring the Night King to his knees and usher in the dawn after the Long Night. But her killing of the Night King could impact another of major prophecy that Melisandre often spoke of: Azor Ahai, a.k.a. the Prince That Was Promised, who is prophesied to end the Long Night and provide Westeros with everlasting peace. To do this, the Prince would implement a sword called Lightbringer and "wake dragons from stone." He — or she, the Prince doesn't technically have to be male — is also believed to have been born "amidst salt and smoke." Arya didn't use a sword to vanquish the Night King, and certainly hasn't awaken dragons from stone. Sure, her "birth" from salt and smoke could technically come from Braavos, where she rejected her identify to train as an assassin before ultimately reclaiming her name and heading back to Westeros. But still, it's a bit of a stretch. 

Additionally, Melisandre told Daenerys during season 7 that "only the Prince Who Was Promised can bring the dawn," and that she believed Dany had "a role to play" in the Long Night ending. She also shared with the Mother of Dragons that Jon Snow would be pivotal to ringing in a new era — but there was no mention of Arya. 

So, does this mean the Azor Ahai prophecy is... pointless? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. Arya still has a set of green eyes to shut — green eyes many fans believe belong to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), who is presumably sitting cool as a cucumber down in King's Landing. Some are theorizing that maybe the Long Night isn't over just yet and that the Night King wasn't the true enemy. There's a chance that dawn hasn't arrived, that the Long Night will only come to an end when Arya kills the real threat to Westeros: Cersei and her big green eyes.