The New “King Slayer”

Chantalle Dumont

With unanswered questions in Game of Thrones, fans are left to create their own answers. A major part of the Game of Thrones fandom is the uncertainty. Fans will pose theories and ideas explaining why certain things in the show occur and it keeps the mystery and excitement alive throughout the series. When beginning Game of Thrones, you are thrown into a world where almost nothing is explained. It is left to the fans to interpret family dynamic and the mysterious White Walkers.

With the highly anticipated series finale of Game of Thrones, fans created polls and theories to determine the end of the show. Polls consisting of what characters were going to die, theories who would kill the Night King and lastly, who would sit on the Iron Throne. With many unanswered questions and the suspense the show provides, fans are left to watch the last six episodes with both excitement and that lingering uncertainty.

On April 28, Season 8 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones was aired. It was a moment all fans had been waiting for… The Long Night. From the beginning, fans were exposed to the idea that  “Winter is Coming”. So as planned, fans were waiting for winter to come. With excitement entering the final season, there were many unanswered questions and truthfully, there still are. This highly anticipated episode was nothing short of perfection in many Game of Thrones fans eyes. From the execution of the battle scenes, the eerie music that played throughout, and most importantly the unexpected scene of Arya killing the Night King. But still, with the perfect execution, there still remained uncertainty and with that fans were expected to use their imagination.

The scene in particular that fans resonated with was when Arya slayed the Night King. The unexpected scene left many in shock and the shock stemmed from the idea that it happened so quick. As the music got louder, and the Night King  got closer to ending the lives of many, Arya swoops in to save the day. Arya being an assassin was a likely candidate to have done this, but even for an assassin…was this actually possible?

To begin, the location of where the Night King was to kill Bran was below the Weirwood tree. The tree itself is plain sight with zero surroundings. Therefore, making it unlikely for Arya to hide and strategically plan to kill the Night King. Furthermore, with the lack of coverage, both the Night King and Bran were surrounded by White Walkers making it nearly impossible for even an assassin to overcome. And lastly, how Arya made it from Winterfell’s library to Godswood without encountering a single wight is too difficult.

But as explained before, in Game of Thrones fashion, it would not display how Arya got from point A to point B or even how she managed to maneuver around the swarm of White Walkers surrounding the Night King. They simply left it up to the fans to use previous scenarios to interpret the show and create their own theories on how Arya was able to assassinate the Night King.

To begin, Game of Thrones is against the common fantasy trope of having a default “hero” (aka Jon Snow). It would have been cliche for him to kill the Night King. And with Arya being trained in the House of Black and White to become one of Westeros’ most notorious assassins, it was expected the Night Kings death to be quick, as that is how assassin’s work. As shown in the library at Winterfell a drop of blood is louder than Arya’s movements which is how she could have snuck past the White Walkers. But going even further, Arya could’ve simply became a White Walker to blend in and then proceed to slay.

As the show progresses, fans still have not received the “play by play” of how it was done, but I think that speaks volumes about Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is a show that allows its fans to experience the unexpected and over analyze just exactly why or how it is was done. Fans will feel a variety of different emotions, and as the series comes to a close I don’t think that will fade away.

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5 thoughts on “The New “King Slayer”

  1. Mike Cratty
    I agree with a lot of points in this article. If Jon Snow killed the Night King, that would have sucked, big time and been very cliche, as mentioned in the article. Having Arya Stark kill the Night King was perfect. As many fans extrapolated after the epic Night King murder scene debuted, her character arch throughout the show led up to this moment perfectly in relation to Arya shutting different color eyes to “What do we say to the God of Death?” Jon Snow killing the Night King would have been too easy. Whether this guarantees the Iron Throne for Arya remains to be seen, although many people, including myself, think she earned it with that epic move, amongst others, and with her Stark blood. The implications in relation to Arya killing the Night King leave a lot up for discussion as mentioned in the article. They way the handled the leadup to the Night King’s murder was a bit odd at times, but the end product was so satisfying and awesome.

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  2. (Brendan Carr) I agree with this article completely. As a fan of Game of Thrones we have come to expect that it was going to be Jon Snow to kill the Night King. I think a lot of us thought it was going to happen when Jon encountered the Night King on the battle field. The producers of the show did a really great job of crushing our hopes and dreams in that sequence when the Night King added all the dead bodies on the battle field to his army. We begin to have a feeling that this might just not end well for us as the viewer and I know me personally I was half expecting to see on of the Game of Thrones Cliff hanger ending that we have all come to love. But because was somehow able to sneak past everyone in the castle to get to the Night King is truly incredible. I do like the fact that they haven’t told us exactly how she did it because it gives us as fan the ability to come up with different theories on how exactly she did it.

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  3. I guess I would ask if viewers having to fill in gaps left by the writers is really a good thing/a strength. For example, last season fans were coming up with these theories about how the Stark sisters were really playing Littlefinger the whole time, but interviews with cast members later proved that this wasn’t the case. Sansa and Arya really were fighting, but at the last minute they realized they were being pinned against each other by Littlefinger. It turns out that there was no grand scheme, it was just a poorly written plot line. It just makes you wonder. I think sometimes we fill in what’s missing on a show with whatever we want and make it better in our minds than it really is. Yes, we could create numerous theories about how Arya killed the Night King, but ultimately Arya came out of nowhere (in the behind the scenes video you can see Maisie Williams jumping off a platform they made and flying through the air on a wire rig) for dramatic effect and the writers didn’t even try to explain how it happened because they couldn’t. It makes the writers come across as kind of lazy in my opinion.
    – Melissa Viger

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  4. Game of Thrones will always be a popular and well known show, but I think their are certain aspects of the “Long Night” episode that could have been different. I think that there was so much build up behind the whole episode and the way that it ended was not as suspenseful or as unpredictable as I was expecting. Yes it was obvious that the writers were not going to have John Snow kill the Knight King, but Ayra was my second choice and many of the clues leading up to the battle supported this. I also think that there was just so much build up to the battle of Winterfell and it was over so quickly and pretty easily. I think the way that Ayra came out of nowhere and defeated the Knight King was something that everyone is still questioning and may question for years down the road if the question is not answered in the next 2 episodes. (Like WTF did she come from!?)I think that the gaps in the story is really what makes the show so popular. People love to analyze the show and think of different scenarios for every situation seen in the show.

    Jared Ridgway

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  5. I thought this was a great description of the unknowingness of Game of Thrones. Not only do people poll on the things they mention, but there is also a huge betting market on gambling and sports sites that have a crazy amount of scenarios you can put money on. I also really liked your take on the killing of the Night King. It was definitely a huge topic of controversy and conversation over the last few weeks and I thought you explained what that was the case very well. I think that because Game of Thrones has gotten SO huge, it will be impossible to please every fan, but personally, I thought episode three was exceptional. Despite the story line ending seemingly pretty quickly, it allows the show to turn back to the true villain, who we know and have much more reason to hate, Cersei. Love the show and this article just made me even more excited to see how they end it all.
    Mackenzie Hine

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