The biggest surprise that came in The Battle of Winterfell was that the Night King’s downfall came at the hands of our little assassin Arya Stark. Turns out Daenerys’s dragons—whoops—can’t kill the leader of the white walkers. Jon Snow’s clumsy attack prompted the well-manicured Night King to reanimate all Snow’s friends as zombies. Mysteriously powerful Bran Stark was really busy…VR-ing as a bird? In the end, it all fell on Arya Stark, a trained assassin on a one-woman mission.
According to a new theory floating around on Reddit, she may have had some help from another major character: her brother (well, her cousin, but she doesn’t know that yet), Jon Snow (Kit Harington). In the seconds before Arya (Maisie Williams) reached the Night King, Jon emerged from behind his shelter and faced off against Viserion, the undead dragon — and per the theory, he can be heard screaming “Go!”, seemingly indicating that he was putting himself in harm’s way so that Arya could pass by.
“Jon screamed at the undead dragon to distract it so Arya can run past and kill the Night King,” theorizes u/Applesoapp. “The undead dragon was protecting the entrance to the Godswood. Watch it again, you can actually hear him scream ‘GOOOOO – GO – GO.’ Ten seconds later…you can see the hair of a White Walker flying up when Arya sprints past the group of White Walkers. Jon once again was ready to sacrifice himself to kill the Night King.”
Watch the scene again:
Regardless of whether Jon assisted Arya, she was the one who ultimately delivered the fatal stab — a development that Williams, 22, wasn’t sure would go over well with fans at first.
“It was so unbelievably exciting,” Williams told Entertainment Weekly. “But I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it.”
“The hardest thing in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise, people are like, ‘Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him,’” she continued. “You gotta make it cool. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?’”
Harington, 32, said he was equally surprised, especially given the fact that Jon and the Night King had memorably faced off before in “Hardhome.”
“I thought it was gonna be me!” Harington told EW. “But I like it. It gives Arya’s training a purpose to have an end goal. It’s much better how she does it, the way she does it. I think it will frustrate some in the audience that Jon’s hunting the Night King and you’re expecting this epic fight and it never happens — that’s kind of Thrones. But it’s the right thing for the characters. There’s also something about it not being the person you expect. The young lady sticks it to the man.”
Williams said she came around to embracing the idea after they shot the scene where Melisandre (Carice van Houten) reminds Arya of her “brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes … eyes you’ll shut forever” prophecy from season 3.
“When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realized the whole scene with [the Red Woman] brings it back to everything I’ve been working for over these past six seasons — four if you think about it since [Arya] got to the House of Black and White,” Williams said. “It all comes down to this one very moment. It’s also unexpected and that’s what this show does. So then I was like, ‘F— you Jon, I get it.’ “
Bryan Cogman Confirms His Game of Thrones Spinoff Isn’t Happening
Veteran “Game of Thrones” writer Bryan Cogman has confirmed that his potential spinoff series from the HBO epic will not be going ahead.
“This is it for me in terms of Westeros,” Cogman told Variety. “It’s been a beautifully cathartic thing re-watching the series recently, it’s been ten years of my life.”
The most recent episode of the show, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” was Cogman’s last as a writer, and he says he “couldn’t think of a more beautiful episode to go out on.”
In the episode, Daenerys and Jon are interrupted in the middle of a rather important conversation. Jon had just told her that his real name is in fact Aegon Targaryen, and that therefore he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and, seemingly less important to Dany, her nephew.
However, just as she is getting to grips with the consequences of this enormous revelation, Jon is saved by the horn.
“If you’re Jon and Dany, you’re probably the only two in that castle who are glad that the White Walkers just showed up. He would be saying to her, ‘OK, good talk let’s go, the end of the world is here, phew,’” jokes Cogman
Cogman reveals that when he submitted his first draft of the episode it came back from showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss covered in red pen, which is when he realized the magnitude of the episode and how much work there was to do.
“It was a sea of red like blood dripping from my soul because it was a mess and they were right,” he says. “It was a lot of talking about stuff that had happened and asking questions the audience already knows.”
Eventually Cogman managed to wrangle the complicated script together, and he also adds that he and the showrunners had been “working towards” the heart-melting scene in which Jaime Lannister knights Brienne of Tarth “for quite some time.”
“David and Dan were pretty adamant, kicking ideas around in the writer’s room, that it not be on a hill at sunrise with their capes billowing in the wind,” Cogman says. “We wanted it to be the antithesis of that and subvert that trope.”
Cogman signed an overall deal with Amazon last year, where he will now focus his attention. He was one of one of five writers, along with Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland and Carly Wray, chosen to develop a new show in the “Game of Thrones” universe. HBO ordered the show being developed by Goldman to pilot in June, 2018.