Warning: this article is dark and full of spoilers for Game of Thrones’ eighth season. Read on at your own peril…
Every single Game of Thrones fan worth their salt will remember the fateful moment that Melisandre (Carice van Houten) spoke to Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in season three. “I see a darkness in you,” the Red Woman told her, prophetic words dripping with promise. “And in that darkness, eyes staring at me: Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes — eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.”
And she was right. During season 8, episode 3, ‘The Long Night’, Melisandre came face-to-face with Arya again, just as she said she would.
“You said we’d meet again,” said Arya, staring up at the Red Woman with hatred in her eyes. “You said I’d shut many eyes forever. You were right about that, too.”
Melisandre then listed off the different eye colours she mentioned back in the third season, before asking Arya the now infamous question: “What do we say to the God of Death?”
“Not today,” Arya responds.
After this encounter, Arya leaves and kills the Night King, allowing the living to prevail against the dead. However, what’s significant here is that the Night King is blue-eyed, and Arya was told of other eyes she’d “shut forever”. Because, while the “brown eyes” of her prophecy could be assigned to Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) or Walder Frey (David Bradley), she has yet to make a green-eyed kill.
So who fits the bill? Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), of course – but also Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
That’s right: Redditor madame_hussain has put forward the theory that Arya is on a mission to kill Daenerys before she rains fire down on King’s Landing – and that, more importantly, she is working on behalf of her, Sansa (Sophie Turner).
Remember that awkward banquet scene in The Last of the Starks? Forget the virgin-shaming and “I’m glad I was raped” narratives for a moment: think about the expression on Sansa’s face when Daenerys named Gendry (Joe Dempsie) the true heir of Robert Baratheon, and bestowed lands and titles upon him accordingly. It was one of shock and horror, because it was at that moment that Sansa realised Dany was finally playing ‘the game’.
Later, Sansa discovered that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) had a far greater claim to the Iron Throne than the Mother of Dragons – so what should she do next?
“First, turn Dany’s people against her,” says madame_hussain. “By planting a seed of doubt in Tyrion’s head, it will either make him question her legitimacy or at least talk about it to Varys. This could start a domino effect that will turn Dany into a full tyrant further illegitimatizing her claim to the Iron Throne.
“Second, send a raven to Cersei that Dany is on her way to Dragonstone,” the theory continues, noting that Dany’s fleet of ships had no northerners aboard – and that Euron’s ambush was just a little too convenient.
“Neither [Cersei nor Dany] will grant the North its independence if they win, so to Sansa they’re both the same… except one of them has two dragons,” says the Redditor. “If Cersei defeats Dany in the Blackwater Bay, then the Northern army remain intact. Sansa can’t afford anymore losses in her armies.”
Sansa’s most important decision, though, according to this Redditor, is “to send her assassin sister down to King’s Landing” to kill whichever queen survives.
“In conclusion, Sansa’s objective is to sabotage Dany, helping Cersei to win and end the war very quickly so the North doesn’t suffer any more losses… and then assassinate Cersei.”
But will Sansa and Arya be able to put a stop to Dany before she murders everyone sheltering within the Red Keep? Due to some helpful fridging, Dany has an extra motive to go full Mad Queen on the people of King’s Landing: Cersei just murdered her best friend Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) there. And, just before Missandei died, she said one word: “Dracarys”.
The word ‘dracarys’ translates to ‘Dragonfire’ in High Valyrian, and is the same word Dany uses to signal her dragons to fire upon her enemies.
As such, it’s not unfair to assume that Missandei’s final word may be a call for Dany to destroy Cersei in the same way as she has the rest of her enemies – with fire, and bloodshed, and extraordinary pain.
If this is the case, and Daenerys interprets it as such, it does not bode well for the final three episodes of Game of Thrones. After all, Tyrion, Varys (Conleth Hill) and Jon Snow have already pleaded with Dany to show mercy to the innocents gathered in King’s Landing’s Red Keep – and Varys has threatened to do everything in his power to protect the people of the realm. Which, essentially, means that he’s more than prepared to kill Dany if it will stop her massacring thousands as an act of revenge.
And Clarke’s previous words about her character’s end suggests that she may prove herself to be the tyrant we all hoped she wouldn’t be, too.
“It fucked me up,” she previously told Vanity Fair, of Dany’s final scenes. “Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is.”
Eek. It seems as if Missandei’s final moments may just have been the trigger for an almighty battle. Roll on the next episode, already…
Image: HBO, Game of Thrones