Is Arya's Reanimated Family What She's Running From In 'Game of Thrones'?

Basically, Arya could be running from her own undead family in the 'Game of Thrones' trailer—or running to warn everyone that their relatives are reanimated. Dear God.

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(Image credit: HBO)

Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. There are some glorious Game of Thrones theories out there as we careen into the final season. Some of them are tragic—everyone dies and the Night King wins! Some of them are beautiful—good old Sam Tarly is the prince that was promised and is going to save us all! But there's one that's really intense even by GoT standards, thanks to the hub of all things theory-related (Reddit). And this theory would actually explain something that's been bothering me about season 8's trailer.

So in the promo, as you'll remember, Arya (usually a consummate badass and cool as ice) is running away from something horrible in what looks like a castle (Winterfell? It's clearly above ground and made of wood and stone, but I'm not so well-versed on architecture that I can distinguish it from, say, the Red Keep in King's Landing). Now, in a show of many horrible things, this could be anything, really. The wights are horrible, and I don't think Arya's seen one yet. The White Walkers are even worse and MUCH scarier. But presumably she's been briefed on them—plus, Arya's not the type to run from a fight. So what could possible scare her so badly that she's just fully running in terror and trying not to make any noise as she flees?

In this Reddit, fans discuss that, since the Night King can reanimate the dead, why doesn't he just reanimate all the bodies in the crypt underneath Winterfell and let them attack the living Starks from the inside the castle? So, basically, Arya could be running from her own undead family in the trailer/running to warn everyone that their relatives are reanimated. Dear god.

Let's think about who might be in the crypt. Arya's dad Ned's there—in the books, his bones never made it to Winterfell, but in the show we see Jon praying to his statue. Ned's father, Rickard Stark, is there. Ned's sister Lyanna (mom to Jon Snow) and brother Brandon are there. Rickon, Arya's younger brother, might be there (he died in the Battle of the Bastards). It's unclear, and unlikely, that Robb Stark and Catelyn Stark, Arya's brother and mom who were killed at the Red Wedding, are buried there. Considering that the Boltons and Lannisters and the Freys did horrible, horrible things to their bodies, and the books cite soldiers dumping Catelyn unceremoniously in a stream before she's reanimated as Lady Stoneheart, chances are their bodies might be lost. But, like, worst-case scenario they're there too. (Lady Stoneheart never made it into the show, but this could be a nod to that horrible, horrible storyline.)

Regardless, imagine the horror of seeing your own rotting family members chasing you down to kill you. That would be, uh, quite an effective scare tactic. Also in the trailer, intercut with her running away, Arya says, "I know death. He's got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one." So that is incredibly cryptic (also, Arya would absolutely not want to face off against Undead Ned) but chances are the words and the scene are connected somehow.

Guys, I think I need a second. Either I'm going to pass out or barf, will get back to you.

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Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.