Is Arya Stark Going to Die on 'Game of Thrones'? Here's What We Know

in the next episode of Game of Thrones, we'll see the big battle between the Night King and the living, in which a lot of people are going to die. There were hints of the carnage to come: In particular, one of our fan-favorites, Arya. So what do we know about the question every GoT fan is dying to know: Will Arya die? 

Face, Human, Eye,
(Image credit: HBO)

This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8

In the next episode of Game of Thrones, we'll see the big battle between the Night King and the living, in which a lot of people are going to die. In the beautiful character-driven episode 2, we basically just got a bunch of conversations between characters accepting their potential impending deaths in their own way. There were also hints of the carnage to come: In particular, that one of our fan-favorites, Arya, is going to spend the next episode running for her life, scared to death. (Uh oh.) So what do we know about the question every GoT fan is dying to know: Will Arya die?

Our first clue comes from Arya herself: She very pointedly says to Gendry, "We’re probably going to die soon. I want to know what it’s like before it happens," before they engage in a sex scene that I thought I wanted, but ended up being a tiny bit weirded out by. (I think it might have been the height difference as much as the age difference? She just looks so tiny and young! But, like, get it, girl—Gendry is hot.) So Arya thinks she's going to bite the dust very soon.

We also have been getting hints that Arya is, at her core, a warrior. There are references to the list she created of people who hurt her family that she's going to kill. She also peppers Gendry for details about the wights so she can prepare. So she's all in for this battle, win or lose.

Another hint comes from the promo art for season 8. Kieran Belshaw, one of the visual development artists who has done concept art on Game of Thrones, made sculptures as promotional material for the latest season—and that includes one of Arya as a sculpture down in the crypt.

Those sculptures ended up becoming this preview where Jon, Sansa, and Arya look, horrified, at their own statues after passing by their dead relatives Lyanna, Catelyn, and Ned Stark. Fans noted that Arya and Sansa's statues look their age, but Jon's statue looks older. Ugh, so that could be a huge clue that Arya (and Sansa) die soon, but that Jon lives.

In the first episode, we saw Jon praying to a similar sculpture of his dead father Ned, and in the second episode to one of his mom Lyanna Stark. So the sculptures that we saw in the preview are showing up in the actual show, one by one. Ugh.

Of course, Game of Thrones promo images have messed with us before—the season 6 promo posters had just about every character's face on the Faceless Men's Hall of Faces, and a lot of those characters are still alive as of this writing.

You can go here for crypt photos—he does gorgeous work. Ugh, I don't like this at all. (Kudos to my illustrator friend for spotting the sculptures originally). The crypts might potentially be important for other reasons this season, a.k.a. there's a whole bunch of Stark bodies the Night King can reanimate down there. Sunday's episode might have telegraphed this a tiny bit when Dany orders Tyrion into the crypts as being the safest place to save his brilliant mind. (If the dead come back to life, everyone in the crypt is going to absolutely need him down there.) But the constant references to the crypt could tie back to Arya's fate, too.

I'm heartened by the fact that Sean Bean (the former Ned Stark) thinks Arya's the only Stark child to not only survive, but also take the Iron Throne. Maisie Williams played a prank on Jimmy Kimmel about her character being bumped off, so she's messing with fans' heads at this point. Author George R.R. Martin once told her that his wife threatened to divorce him if he ever killed Arya, so that's good news too—but, like, the show creators totally don't have that same threat over their heads, so that means nothing.

Arya's honestly maybe my favorite character, so I'm rooting for her, but absolutely terrified that she might not make it to the end of the series.

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Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.