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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 (opens in new tab). (Uh oh.) So what do we know about the question every GoT fan is dying to know: Will Arya die? (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab) 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.
-Ned:"The next time we see each other, we'll talk about your mother, I promise."-Jon, looking at Ned's statue.-Sam:"Hey Jon, let's talk about your mother."😭#GameofThrones pic.twitter.com/Srda71DrpmApril 15, 2019
Of course, Game of Thrones promo images have messed with us before—the season 6 promo posters (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) for crypt photos—he does gorgeous work. Ugh, I don't like this at all. (Kudos to my illustrator friend (opens in new tab) for spotting the sculptures originally). The crypts might potentially be important for other reasons this season (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab). Maisie Williams played a prank on (opens in new tab)Jimmy Kimmel (opens in new tab) 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’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.
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