'Game of Thrones' Season 8 New Footage Offers a Throwback to Season 1 Arya
The latest snippet of footage from the Game of Thrones Season 8 gives us our first look at Arya Stark, and it also serves as a reminder that she’s a total history buff and a huge fan of dragons. It might also be an indication that while her sister responded coldly to the arrival of Daenerys Targaryen, Arya will be really excited to meet the Mother of Dragons.
The new clip aired Sunday night as part of a sizzle reel for HBO’s 2019 programming. Along with snippets from every other show airing this year, HBO also included a scene of Unsullied soldiers marching in the snow, presumably towards Winterfell. Drogon, one of Daenerys’ two surviving dragons, flies overhead in the same direction they’re marching.
Seemingly right after that shot, we see commoners bustling about and pressing up against a nearby wall in fear. In stark contract, Arya stands right in front of the camera, breathless as the faintest hint of a smile begins to play across her face just as the shot ends.
Most of Westeros is deathly afraid of dragons, but not Arya Stark.
Here’s just the clip in its entirety, without all the other HBO teasers:
This particular sequence probably happens shortly before the clip from early January that showed Sansa Stark meeting Daenerys Targaryen. It stands to reason that Arya is still at Winterfell when the Mother of Dragons arrives at Winterfell with Jon Snow. It also makes sense that Arya wouldn’t line up to receive them — that’s not really her style.
Arya seems genuinely excited here to see a dragon IRL, which is the opposite of how most people react. Even Jon Snow showed a lot of fear when sharing an intimate moment with Drogon in Game of Thrones Season 7. Arya’s reaction here confirms what we already knew: She’s totally obsessed with dragons.
Recall that Arya named her direwolf Nymeria after the warrior-queen who led Rhoynar refugees to what’s known as Dorne after Valyrians with dragons were threatened to invade. Later in Season 1, she marveled at the giant dragon skull in the Red Keep at King’s Landing.
Though Arya has hardly ever really had much time to talk about her hobbies and interests on her quest towards becoming a badass faceless assassin, she’s consistently a fan of any stories involving powerful women and dragons.
In her Season 2 arc as Tywin Lannister’s cupbearer, Arya discusses with him the history of Visenya Targaryen, a great warrior and conqueror who rode on the back of her dragon Vhagar and wielded a Valyrian Steel longsword called Dark Sister. She was a key part of Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, thanks in no small part to three Targaryen siblings each riding atop their dragon.
The eldest brother Aegon got all of the credit and the Iron Throne, but Arya is quick to point out that his two sisters also played a vital role.
It seems totally possible that Arya will be genuinely excited to meet Daenerys Targaryen, an awesome and powerful dragonriding queen in her own right. Not only is she descended from some of Arya’s personal heroes, but Arya will totally want to get a closer look at those dragons as soon as possible.
Another good question we should ask these days is what happened to Dark Sister? The Valyrian Steels longsword would come in handy with the fight against the White Walkers. Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has previously confirmed that Brynden Rivers, aka Bloodraven, took the blade to the Wall when he joined the Night’s Watch. That guy’s more commonly known as the Three-Eyed Raven.
So why didn’t he give Bran the sword? We may never know.
Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere on HBO April 14, 2019 at 9 p.m. Eastern.