HBO continues to tease Game of Thrones Season 8 with new footage coming in short, tantalizing clips. In the latest video, Arya joins the list of characters whose reactions to seeing a dragon flying for the first time are quite memorable. However, hers stands out because it’s not at all like the others, and it may even hint at a major plot detail in Game of Thrones Season 8.
Possible spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 below.
The latest HBO sizzle reel includes a brief look at the final season of Game of Thrones, and in those six seconds, we see the Unsullied marching against a snowy backdrop towards what we can assume is Winterfell while one of Daenerys’ dragon flies over them.
The next shot seems to confirm that’s where the dragon is headed. We see townsfolk react in fear to what’s presumably the same dragon. Everyone is scared to see a dragon approaching Winterfell — except for one character: Arya Stark.
Arya’s delighted expression at the sight of (what we assume) is a dragon isn’t just a joyous moment and a throwback to her Season 1 obsession with the mythical beasts, it’s also another reminder about how different she is compared to everyone else. Over the past few seasons of Game of Thrones, plenty of characters have come face to face with a dragon, but no one else has reacted like this.
Redditor u/pretent_its_witty recently posted a graphic comparing Arya’s reaction to other key characters’ expressions when they first saw dragons. While not visibly terrified, Tyrion, Jon, Jaime, and Cersei don’t look like they’re particularly happy to see creatures., instead displaying a mix of fear, shock, and in some cases awe. By comparison, Arya looks like she’d love nothing more than to hop on this dragon’s back.
That’s not totally out of the question either. Fans have speculated for years that Arya could be one of several characters to ride the dragons into battle in Game of Thrones alongside Daenerys. The younger Stark sister has always been obsessed with dragons after all, and back when there were three of them under Dany’s control it didn’t seem that impossible for Arya to ride one of them.
Heading into Game of Thrones Season 8, however, that seems a lot less likely. With just two dragons remaining, it’s safe to assume that Dany will ride one. Meanwhile, Jon Snow, who we learned last season is actually Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark) will likely ride the other after learning his true identity. That doesn’t leave much room for Arya.
If Arya’s reaction to the dragon has any importance, it may simply be that she’s more welcoming of Daenerys than her sister Sansa. The Lady of Winterfell’s greeting of Daenerys in another sizzle reel clip wasn’t the friendliest, but based on this new clip we can assume that Arya and Dany will get along like old friends.
And if that leads to Arya riding on the back of a dragon, even if just for fun, well, that will be a nice capstone in her character’s long journey, and a reminder that despite everything she’s been through, that bright-eyed child Arya once was still exists
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. on HBO.