'Game of Thrones' Season 8, Episode 2: Arya's New Weapon Is a S6 Throwback
Leave it to Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) to come up with a weapon that could kill the Night King. In the Season 8 premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Arya finally reunited with hot weapons-smith next door Gendry (Joe Dempsie), and after some flirting, Arya gave him an odd commission for a new weapon: a spear-like staff with a detachable blade mechanic.
While Arya has traditionally favored swords, such as her trusty Needle, the new weapon she’s commissioning draws almost a direct connection to her training with the Faceless Men of Braavos. While Arya used her brief time with the flamboyant Syrio Forel to survive the world outside the North, it’s her training as an assassin that could help her kill the Night King.
Recall Season 6, when Arya became an acolyte for the Faceless Men, an assassin’s guild in Braavos who worship the Many-Faced God. As part of her training, Arya was blinded and learned to use a new weapon, a versatile quarterstaff, or bō staff, which she trained with by sparring with her rival, the Waif.
The quarterstaff became less important for Arya after Season 6. In fact, when Arya finished her training by killing the Waif, she used Needle instead of a staff in a poetic move to illustrate her reclamation of her identity. But a quarterstaff is still a valuable tool for Arya to use as a hardened warrior. In tabletop RPG terms, Arya has leveled up and can multiclass to her advantage.
Now in Season 8, Arya is more than just Arya Stark of Winterfell. Having survived a dozen ordeals that would have killed any other man or woman, Arya is through and through a survivor who contains multitudes, a human Swiss army knife made of iron. Thus, it makes sense Arya would use everything available to her to take on the White Walkers. So why not use another weapon she’s come to have complete command of?
A source close to production tells Inverse via email that Arya’s weapon is indeed a “quarterstaff.” (They further implied that we’ll see a prototype or even a final version of the weapon in next week’s episode.) The explicit use of the word “quarterstaff” is key to our theory that Arya will make partial use of her Faceless Men training against the Night King’s army.
Also, as we can see in Arya’s blueprints, the weapon is more than just a staff. It will have a pointed tip made of dragonglass — the rare mineral that can cut down White Walkers — while maintaining a “collapsable” function that can split the weapon into two.
There are all kinds of differing versions of this sort of weapon seen elsewhere in popular culture. Some big examples include Marvel’s Black Widow (in Avengers: Infinity War), DC’s Nightwing in the Injustice video games, and even the original Blue Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Though it’s unlikely Arya will summon a direwolf Zord against the White Walkers, it’s plausible that Arya’s new weapon will be just as fierce.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.