For most Game of Thrones fans, the epic ending to the Great Battle of Winterfell in Season 8, Episode 3, “The Long Night” took us totally by surprise. But one astute redditor predicted exactly how it would end before Season 7 even finished airing in 2017.
Spoilers for “The Long Night” below.
Just when the Night King was about to slay Bran Stark and destroy the Three-Eyed Raven for good, Arya Stark leapt out from the darkness, and with some deft sleight of hand, was able to stab the Night King in the chest with her Valyrian steel dagger, destroying him and his entire army in the process. Arya became the real hero of the Great War, Azor Ahai theories be damned.
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Almost two years ago, on August 21, 2017 redditor u/gride9000 examined the ongoing importance of the Valyrian steel dagger as a “hero prop” on the show, predicting that Arya would eventually use it to kill the Night King. They somehow got almost every detail correct, with a bonus theory about the dagger’s relationship to the Night King that may or may not be true.
One big part of gride9000’s theory that probably isn’t true has to do with the piece of dragonglass the Children of the Forest used to create the Night King being recycled for this dagger. Based on what we know from Samwell Tarly reading about dragonglass at the Citadel, this dagger was probably a Targaryen family heirloom that was indeed adorned with dragon bone and dragonglass in the hilt.
This theory assumes “that blade has some of the original dragonglass from the Children of the Forest’s Night King creation,” but that seems radically far-fetched. Was it really the same piece of dragonglass from thousands of years ago? Probably not.
What’s not a stretch, however, is the assumption that Bran Stark gave the dagger to Arya because he knew ahead of time how she might use it. “We see Bran give away the knife,” they write about a Season 7 scene. “He knows whats going to happen, what will Arya do with it.”
As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran spends most of his time warging into ravens or visiting past events, but it’s also true that he has prophetic visions of the future from time to time. It’s possible that he knew exactly how events would unfold, so he gave Arya the dagger so she’d be able to use it in that crucial moment during the battle.
Maybe u/gride9000 is the new Three-Eyed Raven? They certainly didn’t waste any time yesterday when they humble-bragged about their prediction on Reddit. We’ll probably never know for sure whether or not the dagger has that special piece of dragonglass in the hilt, but now that the Night King is seemingly dead for good, it hardly matters anymore.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.