Arya Stark’s infamous list of names has guided many of her actions over the past few Game of Thrones seasons as she sought revenge on all the people who wronged her. In Season 8, that last has dwindled down to just a few names, but Arya’s need to defend and avenge the Stark family name continues. Now, one new theory claims Arya could abandon her list to kill one other major character who poses a threat to her family: Daenerys Targaryen.
Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 (and maybe the series finale) ahead.
Redditor u/richmondjd11 took to r/gottheories recently to explore the possibility that Arya’s actual target in King’s Landing isn’t Cersei, but Daenerys (who also happens to have green eyes. Richmondjd11 argues that Arya sees Dany as a threat to the family’s stability, ostensibly deciding at some point in the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell or on the road with the Hound that Dany needs to be killed.
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This theory also speculates that Sansa could be pulling the strings in secret. After all, we’ve already seen her butt heads with Dany over who will control the North once they defeat Cersei. We also didn’t actually see how Sansa and Arya reacted to the news that Jon is actually a Targaryen, and moments later, Arya was headed to King’s Landing on some secret mission.
So it’s definitely possible that Sansa told Arya to travel south and kill Dany. This would also put her at odds with Jon, which might explain why Arya says she’s never coming back north.
Episode 4 dropped big hints that the rift between Dany and Jon is growing as she continues to feel threatened by the knowledge that he has a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. What the episode also did was bring the last of the Starks together to bond over the knowledge that Jon is Aegon Targaryen. The divide over who truly supports Jon with this new information may be what will push Arya into killing Dany.
Here’s a key passage from Richmondjd11’s theory:
Jon is in danger. And in typical Jon fashion, he is too blinded by his emotions to recognize this. Sansa and Arya are not blinded by emotions. Sansa goes full Littlefinger and tells Tyrion. Meanwhile, Arya rides south. Arya’s real target is Dany. The Starks values have always centered around protecting family. And even though Jon is not a Stark technically, he is still Arya and Sansa’s brother. Arya and Sansa know that Jon is in danger. Sansa clearly knew she told Tyrion. Arya has to know. And who is more of a threat to Jon? Dany is. Arya is riding south to attempt to kill Dany, not Cersei.
It has become very clear over the course of Game of Thrones Season 8 that the remaining Starks will do whatever it takes to ensure their survival. Sansa, Arya, Bran, and their brother, er, cousin Jon Snow have repeatedly tried to do what serves the Stark family first and foremost. Jon and Arya have always had a special bond, putting even more emotional weight on Arya’s possible decision to remove Dany in order to protect the brother she has always loved the most.
Going into Episode 5, Arya is also the most experienced at getting close to threatening figures. She currently has the medal for “Best Game of Thrones Kill” after taking out the Night King, so she’d likely feel good about her odds in getting close enough to Dany to kill her. Arya has yet to wear a face, too, so this might be a prime time to use that ability in order to kill Dany.
Interestingly, Richmondjd11 ties in the fulfillment of the Azor Ahai prophecy with Arya going after Dany — and it kinda makes sense. Richmondjd11 theorizes that Arya’s assassination attempt will fail, and Dany will end up killing her. Jon will witness it and, bound by his devotion to the Stark family, will avenge Arya and simultaneously become Azor Ahai by killing Daenerys with a stab through her heart.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.