‘Game of Thrones’ Fan Theory of the Week: Arya Will Wear Jon’s Face To Kill Dany

Kim Taylor-Foster
TV Fantasy
TV Fantasy Game of Thrones HBO

There’s one episode to go before Game of Thrones ends for the time being ever, and a lot of talk around the idea that Jon could end up killing Daenerys, the hot-queen-turned-auntie-turned-genocidal-maniac he’d been starry-eyed for just a few episodes ago. Remember that romantic dragon ride they took together just before the kick-off of the Great War? It’s just a distant memory now. Ah, happier times — when all they had to worry about was defeating a thousands-of-years-old commander of the undead.

Roll on a couple of weeks or so and Daenerys has been driven to mass murder by both her spurned advances towards her grossed-out nephew, and her quest for power. Ignoring the sound of the bells and King’s Landing’s apparent surrender, she went ahead atop Drogon and roasted the entire city alive anyway. With Cersei buried amid the rubble of the collapsing Red Keep, in the arms of her lover/brother Jaime.

So with Daenerys now a war criminal, and breaker of promises – she had sworn she wasn’t planning on following in her father’s footsteps, carrying through on a threat to burn them all – who’s going to end her tyranny? Presumably, there’s no turning back now she’s apparently fulfilled her destiny and gone full Mad Queen.

Erm.

Face Off

If Jon isn’t the one to literally stick the knife in, could it be Arya disguised as Jon that sees Daenerys off? All that Faceless Man training came in useful against the Night King and his army – surely it will come into play again as they attempt to vanquish Westeros’s last remaining threat. Everybody wants to see Arya pull one last trick and wear one last face, right?

“I think Arya Stark is Azor Ahai. She will kill Jon and take his face to kill Dany. And then rule the 7 kingdoms with help of Sansa acting as Jon,” says Fandom Game of Thrones community member TopGun2019.

The user reckons that in killing Daenerys, Arya will ultimately fulfil the Azor Ahai prophecy, saving the world from darkness in a two-pronged victory that started with the assassination of the Night King. There’s the question of why she would kill Jon, of course. Perhaps he’s intent on protecting Daenerys.

Arya has certainly been set up to emerge the one to vanquish the series’ final boss (Daenerys). Not only did Melisandre prophesy that she would shut many eyes forever – “brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes” – leaving us to surmise that the green eyes belong to Dany, but the plot armour she wears in the last episode also suggests she’s still hugely important to how things will play out in the final episode.

Pale Rider

And that’s not to mention the white horse. White horses are a recurring motif in fiction, as well as in mythology, culture and religion worldwide. Meanings are varied but they’re often associated with warrior-heroes (anyone fit the bill here?) and an End-of-Days saviour. A white horse can also be seen as a portent of death – something that’s been consistent in Game of Thrones, in that everyone who’s ridden a white horse in the series has died, including both her parents. But if it’s not leading Arya to her demise at the end of Episode 5 – indeed, it’s rescuing her from it – could it be signaling the death of another? The Bible pegs a ‘pale horse’ as the steed of Death. Arya could well be Death in this analogy, set to deliver Daenerys’s grisly fate come the finale.

For community member Freaky Ass Smile Lord, the fact that Arya survived Dany’s devastating attack, then finds the horse, is bothersome – just too convenient to ring true: “Arya Stark wore bigger plot armour this episode than all the characters ever combined in every season. This really bothered me. LIKE SHE MANAGES TO SURVIVE EVERYTHING. And once the fighting is done, she of course coincidentally stumbles upon Sandor‘s corpse and happens to come across a horse to remind us of her time with him.”

While they see it as a dramatic reminder of her relationship with the Hound, the fact that all this happens could well be more significant. It’s jarring, sure – so doesn’t it make sense that there could be a reason for that?

The Stallion Who Mounts the World

Beatissima sees the horse as a representation of a part of Dany that has died/been separated from her soul: “The silver mare is the ‘gentle heart’ of Daenerys. She’s been sacrificed, and now she’s going to help Arya destroy the tyrannical Daenerys.”

The Game of Thrones community member goes on to say, “And as Arya climbed on the mare, a quote from Daenerys’s theme played in the soundtrack — the same motif that played during the ‘Mheesa’ [Mhysa] scene.”

It all kind of fits with the “stallion who mounts the world” prophecy attributed to Daenerys. If the horse can be seen as a part of Dany, like a child might be, then this horse could represent this part of the prophecy and end up the literal stallion (Beatissima describes the horse as a mare – but its sex is unknown) who mounts the world, by ridding it of the tyrannical threat (Dany) and uniting the people. In collaboration with Arya, of course.

But Arya wearing Jon’s face? There’s a growing number of fans getting behind the idea that Arya will wind up killing Daenerys – as many as reckon Jon will. A combination of both seems like it could satisfy the fanbase.

“For Dany, only ending I want now is Arya (or anyone for that sake) slitting Dany’s throat in front of what’s left of people. Period,” says Saad Farooq.

This is precisely how she kills Old Brown Eyes, Walder Frey, so it would be fitting to see Green Eyes go out the same way. Just as she wore the face of someone Walder trusted to slice his neck open, so she could don Jon’s visage to get close enough to Dany to end her days. What an ending, and what a way to win over fans disgruntled at how the season has so far played out.

Catch the Game of Thrones Season 8 finale on Sunday in the US, and Monday in the UK.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.