Is Arya Stark Azor Ahai? 'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 3's events show how Melisandre thinks so too
Warning: This article contains major Game of Thrones spoilers
Just when we thought there was no hope for the living against the dead, this week's episode of The Battle of Winterfell is the most epic one yet. Among all of the major deaths that the epic battle against the Night King brought about, the fight also seemed to confirm a major fan theory: the identity of Azor Ahai or the Prince That Was Promised. Arya's act along with a close reading of her encounter with Melisandre may hint at a bigger role for her in the prophecy, but is Arya really Azor Ahai?
The clues that Arya may be the prophesized hero have been hinted at since the beginning of the episode.
The Prince That Was Promised is a character most closely associated with Melisandre, since she is the most devoted disciple of the Lord of Light that fans have seen in the series. So when Melisandre arrived in Winterfell, it seemed to hint at something suspicious when she stopped to give Arya a very long, lingering look.
Game of Thrones fans have been theorizing about Azor Ahai for the entirety of the show, and pretty much everyone was looking at this week's major Battle of Winterfell episode to finally give us the truth.
Azor Ahai is a legendary savior in the faith of the Lord of Light who is said to have fought off the White Walkers and prevented the Long Night thousands of years ago. Azor Ahai is predicted to be reborn to defeat the White Walkers when they next descend on Winterfell. Most fan theories pointed to Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, or Jaime Lannister as the primary contenders to be the reborn Azor Ahai, but the ending of this week's new episode seemed to make it clear that Arya might have been Azor Ahai all along.
Other than the initial look another encounter with Melisandre may have given us a bigger clue about Arya's destiny.
As Arya is about to be killed by a horde of wights within Winterfell's castle, Lord Beric Dondarrion rushes in to protect her and winds up sacrificing himself so that she can escape. Lord Beric is another of the Lord of Light's disciples who has actually been brought back to life several times by the god. When Arya meets up with Melisandre after fighting off the wights, Melisandre reveals that the reason the Lord of Light brought Beric to life so many times was so that he could be at Winterfell for this very moment: to sacrifice himself for Arya. This confirms that Arya is a majorly important figure within the Lord of Light faith, which heavily suggests that she might just be Azor Ahai.
Arya killing the Night King was a surprise for many, except for apparently Melisandre. This is a reference to season 3 when The Red Priestess told Arya that she would shut many eyes, brown eyes, blue eyes and green eyes forever. The blue eyes she spoke of turned out not to be Melisandre’s own eyes, as some fans believed, but the Night King’s. In retrospect, the show may have been hinting at Arya killing the Night King for quite some time. When she first began training with Syrio Forel way back in season 1, he taught her the saying, “What do we say to the god of death? Not today.” has finally seen its fulfillment in this episode.
According to the prophecy of the One Who Was Promised, the One, in the religion of R’hllor who is the reincarnation of legendary hero Azor Ahai, is destined to “lead the people against a darkness” by wielding a flaming sword called Lightbringer.
“There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world,” it reads. “In this dread hour, a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”
Obviously, Arya didn't kill the Night King with a burning sword, but with the Dragonbone dagger which Bran gave her when they met and if there is one thing to know about the GOT prophecies, it's that they don't usually pan out in the literal sense. Well, the very fact that Arya kills the Night King and prevents the Long Night should be proof that she is Azor Ahai , but we'll have to wait for a revelation to confirm our hunches.
“For three years, we’ve known it was going to be Arya to deliver that fatal blow,” creator David Benioff had mentioned in the post-episode commentary. “We hope to avoid the expected. Jon Snow is a savior ... but it just didn’t feel right for us in this moment. We knew it had to be Valyrian steel to the exact spot where the Child of the Forest put the dragonglass blade to create the Night King. And he’s uncreated by the Valyrian steel.”
Whether or not Arya does turn out to be Azor Ahai reborn, it’s still clear that she’s an important figure in the religion of R’hllor. Not only was Melisandre’s fate directly entwined with hers, but we now know that Beric's was as well. Of course, we also have to find out what Jon’s ultimate purpose is in the Lord of Light’s grand scheme since he was brought back as well.