Game of Thrones: No, Arya Stark is (probably) not dead


Sometimes, even in Game of Thrones, a horse is just a horse, and it’s okay to not bring Arya Stark into theories about Death.

Game of Thrones fans have a lot of energy to expend these days, since this final season is just causing that much consternation. Whether it’s the memes, the petition to redo the entire eighth season, or theories, it’s been, well, a lot. It’s the third item in that list that we’re talking about today.

As HelloGiggles has reported, there’s a new theory going around Reddit that Arya Stark has not actually survived the sack of King’s Landing, but is somehow now undead, mostly because it looks like she gets to ride Harry Strickland’s horse. HG then cites the “Death riding a pale horse” verse of Revelation, as other fans have, as some evidence.

For a series that is so obsessed with detail, and though it’s most commonly translated as “pale,” the color of Death’s horse is likely closer to a pale green, not necessarily white. To be fair, “ashen” is also used in translation here, but the horse doesn’t really look covered in ash, either, so this all seems like a bit of a stretch. This is a final season where there’s been a coffee cup left in-shot and where things have turned for characters so quickly as to give viewers mental whiplash; it seems odd to then pull something like this out.

Additionally, commenters on the original Reddit thread have pointed out that reusing horses isn’t that uncommon in film and television, Game of Thrones included. One comment by u/bbigs11 refutes this pretty neatly:

"I think it’s the same horse in real life. But in the show I’m pretty sure they show that horse dead on the ground, so I think it’s two different horses in the GOT Universe. In the show it’s supposed to mirror the white horse figure the little girl that Arya tries to save is carrying around."

No, it’s not quasi-religious or -mythical symbolism; it’s just regular symbolism. Let’s expand upon it a little more. Though her efforts only lead to death for the girl and her mother, out of the blood and death comes a way out for Arya, at the very least: a real-life version of the toy the girl couldn’t let go of. Arya’s whole arc in the episode is about turning her back on death, not necessarily becoming it.

Besides, how exactly would Arya go about becoming Death anyway? Did she absorb some of the powers of the Night King upon killing him, then turn those powers into self-resurrection? If so, was that adequately explained? (The short answer: no.)

With just one episode left and a lot to unpack, we don’t expect Arya to have a moment to show off any newly-acquired abilities. That’s perhaps the strongest evidence that we have. There’s just not enough time.

Next. 10 ways to watch Jason Momoa other than Game of Thrones. dark

Game of Thrones airs its final episode this Sunday, May 19.