This week’s episode of Game of Thrones was far more horrific than anyone expected. The Battle for King’s Landing wound up rivaling the Battle of Winterfell, though perhaps not in the ways anyone was expecting. In the end, many characters lay dead. One, however, who went into this week expecting not to come out alive, not only survived but turned up in the trailer for next week’s finale. Where is Arya going? Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 follow.
Arya went to King’s Landing believing she would not leave again. Her plan, as most surmised, was to get back on track. She went to Westeros thinking she would take down all those who hurt her family. She had a few diversions, which landed her a pair of bonus kills she never knew she needed to put on her list, including Littlefinger and the Night King.
However, like Daenerys, who had put her own plans to the side to fight Jon Snow’s war, it was time to get back to business. Daenerys was heading to take down King’s Landing. The Hound was heading to take out The Mountain. And Arya was going to kill Cersei.
Until everything went sideways.
When the bells of King’s Landing began to ring, it was a signal the Lannister army was surrendering. The Battle of King’s Landing was short, sweet, and had a minor death toll considering what it could have been. That is, until Daenerys went mad. Why the bells broke her is a mystery that may never be solved, or may get answered next week, viewers cannot be sure at this point. But the moment she began to methodically burn the city, The Hound told Arya to run. Cersei was dead anyway, and Arya had a life to live.
Arya listened, but neither of them considered that to get back out of the city, she was going to have to figure out how to avoid the dragon’s line of fire. That would require her to be heartless enough to leave those who were about to burn behind. Arya’s a hard girl, but she’s not that hard. Faced with crowds of innocent women and children cowering when they needed to run, Arya did everything she could to try to save them.
She failed. As the Red Keep collapsed and ash and stone and fire crashed down, Arya found herself waking up, bloody and grey, as the sole survivor. All around her, bodies, burnt to a crisp. She had done everything she could to try and help people, and in the end, Daenerys, who both she and Sansa warned Jon about, had murdered everyone. King’s Landing was a graveyard.
Somehow, Arya was not the only survivor. There was a horse, standing lost in the middle of the street. Arya walked over to the poor creature and reached out gently. She climbed on the animal’s back and rode away, but she hasn’t gone far. As next week’s trailer shows, she’s in the crowd, looking on as Daenerys takes the Iron Throne with a look in her eyes that suggests at least one more name is now on that list.
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