Fans of Game of Thrones have been sharing reaction videos to Arya Stark's epic moment in the recent episode. After seven seasons of political intrigue and the various, often brutal, maneuvering of Westeros' noble houses, season 8's early episodes were focused on the threat posed by the Night King and his army of the dead. The tension came to a head in "The Long Night," which saw the majority of the show's surviving characters band together for the Battle of Winterfell. Though many characters failed to make it to the dawn in one piece, the majority of the principal cast managed to avoid joining the list of those who died in the Battle of Winterfell. The reason for that was mostly due to the actions of Arya Stark who, in the episode's most surprising moment, emerged as the one destined to kill the Night King.
Until now, all signs had pointed to either Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen being the one to destroy the Night King and his army. The showrunners, however, had quietly been laying the seeds for a shocking subversion, with previous lines of dialogue coming back into play and revealing that it had been Arya's destiny all along. With Daenerys' army decimated and even her dragons proving ineffective, all hope seemed lost as the Night King made it to Bran. Until, that was, Arya sprung into action, utilizing all the skills she had acquired over the years. Whether or not the moment will play out the same way in the books, remains to be seen. In terms of the show, however, fans continue to revel in what will go down as a historic moment in the show's history.
Social media has since been flooded with video reactions from around the world. Filmed at public screenings, some of the videos show just how much of a global and community event Game of Thrones has become. One such video, posted by Twitter user MarvelGirls, comes from Brazil as an amassed crowd watch as Arya Stark kills the Night King. Two others, posted by Natashaaa and Mwechagajr, respectively, come from bar screenings and are equally passionate. Check them all out below:
Look the reaction of Arya and Night King scene in BRAZIL:— peggy | not today (@marveIgirls) April 29, 2019
The reaction hasn't all been positive, however. The videos have emerged in the wake of the resurgence of the 'Mary Sue' term. Used to describe female characters who are deemed overpowered and flawless, it was most recently aimed at the character of Rey in the latest Star Wars films. Many have spoken out regarding its use against Arya and in defense of the twist - including some of the show's stars. Some book readers have also expressed displeasure, believing that Arya killing the Night King contradicts the Azor Ahai prophecy.
It remains to be seen whether Arya Stark is, herself, Azor Ahai or whether there is some element to that foretelling yet to be revealed. Whatever the case, even those disappointed that Jon or Daenerys didn't emerge as the true hero, there's no denying that Arya has earned it. Played by Maisie Williams since the first season, Arya Stark's journey has been filled with her training under a variety of mentors in the ways of combat and assassination. In many ways, her entire arc has been shaping her for this moment. Though the army of the dead may have been vanquished, there remain many plot threads left unresolved. Whatever comes next is anybody's guess - though it is sure to be bittersweet. At the very least, however, many will have this shining moment to joyfully look back on before the end.
Game of Thrones season 8 continues Sunday at 9 pm on HBO