Just like winter, the Battle of Winterfell is coming, and Game of Thrones fans everywhere are waiting with anticipation to find out who will make it out alive. And there's one question on everyone's mind ahead of the upcoming bloody battle: Will Arya die in the Battle of Winterfell?
While there's no predicting who will die in any episode of Game of Thrones, it seems unlikely that Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) will die in the upcoming battle — in fact, most fan theories posit that she will play a major role in fighting the Night King throughout the season, thanks to her training with the Faceless Man. After all, a major part of her storyline in the first two episodes of Season 8 has centered around her convincing Gendry (Joe Dempsie) to build her a customized weapon for the battle, which hints at the possibility that Arya will use her Dragonglass blade to kill the Night King.
Fans know from previous episodes of Game of Thrones that Valyrian steel, fire and Dragonglass are all effective weapons against the wights that the White Walkers created, and with Gendry's new weapon, she now has two of the three at her disposal in battle. Since killing the White Walkers kills the wights that they created, Arya has the weapons that she finally needs to take out plenty of White Walkers, and as a result, the wights.
Rather than dying in the Battle of Winterfell, one popular fan theory, as described by Vox, suggests that Arya will actually use her skills from the Faceless Man and transform into a White Walker or wight in order to get close enough to the Night King to kill him. In the Season 8 premiere, Arya asked Gendry a lot of detailed questions about what the wights are like up close: "What do they look like? What do they smell like, how do they move, how hard are they to kill?"
Sure, those questions could be considered to be part of her strategy to prepare for the Battle of Winterfell — after all, it's important to know the enemy before facing them on the battlefield — but it could also be part of her preparation to wear a wight's face in order to trick the Night King. According to Reddit user u/abutthole, Arya's questions were indeed very pointed for a reason. "She mocked [Gendry] a bit for his generic answer, but she was clearly trying to find out the deepest information she could on how to portray a wight in the most convincing way," they wrote, adding, "I think she wants her special weapon to kill the Night King, and I think she wanted to know what the wights were like not to sate her curiosity but to accurately portray one in order to get up close to Big Blue. I think at the Battle of Winterfell she will take a wight's face and use that to enable her assassination plan."
Of course, there's no definitive information on whether or not Dragonglass or Valyrian steel will be as effective against the Knight King as they are against the White Walkers, since, according to Bran, "nobody has ever tried" to kill him before. Still, if there's anyone who would be able to take him down, it might just by Arya, who has proven herself difficult to kill in previous seasons of the show.
Regardless of whether or not she does end up facing off against the Night King in the next episode, Williams herself has hinted that Arya will play a major role in the Battle of Winterfell. In February, the actress told Vogue U.K. that they filmed the fight for 55 consecutive nights outside before continuing to shoot in a nearby studio. "All the training in the world couldn’t have prepared me for the amount of stamina you needed for these night shoots," Williams explained. "It gets to the point where it’s four o’clock in the morning and you’re looking around like, 'This is ridiculous. What are we doing?'"
The Battle of Winterfell will no doubt end with a lot of bloodshed and heartbreak, but when it comes down to it, fans can likely expect Arya to continue to tell the God of Death, "not today" when she steps onto the battlefield.