Why 'Game of Thrones' Fans Are Convinced Arya Is Dead

Amber Garrett - Author

May 25 2019, Updated 5:48 p.m. ET

arya stark dead
Source: HBO

In the harrowing (and controversial) fifth episode of Game of Thrones' final season, fans of a girl who has no name thought they lost her more than once in the siege on King's Landing. But then Arya Stark got up on that white horse and we were all, "not today!" 

Guys... what if we were wrong?

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That's what an honestly very compelling fan theory would have us believe. According to speculators on reddit, the theory holds that Arya is dead, and that scene of her approaching the horse and slowly riding off is a glimpse beyond the veil.

arya stark white horse
Source: HBO
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The "Arya is Dead" theory explained:

The origin of this line of speculation starts with the horse itself — because it wasn't just any horse. Though mucked up with lots of blood and ash, this otherwise white steed made an appearance much earlier in the episode. 

harry strickland game of thrones
Source: HBO
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The pretty white horse with the fancy mane belonged to the equally fancy Harry Strickland, leader of the Golden Company. And we definitely saw a shot of that horse dying. Which means one of two things is true...

1) They reused the horse because it was well trained and hoped no one would notice it's the same horse if they splashed some fake blood and ashes onto its haunches.

2) That's a ghost horse — ergo, Arya's a ghost, too!

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But there's a third possible explanation...

While I'm honestly both convinced and shook by this theory, other fans have pointed out that Arya appears in the infuriatingly brief teaser for the finale.

arya stark game of thrones finale
Source: HBO
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Some have suggested Arya and the white horse did die but were brought back by the Lord of Light. Personally I vote for this one just because I don't want to contemplate a Westeros without Arya in it. Everyone else who's been brought back to life had some human agent of the deity actively praying for a resurrection. While that doesn't necessarily mean one has to actively pray to the god for someone to come back to life, it does give pause.

Anyway, in the spirit of Valar Morghulis, I feel compelled to follow this Arya is Dead theory a little longer. Just because we see Arya in the finale teaser doesn't mean she's alive. We don't see anyone interacting with her, so she could still be a ghost. 

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arya stark dead theory
Source: HBO

And if she's a ghost, does this mean we could see her interact with other people in the spirit world? We're hoping yes, just because that would open up the opportunity to see her parents again. *sniff* 

The only way to find out for sure who's right is to tune into the series finale of Game of Thrones this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.

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