There are plenty of fan theories surrounding Season 8 of Game of Thrones — is Daenerys Targaryen pregnant? will Jon Snow survive? — but the mystery around Arya Stark's storyline on the final season of the HBO series is at an all-time high.
From completing her kill list to possibly finding love, fans have plenty of predictions for Ned Stark's youngest daughter. So who needs spoilers when you have die-hard viewers who probably know more about George R.R. Martin's tale of the fire and ice than show creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss?
But first, who's left on Arya's list?
Early on in the series, Arya began keeping a list of the people she wanted to kill, and she would repeat her list nightly almost like a lullaby. At its inception, Arya had 13 names to get through — but leading up to Season 8, Arya has only six names left, thanks to the deaths of Thoros of Myr (he froze to death), Tywin Lannister (Tyrion took care of his father for Arya), her Harrenhal torturers Polliver and Rorge, King Joffrey (who was poisoned), Syrio's murderer Meryn Trant, and Walder Frey (both of whom Arya dispatched herself).
That leaves her with The Hound, Cersei Lannister, Ned's executioner Ilyn Payne, The Mountain, and Melisandre. Luckily, Arya's got the skills she learned at the House of Black and White in Braavos under the tutelage of the Many-Faced God of death.
How does Arya change faces?
As one of the "Faceless Men," Arya is able to temporarily become someone else, and most fans agree that the victim has to be dead before Arya is able to take on their identity. Since Arya has learned to be a faceless assassin, it is also believed she has access to the selection faces in The Hall, which explains how she was able to transform into a servant girl before slitting Walder Frey's neck in retaliation for the Red Wedding.
In Season 8, it is expected Arya will continue using her talent for transformation to cross off all the names on her murder bucket list — leading fans to some pretty interesting theories.
1. Will Arya kill Cersei?
Cersei Lannister is on Arya's list so the current Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is definitely at risk. And fans think Arya will transform into Cersei's brother turned lover Jaime Lannister to check Cersei's name off her list.
"Jamie dies in the winter war or Arya kills him after he confesses or finds out he pushed Bran out the window. Steals his face. Goes [to] Kings Landing. Tricks Cersei. Cersei realizes too late it's not Jamie because he has both hands. Struggles, stabs her to death," one fan commented on reddit. Another agreed, but suggested another face for Arya to put on, writing, "I'm fine with Arya killing Cersei, she's among many that have earn the chance, but I really hope she doesn't do it with Jaime's face. Take Qyburn's, Cersei trusts him more than Jaime these days anyway."
2. Arya is Nissa Nissa.
It is widely believed that Jon Snow is actually the Prince Who Was Promised aka Azor Ahai — who plunged his sword Lightbringer into his wife, Nissa Nissa, allowing him to tap into his full power. Many in the GoT universe believe Jon's "Nissa Nissa" is not his new love Daenerys but his little sister, Arya.
"So for all the theories that Jon is Azor, they always seems to add that Dany would be Nissa Nissa in that situation, and he will have to kill her. However, a much more hard and gut-wrenching decision for Jon would be to kill Arya, his precious little sister," a fan theorized. "I read a theory that she is death and was sent by the faceless men to kill Dany. So my theory is Jon learns of this, knows Dany is necessary to stop the [Night King], and has to ultimately kill Arya to protect the realm. A true sacrifice that would fully transform Jon into Azor Ahai."
3. Arya will end up with Gendry
Back in Season 1, Robert Baratheon hinted to Ned Stark that their children would be married. And many fans believe Arya and Gendry will be responsible for the long-awaited Stark-Baratheon union. Plus, there has been more than one clue that the duo would get together.
"In Season 3 Arya stats that she can be his family and Gendry replies no you would be my lady," one fan pointed out on reddit before adding, "Also fair to mention Arya had obviously checked out Gendry at Harrenhal when he had his shirt off." We ship this.
4. Who is chasing Arya?
In the Season 8 trailer, Arya can be seen running away from two figures — however, it's hard to make out exactly who is coming after her. While some fans are convinced she is being chased by wights (dead people who have been resurrected by the White Walkers), others believe the suspects are more familiar faces.
"I figured it out. Cersei knows Arya is alive and has sent The Mountain to kill her," one fan tweeted. "She is running from Gregor and he is just about to end her then The Hound steps in to save her. Cleganebowl begins." There are also some theories that Arya is running away from her dead family members, who have risen from the crypts of Winterfell.
5. Arya will fight in the upcoming battle against the Army of the Dead.
All of Arya's training — and her temporary blindness — have been leading up to her finally setting foot on the battle field. Season 8 will see the living taking on the dead, and who better to swing a sword against the undead than Arya?
"I know in Braavos she was blinded as a punishment but I think it was mostly done for her final arc in fighting the Army of the dead," one redditor wrote. "Think about it. The battle takes place at night and guess who knows how to fight in the dark? Arya of course. I just think that's a neat little bit George snuck in there in her training, and that part of the training makes for a bigger purpose."
And she clearly knows her way with a sword, just ask her Season 7 sparring partner Brienne of Tarth.
6. Arya will kill the Night King.
There is a long fan theory predicting Arya will be the one to take down the Night King — and it's pretty convincing. Remember when the Faceless Man fell dead and Arya took off his faces until she came upon her own? Well, that's a sign that Arya has lived, died, and lived again. Let redditor XHelheimX explain:
"The Faceless Men can only have faces of people who have died. There are no replicas. As a true Were, Arya is able to easily master the magic of skinwalking and to see her own face only means one thing. She has lived and died before," they wrote. "Arya is given an ancient Valerian Steel dagger by Bran. As he hands it to her he looks worried and sad. Bran already knows what his sisters fate is. As the Crone he is the seer of man’s fate. He knows that Arya is death and to end all the dead and make sure they are returned back to the other side, Arya must fully embrace her nature. She is death."
The theory ended with, "Now I’m not entirely sure how the show will wrap up. However, it seems to me that the only thing that will stop the dead is to make sure the master of Death is back in the realm of the dead. Arya will be the Queen of Death. For this to happen she will die."
7. Arya will be the last to die.
There have been some spoilers surrounding Arya's fate thanks to actress Maisie Williams, who opened up about filming her final scenes. "I ended on the perfect scene. I was alone – shocker," she told The Guardian. "Arya’s always bloody alone. But I was alone and I had watched a lot of other people wrap. I knew the drill, I had seen the tears and heard the speeches."
Plus, she shared an Instagram post following the moment, and captioned a photo of bloody sneakers with the hashtag #lastwomanstanding.
8. Actually, all the Starks will die.
Seeing as most characters will probably die during Season 8 of Game of Thrones, there are some viewers who are convinced that Arya, along with the remaining Stark siblings — Jon, Sansa, and Bran — will all die. Why? Well, along with George R.R. Martin at one point titling book seven A Time for Wolves, as redditor zroberts1207 pointed out, there was a prophecy that predicted the demise of the Stark house.
During Season 6, Leaf, the Child of the Forest who sacrificed herself to save Bran, shared a cryptic message with Ned Stark's son.
"The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well. In the world that men have made, there is no room for them, or us."
Direwolves being the Starks, obvs.
9. Or has she actually been dead this entire time?
Remember Arya's final encounter with the Waif? Well, it's believed the Waif actually won and stole Arya's face — and has been posing as her this entire time.
"Arya's behavior after this also leads to believe she could be the Waif if you look at her posture and how she walks and carries herself, it's identical to the Waif, not Arya," a fan added, further proving the theory. "She also uses her right hand, despite Arya being left-handed."
Another fan agreed, adding, "Perhaps in the final fight scene, after Arya puts out the candle, she loses to the Waif, who takes her face, becoming Arya in the game of faces, and slipping into the role including all the deaths she inflicts as part of Arya’s revenge plot?"
10. Arya is going on a great adventure — and getting a spinoff.
After all is said and done, there are some who are optimistic (despite eight seasons of GoT suggesting otherwise) that Arya will have a happy ending. One popular theory involves Arya not only surviving, but embarking on an adventure before the series finale.
"Arya is not interested in being a lady and while some are theorizing that she'll settle down with Gendry I find that unlikely. Arya is going to leave Westeros and explore the regions beyond the map," one fan's "endgame theory" read. Other fans were definitely onboard and optimistic the character will even get her own HBO spinoff.
"That could work as a spinoff if HBO wants to keep the GOT story going after next season," one redditor responded. Another added, "I'd totally watch that. Doubly so if The Hound went with her." Same.