True (or at least obsessive) Game of Thrones fans have probably spent a lot of time on reddit digging through endless theories about who will sit on the Iron Throne, and more importantly, who will defeat the Night King. Even though we're finally going to learn the answer to both stressful questions over the next month, that still isn't stopping us from digging deeper and deeper, dissecting every clue, angle, or symbol we may have missed in the previous seven seasons.
One particular theory has resurfaced, and it involves Arya Stark and Littlefinger's dagger — the same dagger that an assassin once used to try to kill Bran back in Season 1. Remember that a hired assassin breaks into the room Catelyn Stark is staying in with Bran (who's still in a coma after Jaime Lannister pushes him from the top of a tower).
Catelyn lunges herself at the man before he can come close to Bran, and the dagger nearly slices her hand off before Summer, Bran's direwolf, saves everyone by chomping on the assassin's neck. Catelyn realizes the dagger is valuable (it's made of Valyrian steel), so she goes to Littlefinger to see if he knows where it may have come from. Littlefinger fabricates what we now know is a lie, telling Catelyn that it was Tyrion's, who allegedly won it in a bet.
Catelyn thinks it's Tyrion who tried to murder Bran, so she ends up kidnapping him on her way back North. The dagger essentially sparked the War of Five Kings. After Catelyn leaves, Littlefinger, who's in possession of the dagger now, holds it up to Ned Stark's throat, hissing at him, "I did warn you not to trust me." Ned Stark is imprisoned and then executed the same season.
We finally learn the dagger was most likely Littlefinger's when he gives it to Bran in Season 7. In "The Spoils of War," Bran tells Littlefinger, "Chaos is a ladder," something that Littlefinger told Varys verbatim. Bran could only know Littlefinger said this if he went back in time and saw the conversation between Littlefinger and Lord Varys in Season 3's episode, "The Climb."
In that episode, Varys argues that without peace and order, there would be chaos, and chaos "is a pit." Littlefinger disagrees, saying "chaos is a ladder," which sums up all of his opportunistic and manipulative maneuvers throughout the seasons in order to gain power.
All this to say: Bran knows Littlefinger is guilty of destroying his family. In Season 7, "The Spoils of War," Bran ends up giving Arya the same dagger. Arya uses that dagger in Episode 7, "Army of the Dead," to kill Littlefinger, because what goes around comes around. But is there more to the dagger than it serving a major dose of justice?
Redditor u/ragaed thinks so, theorizing a big connection between Bran, the dagger, the Night King, and possibly Arya. The theory takes into account that Bran may be the Night King and he knows it (read more about that theory here). He also probably knows Valyrian steel can kill white walkers. By giving Arya the dagger, maybe he's positioning himself to be killed by her.
The reddit user wrote, "it made me re-think the wild theory that Bran is (somehow) responsible for the creation of the WW; if he is not the Night King himself (in some bizarre time travel warging error); and only a dagger to Bran's heart can bring the cycle to an end; and in some ways it was always meant to kill him; and Arya aware of that and being a trained assassin might be the one to do it."
Another redditor, u/rustythesmith responded, "Did you see the way Bran handed Arya the dagger? It was weird. He jumped back a little bit. Like he was expecting something to happen as soon as Arya touched it. Or like the exchange gave him a vision. And his eyes were on the dagger instead of Arya."
Maybe Bran already knows Arya will kill Littlefinger, and that's why he looked at her that way. Or maybe he knows something else, whether it involves Arya killing him, or maybe the dagger being used by someone else to defeat the Night King.
What we definitely know is that the dagger is important: Before Littlefinger gives it to Bran, we see it in the Season 7 premiere in one of the books Sam is reading at the Citadel. Pretty much everything Sam learned at the Citadel has been a game-changer, so it's no coincidence that viewers saw him reading about the dagger.
We'll found out soon enough. Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on HBO this Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m.
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