Warning: this post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones‘ most recent episode, “The Long Night,” which aired on Sunday night.
In the days since Game of Thrones‘ long-awaited battle episode, “The Long Night,” aired on Sunday, fans of the series have argued over whether parts of the episode were literally too dark to watch.
Then came an extended debate over whether the character of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) was a “Mary Sue” — a debate, per The Inquisitr, that consisted of dozens of people claiming that Arya isn’t a Mary Sue and very few, if any, saying that she is.
Now, there’s another social media discussion about the ending of the Game of Thrones episode, coming in the form of a bizarre Reddit fan theory that’s been picked up by various media outlets. A cynic might suggest that the theory is an example of viewers turning themselves in knots to deny the heroine of the episode, Arya Stark, full credit for her big moment.
Near the end of the episode, Arya leaps through the air and stabs the Night King, killing him and the entire army of White Walkers along with him. This heroic act also saves the life of her brother, Bran Stark. At the same time in the episode, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is fighting in another part of Winterfell, ultimately letting out a scream at the resurrected ice dragon, Viserion.
In a Reddit post to r/gameofthrones, a poster named Applesoapp claims that Jon was not, in fact, screaming at the dragon — but rather was shouting “go go go,” in order to distract the dragon. This fan theory posits that this screaming allowed Arya to run past hordes of her enemies at that moment, hurtling towards the Night King.
“10 seconds later the scene you can see the hair of a White Walker flying up when Arya sprints past the group of White Walkers,” the post says. “Jon once again was ready to sacrifice himself to kill the Night King. Prove me wrong.”
GoT Fans Find 'Hidden Evidence' That Jon Snow Helped Arya Kill Night King https://t.co/daipEXXDyk— Eg Valencia (@eg_valencia) May 1, 2019
It may be important to note that, as many critics claim, “The Long Night” was very difficult to follow. Critics argue that the battle was difficult to parse due to the dark cinematography and difficulty in discerning which characters were standing where at any given time.
Is it possible that Applesoapp is right? We probably won’t know, unless it’s made clear in dialogue in a future episode — or one of the writers or producers says something about it in an interview.
There was no indication in any of the battle planning scenes early in the episode — or the previous one — that Jon distracting a dragon so that Arya could stab the Night King was ever part of the plan. We also don’t have any idea which direction Arya was running from in her final sprint.
Joanna Robinson, a writer for Vanity Fair and one of the media’s leading commentators on Game of Thrones, ripped media outlets for pushing the theory on Twitter.
“This is a B-A-D reinforcement of a B-A-D segment of the fandom with zero attempt to interrogate it,” Robinson wrote. “This absolutely did not happen on the show. Look at your life. Look at your choices.”