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HBO kept Arya's biggest Game of Thrones moment secret for years

How did this game-changing event not leak?


Arya Stark. Yes, she did.


Major spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season 8.

HBO seems to be running a ship tighter than any vessel that sails from the Iron Islands. We've been building for years toward the final showdown between the living and the dead and it couldn't have gone worse for the living in episode 3 during the Battle of Winterfell. 

Then, the highlight: with a mighty scream and some fancy knife work, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), the trained assassin, plunged a Valyrian steel dagger into the Night King, disintegrating him and all of his deadly creations. 

If I knew that was going to happen, I would probably be blurting it out everywhere, unable to contain myself. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss appeared in an Inside the Episode documentary to reveal they've been keeping Arya's moment secret for three years. Three long, long years.

"I think it's three years now or something, we've known that it was going to be Arya who delivers that fatal blow," Benioff said. Maybe it's just me, but he sounded relieved to have the hush-hush event finally out in the open.

Arya had a rough battle where she suffered a major knock to the head, showing that she's not invincible. "She seemed like the best candidate provided we weren't thinking about her in that moment," said Weiss. 

The episode bounced around to a lot of different characters in peril, distracting us from where Arya was until she popped out of nowhere with a barbaric yawp to save what was left of the day.

Benioff said he and Weiss aimed for the unexpected, which is why heroic Jon Snow didn't get the call to take out the Night King.

"It's a victory for the living, but at great cost because some of our favorite characters fall along the way," said Benioff. At least badass Arya wasn't among them.