What Arya Stark's Actions in Game of Thrones's 'The Long Night' Could Mean for the Azor Ahai Prophecy

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO / Helen Sloan, HBO

Much like any highly anticipated episode of a popular TV series, the third episode in season 8 of Game of Thrones, "The Long Night," was met with a divided fanbase. While many fans thought that Arya Stark defeating the Night King was an epic ending, others thought it was too easy of a move. The scene left many with a sense of confusion about what's next, especially with the number of lingering prophecies still up in the air. One question, for example, is regarding Azor Ahai, or as the show calls it, the Prince That Was Promised.

The episode strongly suggested that killing the Night King was Arya's destiny, as Melisandre repeated what she had once said to her back in season 3 when they first met: "Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever." This signaled to Arya, and to the audience, that she was meant to defeat the undead leader, who famously has glowing blue eyes. But does this mean that she's also Azor Ahai?

To catch you up to speed: Azor Ahai was a legendary hero who lived thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones. He forged the sword Lightbringer, and used it to defeat the Great Other: the god of darkness, cold, evil, fear, and death. Fans have been looking forward to the prophecy that Azor Ahai would be reincarnated to come true, with many believing it would either be Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen, as Melisandre has hinted at both in the past. The prophecy states:

"There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him."

When Melisandre meets Daenerys in season 7 and tells her that she has "a role to play" in the prophecy, Missandei explains that in High Valyrian, it's actually the "prince or princess who is promised," meaning it's entirely possible Arya could be the Azor Ahai. And as TIME points out, although she doesn't defeat the Night King with a sword, prophecies in Thrones have come true in not-so-literal ways before. Plus, the fact that Melisandre's death comes only after helping Arya, and that the long-unknown purpose of Beric Dondarrion having been brought back from the dead multiple times, only to die while saving Arya, pretty much proves that the little assassin is involved in the Lord of Light religion's prophecies in some capacity. Even if she doesn't know it.

But we can't place all our bets on Arya being Azor Ahai just yet, considering Jon is still very much a contender—Melisandre didn't bring him back from the dead in season 6 for nothing. Of course, fans are now speculating that Arya is the one that was promised, but we have three episodes left to see how the prophecies play out and who will win the Iron Throne.

[h/t TIME]