Game of Thrones viewers might not have been able to see most of the Battle of Winterfell, that apparently, as one fan aptly put it, was lit by one slender candle – however, there was one moment that nobody missed – Arya Stark ending the Night King like the badass trained assassin she is. Many were shocked by this “major plot twist” was not a twist for anyone who has tracked her steady training or remembers the multitude of foreshadowing in the previous season’s dialogue.

Major Game of Thrones Season 8 spoilers ahead

Game of Thrones fans have now become accustomed to epic plot twists that keep them on their toes

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And midway through the final season viewers were hit by Valyrian steel with another one

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The Night King was slain and it was nonother than Araya Stark who defeated him

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Turns out we hadn’t been  tricked but the producers were setting up this plot reveal for some time

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Fans and castmates were shocked when they discovered who would be the one to take down the dreaded Night King but the producers revealed the plot had been in motion for several seasons. “For, god, I think it’s three years now we’ve known that it was gonna be Arya who delivers that fatal blow [to the Night King],” said executive producer and writer David during a post-show “Inside the Episode” breakdown.

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From the first time we met Arya, it was clear that she was a force to be reckoned with. While her brother Bran showed the first signs he was not going to be a great warrior, she came in with the sneak attack and hit the target

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Her archery skills continue to be highlighted at the moment in the godswood. The aim of the producers for season 8 was to bring elements around full circle, so in the Battle of Winterfell we see Arya yet again shooting her bow to kick things off

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Taking it back to Season 1, Episode 2 Arya is bestowed with her first weapon, Needle, by Jon – and Arya lets him know she can be quick

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She is trained by many masters throughout the series but her first lesson is given by Jon

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Whose words she brings back in this episode

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Many have critiqued the story choice of Arya killing the Night King, yet her entire arc has focused on her training to be the deadliest opponent. Her first teacher after Jon was Syrio Forel, who taught her to be even quicker – like a cat – and what to say to the god of death, “not today”

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Arya’s role in the story gives new meaning to the other characters, like her father Ned Stark, who have sacrificed themselves to save her

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Season 3 is when the producers say they came to the decision that Arya would be the one to end the Night King, which makes this prediction from Melisandre peak foreshadowing

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Fans might not have realized it at the time but the Blue Eyes remark held the key

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Despite the disdain Arya holds for the Hound, he was another one of her teachers and taught her to  find weak spots in armor

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As well as how to stab someone in the heart

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The Hound is another piece of the character puzzle whose purpose is revealed later on. Ser Beric Dondarrion – who had been brought back – hinted at this

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As it’s revealed their purpose was to keep Arya safe so that she could fulfill her destiny to save everyone

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Weapons have also proved to be important characters on Game of Thrones. In Season 1 we are introduced to the catspaw dagger that was used to try to kill Bran, which he gives to Arya

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And is ultimately used to prevent the Night King from killing him

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The dagger isn’t the only callback clue in the Night King death, Arya’s hand-switch trick she uses to kill him is seen during a fight with Brienne in Season 7

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Her surprise attack on the Night King is also made more believable as it is carried out in the same spot where she snuck up on Jon in the Season 8 premiere

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That’s right there have been little eggs placed throughout the series that led to this moment

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And when you think about it, it makes sense that this trained assassin would be the one to save us all

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Maisie Williams, who plays Arya told Entertainment Weekly, her heroic defeat had been kept secret even from her, “I was like, ‘Are we fighting the wights? Does The Night King die? So who kills him? What happens?’ And no one would say anything. Why is no one saying it? This is crazy.”

“It was so unbelievably exciting,” she says. “But I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it. The hardest thing is in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise people are like, ‘Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him.’ You gotta make it cool. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?” Apparently, her boyfriend wasn’t her only naysayer.

As it turns out people – men- were not happy that Arya was the chosen one

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But were quickly shut down – “not today”

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