The eighth and final season of everyone’s favourite fantasy series, Game Of Thrones, premiered last week, and, as we expected, a lot happened. From everyone, including Daenerys and her army, arriving at Winterfell, Jon finally riding a dragon for the first time, and Sam telling Jon the truth about his parents, this was an eventful episode. And too many reunions to count! Sansa and Tyrion, Arya and Gendry, Jaime and Bran! There were so many, but there was one that stood out above all. One that fans have been waiting for since Season 1. Of course, we’re talking about Arya Stark and Jon Snow.
In the first season, we didn’t see the two spend much time together before they had to go their separate ways. But what we did see told us everything we needed to know. Out of all her siblings, Arya was closest to Jon, and the vice versa also held true. Despite their age difference, the two were as thick as thieves. He was the one who gave Arya her sword, Needle, after all! We knew this reunion had to happen before the battle against the army of the dead, and we knew it was going to be emotional.
When they finally reunited in the Godswood, when they finally were able to embrace, we couldn’t tell you who looked more relieved. Arya looked more excited and at peace than we’ve seen her in seasons. And Jon was literally in tears, as we all were. The two compared swords and shared smiles, but their reunion had so much subtext. There’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye.
After sheathing Longclaw, Jon asks his sister where she was earlier, as he could’ve used her help with Sansa. She isn’t getting along with Daenerys, and she isn’t who she used to be. Sansa stands her ground now, and she knows her own worth. She won’t let anyone walk over her. It prompts this very telling conversation between Arya and Jon.
Jon: “Sansa thinks she’s smarter than everyone.”
Arya: “She’s the smartest person I’ve ever met.”
Jon (chuckling): “What, you’re defending her? You?”
Arya: “I’m defending our family. So is she.”
Jon: “I’m her family, too.”
Arya: “Don’t forget that.”
The Stark sisters have learnt the same lesson in their many years apart. That family is more important than anything. Their father used to tell them this when they were younger, but they didn’t understand it until they faced the horrors that they did.
“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
They may have their disagreements, but in the end, all they can rely on is each other. This conversation, this reunion with Jon, is Arya’s gentle way of reminding him of what his priorities should be. He may have bent the knee, he may have fallen in love with Daenerys. And he can support and follow her. But she is not his true family. Arya is. Sansa is. Bran is. Jon needs to remember this. He needs to remember what happened last time they were all separated. House Stark is stronger together. And that includes Jon.
But now that he knows his true parentage, what will he do? At the end of the Season 8 premiere, Sam revealed to Jon that he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, making him the rightful King of the Seven Kingdoms. Will he share this knowledge? Will he try to take the Iron Throne? Will he renounce his claim? Hopefully we find out in Episode 2!
The Final Season Of Game Of Thrones Airs Sunday Nights At 9 On HBO.