Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3, “The Long Night”
The Red Woman Melisandre (Carice van Houten) has uttered many memorable lines throughout Game of Thrones history. “Death is coming for everyone and everything — a darkness that will swallow the dawn,” “A man is good or he is evil,” and, of course, “The night is dark and full of terrors.” Fans can always count on the mystical priestess from Asshai to deliver powerful truths while propagating her faith in the Lord of Light and changing the lives of many — for better and for worse. One such Westerosi whom Melisandre has crossed paths with is Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), and on the latest episode of Game of Thrones, the two women had a conversation that has ignited a fascinating theory about where the series will go from here.
Just before Arya takes a flying leap at the Night King and kills him with her Valyrian steel dagger, and just after Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) bravely sacrifices his life to save Arya’s as she’s overwhelmed by wights in the corridors of Winterfell, she meets with Melisandre for a mid-battle parley. This isn’t the first time Melisandre and Arya have spoken: the first encounter they had was on the third season of Thrones, when Melisandre prophesied Arya’s future. “I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes starring back at me,” said Melisandre. “Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes sealed shut forever. We will meet again.”
Arya did indeed shut many eyes forever — killing an unnamed stable boy, a Frey soldier at the Twins in the Riverlands during the Red Wedding, an unnamed Lannister soldier and Lannister man-at-arms Polliver (Andy Kellegher) at the Inn of the Crossroads, vicious Night’s Watch member Rorge (Andy Beckwith), Ser Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie), Faceless Men acolyte the Waif (Faye Marsay), Lord Walder Frey (David Bradley), Frey’s sons Lothar (Daniel Tuite) and “Black” Walder Rivers (Tim Plester), all of the Frey men via poisoning, and Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen) before slaughtering the Night King and concomitantly killing his entire army. Additionally, she and Melisandre did indeed meet again, and Arya confirmed that the priestess can actually see the future.
“You said we’d meet again,” Arya said during their second meeting. “You said I’d shut many eyes forever. You were right about that too.” Melisandre then repeated what she previously told Arya, the line about what kind of eyes her victims would have: “Brown eyes. Green eyes. And blue eyes.” Off Arya went to kill the blue-eyed Night King, thus shutting a second type of eyes Melisandre said she would.
But what about the third kind — the green eyes Arya will seal forever?
Here’s where an intriguing fan theory comes into play. Many believe that those green eyes belong to none other than Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), and that Arya will murder the Mad Queen when she and the survivors of the Battle of Winterfell arrive in King’s Landing on the next episode of Game of Thrones.
How plausible is this theory? Let’s dig in.
Cersei’s eyes are definitely green, described in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones novel as a perfect match to the emeralds of a tiara she once wore. Actress Lena Headey, too, has green eyes. However, astute fans will recall that Arya has already killed someone with green eyes: Littlefinger. His peepers are said to be gray-green and cat-like in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, though actor Aiden Gillen’s eyes are blue in real life.
If Arya does have more green eyes to close, will she actually kill the emerald-eyed Cersei? The Mad Queen is one of a few names left on Arya’s hit list, standing with the Hound (Rory McCann) and the Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), so there’s not exactly a lack of desire to murder her on Arya’s part.
Then again, maybe someone other than Arya will slay Cersei. Perhaps Arya has already shut the green eyes she was meant to when she murdered Littlefinger (regardless of what Gillen’s eye color actually is). That Melisandre listed green eyes second in her repeated list may suggest that the final eyes Arya was destined to seal might have been the Night King’s, and that she completed her life’s purpose when she vanquished the icy foe. And even if Arya doesn’t kill Cersei, it isn’t as though no one else would step up to the plate and do it themselves. Daenerys Targaryen could be the woman to execute the Mad Queen, as she promised in the teaser for episode 4 of season 8 that she and her army would “rip [Cersei] out root and stem.”
For our part, we’re also considering the idea that Arya does have a pair of green eyes to shut — a pair before she gets to Cersei’s. There’s a strong chance that Arya might murder Jaime Lannister, Cersei’s twin who shares her eye color, then implement the techniques she learned at the House of Black and White in Braavos to disguise herself as Jaime and kill Cersei. Such an act would connect to another major Game of Thrones prophecy: the one Cersei received in her youth.
Lannisport fortuneteller Maggy the Frog once told Cersei that she would marry a king, he would father 20 children and she would give birth to three, and her children would each taste power before dying while she was still alive. In Martin’s novels, the conversation continues, and Maggy tells Cersei that she will eventually be overcome with grief and pain. At that time, she will be murdered by a Valonqar — the word for “little brother” in High Valyrian.
“When your tears have drowned you, the Valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you,” she stated.
Much of this theory has already come true: Cersei’s children Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) both served as king, then Joffrey died at his wedding and Tommen committed suicide after Cersei blew up the Sept of Baelor and killed Tommen’s wife, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer). Her third child, Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free), would have one day ruled Dorne after marrying Prince Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian), but sadly, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and the Sand Snakes poisoned Myrcella before that could happen.
Cersei’s other sibling Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) could be the little brother who murders her, given that he’s bent the knee to Daenerys and would act on any orders she made. However, “valonqar” means little brother and not littlest, meaning that Jaime, who was born minutes after Cersei, could be the one to kill her. Arya stealing Jaime’s face to do the deed would be a surprise twist for viewers, and might even link up to Maggy’s mention that a “younger and more beautiful” queen will cast Cersei down and take all that she holds dear. Perhaps Daenerys will be the one to ask Arya to murder Jaime as revenge for the Lannister man slaying her father, King Aerys Targaryen, during Robert’s Rebellion. Then, Arya might snatch Jaime’s mug, fulfill Maggy’s prophecy by murdering Cersei as Jaime, and clear the Iron Throne for Daenerys to take.
Since few predicted that Arya would even kill the Night King on the latest episode, there really is no saying how sound these theories are or anticipating what exactly will happen next. The ideas are fun to think about, but think about them is all fans can do for now. Hopefully, the next episode of Game of Thrones will clear up any lingering questions about Arya and Melisandre’s conversation and reveal whether Cersei will live to see another day.