Disclaimer: Major spoilers ahead for season 8, episode 3 of Game of Thrones.
The epic Battle of Winterfell had viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, with every second bringing us closer to the death of characters we've loved and rooted for, for far too long. But the end that happened was something nobody could have predicted. After all, it's hard to judge how things will pan out when you throw Arya Stark into the mix.
Here's everything, small and impactful in this dark (literally and figuratively) but thankfully not dreary episode:
1. The opening credits clearly indicate that winter - and White Walkers - have indeed reached Winterfell.
Through the first two episodes, it was evident that the Night King's army was swiftly progressing towards Winterfell. And the opening credits for the third episode confirmed that winter had finally arrived at Winterfell.
2. We finally understand the reason behind Beric Dondarrion's multiple resurrections by the Lord of Light.
In the midst of the battle that had everyone's dead zombie count reach thousands (possibly more), Beric Dondarrion rushes to save Arya. Clegane, Arya, and Beric then rush in the room where Melisandre is waiting, barricading themselves from the zombies. And that's when Beric succumbs to death, and does not rise again - because his purpose is finally revealed, to save Arya. Of course, now we know why!
3. When Melisandre reminds Arya of the prediction she'd made the first time the two met.
Right at the start of the episode, Melisandre and Arya exchange a pointed stare - one that clearly shows Melisandre knows certain things and Arya is still holding a grudge against her. (She did feature on her list after all!). But when they finally meet, Melisandre reminds her of the first time they met (in Season 3), and the prediction she'd made about Arya.
And that's exactly when Arya rushes to serve her purpose - bring down the Night King.
4. Melisandre's parting words to Arya are exactly what Sylio Forel taught her when he started her first combat lesson.
Back in Season 1, master sword-fighter Sylio Forel helps Arya escape and leaves her with the parting words, "What do we say to the God of death?", to which she promptly responds, "Not today.".
In the current episode, Melisandre quotes the exact same words to Arya and that is another indication that Arya is coming out alive - irrespective of what is planned for her. And who better the God of death than the Night King?
5. Theon finally stands by the words he swore to Robb, in season 1, when Robb was crowned the King in the North.
In Season 1, as Robb is crowned the King in the North, Theon swears his loyalty to him with these words, " My sword is yours, in victory and defeat, from this day until my last day."
While we're all aware of how Theon strayed from his path, and paid for it, but in the end, he finally delivers on his promise. And until his last day, lays down his life in protection of a Stark.
6. The dagger Arya uses to kill the Night King is the same dagger that started the Game of Thrones.
Right at the end, when we had our hearts in our mouth as the Night King proceeded to choke Arya's life, she switches her knife and sticks him 'with the pointy end', thus bringing an end to one of TV history's mightiest villains and his army.
However, what's special is the knife she uses - it's the same Valyrian steel dagger with a dragonbone hilt that Petry Baelish first provides a catspaw to kill Bran. It's the same dagger that ends this war while having started another one.
And interestingly, the dagger takes the life of everyone but Bran. Perhaps Bran knew that when he handed it over to Arya in the last season? Well who knows what Bran really knows at this point!
7. The fact that Arya is the one to kill the Night King also calls back to her (in)famous encounter with Lord Tywin in season 2.
Arya's dexterity with the knife at the end was clearly a result of her grueling journey and tough-as-nails training. And on the same journey, in season 2, she meets Tywin Lannister and discusses the Targaryen family history with him. It's when she reminds him that Aegon's sister helped him conquer the realm as well - with a Valyrian steel sword, of course.
And like we all learned in the last episode, Jon's real name is actually Aegon Targaryen. So, yes, this time too, it's Targaryen's sister helping him save the realm.
8. Jon brings alive the vision that Melisandre had, back in season 6, that lead to his resurrection.
In season 6, before Melisandre brings alive Jon, she tells Davos that she had a vision where she saw Jon.
"I saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell."
And in the current episode, Jon did exactly that - stand in the middle of the fire and fight at Winterfell.
9. The frequent mention of the crypts in the last episode was clearly indicating towards the sinister turn that comes true in this episode.
Literally, every second person in the last episode (and even in the start in the current episode) kept repeating how 'crypts are the safest place'. Spoiler alert, they aren't (just like every person on social media predicted).
It honestly wasn't that great a surprise that the safest place in Winterfell soon became the scariest, because what else will a crypt full of dead people turn into, when the army of dead arrives?
10. Arya's advice to Sansa is the same advice that Jon gave Arya when he gifted her Needle.
When the battle finally reaches Winterfell, Arya asks Sansa to go down to the crypts and hands her a sagger. And when Sansa responds about how she doesn't know how to fight, her advice is exactly the same as Jon's advice to Arya from season 1.
Know of any other callbacks or easter eggs? Let us know in the comments section below.
All images from Hotstar.