Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5: What’s the Meaning of the White Horse That Saves Arya Stark in King’s Landing?
The God of Death is certainly merciful to Arya Stark, as her 'Not Today' seems effective in two big battles. While in the Long Battle of the Night, Arya served a huge purpose - she was the one who killed The Night King, which resulted in the decimation of his army. The same cannot be said about what she did in 'The Last War', the nickname the fans gave to Daenerys' decimation of King's Landing and Cersei Lannister's armies in Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5. Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5 Recap: From the Rise of the Mad Queen to Major Deaths, Everything That Happened in ‘The Last War’ (SPOILER ALERT).
We expected better things from The Girl Who Has No Name. We expected her to kill Cersei Lannister. Instead, Arya is asked to ditch her pointless vendetta and save her skin by the Hound (why he couldn't give this advice before remains a mystery), just as King's Landing is getting destroyed by Daenerys Targaryen and her dragon.
From thereon, Arya becomes our eyes on the ground. Through her character, we get to see the decimation of the innocent citizens of King's Landing, as they get massacred either by the dragon fire or Dany's army. In between, Arya gets trampled by the crowds and her own few brushes with death. She even tries to rescue a mother and daughter, but inadvertently gets them killed. Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5: All the Major Deaths That Happened in the Bells Aka the Last War (SPOILER ALERT).
After the dust settles down and Dany seems content with the destruction, she caused around her, an injured Arya comes out from her hiding place. She finds the charred remains of the above mother-daughter duo, And then, out of nowhere, Arya also sees a white horse coated by the soot, but seemingly uninjured from the devastation. Arya first caresses the horse, before mounting on it and then riding towards what we think in Winterfell. And we also think that a new name has been added on her kill-list - Daenerys Targaryen.
The bigger question here is where the hell did that horse come from? And what does it symbolises? Sure, there must be a meaning to a rare white horse appearing randomly at the same place where Arya had taken refuge. Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5: From the Golden Company to Arya Stark, 7 Most Disappointing Things That Happened in ‘The Bells’ (SPOILER ALERT).
Some Twitter fans observe that Bran Stark must have sent the white horse to save Arya from dying. This is too fantastical a theory and believable, if we ever thought the writers of GoT final season had used their imagination well.
Then, there is this little fact that the little girl that Arya was trying to save had a white horse figurine. This could be more of symbolism and foreshadowing that anything else.
Some GoT fans also pointed out that Ned Stark used to own a white horse.
Another white horse was gifted to Daenerys by Khal Drogo in the first season after their marriage,
We are sure the horse that became Arya's Uber ride to Winterfell had nothing to do with the above two equestrians. But then there is something in the Bible itself that gives the whole sequence some meaning, as well as a precursor to what to expect in the finale.
A line In Revelations 6:8 reads, "I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him." This is a good description for Arya, who is now a proven assassin, and she is now seeking Dany's blood.
The foreshadowing doesn't end here. Let's take a ride back in time into the second season where Daenerys meets the Quaithe, who advised her to go 'to go north, you must go south'.
The books, on which the series is based on, however, add an extension to this prophecy that also hints at the mortal threat that Dany will be facing in the future. The whole thing goes like this - "The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal."
I am not sure what the rest of the phrases means (griffin, mummer's dragon) and you can enlighten me in the comments section below about this. But what catches our attention is the mention of the pale mare, which is the kind of horse that Arya is currently riding on.
There is also the matter of Melisandre's prophecy for Arya that she will shut down brown, blue and green eyes. She has already shut brown (Walder Frey) and blue (The Night King) eyes. Green eyes that we expected her to shut were that of Cersei's. Instead, the latter was killed by falling debris. Now only popular green eyes we know of belongs to Daenerys Targaryen.
So by riding that white horse out of King's Landing, has Arya become the symbol of Death for Daenerys? She is not alone, though. Varys was planning something for Dany with that little girl, before his execution, which I don't think means anything good for the Mother of Dragons. Also, Jon Snow also realised that his lover/aunt is danger personified and she could kill his family. Not to mention, even Tyrion must be angry about the deaths of the innocent children. Perhaps these characters represent the other symbols in the Quaithe's prophecy. What say?