WARNING: Possible spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 7 ahead.
There’s no shortage of theories about Game Of Thrones heading into its final nine episodes, with most of them being wild-eyed delusions by fans looking to waste time. Others are based a little more in fact compared to others, though their likelihood is still not assured given how much the book series and George R.R. Martin’s backstory has differed from the HBO series. Most of the big rumors deal with Azor Ahai or who wins the “Game Of Thrones,” which sounds like the lamest thing since Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, but it seems that Arya’s dagger that she received in the latest episode carries a slew of its own theories along with it.
Not only was it spoiled on the cover of Entertainment Weekly — seen below — before the season even began, leaving many to speculate how she got her hands on it, what it means for her role in the final battle of the series, and if the blade spells the end for Littlefinger and his cunning plans. Most seem to agree that the dagger is Valyrian steel, one of the few items that can kill the White Walkers, thanks to its appearance in season one during the assassination attempt against Bran Stark. There’s also another aspect that indicates this blade might end up being a stand in for another legendary sword from the books, Dark Sister, one of the missing swords once held by the Targaryen family.
But there’s some more information about this little weapon that seems to indicate it once belonged to another Targaryen with some ties to Jon Snow’s lineage, possibly leading to how the character will find out his true backstory or at least connecting all of the different story threads together. No matter what, it seems like it has landed in good hands for the story to develop as the show comes to a close.
According to Alex Hazlett over at Mashable, the dagger itself appeared earlier in the season as Sam reads up on the White Walkers and has a place of pride in the book with its own drawing and everything. It also apparently has a name now, with several reports calling it Catspaw after the assassin that used it during it’s appearance in season one. Clearly that’s not official, but the dagger is important enough to have its own name. It’s even important enough to have its own marketing campaign via HBO in Denmark:
That could just be a coincidence, of course, but it seems more likely that the blade has a connection to the story and where it is heading. As Mashable points out, the dagger has belonged to many famous names over the years before landing with Littlefinger and being gifted to Arya by Bran. In the show, Tyrion Lannister is said to have had the dagger ahead of the attempted murder of Bran Stark, but the book apparently tells a more confusing path for it that see Tyrion allegedly winning it in a bet, but had its ownership falling to Robert Baratheon before that with Joffrey stealing it and orchestrating the attempted assassination as some way to impress his “father.”
That all seems really confusing, but Robert’s ownership of the blade helps to clear up exactly why it is important and who owned it before it became this go-to blade in Westeros. Mashable questions where Robert got his hands on it, leading them to Jon Snow’s papa Rhaegar Targaryen and his history of bejeweled items. They seem to indicate that Robert got his hands on the blade during the Battle of the Trident, noting that Robert “crushed the Targaryen prince’s chest” with his hammer and sending the rubies that adorned the armor flying. The same type of rubies that appear on the hilt of the dagger.
There’s a lot to point to this in Mashable’s look into the dagger, including the blade being passed down among the Targaryen family for generations — as noted in Sam’s book — but you also count discount its general importance in the events in Westeros that we’ve seen in the series. If it indeed had a hand in starting the War of the Five Kings, it’s almost like this cursed blade that is destined to aid in the return of the Targaryen name to rule in Westeros and righting whatever wrongs came from Robert’s Rebellion.
But the real reason why this is important lies in Rhaegar’s connection to Jon Snow and the revelation we’ve yet to see come to him in the series. As Mashable continues, the return of the blade into the series and its use by Arya is sure to give someone the chance to remember who originally held the blade. Toss in Bran’s ability to practically see everything as the Three-Eyed Raven and the stakes are set that this dagger could be the key to Jon Snow finding out he is truly a Targaryen, or at least a piece of evidence that helps to support whoever informs Jon of the news. The article points to Sam and his work with the maesters, so we’ll have to see.
If anything, it is clear that the blade holds more importance to the story than just a new weapon for Arya Stark to use.