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    Updated on May 2, 2019. Posted on May 1, 2019

    Arya’s Dagger On “Game Of Thrones” Has A Great Backstory

    The catspaw dagger has been around since Season 1.

    If you haven't watched Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 yet. Fair warning, there are...

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    Seriously though, it's been a FEW DAYS, so get on that!!!

    OK. Now that the dust has settled a little on "The Long Night," let's talk about Arya Stark and that fancy Night King–killing dagger of hers.

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    Because it has a long and very interesting history on the show.

    BTW, the dagger doesn't have a name, but it is often referred to as the "catspaw dagger" (more on that in a second) which is how I'll refer to it throughout this post.

    1. Season 1, Episode 2, "The Kingsroad" — The first appearance of the dagger was the assassination attempt on Bran.

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    An unnamed assassin tries to kill a comatose Bran. Catelyn and Summer manage to stop him. Turns out the killer was a catspaw (a person being used by another for their own purpose) and thus the name "catspaw dagger" was born.

    Later in the same episode, Catelyn holds a secret meeting with Maester Luwin, Ser Rodrik, Robb, and Theon — Ser Rodrik concludes someone gave the dagger to the assassin.

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    Ser Rodrik also reveals that it is has a dragonbone hilt and a Valyrian steel blade. Catelyn, knowing it's not safe to send a raven, decides to travel to King's Landing to tell Ned and investigate further.

    2. Season 1, Episode 3, "Lord Snow" — Lord Baelish tells Catelyn, "There's only one dagger like this in all of the Seven Kingdoms. It's mine." However, Baelish then goes on about how he recently lost it in a bet to Tyrion Lannister.

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    Upon entering King's Landing Catelyn is taken to Lord Baelish's brothel where Baelish and Varys await her. She asks them if they know whose dagger it is and Varys has no clue. Baelish, however, tells Cat that during a tournament on Joffrey's last nameday, he bet the dagger on Jaime Lannister winning a jousting match, but Jaime lost to Tyrion. (Which as we later learn, of course, is a lie.)

    3. Season 1, Episode 4, "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things" — Ned keeps the catspaw dagger on his desk, on the book that will eventually reveal the truth about Cersei and Jaime.

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    Presumably, Cat gave the dagger to him before she left King's Landing, though we never see the exchange. It probably happened off-camera at Littlefinger's brothel.

    4. Season 1, Episode 5, "The Wolf and the Lion" — The dagger is still in Ned's study, on top of that book.

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    Varys comes to tell Ned that Jon Arryn (the previous Hand of the King) was actually poisoned for asking too many questions. Basically, he's trying to warn Ned about digging too deep for dirt on the Lannisters.

    5. Season 1, Episode 6, "A Golden Crown" — Ned still has the dagger in his position, but puts it aside as he reads about the Baratheon family tree.

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    This is the scene where he's discovers records of how all Baratheons have had black hair...except Joffrey and his "golden hair."

    6. Season 1, Episode 7, "You Win or You Die" — Baelish tries to get Ned to conspire with him to keep the Lannisters in power. Looking at the catspaw dagger, Ned refuses.

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    With Robert Baratheon dying, and knowing none of his children with Cersei are really his, Ned wants to make sure Stannis becomes the rightful heir to the throne. Baelish attempts to get Ned to conspire with him to make sure Joffrey ascends to the throne saying, "Make peace with the Lannisters." Ned looks at the catspaw dagger and reminds Baelish that the Lannisters tried to murder Bran. This is the last time we see the dagger for A WHILE.

    7. Season 7, Episode 1, "Dragonstone" — While reading about dragonglass, and trying to figure out how to defeat the Night King, Sam literally skims past a page with a drawing of the catspaw dagger! (OH, the irony.)

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    In fairness, the book doesn't say anything about the catspaw dagger being able to kill the Night King. However, it's VERY interesting that it's in there...hinting that the dagger had a history before Lord Baelish came into possession of it.

    Here's what that page says:

    The Valyrians were familiar with dragonglass long before they came to Westeros. They called it "zīrtys perzys" which translated to “frozen fire” in Valyrian and eastern tales tell of how their dragons would thaw the stone with dragonflame until it became molten and malleable. The Valyrians then used it to build their strange monuments and building without seams and joints of our modern castles.

    When Aegon the conqueror forged his Seven Kingdoms, he and his descendants would often decorate their blades with dragonglass feeling a kinship with the stone. The royal fashion for dragonglass ornamentation soon spread throughout the Seven Kingdoms to those wealthy enough to afford it. Hilts and pommels were and are the most common decoration for dragonglass if too brittle to make a useful crossguard. Indeed, its very brittleness is what relegate it to the great houses and the most successful merchants.

    8. Season 7, Episode 4, "The Spoils of War" — This is where Lord Baelish gives the catspaw dagger to Bran.

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    We never see it happen on camera, but presumably Littlefinger took the dagger back from Ned's study after he was taken prisoner and/or beheaded. And, apparently, he's been holding onto it all this time.

    Bran stares at the dagger for a long time then asks Littlefinger, "Do you know who this belonged to?"

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    Littlefinger says he does not, but we know Bran can see the past and can PROBABLY see that it once belonged to Littlefinger (and, effectively, started the chain of events on the show). I also wonder if Bran can see an even longer history of the catspaw dagger before Littlefinger came into possession of it.

    Later in the same episode, Bran gives Arya the dagger...

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    Over by the godswood tree in Winterfell (IRONY again!), Arya reunites with Bran. Bran tells Arya and Sansa that Littlefinger gave him the catspaw dagger and Sansa's all, "Why the EFF would he give you a dagger? He doesn't give anyone anything unless he thinks he's getting something back!" Bran's like, "Don't worry, I don't want it anyway," and gives it to Arya.

    ...and then Arya uses the blade while sparring with Brienne.

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    Which also gives us our first look at Arya doing a little SWITCHEROO!

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    AH, this foreshadowing.

    9. Season 7, Episode 6, "Beyond the Wall" — Arya picks up the dagger while creeping out Sansa, and then hands it off to her.

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    Of course, we realize later that Arya and Sansa are just playing Littlefinger.

    10. Season 7, Episode 7, "The Dragon and the Wolf" — This is when Arya uses the catspaw dagger to slit Littlefinger's throat.

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    The Stark kids basically call out Baelish on all his lies over the years, including the one about the dagger, and sentence him to death.

    Sorry Littlefinger.

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    11. Season 8, Episode 1, "Winterfell" — Arya, of course, still has the dagger in her possession.

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    Arya sneaks up on Jon in front of the Winterfell godswood tree. "How did you sneak up on me?," he asks. FORESHADOWING AGAIN!

    12. Season 8, Episode 3, "The Long Night" — And finally, this is when Arya kills the Night King with the catspaw dagger.

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    I don't think I need to remind you what happened, but Arya at this point has really mastered using the dagger and...YOU KNOW THE REST!

    ONE MORE TIME FOR FUNSIES!

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    SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. The story of the dagger that killed the Night King!

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