The five call-backs you missed in The Battle of Winterfell

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer


Photo: HBO

Winter came in hard yesterday, and in an 82-minute battle sequence, it was hard to keep track of who was alive and who was dead – let alone notice the subtle callbacks peppered throughout.

Not to mention fans everywhere were struggling to see any of the action because of the dim lighting, as they complained about online.

However, the lead up to the greatest moment in Game of Thrones history was actually paved with memorable recreations of key moments from the series that all pointed to the unexpected ending.

Here are the five most important callbacks you may have missed in the general chaos:

1. ‘The pointy end’

When Arya hands Sansa a dagger and tells her to get down to the crypt where she will be ‘safe’, she explains how to use the blade borrowing a phrase from season one.

“Stick them with the pointy end,” she advised her sister, as Jon originally said to her in the first season when she was just a baby assassin.

‘Stick them with the pointy end’ Photo: HBO
Word we first heard from Jon. Photo: HBO

2. ‘Eyes you’ll shut forever’

Photo: HBO

In her inspiring pep talk to Arya before she pops off to defeat the Night King, Melisandre revisits their first meeting back in season three.

Arya reminds Melisandre of the vision she had at the time, when she looked into Arya’s eyes. A vision in which she told her she would shut many eyes.

Melisandre replies saying, “Brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes.”

This is a heavy-handed callback to the original prophecy Melisandre recited.

“I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me; brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever.”

Photo: HBO

Arya goes on to shut millions of blue eyes when she kills the Night King, making this the episode’s most important callback.

3. ‘Not today’

Another phrase we’ve heard before, the last words Arya and Melisandre utter before the twist we – on reflection – probably should have seen coming, will be familiar to many fans.

In another callback to her origin, Melisandre teases Arya with a question she’s heard before, and the penny finally drops.

Photo: HBO

It’s a phrase long-time fans will have recognised instantly:

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4. The weapon

Arya didn’t stick the Night King with just any weapon, that little dagger has a long history.

Photo: HBO

The dagger was used by an assassin to try and kill Bran in season one.

Lord Baylish then took the dagger from Catelyn Stark, and returned it to Bran, who passed in on to Arya last season.

Photo: HBO

So the weapon that was supposed to kill Bran saved him, in another beautiful Game of Thrones full circle.

As the three-eyed raven, Bran knew exactly what he was doing passing on that dagger.

5. The trick that saved the world

Photo: HBO

Arya’s cheeky drop and switch trick had fans everywhere rejoicing from the rooftops, but it’s actually a move she’s used before.

Last season while training with Brienne, Arya used the trick to best the formidable knight in a misleadingly light moment between the pair.

Photo: HBO

Little did we know that this practice would prove so essential in the final moments.

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