A deep cut from the Game of Thrones source material books might help explain the strange drawing Arya handed to Gendry in the Season 8 premiere.
Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 lie ahead!
Game of Thrones kicked off its final season with several long-awaited character reunions on Sunday, including Arya Stark and Gendry. The two have grown a lot in their years apart, with Gendry perfecting his art as a blacksmith and Arya training as an assassin with the Faceless Men of Braavos.
These experiences are already serving them well in the War for the Dawn. In the Winterfell forges, Gendry is manufacturing dragonglass weapons, and Arya approaches with a strange request for one of her own. In the episode, we get a glimpse of a drawing that she hands to Gendry, apparently showing a staff with blades on each end that can come apart in the middle.
While it may not look familiar to fans of the show, readers of A Song of Ice and Fire and George R.R. Martin's other books might have recognized the strange weapon. The staff with blades on each end is the signature weapon of Symeon Star-Eyes, a legendary figure from the Age of Heroes in Westerosi mythology.
In the books, Symeon Star-Eyes is known as a knight from ancient times who lost both of his eyes in battle. He replaced them with sapphires in their sockets, and was still one of the most formidable warriors in the seven kingdoms without them. He was said to have been able to spin his staff in one hand and cut down two opponents at once without seeing them.
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Of course, this closely matches some of the feats we saw Arya perform in her training. With the Faceless Men, she became proficient with a staff, and when he eyesight was taken away her other senses become even more powerful. She eventually defeated one of the assassins by luring them into a dark room where she had the advantage.
Symeon Star-Eyes has been mentioned in all five of Martin's main series books. Early on, he is an inspiration to Bran, who hopes to still become a knight even without the use of his legs. He is also mentioned in The World of Ice and Fire, an encyclopedic book about Westeros, and The Hedge Knight, a novella set almost a century before the main series.0comments
It makes sense that Arya would want to model her fighting technique after that of Symeon Star-Eyes, and the double-bladed staff will undoubtedly serve her well against the White Walkers. Other characters are arming themselves as well, as we saw Ser Gregor "The Hound" Clegane picking up a formidable dragonglass axe from Gendry in the same scene.
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.