Game of Thrones has taken over the internet with fan theories, predictions and analyses ahead of its final season premiere. Upon revisiting Season 7, one fan noted that Hot Pie (played by Ben Hawkey) likely changed the course of history in Westeros with a word, and probably not for the better.
In Season 7, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) visited her old refugee friend Hot Pie at the inn where she last left him. The baker has an appetite for gossip, and what he tells her throws her off of her trajectory completely. Hot Pie informs Arya that her brother, Jon Snow, is now the lord of Winterfell, and her family controls the north once again.
Arya changes course completely, traveling up to her old home and rejoining her family. While this reunion was long-awaited and triumphant, Reddit user nairebis points out that Westeros might have been better served if Arya had continued with her previous plan. After taking out Walder Frey and his entire family in retribution for the Red Wedding, Arya told a group of traveling, singing soldiers that she was going to King's Landing "to kill the queen."
Of course, queen Cersei Lannister has been high on Arya's "list" for years. Now, with the training and means to take out just about anyone she wants, Arya might well have gotten to Cersei wearing another face. If she had, Daenerys could easily have taken control of Westeros, her alliance with Jon would have united the continent, and none of the coming struggle would have been necessary.
Obviously, this whole theory comes with a host of what-ifs. It seems pretty likely that, as a Faceless Man, Arya would have succeeded in killing Cersei. It also seems all but certain that Daenerys would then have seized control of the Iron Throne. Still, would she then have been in a position to listen to Jon Snow when he told her about the White Walkers? Would she still have supported him?
Even if she hadn't, some fans argued that it would have been better for the world. If Daenerys had not come to love Jon Snow, she might not have flown north to save him. In that case, she wouldn't have lost a dragon to the Night King, who might then have been powerless to knock down the Wall. This still could have prevented the War for the Dawn altogether.
This theory is not exactly airtight, though it is the kind of fun speculation that Game of Thrones encourages. If nothing else, it is interesting to imagine that a low-born baker like Hot Pie briefly held the fate of mankind in his grasp.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.