Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3.
Game of Thrones fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief, because the Battle of Winterfell is finally over, and the good guys emerged victorious. The epic latest installment of the HBO series saw Arya Stark defeat the Night King in a moment that’s already iconic. Most fans were stoked to see the army of the dead taken out, and even more stoked that Arya was the one to do it, but because it’s 2019 and the internet exists, it wasn’t long before trolls showed up in full force to criticize the show for making Arya hero of the hour.
To be clear, the internet was full of fans celebrating Arya’s incredible moment, but a few seemed to think that Jon Snow should have been the one to rid Westeros of the Night King. One user complained of “the sh*t writing that made Jon’s character obsolete” after the scene. Another wrote: “Arya is officially a Mary Sue. Unfortunately.” Even Vox founder Ezra Klein called the episode’s ending “unearned.” (For those who don’t know, a “Mary Sue” describes a female character who lacks flaws and therefore considered unrealistic).
Thankfully, there were plenty of fans who set the record straight.
And others pointed out how sexist the term “Mary Sue” is in the first place.
Maisie Williams herself predicted that there would be backlash to the moment. She told Entertainment Weekly, “I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it.” Williams even added that her own boyfriend wasn’t 100% on board with Arya as the hero of the episode.
Let’s get one thing straight: Arya Stark’s entire character arc has been defined by her training to kill people (remember what she did to the Freys?). By now, she’s definitely earned a moment in the sun—no matter what the trolls say.