Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 has a hell of a lot to unpack from it and the penultimate episode has one huge symbol at the end of it that is causing some confusion across the internet.
Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down the true meaning of the white horse seen in the closing scene of the show and discussing how it ties into the overall lore of Game Of Thrones.
This is full spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet and don’t want anything ruined then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way, I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this article, I hope you enjoy it, now sit back, relax and let’s get into the true meaning of the white horse.
GOT: The White Horse Explained
Ok so the first thing to take from the horse is that it initially belonged to Golden Company Leader, Harry Strickland who could be seen riding it just before the battle of Kings Landing and everything went up in flames for him, literally.
We’re not exactly sure how it made it through the entire battle but it’s appearance at the end is symbolic on a number of levels. The first thing we can assume is that it was sent by Bran to rescue Arya out of the area and the destruction around her.
Bran is this universes Doctor Strange, able to see all outcomes and you can bet that this horse showing up is no accident and that he has sent it to escort Arya for a reason.
Ned Stark himself owned a white horse and this arrival can be seen as a helping hand from her family that will help to rescue the character from the area. Earlier in the episode a girl that Arya attempted to save and was later killed by Daenerys can too be seen holding a white horse and Bran has no doubt purposely chosen this creature in order to remind Arya that Daenerys has went off the rails and caused the death of many innocent lives.
Reddit user Namika said the following which to me means a lot.
I think the horse at the end has a much more obvious meaning. In over half a dozen scenes in this episode, we are shown a young peasant girl, and everytime we see her, she is clutching what seems to be her only possession: a small white horse figurine with red-stained legs.
In quite a few of the shots with her, the horse is literally in the center of the shot and it’s the only white thing so it really stands out. Even when she’s struggling to carry her mom, she’s clutching her little horse. Then after her death, the camera literally stops and holds this shot for a good three seconds. And what do we pan to right after? A living embodiment of the girl’s beloved white horse with stained legs The horse then (unrealistically) just stands and there in the middle of the fire and smoke, and gives itself over to Arya.
The horse is clearly tied thematically to the girl that Arya failed to save. Perhaps it represents her spirit, or simply a reminder of the innocent girl that was killed whom Arya plans to avenge, etc.
Though she could not save her, Arya is riding forth on something similar to what that girl cared about the most in order to take Daenerys down.
The Fall Of Daenerys
Symbolically the horse to me shows the downfall of Daenerys and how she has changed over the seasons. In season one the character was presented a pristine white horse by Khal Drogo. This white horse is war torn and amidst the destruction of Dany’s deeds and it cements just how far that she has come.
In addition to this a lot of fans have pointed out in the Bible, Chapter Revelations there is a verse that states:
“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death”.
This could mean that Arya is death personified and that she is riding to bring an end to Daenerys who I’m sure many fans will agree needs to be stopped.
For me it’s probably the best part of season 8 so far and I can’t believe how much subtext can be taken from this one interaction.
Obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on the white horse and if you took anything else from it. Is this a reach? Is it the best foreshadowing ever? Comment below and let me know!