In Game of Thrones Season 8 episode 5, Arya Stark survives the blaze of King’s Landing after Daenerys’s merciless siege on the great city in Westeros. Arya, surrounded by destruction, sees a white horse, which has a saddle.
It is coincidental and highly unlikely that a white horse and Arya survived The Battle of King’s Landing, the animal also so happens to be saddled as though the youngest surviving Stark is destined to ride it. Game of Thrones is trying to tell us something with the dramatic and symbolic scene, so what is it?
White horse symbolism
White horses have an important significance in numerous mythologies. It is unclear which mythology Game of Thrones is referencing but white horses are usually associated with noble warriors. A white horse may also signify a symbol of hope amid darkness or even death.
Arya’s ‘green eyes’ prophecy
Melisandre set the green-eyed theory rolling and most assumed that Cersei Lannister was the next target on Arya’s hit list. As previously reported, Melisandre said to Arya “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.”
The white horse may symbolize Arya’s destiny to shut green eyes on an unknown character and thus fulfill Melisandre’s prophecy. Arya went to King’s Landing to kill Cersei but ended up running for her life, only for a white horse to emerge when she needs a ride.
Social media theories
On Twitter, some speculate that the pale horse does not have any deeper meaning and it is Harry Strickland’s horse, which just happened to survive.
— Abs ?? (@Orions_BeIt) May 13, 2019
Other’s note that a white horse can also be a symbol of death while others counter-argue that it is a symbol of hope. Over on Reddit, others theorize that the white horse references the concept of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Or a biblical reference: “… behold, an ashen horse; and (s)he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades following with him(her).”
— Wendy (@3wendy) May 13, 2019
Dany received a white or pale horse in the first season while she was the symbol of hope; therefore, Arya may have now taken over as the symbol of hope for Westeros.