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The Arya Challenge goes viral as Game of Thrones fans say ‘not today’

By Benjamin Bullard
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

The Night King is never going to live his Game of Thrones sendoff down, and it’s not just because he’s not, well, alive anymore to save face.

After GoT fans on Twitter had time to process Arya Stark’s epic two-handed dispatch of the wight leader, a death blow that decisively ended Sunday’s desperate battle to save Winterfell, they started trying to recreate the moment — and they did it with whatever stuff they could find lying around.

From a banana to a hairbrush to a hot TV mic, people shell-shocked by Arya’s biggest assassination yet seized the nearest objects they could get their hands on to pay tribute to the woman who stared death in the face and said, “Not today.”

As viral challenges go, most of the re-enactments appear (so far) to have stayed on the safe side of the typical “don’t try this at home” warnings we’d normally advise. But if you plan to do this with a Valyrian steel dagger, we’ll say it anyway: Don’t try this at home.

Who knew food could be so stabby? This guy lets the business end of his carrot do the talking —

— while for this fan, the honor went to a banana:

It gets no more stylish, though, than this fan and his slow-mo hairbrush swing — 

— although we’ve gotta give it up for the guy who pulled off the move with a hot mic for a TV news one-take:

This fan snares an umbrella to channel his inner Mary Poppins — 

— while this plumber showed his pipe wrench who's boss:

And though Game of Thrones isn’t exactly known for being kid-friendly, at least the Arya Challenge is for kids, too:

At least one jaded Star Wars fan took the whole “been there, done that” approach:

But we’ve gotta hand it to Army lacrosse player Brendan Nichtern, who helped the whole Arya Challenge find its viral legs when he celebrated his two-goal contribution in a playoff win this week:

As for Arya herself, things were plenty challenging just preparing for the famous scene. Actor Maisie Williams has reportedly spent tons of training time through her years on Game of Thrones learning how to fight as an ambidextrous assassin, and Sunday’s two-handed switch-up made for the perfect payoff.

What challenges will this week’s episode inspire? Here’s hoping it’s something that’s not too dangerous as the survivors get ready to take on Cersei. Game of Throneseighth and final season continues this Sunday at HBO.