If you blinked last night, you may have missed the subtle inclusion of an important dagger in Game of Thrones’ seventh season premiere.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the first episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season.]
The Catspaw dagger appears in a book that Samwell Tarly is flipping through while at the Citadel. At first glance, it may just seem like an ordinary dagger, but this is in fact the same weapon used in the show’s first season by an assassin trying to kill Bran. The dagger, which is made of Valyrian steel, belonged to Tyrion Lannister, according to the devious Littlefinger.
Since that moment in the first season, the Catspaw dagger has changed hands, but that’s not why we believe it’s getting as much play this season. Much of season seven’s premiere episode had to do with dragonglass or dragonsteel. The rare materials can defeat the White Walkers, something that Jon Snow, the recently crowned King in the North, is particularly worried about. He will do anything he can to stop the progression of White Walkers into the North and understands that he needs to collect as much dragonglass or dragonsteel as possible in order to do so.
Likewise, Sam isn’t a stranger to the horrors that accompany White Walkers. While helping Archmaester Ebrose at the Citadel perform an autopsy, Sam brings up his first-hand knowledge of the White Walkers, which he has encountered, and asks if he can have permission to access the restricted books. Sam wants to learn more about how the White Walkers function and, more specifically, how to kill them. It’s no coincidence that Sam happened to flip past the dagger made of the material Jon Snow needs.
In case you’re still not convinced the Catspaw dagger will play a big role in this upcoming season, remember that HBO Denmark dedicated an entire ad campaign to it, as seen below.
Now, the last person to have the Catspaw dagger, that we know of, was Littlefinger, but on a recent Entertainment Weekly cover, it was Arya Stark who was in possession of it. In the photo below, you can see the Catspaw dagger hanging on her belt.
Considering this is just a magazine cover, it could just be a prop used, but that doesn’t seem very likely. We know that Arya is probably on her way home — despite the young Stark telling a group of traveling Lannister army soldiers that she was on her way to King’s Landing to kill Cersei during last night’s episode — and we also know that Jon Snow is trying to collect as much dragonglass as he can.
Littlefinger just so happens to be hanging out at Winterfell, too, representing the Veil and helping Jon and Sansa Stark maintain order. There’s little doubt in our minds that Littlefinger, Jon Snow, Arya and Sansa Stark will all end up in the same place — along with the Catspaw dagger. Whether Arya obtains the Catspaw dagger by force or Littlefinger gives it to her as part of his scheming is the next question this season will hopefully answer.
This is just the beginning, though. Last night’s episode also saw the return of Daenerys Targaryen to the Blackwater Bay region, walking up to the castle of Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen. If ever there was a place where Jon Snow could get his hands on a large amount of dragonglass, it’s there. We also know, from leaked set photos posted on Watchers on the Wall and an interview from Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton with Uproxx that Jon Snow is heading south and will meet up with Daenerys at some point.
One has to imagine he’s headed toward Dragonstone to try and secure enough dragonglass to defeat the White Walkers. Just having the Catspaw dagger on his side isn’t going to do. All of these questions will be answered soon enough. Well, we hope.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.