Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7.
The penultimate episode of The Mandalorian season 3 is “Chapter 23: The Spies.” It is an intriguing title, especially when considering that Elia Kane was the only known spy who appeared in the episode, and she only appeared in the opening scene when she delivered a report to Moff Gideon.
Since the title refers to multiple spies and the episode certainly isn’t about Elia Kane, that leaves the question of who else the episode title is referring to. While there are multiple possibilities, the Armorer seems like a plausible option.
Here is why the Armorer may or may not be a spy working for Moff Gideon.
Why the Armorer may be a spy
The Armorer first started to be suspicious in “Chapter 21: The Pirate.” She was always insistent that Mandalorians must wear their helmets at all times and declared Din Djarin an apostate for briefly removing his helmet. Yet, she suddenly ordered Bo-Katan Kryze to remove her helmet, claiming that Bo-Katan can walk both worlds, and must be the one to unite all Mandalorians.
Bo-Katan telling the Armorer about the Mythosaur was presented as the reason the Armorer had a change of heart, yet it is still suspicious that the Armorer suddenly stopped caring about the Mandalorian rule she cared about the most, and was suddenly insistent that the Children of Watch no longer need to keep to themselves and must unite with all Mandalorians to retake Mandalore.
These decisions at the end of that episode were a bit puzzling, but they could be mostly explained away by the Armorer reevaluating her beliefs based on what Din and Bo-Katan discovered on Mandalore and by seeing that Bo-Katan, despite not being a Child of the Watch, is an honorable Mandalorian in all the ways that matter.
Yet, the Armorer’s decisions and what transpires in “The Spies” makes her much more suspicious. It is highly convenient that the Armorer volunteered to take the wounded back to the Mandalorian fleet shortly before the scouting party was attacked by Moff Gideon and his Imperial forces. As the Armorer was the one who pushed for the unification of all Mandalorians and reclaiming of Mandalore, one would think that she would want to stick around to see it through and see the Great Forge of Mandalore for herself. The episode also took time to show her flying the wounded back to the fleet, a scene that is arguably unnecessary to show unless it has some greater importance.
When the scouting party was cornered on Moff Gideon’s secret base, he thanked them for gathering all the Mandalorians in one place so he can wipe them all out and complete the Purge of Mandalore. The Armorer is the one who initiated the effort to unite and gather all of the Mandalorians this time, which could explain her double standards that make no sense.
In the past, the Armorer wanted to keep the Children of the Watch divided from other Mandalorians, and having the remaining Mandalorians divided was also what Moff Gideon wanted, as evidenced by his conversation with Elia Kane.
As for why the Armorer would do all this, it could be that she has been a double agent all along. It is also possible that like Bo-Katan did when she surrendered to Moff Gideon all those years ago, the Armorer is doing what she thinks she has to do to save her people, although it is difficult to imagine how she could trust Moff Gideon after everything he has done to Mandalorians.
Despite these red flags, the Armorer may not be a spy, though.
Why the Armorer may not be a spy
When Elia Kane told Moff Gideon at the beginning of the episode about Mandalorians uniting under Bo-Katan to defend Nevarro from the pirates, Moff Gideon seemed genuinely surprised and concerned.
If the Armorer was working for Moff Gideon, he should’ve already known about what happened on Nevarro, as the Armorer would’ve told him. He also should’ve known about the effort to unite all Mandalorians and retake Mandalore, particularly if that was part of his master plan.
Looking back at the Armorer’s past actions also makes her being a spy seem less likely. After the Children of the Watch helped Din and Grogu escape Nevarro in season 1, Moff Gideon’s Imperial forces hunted down and killed many of those Mandalorians. This doesn’t seem like something the Armorer would easily forgive or forget.
Even if she cut a deal with Moff Gideon to save herself, she wasn’t being a good double agent as she took steps to prevent him from obtaining Grogu. When Din, Grogu, Greef Karaga, and Cara Dune encountered her in the tunnels beneath Nevarro, she told them how to escape and brutally murdered the stormtroopers who came after them. She was also the one who set Din on the quest to reunite Grogu with the Jedi. All of these actions worked against Moff Gideon’s efforts to obtain Grogu.
In season 3, she seemed to genuinely help Grogu and teach him valuable lessons in “Chapter 20: The Foundling.” When Din, Bo-Katan, and Paz Vizsla led the effort to defend Nevarro from the pirates in the following episode, the Armorer did nothing to stop them, even though Moff Gideon wanted the pirates to seize control of Nevarro. She even killed many of the pirates herself and played an active role in defeating them.
While the Armorer’s past and much of her identity remain a mystery, she seems truly devoted to being a Mandalorian, and values honor, loyalty, and protecting the innocent. Working for the man who is responsible for massacring Mandalorians and decimating Mandalore would be a betrayal of everything she stands for and believes in. As she said in The Book of Boba Fett, “The blood of millions of our kind is on his hands.”
The Armorer’s questionable choices in season 3 may just be a red herring, which means there is another spy among the Mandalorians.
Who else the spies could be
The scouting party encountered a small group of Mandalorians aboard a ship during “The Spies.” Coming across surviving Mandalorians with a ship who could help the scouting party reach the Great Forge was awfully convenient.
It is difficult to imagine how these Mandalorians have survived for so long on the barren ruins of Mandalore sine the Great Purge. Even if they scraped together enough resources and avoided the giant monsters randomly bursting out of the ground, why would Moff Gideon allow these Mandalorians to live? They might be working for Moff Gideon and were instructed to lure the scouting party into the trap at his secret base.
Another possibility is that Axe Woves is the spy. “Chapter 22: Guns for Hire” showed how he fully dedicated himself to being a mercenary. If Moff Gideon is paying him enough, he might be willing to spy for him. Axe Woves has no love for the Children of the Watch, doesn’t even see them as real Mandalorians, and probably wouldn’t mind double-crossing them, but betraying Koska Reeves and those he views as fellow Mandalorians seems like too much of a stretch.
The final verdict
Based on the evidence, I believe that the Armorer is not a spy and is meant to be a red herring. I believe the real spies are the Mandalorian survivors with the ship on Mandalore.
The Armorer being a spy would be a much bigger plot twist than characters who were just introduced, but there are ultimately too many holes in the story of her being a double agent.
Do you think the Armorer is a spy? Let us know in the comments?