Game Of Thrones is in its final season and with just three episodes left, fans are scrambling to figure out where the show might end up. Last week’s epic Battle of Winterfell left some fans cold, but they’ve found some comfort in fan theories suggesting that the greatest threat to Westeros is still out there—somewhere and somehow.
Season 8, episode 3 of Game of Thrones ended with a shocking moment, you could even call it a twist.
Arya turned the Night King into roughly 180 lbs. of evil snow, vaporizing the biggest threat to Westeros and his entire army.
But some fans weren’t satisfied with the White Walkers getting dispatched so easily and early in the season. Nor were they ready for the show to turn towards the battle against Cersei and the just-introduced Golden Company.
After seven seasons of build-up about the existential threat posed by the army of the dead, fans aren’t ready for the final three episodes to center around a relatively low-stakes squabble for who gets to sit in an uncomfortable chair (sorry, but put a damn cushion on that thing).
Now some fans are speculating the Night King’s demise is merely a head fake, and the threat posed by the White Walkers is still very real.
— Logan B. Robinson (@LogansTwitty) April 29, 2019
I'm just sending this clip to anyone on here who hops in my mentions defending The Long Night. We have nothing to discuss. pic.twitter.com/z0LJW6lrIO
— America is musty 2021 (@DragonflyJonez) May 3, 2019
And this honestly makes some sense. After all, Game of Thrones is riddled with shocking twists that up-end characters’ plans in tragic ways. In Season 1 we saw protagonist Ned Stark killed off, Robb and Catelyn Stark get mercked in Season 3, Joffrey bites it in Season 4, and so on.
For a show where death changes the main characters’ trajectories so often, is it really beyond belief that undeath could do the same? (Just ask former dead man Jon Snow.)
Emilia Clarke and other cast members have already hinted at “insane” and ‘Shakesperian” things to come, especially in the fifth and sixth episodes of Season 8.
Clarke specifically mentioned Episode 5, which fits with the pattern of big things going down in the penultimate episodes of the series. The final three episodes are also an almost movie-length 80 minutes each, and that’s a lot of time to kill with straightforward military campaigns and political machinations.
Fans are also pointing to the teaser for Season 8, which shows Winterfell in frigid ruin littered with abandoned treasures from our beloved protagonists.
Jon Snow’s sword Longclaw, Jaime Lannister’s golden hand, and Arya Stark’s sword Needle are all abandoned in the teaser clip, hinting at some dark fate for their owners.
There’s also a theory floating around Reddit that the Night King might have been after more in Winterfell than just “Three-Eyed Raven” Bran Stark—namely, Gilly’s baby Little Sam. According to the theory, the Night King wants Little Sam because he was due to be the 100th baby sacrificed to the White Walkers.
The theory—which is honestly pretty out there so put on your Valyrian steel foil hats—posits that George R. R. Martin drew inspiration for Gilly’s name from “gillyflower” in Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale.” There, the bloom’s “piedness” is mentioned, which is a reference to it being genetically mixed.
“As we know, GRRM’s writing is often influenced by the works of famous historical writers, as well as history itself. When I was reading about Gilly, I came to understand that her name originates from the real-life plant known as gilliflower/gillyflower. Gilliflower is mentioned in Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale”, in which they are “cross-fertilized by humans, rather than by Nature: I have heard it said/There is an art which in their piedness shares/With great creating Nature … I’ll not put/The dibble in earth to set one slip of them”. (From Wikipedia).”
Gilly, the theory goes, could have a little White Walker in her, which would mean Little Sam has a little White Walker in him, too.
“I’m almost certain that this is a subtle clue that might strengthen a suggestion that Gilly and Little Sam have White Walker blood in their veins. It also made me wonder whether the NK came to Bran/3ER at Winterfell not to kill him, but to take ownership of his property – namely Little Sam. Whether there’s any significance to him being the 100th child (who would have been) sacrificed to the WWs by Craster, I’m unsure. But Gilly’s name and the mention of gilliflower in a Shakespearean story certainly can’t be a mere coincidence.”
And, while the journey through Shakespeare that got us here is a little suspect, the White Walker/Gilly/Little Sam connection is pretty solid.
After all, Gilly’s father/husband Craster sacrificed all of his sons to the White Walkers—99 in total. He even seemed to regard the White Walkers as gods but wasn’t afraid of them at all.
“When the white cold comes, your swords and cloaks and bloody fires won’t help you. The only ones left will be those who are right with the gods—the real gods,” Craster told the Night’s Watch in Season 3.
And those babies could still be out there, an army of blue-eyed tykes hell-bent on razing the world of the living to the ground.
Or maybe they’re just vessels to store the Night King’s frozen soul so that he might be re-born. WHO KNOWS!
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss know whether we’ve seen the last of the White Walkers, but they pointedly refused to say in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Just take a look at the sidelong glance Weiss gives to Benioff after Kimmel asks for a definitive answer at the 6:50 mark.
“We’re not going to answer that,” Benioff says. YIKES.
We have four hours spread across three episodes to find out the answer.