After nearly a decade of feuding families, backstabbing siblings, mystical runes and gruesome massacres, “Game of Thrones” has secured its place in history as one of the most complex mythologies ever told on television. Now, in Season 8 of the show, fans are eager to have all of their wildest theories confirmed.
Here, we’ll dig in to a few of the most popular predictions for the final season.
Is Bran Stark the Night King?
Bran Stark has been one of the most mysterious characters on “Game of Thrones” — and for a fantasy series with more than 150 major characters, that’s really saying something.
He began as the dutiful son of Ned and Catelyn Stark who was pushed-off a tower and paralyzed by Jamie Lannister when Bran discovered his affair with sister, Queen of Winterfell Cersei Lannister. Learning to live without the use of his legs, the boy would eventually discover his more crucial supernatural talents, such as prophetic visions and the ability to assume the body of his companion “direwolf” Summer. By Season 6, Bran has fully adopted a new persona as the Three-Eyed Raven — a character that has bewildered fans since.
While some fans can’t get enough creepy Bran-stare memes, others are desperate to understand the Three Eyed Raven’s obscure purpose. One long-standing theory is that Bran Stark is actually the Night King. Game of Theories speculates that this season might see Bran time-travel and assume the body of the man who would become the Night King in a failed attempt to stop the Children of the Forest from creating the race of the undead.
However, actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plans Bran, doesn’t see it, telling W Magazine, “I can’t see how there have been any clues for it, but it just seems to have really gained traction.” This week on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he also seemed to confirm that, at the very least, he’s on the ‘good’ side.
“Do you think Bran is 100 percent good?” asks Kimmel.
“I don’t know,” says Hemstead-Wright. “I think he’s the three-eyed raven who is definitely on the side of the living.”
What’s the meaning of the spiral?
After last Sunday’s season 8 premiere, fans on the internet were quick to point out the symbolic weight of that flaming spiral on the wall at Last Hearth, made of body parts and poor Ned Umber-turned-White Walker at the center. Along with Tormund and Edd, Beric speculates that the gruesome fixture is a message from the Night King, but is interrupted when an undead Ned shines his possessed, ice-blue eyes, prompting the three to set the boy aflame.
The spiral has appeared in many other scenes whether White Walkers were involved: at the stone arrangement around the weirwood tree when the Children of the Forest created the undead race; when Jon revisits the Fist of the First Men beyond the wall where many Night’s Watchmen disappeared, and sees the slain horses of the men in spiral formation; and at the caves of Dragonstone, carved in memory of the first war against the White Walkers.
Some see the Night King’s co-oping of the spiral as a message to his creators — the Children of the Forest — that after thousands of years undead he still remembers who go them into this war in the first place. Others speculate they could be tied with the climate: the further south the spirals are spotted, the further winter has spread. And it’s hard to deny the eight-pronged spiral’s resemblance to the Targaryen sigil.
The Night King is a Targaryen
The similarities between the spiral and the Targaryen sigil supports this next popular theory. The mark of a true Targaryen is their connection with dragons — which served to confirm Jon Snow a k a Aegon Targaryen as one of them. But at the end of season seven, we also see the Night King riding the resurrected dragon Viserion. And his army’s march South could also indicate he’s also vying for the seat to rule Westeros. The show’s creators have hinted in the past that there’s more to the Night King’s mission than pure evil domination.
“We always liked the implication that … [the White Walkers have] a historical cause that was comprehensible,” Weiss tells Entertainment Weekly. “They’re the result of people, or beings, with motivations we can understand.”
And while the man who would be Night King lived well before house Targaryen existed, show theorists say it’s conceivable that he is of a lineage that would late become Targaryen.