Spoiler alert for Game of Thrones season eight. We still have five episodes left of the last season of Game of Thrones, and the dead are coming fast. The creators aren't giving anything away, but this may mean a long, extended fight with the Night King and his army of wights (undead zombies) and fellow White Walkers (creepy white-skinned monsters that used to be human). It's going to be a hellish road to get rid of them—if at all—but there's a fan theory out there that indicates we might have caught a glimpse at how the living characters will ultimate prevail.
All right, so first a little context. The pivotal moment we're talking about from the premiere is right as Tormund Giantsbane, Dolorous Edd, and Beric Dondarrion (flaming sword FTW!) come across "the Umber boy" we saw earlier in the episode asking for supplies to marshal his men. The poor little one is dead, mounted up on the wall against a creepy spiral pattern of body parts—way to go with the extremely eerie-beautiful visuals, White Walkers—and then opens his pale blue eyes, shrieks like a harpy, and is swiftly set on fire.
(shrieks incoherently for a few seconds) Ok, got it. So why is that important?
According to Redditor zyuko22—fun fact: Reddit is the source of amazing GoT fan theories and discussion—we last saw that same spiral pattern, made out of a spiritually powerful Weirwood tree and stones, when the very ancient creatures Children of the Forest created the first White Walker. There's another common Children of the Forest/White Walker symbol, a circle with a line through it, that's come to represent (theoretically) God's Eye, a lake in Westeros that's filled with Weirwood trees.
The theory is that this spiral pattern from the premiere represents the "Grand Weirwood Tree, a sort of 'heart' of all the Weirwoods in Westeros," and the source of the Night King's power. When Beric set that spiral on fire, it could be a hint that the main characters will have to burn the Grand Weirwood Tree in God's Eye in order to destroy the true source of the Night King's power. I know it's complex, but the point is—perhaps we learned about the origin of the White Walkers for an important reason, because the old, evil magic is going to need a powerful, old remedy.
I like this theory for a few reasons. 1) dragons! Fire-breathing dragons! They have all the fire they need! 2) this is a lot more positive than the theory that the spiral means the Night King is a Targaryen, 3) the Children of the Forest seem like they're bound up in the lore of the White Walkers, so it makes that old magic is involved, and 4) the Night King is going to be bloody impossible to kill so it makes sense that something profoundly powerful needs to happen in order to kill him. You know a Valyrian steel sword might not cut it, terrible pun intended.
Reasons I don't like this theory: If burning the Weirwood gets rid of magic, does it get rid of ALL magic? What happens to the dragons and other magical creatures? Does Jon go back to being dead if magic is keeping him alive?
Also, now the question becomes: If this is true, how do the characters figure all this out?
A post shared by gameofthrones (@gameofthrones)
A photo posted by on
Basically, TL;DR: The source of the Night King and White Walkers' power could be in the Weirwood trees—and burning them may kill them for good.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.
Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
Tinx Shares the Books and Authors Who Give Her the Best Life Advice
See the rest of the social media star's favorite titles in the latest episode of Marie Claire's 'Shelf Portrait.'
By Brooke Knappenberger
Tube Tops Are Back From the Dead—And You Need One in Your Closet
The perfect summer party look, in my humble opinion.
By Julia Marzovilla
Why 'Manifest' Season 5 Never Happened
Creator Jeff Rake initially planned for 'Manifest' to be six seasons, but Netflix—and NBC—had other plans.
By The Editors
Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Modern Family' stars reunited for the 'Pitch Perfect' spinoff series.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The 78 Best Celebrity Couple Halloween Costumes of All Time
Honestly, we're impressed.
By Charlotte Chilton
Super Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth as a Young Woman
From childhood snapshots to portraits as a young princess, beautiful and rare photos of the late Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.
By Mehera Bonner
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Relationship: A Timeline
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has ascended to the throne as king.
By The Editors
Who Is Next in Line for the British Throne, Explained
And yes—Harry and Archie are still in the line of succession.
By Andrea Park
Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fiancé Riley Roberts?
AOC's husband-to-be is an "easygoing redhead" who lives with her in D.C.
By Katherine J. Igoe
68 Times the Kardashians Posed Fully Nude and Owned It
And we mean fully nude—as in, not a shred of clothing.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Who Is Jonathan Owens, Simone Biles's Fiancé and NFL Player?
"The easiest yes!" Simone wrote about the couple's engagement.
By The Editors