A fan theory about how Game of Thrones will end is picking up traction in online circles.
Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire lie ahead!
Game of Thrones lends itself to predictions and fan theories, perhaps more than any other show on TV. The sprawling narrative is based on George R.R. Martin's even larger series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, and there are whole online communities dedicated to unraveling the symbolism and intricacies of the stories.
One of those communities might have just cracked the ending of both the show and the books based on the Season 8 premiere. YouTuber "Lucifer means Lightbringer" proposed a new theory last week after seeing the ne episode, and now his fellow fan theorists on YouTube, Twitter and the Westeros.org forums are building up his ideas into a really plausible ending.
LmL, as he is known, believes the ending of the story was foreshadowed in the spiral pattern laid out by the Night King yet again in Last Hearth. Fond of layered, fractal symbolism, LmL believes that the spiral is a representation of the Wierwood tree where the Night King was made by the Children of the Forest in the flashback we saw in Season 6, Episode 5.
He points out that, in the books, the red leaves of the Wierwood are often described as "bloody hands," perhaps explaining the limbs used to make the spiral. The young Ned Umber pinned to its center is symbolic of the Night King himself, who was pierced with a piece of magic dragonglass.
In the scene, Ned Umber reawakens and nearly kills the men of the Night's Watch and the Wildlings. Beric Dondarrion then stabs the wight with a flaming sword, and the entire spiral goes up in flames.
Simply put, LmL proposed that the Night King is still "fixated" on the moment of his transformation, playing it out in scenes like this to try and understand it, and perhaps even explain it to humans in the only way he can. He also believes that the scene showed us how mankind will stop him — by burning the spiral at the center of his magic once and for all.
For LmL, this means the entire "Wierwood net" as many fans call it. The Wierwood trees facilitate green-seeing, and all the magic that Bran and the Children of the Forest can use, likely including that which made the Night King. It seems logical that burning those sources of ice magic would shut down the Army of the Dead once and for all.
This is where Bran comes in. As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is now inextricably linked to the Wierwood net, seeing through "a thousand eyes and one." Therefore, he may have to sacrifice himself to take down the Night King. Using his powers, Bran could open a way to the astral plane where he sees his visions, allowing a heroic figure such as Daenerys or Jon Snow to use their proverbial "flaming sword" — perhaps even dragon fire — to burn out the Night King's powers once and for all.
Exactly how this plays out has been a hot topic of conversation among LmL and his fellow fan theorists online ever since. In a Twitter thread on Monday, LmL suggested that next week's battle will play out in both the physical plane, with Daenerys' living dragons fighting the Night King's dead one, as well as the astral plane, where Bran will have to face the Night King again.0comments
The ideas in this theory are still developing, and there are still two installments of LmL's explanation to come. Nonetheless, they have gripped the Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire fandoms as they hurtle towards the series' grand conclusion. If they are true, there are only four episodes left for them to play out.
In other words, we might have a very complex battle between Night King and Bran, Dany, and Jon next week, with Bran on the astral plane and Dany and Jon on the physical, as many have forseen. I don't expect this battle to resolve things just yet tho, right?— Lucifer means Lightbringer (@thedragonLML) April 22, 2019
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.