‘Game of Thrones’ Just Killed off Key Northern Character in Season 8 Premiere

Jon Snow might have picked up powerful new allies in the Game of Thrones season premiere, but he lost a few old friends at home as well.

Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 lie ahead!

Game of Thrones Season 8 opened with no doubt that the Night King is an impending threat. The premiere episode found Jon Snow returning home with Daenerys, her two armies and her two dragons, making a strong show of force before the Armies of the Dead arrive. Still, one of the episode's main through-lines proves that the White Walkers are very much a threat as they took out a powerful northern ally.

In his first day back in charge of Winterfell, Jon met with the northern lords in the great hall. Many were furious that he had bent the knee to Daenerys, and Sansa did not do much to help him. To make matters worse, Jon had to deal with Ned Umber, the young heir to Last Hearth whom he vouched for last season.

Ned Umber explained that he needed carts and other supplies to help get his people from Last Hearth — a castle further north — back to Winterfell. Sansa promised he would have them, and he left immediately. Fans had just enough time to forget about the young lord over the course of the episode, at least until Tormund Giantsbane and his group arrived at Last Hearth.

The surviving wildlings and Brotherhood members from Eastwatch by the Sea found Last Hearth completely deserted and destroyed in one of the episode's final scenes. Creeping through the halls, they found the remaining Night's Watchmen from Castle Black. The two groups continued exploring the ruined castle, eventually stumbling on Ned Umber's dead body pinned to a wall.

The young heir to his household was surrounded by severed limbs in an eerie spiraling pattern. The White Walkers have been arranging these patterns since Season 1, but seeing them around a character we know was still creepy for viewers. It was all the creepier when Ned Umber came back to life and nearly killed Tormund before Beric Dondarrion managed to stab him with his flaming sword.


This is yet another northern house lost to Jon Snow's forces, and a commensurate number of bodies in the Night King's armies. Meanwhile, other northern lords, such as the Glovers, withdrew their support for Jon after learning that he had bent the knee to Daenerys. All in all, things are looking bleak in the War for the Dawn.

Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.