As anyone who watched the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones knows, there was one scene in particular that made everyone jump right out of their skin.
At the very end of the episode, Tormund and some of the Freefolk were out checking to see what’s happening with the White Walkers when they stumbled on the dead body of Ned Umber plastered against the wall. Little did they know, he was more ‘undead’ than ‘dead-dead,’ and we all jumped right f**king out of our seat/couch/bed when we saw his little eyes opening in the darkness.
After realizing the Umber boy had been turned into a White Walker, Tormund and Beric knew there was no other option than to light him on fire. The flames engulfed the Umber boy, revealing a spiral pattern made of various human limbs thatis all too familiar to Game of Thrones fans. In fact, the spiral pattern has appeared more than once in the show and it has left fans wondering just what it means.
Some people believe that the spiral pattern is eerily similar to the Targaryen banner, hinting that the White Walkers may very much be Targaryens. However, one Reddit user had a completely different idea: The spiral pattern foreshadows the way in which the Night King must be killed.
Reddit user u/zyuko22 wrote what he is calling the “Grand Weirwood Theory,” which explains the meaning of the spiral symbol and how it can be used against the Night King and his White Walker army. He points out that we saw the same pattern in the scene in which the Children of the Forest created the very first White Walker.
In one of Bran’s vision, we witnessed the Night King’s creation by one of the Children of the Forest, who takes a piece of dragonglass to a First Man’s heart. The OG Night King was pinned up against a Weirwood tree. It’s basically a similar tree to the oneBran constantly travels to in Winterfell—and, where he met with the Three-Eyed-Raven for the very first time.
This symbol is the exact symbol surrounding the Umber boy, leading the Reddit user to believe it has significance, and possibly foreshadows the way in which the Night King will meet his fate. But, there’s another symbol that plays a very important role in his theory—the one that Jon and Daenerys see in the caves when Jon’s mining dragon glass in Season 7.
We also see the same symbol—the circle with the line drawn through it—in other episodes, like in the first season, when we see a dozen dead bodies placed in the formation.
u/zyuko22 points out that this symbol is similar to the shape of Gods Eye, a huge lake in southern Westeros. According to the novels and fan theory, in the center of Gods Eye is the Isle of Faces, which is where the Children supposedly signed their peace treaty with the First Men. He says:
The Gods Eye is a geographic area located slightly northwest of Kings Landing. Its said the Gods Eye is of great importance as it relates to the Children of the Forest and the Weirwood Trees. I speculate that this mysterious plot of lake/island combo houses the source of power that fuels weirwood network. What I envision is some kinda tree of life, one I’ve been referring to as The Grand Weirwood. The children of the forest draw their power from the weirwoods, and since the children created the Night King, it would infer the white walkers are powered by the same source.
According to theory, the lake and the area are “hidden away” by a magical mist, making it almost impossible to find. However, the novels mention this lake and the Isle of Faces quite frequently, so many fans do think it could hold significant importance in the story.
u/zyuko22 ultimately believes that when Beric killed the Umber boy, he was foreshadowing to a bigger idea that in order to kill the Night King and the entire Army of the Dead, someone (possible Jon Snow TBH) would have to go tothe Grand Weirwood on Gods Eye and burn it down with fire—even the flaming sword itself.
This could also connect with the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised. In the prophecy, The Prince That Was Promised, AKA Azor Ahai, has a sword made of fire called “Lightbringer.” If Beric teaches Jon how to obtain the fire sword, like the Reddit user suggests, Jon could very much be The Prince That Was Promised. However, he may be the one who has to travel to Gods Eye and burn down the trees once and for all.
There are a few problems that may arise. u/zyuko22 also believes that the Children of the Forest created the Three-Eyed Raven. In his opinion, the Three-Eyed Raven was created in “response” to the creation of the White Walkers—they needed something/someone to “house all of the knowledge about how to defeat the Night King.” But, if the Children of the Forest did create the Three-Eyed Raven, that means Bran would be a product of Gods Eye and the Grand Weirwood too, and burning it down could be the death of Bran Stark.
If Jon were to be the one who has to do it, he may not want to risk his brother’s life.
You can read the entire theory here:
THE GRAND WEIRWOOD THEORY
Alright since you won’t let me post the picture that refers directly to this, here’s what I wrote a couple days ago as I was coming up with the theory. Plus extra
——— I might have just figured out the ending and how to kill the Night King. GoT is all about foreshadowing… and they just showed Beric Dondarrion put a flaming sword through a wight in the middle of the symbol that represents a Weirwood Tree. Game of thrones loves to intricately foreshadow outcomes, but ironically in plain sight.
——— At first thought, i figured they will need to burn the Weirwood tree to which the Night King was bound as the Children of the Forest created him. But after looking through that scene in s6 ep5, The Door, i noticed in the background that one mountain shaped like an arrow head. This would place that location north of the wall and contradict the other symbol that has been known to, The Gods Eye (circle with a vertical line through it)(which is actually shown for the first time in the very first scene of season 1 episode 1)
——— The Gods Eye is a geographic area located slightly northwest of Kings Landing. Its said the Gods Eye is of great importance as it relates to the Children of the Forest and the Weirwood Trees. I speculate that this mysterious plot of lake/island combo houses the source of power that fuels weirwood network. What i envision is some kinda tree of life, one ive been referring to as The Grand Weirwood. The children of the forest draw their power from the weirwoods, and since the children created the Night King, it would infer the white walkers are powered by the same source.
——— So connecting it all, I think the wight that beric killed is a representation of the Night Kings power. The “Weirwood” symbol it was centered on indicates the Grand Weirwood located on Gods Eye is the main source of that power. In order to shut off the night king, they will need to burn down “The Grand Weirwood” with a flaming sword. Im guessing Jon will be the one who pulls it off so Beric will eventually teach Jon how to get the fire sword.
——— Back to the scene, the fire from berics sword then started traveling along the spiral outlets, indicating all things drawing power from the Grand Weirwood will die as well. This comes with a few possible drawbacks.
——— I believe the Children of the Forest also created the Three-eyed raven in a response to their creation of the white walkers. I speculate we’re eventually going to learn this was a countermeasure once the children realized the were too much. The Three-Eyed Raven was meant to be an all-knowing library of knowledge, specifically created to house the memory for defeating the Night King. Its almost as if they knew the white walker concept would become lost to men and/or they couldnt trust even something like the citadel to convey the knowledge when it counts. So this would mean bran would be a shoe-in to die as well.
——— Going even further, I also think the Lord of light is synonymous with the Grand Weirwood, and uses these Weirwoods as a beacon to communicate with the physical world. In other words, i think even though these are two separately practiced religions, the god at the center of both is the same entity.
((Children of the forest can communicate directly through the trees. For men, it can only be translated by staring at fire. And on the other side of that, it seems they can only contact the lord of light by offering something to burn. Almost like “give some blood/hair, receive some magic in return”. Ex) Melisandre taking gendry blood, Melisandre cutting jons hair before she revived him, Beric using his blood to ignite his sword on fire, etc… They all utilize the fire. ))
——— If true, then Jon and Beric would be vulnerable as well. This is because the power keeping them from dying would then be cut off from the Lord of Light as the Grand weirwood is burned down.
((If the dragons use this as a source of power, then they are dead too. But I’m less inclined to think they are included. Nevertheless, basically everything that has to do with magic will disappear.))
——— Since killing all these characters at once would be stupid, I could see Beric dying early. However beforehand, he tells jon that to get the power of the firesword, you gotta kill someone you love yady yadda… so prob gonna kill dany or something. And at some other point, i see bran dying because no way a paralyzed kid in a wheelchair survives when a wave of zombies come crashing through. It will be along those lines when bran finally reveals what Jon must do, and thats to take that Flaming sword and burn down the Grand Weirwood, knowing he will die in the process.
——— Pretty sure that would create for a bittersweet ending ———
Additionally: There were two clues in season 7 that came to fruition, coincidentally both those included fire as well.
one was when the Hound looked in the fire in s7 ep1. He said he saw a wall of ice, dead marching past and it was by east watch by the sea. As soon as he said east watch, the firewood popped. I then went on to state how this foreshadows the wall eventually coming down at East Watch by the Sea. That prediction came to fruition.
-the other was during s7 ep6, the Beyond the Wall episode. Right at the beginning, the camera panned along the carved Westeros table located on dragon stone. They were panning from the south of Westeros up to the north. In this shot, it conveniently had the fireplace in the background positioned directly north of where the Wall is carved on the table. I stated how this foreshadows a massive fire fight above the wall. The dragons later that episode started shooting plumes of fire north of the wall. This prediction came to fruition as well.
-so now I’m thinkin we were just given our next clue with the Weirwood symbol; this one also including fire.
A method for revealing clues through fire is definitely intentional and meant to convey a deeper theme within game of thrones. Just as the characters in the show stare in the fire and visualize prophecies, I believe the writers thought it would be metaphorical to have a fire as the medium for revealing to the viewers some type of forthcoming event as well. It all sounds too much like poetic justice for it to be a bunch of bologna.
—side note— if jon and dany die, im callin brienne of tarth is the next in line for the throne. sams gonna look for the next closest to a targaryen to sit on the throne, and stumble on the fact that tarths have blood ties to the targaryens. This finally revealing brienne actually has some targaryen in her, and is the third dragon… i mean talk about hidden in plain sight… shes got the targaryen hair…
Some people on Reddit truly love this theory and everything it entails—the idea that the Night King and White Walkers can be defeated and that the series will have to face the “magic” that has been occurring around them.
One Reddit user added a very insightful and interesting interpretation of just why trees are so important in this series and how people are able to obtain information from them.
negativeonhand points out that it all comes down to the fact that the heart trees “all have bleeding faces on them,” which, can symbolize the fact that a White Walker’s consciousness is absorbed by the tree itself.
Going off of this, it looks like the Children originally created White Walkers by inserting some kind of enchanted dragonglass in their chest while tied to a Weirwood Tree. I can’t help but notice that the heart trees all have a bleeding face on them. Perhaps when a White Walker is created, their humanity/consciousness is absorbed by the tree, leaving the body to be nothing but an empty husk – and perhaps this is why so much information is passed through these trees (the past, the present, the future – all tapped into by greenseers) because the trees, like the undead under the Night Kings control are a hivemind that happens to know everything. Trees, being wood, share the same weakness as ice: fire. Furthermore, perhaps this is why the Night King can see Bran in the past, because it’s the Night Kings consciousness that he is tapping into at the moment. Similar to how he created some type of time anomaly with Hodor – he was in Hodor’s consciousness and was able to physically affect his past self.
Perhaps they do kill The Night King by destroying his specific tree. Perhaps Bran discovers a way to recover The Night Kings humanity by pulling it out of the weirwood tree, reversing the Childrens magic and ending his power over the wights. I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn that Dragonglass doesn’t simply destroy a White Walker, but reverses the spell.
I have to wonder if Jon has immunity to the Night Kings magic via his Stark ancestry the same way he most likely has immunity to fire by his Targaryen ancestry. The Stark lineage’s propensity to being wargs is interesting, because wargs have similar powerto those of the Night King in which they control another being. I feel like this isn’t too farfetch’d because we already know of a Stark that resisted the Night King’s control: Benjen.
Clearly, this theory digs pretty damn deep—but, it’s not totally impossible. I guess we’ll have to see if all this ~*magic*~ truly means something for the Seven Kingdoms.