'Game of Thrones' episode 1 sees the Night King's death swirl appear again and it bears an important message

'Game of Thrones' episode 1 sees the Night King's death swirl appear again and it bears an important message


'Game of Thrones' does not like to let its audience know too much about upcoming events but its clues are transparent enough to let viewers at least take a brief guess about what is about to happen. A similar clue was left behind in Episode 1 of Season 8 and it is one of those clues that have been recurring in the show over the course of its last seven seasons. While we were never told what motivates the White Walkers to turn every living being into a walking dead creature, their motive has been time again represented by a devilish swirling pattern and in the premiere we see the swirl resurface like a bad penny.

When Tormund, Beric, Edd and the Brothers of the Night Watch enter a dilapidated town in the North right after the Wall broke down, they notice a dead boy hanging on a swirling pattern made of hands. Soon the boy begins to scream imitating the White Walker's call to its associates, so the men immediately put set him on fire but soon we see the hands around him catch fire creating the same swirling pattern that has previously been depicted through dead bodies and stone carvings in the course of the show. This pattern was a blatant reminder of the pattern which we had witnessed back in Season 6 when the Three-Eyed Raven led Bran to witness the ritual which gave birth to the first White Walker. 


However, the pattern was shown to us way back in Season 1 when the first murder in the show took place, where the White Walkers had killed a group of Wildlings, scattering their leftover parts in a swirl-like formation. Soon, in Season 3 when Jon visits the Fist of the First Men he sees the Brothers of the Night Watch, who were killed by the White Walkers, arranged in the same fashion as the Wildlings from Season 1. Far later in Season 7, we once again come across the symbol in the caves of Dragonstone when Jon brings in Daenerys to show her the dragonglass which were hidden in the cave for decades.


Fans have begun to come up with their own theories about the pattern, and some are of the opinion that it is a direct reference to Winterfell's saying, "The North Remembers". One fan wrote, "When the Children made the Night King, the ceremony included having those seven lines of stones in a spiral with the person dead center, reproducing that symbol is probably his way to tell people that he remembers and probably to remind those who know of the symbol the reason why he's coming over to fuck you up." On the other hand, another fan came up with the theory that the symbols are being used as markings by the Night King to create a track.

The Night King leaves behind the patterns to keep a trace of movements. (IMDb)

The fan wrote, "A form of sight. Just like the greenseer can see through weirwood trees, maybe the NK uses these to see/scout these areas in real time through his mind. Timetravel markers. The NK knew where Bran would appear when he marked him. Maybe these rituals helps him forsee where Bran and other timetravelers will interfere."  Whatever the symbol may signify, it certainly helped Tormund to decipher the arrival time of the Night King and as he says in the promo trailer of Episode 2, the White Walkers will arrive before dawn.

'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Episode 2 airs on April 21. 

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