Well, folks, it’s here — Game Of Thrones week.
We are officially less than one week away from the premiere of Thrones’ seventh season, and because of that, hype is at an all-time high. So I decided to go with some Christmas-In-July vibes by creating what I call the ‘7 Days Of Thrones’. Every day, from now until Sunday, COED will take a look at some of the biggest questions heading into Thrones’ seventh season, and how we expect those questions to be answered.
For our first article in the ‘7 Days Of Thrones’, I wanted to take a stab at figuring out why the hell Beric Dondarrion, Tormund, & our beloved Jon Snow are north of The Wall, but more importantly, if any of them are going to make it back alive.
Potential spoilers below.
Why is Jon Snow north of The Wall?
Well, first, how do we know that The King In The North is in fact north of The Wall, at all? Simple, the trailer tells us:
At the 1:20 mark in the super dank fire above you, you see Jon Snow, Beric Dondarrion, and what appears to be a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners (based on his leather dunce cap looking thing) fighting off a horde of wights.
But there’s no way Snow went north of The Wall with just two other people backing him up, right? Of course not. As you can see above & below, Beric and his flaming sword are clearly there, looking as badass as ever:
Tormund, Jon’s right-hand man, is also there, looking as menacing as ever:
So, we have Jon Snow, Tormund, Beric, and a random member of the Brotherhood Without Banners (based on his leather, dunce-like cap).
As we know (or once knew and have since forgotten) the Brotherhood was formed after Ned Stark’s execution and remain loyal to the Stark colors. We also know that the last time we saw Sandor Clegane, The Hound, he had just linked up with the Brotherhood.
Given the fact that Beric is accompanying Jon, one has to assume that not only is Thoros Of Myr (the guy who revives Beric) along for the ride but so is both the Hound and more members of the Brotherhood. Roll all of these facts into one and you have a squad of Jon Snow, Tormund, Beric, Thoros, The Hound, and various members of the Brotherhood Without Banners traveling north of The Wall.
So, now that we’ve figured out whose going, it’s time to figure out why they’re going.
Well, what could be gained from going North of the Wall? Recruiting wildlings? Nope — the only wildlings left either made it south of the wall or died at Hardhome in Season 5. Could it be to obtain dragon glass? Again, not likely. A mission with that level of danger just to secure a couple of shards of glass is far too risky for Jon Snow. Now, while Jon has never been the most pragmatic leader, he also isn’t stupid, and this just isn’t a risk he would take.
All of this leads me to believe that Jon Snow & Co are going north not for something, but for someone. Remember, while the threat of the White Walkers is ever present for Northerners, many people in the South, including one Daenerys Targaryen, have yet to receive but a word of their impending arrival. Long story short, I think that after his meeting with Daenerys (and potentially other Southerners), Jon will be required to go north to capture a wight in order to prove their existence to ‘rally the troops.’
And trust me when I say this, this is all very concerning for a multitude of reasons, most notably what the trailer shows us.
As I’ve screengrabbed above, we see Jon Snow & his goon squad battling a massive army of wights. A shitty situation indeed. And then, at the end of the trailer comes Sansa’s voiceover and two distinct images. First, Sansa’s voiceover:
“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”
The average fan will be quick to decree that this means Jon Snow will have to die in order to protect the rest of the Stark children. However, luckily for you, I am not the average fan, and I am here to tell you that is not the case. While that may prove to be true one day, that is not what the trailer is specifically alluding to here.
What the trailer is alluding to, unfortunately, is that everyone who travels north of the wall –Tormund, The Hound, Beric, Thoros, all of them– will not be making it back.
As Sansa begins her voiceover, the trailer shows a clearly injured person fleeing on a horse north of the Wall. Given the individual’s clothes, as well as the context of Sansa’s quote, it’s easy to deduce that this is Jon Snow fleeing a devastating battle with the White Walkers:
Which is followed by a shot of a character that is DEFINITELY Jon Snow, looking down the barrel of the White Walker army … by himself.
So where does this leave us? This leaves us facing the very grim possibility that everyone who heads north of the Wall with Jon — Tormund, Beric, Thoros, the Hound, and a gang of other loveable characters — all die for the greater good of the Realm. An episode with this sort of magnitude couldn’t possibly air until later in the season, so look for this battle to take place in season seven’s penultimate episode (that’s my best guess, at least.)
Brutal, right? Well, get used to it, because this season is going to be seven consecutive weeks of heartbreak and agony with only minimal victories in between. As I’ve long said, I don’t see this show ending with anything else but the end of the world, and this season begins the march towards that inevitability.