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‘Game of Thrones’ Mailbag: Let’s Talk About Fire Wights

The Maester of the Citadel of Crazytown answers your lingering questions about this week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and where Westeros is headed.
By  · Published on July 22nd, 2017

The Maester of the Citadel of Crazytown answers your lingering questions about this week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and where Westeros is headed.

With “Stormborn,” the second episode of Game of Thrones season 7, on the horizon, it’s time to put a bow on the discussion of the premiere. Which means rounding up all the questions I’ve received both in my capacity as Thrones expert here on the site and as one-third of A Storm of Spoilers, the finest, stormiest Thrones podcast in the realm. My recommendation if you’re a completist for Game of Thrones knowledge is twofold: first, read my review of the episode in which I chart a number of foreshadowing moments that will undoubtedly be important; second, listen to the massive episode of A Storm of Spoilers embedded below:

For this week’s mailbag, I’ve assembled a number of excellent questions from readers, listeners, and all manner of inquisitors. The discussion does delve into spoiler territory where books and crazy theories are concerned, but I’ll do my best to keep production spoilers at bay. Just know that I know things and am doing my best not to ruin anything for anyone. That said, let’s fill our goblets with the finest Arbor gold and drink to Winter!

Lovisa asks, “There’s been talk of zombie Wun-Wun, but do you think we will see zombie Hodor?”

As many a Thrones commentator has pointed out, that giant in Bran’s vision is missing the wrong eye, so it’s not Wun-Wun. We have to assume that Jon Snow was smart enough to burn all the bodies post-Battle of the Bastards. He’s not politically savvy, but he does know all about the dead rising. That said, Hodor’s body was not burned. Nor was the body of Summer the direwolf. Both died literally in the hands of the army of the dead. Because Game of Thrones loves to first break, then step on our hearts as often as possible, I’d say the chances of seeing them again are strong. Other characters I’d love to see exhumed if The Night King rolls through the south: Zombie Lyanna Stark, headless Zombie Robb Stark, the return of the butcher’s boys, and zombie Lady Walda.

Rob asks, “If Littlefinger sees his attempts to woo Sansa as failing, would he take The Vale back over to Cersei’s side?”

There are two things to consider here. One is that Littlefinger has already “declared for House Stark far and wide,” meaning Cersei is now aware of his new alliance. Unless he’s sent some scheming Ravens to King’s Landing recently, there are no take-backsies at this point. The second issue is that Jon is right when he tells Sansa that no Lannister army would dare range so far into The North during Winter. The Long Night is upon us, whether Cersei knows it or not. She’s not likely to muster an army far enough to make any sort of attempt on the Stark stronghold. The only way I see that playing out is if Littlefinger were to try a sneak attack assassination of Jon. And we all know how well that worked out for the brothers of The Night’s Watch.

Chris asks, “The hunt right now is for Dragonglass and Valyrian Steel. Is there any chance that the latter will be found by melting down the Iron Throne?”

As much as I love the visual poetry of Dany getting one of her dragons to melt down the Throne that her ancestors built, destroying the symbol of power that graced the very first poster for the show, here’s something to keep in mind: a “thousand blades of Aegon’s enemies” were used to forge the Throne. It’s never explicitly stated that any of those blades were Valyrian steel. Some may be, but the bulk of them were probably regular castle-forged steel. It seems more likely that Dany and Jon together (with the help of a smith if they can find one) will figure out a way to forge more Valyrian steel before the final battle.

Ashley asks, “If the Night King is defeated, does winter end immediately? Or is the length of winters and summers just long in Westeros?”

In Westeros, the seasons are said to last for years, sometimes decades. For example, when we meet our characters at the beginning of Game of Thrones, they were in the 9th year of summer. The significance of the Night King is that it’s feared he represents the return of The Long Night, which was a great winter that lasted for “a generation” and laid waste to Westeros. This was the inciting incident behind the building of The Wall, the establishment of The Night’s Watch, and the alliance between the First Men and the Children of the Forest. Basically, every force of the living had to band together and defeat the army of the dead during The Long Night. To answer your question, I don’t think the defeat of The Night King will instantly end winter, but it will prevent him from bringing about an endless winter.

Hayden asks, “We see the Catspaw dagger in Sam’s book and know that it was Littlefingers. Do we think that will be the weapon of choice if Littlefinger meets his end this year?”

Oh, that feels so right.

Sarah asks, “If we accept that there is a Lord of Light and he gives his priests and priestesses the power to create these fire Wights through resurrecting people, how then do we explain the ice Wights and White Walkers?”

George really got us all twisted this week, didn’t he? By announcing that basically Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrian are wights like those of the Night King’s army, he has thrown a wrench in a lot of the mythology around resurrections. I have a theory about this. There’s a significant difference between wights and White Walkers. One might even say that the White Walkers have more personality and awareness than your average wight. So if we’re to equate Jon and Beric with anything, it’s the White Walkers. That’s assuming there is an apples-to-apples comparison of what the two sides can do. One thing we should also remember is that the Lord of Light still has to identify a champion, Azor Ahai, who will lead his army against the darkness. Think of The Night King as the champion of the god of death and darkness and Azor Ahai as the champion of the Lord of Light. Each may ultimately have the power to create their own wights, each will have lieutenants like the White Walkers. This theory assumes a lot, but if there’s any potential balance to “The Force” in Westeros, we have to assume that the armies of light and dark have equal ranks.

Christian asks, “Is Melisandre part of Quaithe’s prophecy regarding Asshai and Dany finding truth?”

Man, remember Quaithe? The show used her to help Ser Jorah understand the long, hard road ahead for Daenerys, particularly around the idea that people will try to steal her dragons. In the books, Quaithe delivers a prophecy imploring Dany not to trust any of the people — from Victarian Greyjoy to Quentin Martell — who will try to woo her. Her other instructions to Dany include, “To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”

So yes, she encourages Dany to go to Asshai and learn some kind of truth. In book terms, who knows whether that will come about before Dany returns to Westeros. In show terms, I like the idea that Melisandre (who is seen in the most recent promo meeting Dany in episode 2) being the one to give her some truth. Whether or not we trust Melisandre’s visions at this point (RIP Shireen), Dany might. The better question: what is that truth? That Daenerys is Azor Ahai? That she is part of a unit with Jon that will create/become Azor Ahai? That The Hound is Azor Ahai? It’s still hard to say.

DJ Empirical says, “I just wanted to message you to say that because of John Snow and Daenerys being related, I’ve started to refer to the theory of them dating as “Coldboy”. (Referencing Oldboy, obviously.)”

These are my people.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)