Flaming Spiral | Game of Thrones Season 8 | Night King Symbol Episode 1


Hey guys, Pete here. Today I’m going to
look at one of the most memorable things that happen in Game of Thrones season 8
episode 1. if you haven’t watched the season 8 premiere yet then there will be
massive spoilers in this video, go watch that and come back later when you’re
ready for a discussion about what we learned. with that out of the way the big
moment I’m talking about is the scene at the Last Hearth
I mentioned in my recap video that I thought it was weird that Beric offers
up that it’s a message from the night king like he knows what’s going on but
it really started to make sense as far as moving the plot along after I started
thinking about that and I have been thinking about this pretty much non-stop
since the episode ended I’ve seen some pretty good takes and some ideas out
there that got the wheels turning in my head but let’s talk about the scene
itself and the spiral symbol that plays such a big part of it before we get into
the theories early an episode when we see Ned Umber request more horses and
wagons so that he can bring his people to safety at Winterfell
Sansa tells him they’ll provide what they can and tells him to hurry back to
last hearth to get his people we don’t see him again until we see Beric and
Tormund run into Doloros Edd and the Nights Watch at the Umber Castle there
approaches at night and it’s a dark scene overall but we can see some of the
destruction outside before they enter at least it looks like there’s blood on the
snow with no bodies to go along with it Beric asks if they found anyone and Edd
leads them to where Ned Umber’s body is displayed this is where things get
serious as the boy’s body is impaled on the wall when I first saw this it looked
almost like he had been put on the wall with a giant thumbtack pressed through his
chest the fact that our main source of light here is Beric’s burning sword
adds a nice touch and as mentioned Beric declares that it’s a message
from the night king as we see that there are dismembered human limbs that make up the shape of a spiral around young Ned’s body. as they’re examining the display
they talk about beating the army of the Dead back to Winterfell using the
night-watches horses it’s a gruesome scene that points to a symbol we’ve seen
the White Walkers used before and things get even more crazy when over Tormund’s
shoulder the boy starts to struggle and scream this is a little confusing as
to why it appeared as if the changing into being a white happened right at
this moment I think it’s possible that it just made for the most dramatic and
horrifying scene to depict it like that so I won’t go down any rabbit holes here
either way Beric uses his burning sword to stab the body and that leads to
the entire spiral going up in flames and creating this awesome
if not horrible looking image the kind of image that ends up burnt in your
memory pun intended been thinking about what this means how
it plays a part and what’s to come and what we’re supposed to take away from it
with mixed results I was reading everything and I read several takes from
different perspectives and I watched an interesting video from the Joe Magician
channel those things all informed my thinking here if you look at my Twitter
feed you can see all that stuff there I was going through a bunch of different
thing I feel pretty solid about how this plays
a part in what’s to come in the next episode at least but I’m torn between a
couple ideas as for what it means for the end of the story overall let’s take
a quick look at the symbol itself and who has seen it before we get into that
we get our first introduction to the White Walkers in the very first scene in
Game of Thrones in that scene we see men of the Nights Watch come across a
wildling camp where everyone had been killed and the bodies were displayed in
a ritualistic way the arrangement looks similar to the Greek letter Phi not a
spiral but there is a mathematical relationship between these two symbols
Phi is used to represent the golden ratio and there is also something called
the Fibonacci spiral a golden spiral whose growth factor is Phi the golden
ratio I really only have a pseudo intellectual understanding of this since
I have no background in math so I’m not going to try to wow you with my googling
skills here instead I will just tell you when asked about these symbols the
showrunner said that they didn’t really mean anything but they did this to show
that the White Walkers were thinking beings rather than just mindless zombies
we see an actual spiral made out of dead horses when Jon Snow and Mance Rayder
arrived at the fist of the first men man says always the artist when he sees the
display in this instance we know that or saw dead men from the Nights Watch when
he skin changed his eagle and flew above the scene they were raised as whites in
the army of the Dead and the spiral of horses was left to send a message after
that we see a spiral from bran when he sees the creation of the night king with
the three-eyed Raven in a weirwood vision in the vision we see a spiral of
standing stones that spread out around the weirwood tree where the children of
the forest create him at this time we see that the environment is lush the
tree is full of bread leaves and we catch a glimpse of the mountain shaped
like an arrowhead in the background that comes into play in season seven when the
Hound sees it in the flames later in the season when he sees it in the north they
take that as a sign that they are close to where they need to go before the
night king and his army surround them on the frozen lake. we see this spiral in
this location again when Bran jumps onto the weirwood net by himself and ends up
getting touched by the night king at this point in the story the area is a
frozen wasteland the we’re–what itself looks frozen which is a noticeable
contrast to others we’ve seen in the North tree that is on top of the
three-eyed Ravens cave for example looks vibrant alive see spirals again in the
dragonglass cave scene in season seven as Jon shows Daenerys the cave we see
images of the White Walkers spirals and the fire shows up back again alongside
some other symbols when Benioff talked about this in the after the episode he
said that the symbols weren’t made up by the White Walkers but by their creators
the children of the forest he said these are patterns that have mystical
significance for the children of the forest we’re not sure exactly what they
signify but spiral patterns are important in a lot of different cultures
in our world and it makes sense that they would be in this world as well so
there’s a lot more that we could say about the symbols but I think these are
the relevant examples of the White Walkers using symbols to convey a
message and where they come from the characters who have seen them in these
examples are all dead except John Daenerys and brand those characters are
all at Winterfell currently and this leads me to the first conclusion about
the spiral at last heart one thing I feel certain about is that torment beric
and Ed will describe what they saw at Last Hearth
this could definitely be a catalyst for Bran who has seen this pattern before I
was really surprised we didn’t get a scene where we saw a brand access the
weirwood Network in the first episode at all because it seems like that’ll be
necessary to do really soon as the night King and his army are fast approaching
since the forces defending Winterfell are in for the literal fight of their
lives and everyone else’s for that matter I have always thought that bran
will end up being the key to figuring out how to defeat the night king now I
imagine that when Tormund and the boys tell John what happened at last hearth
this will put things in motion that part of this is pretty simple
they tell John that they saw this awful spiral display he remembers he saw it
before with Daenerys and cave drawings depicting the story of the long night
remember that’s when the children of the forest and the first men had to fight
together to defeat the White Walkers the first time and remember the story goes
that the children of the forest had created the White Walkers as a weapon
against those same first men the children were outnumbered and the White
Walkers were essentially a way to use the first moons numbers against them
when they died in battle the night kick could turn them into whites to increase
the strength of his own army this information filters down to bran he can
go into the weirwood net to look for information on how to defeat the White
Walkers in present time of course Sam could also play a role in this he
mentioned the books he stole from the Citadel in episode one so those could
come into play to aid bran in his search as well the second part of the question
what does this mean for the end of story is a lot more difficult to answer before
I do that I think it’s worth saying that part of my original idea for making this
video was that we were probably making too much of it we were probably thinking
about this a little bit too much I mean of course we are because that’s what we
do but there’s a really good chance that the only reason they arranged the scene
the way they did at the last hearth is because of what I just talked about bran
needs that piece of information to help him learn what he has to learn to save
the day I feel absolutely confident that that part will happen but at the same
time I started to get endgame ideas as soon as I saw it because the story is so
rich and so complicated it’s really difficult to tie myself down
to an overall and game prediction instead I usually think of things in
compartmentalized ways thinking about parts of the story and how they might
turn out rather than the big picture when I first saw this flaming spiral and
made the connection that this will be helpful for getting brand to do what I
think his role in the end of Game of Thrones is it’s like dominoes starting
to fall towards an ending I don’t think is perfect but can live with that would
be that bran has to take on the night’s king inside the weirwood Network and
that he probably has to destroy the whole thing to get rid of him for good
the end of the White Walkers is the end of magic itself of course there would
need to be a lot of personal sacrifice by the characters we loved in the
process of this happening I mean we know there will be a physical battle for sure
so I’m not suggesting that bran figures this out goes into the trees and
sacrifices himself so that that’s the end of the story there’s no battle at
all this is the theory that’s out there in different forms in my version I think
John and Daenerys both have roles to play in the battle in the physical world
that are necessary to the knight Kings defeat in this theory it’s possible that
the knight King might just not want to be the knight king anymore he may just
want it to be over we know from the preseason interviews with the actor that
the person who the children turned didn’t want to be the knight king and
that he wants revenge because of that it seemed like the show killed off the
remaining children of the forest which led me to believe that bran was the
knight Kings target bran is by far the most connected character to the magic
that created the White Walkers so it seems like he would be the target of
their revenge even if we remove those motivations and look at how showrunner
David Benioff described to him or he said I don’t think of him as evil I
think of him as death that’s what he wants for all of us it’s why he was
created and that’s what he’s after if all he wants us to kill everyone this
idea with bran still works he wants to kill everyone
and since bran has knowledge that might be able to stop him it would make sense
for him to want to kill bran beyond this there are a range of
theories about what the night King one they cover a wide spectrum that goes
from straight tin foil to impossible bad pretty fun tinfoil too good and too
super interesting and fun there’s a million of them a lot of which involved
the night king wanting someone to take his place him wanting a night queen or
something to do with babies since we have the idea that White Walkers need
them to reproduce they can’t reproduce on their own since I leaned towards the
idea that bran has to actually defeat the night king I have never really
adopted these as what I think might happen in the show most of the ones that
are really well laid out are compelling and there’s a lot of good evidence to
back them up so they’ve always been theories I’d like to think about but
never really just took them on because I couldn’t see the show going there for
this video I guess the question is was the spiral in the last hearth an actual
message about what the knight came once or is it just what they do as they carry
out their destruction we can’t forget that we aren’t likely to see any direct
communication between the White Walkers and our hero any exchange would likely
have to happen on the astral plane or envision but I bring this up because the
idea Joe magician puts out in his video involves the knight king winning a
physical sacrifice I won’t retell his entire theory here
because it’s a good video and you should just go watch it for yourself but what’s
important is that it’s an ending of the type I just mentioned I really didn’t
think the show would go that way but there was an interesting thing he
pointed out that I found really compelling we first see these symbols
they appear to be viewed from the sky the way they’re arranged they’re in big
shapes that you would see flying overhead we know the children are the
originators of these symbols we know that the children had skin changers who
used Ravens and other birds preferably and he makes the connection that the
White Walkers were making the symbols for them to see since we assume the show
killed off the last of the children we are likely to see it’s really
interesting that this symbol is on a wall for men deceit this does make me
wonder if it’s a message about what he wants in other words they were using
this symbol to convey something to the children until there weren’t any
children left and now they’re using it on this wall as a symbol and a message
to I’m not really sure how I feel about it
from there you can insert any one of those scenarios above into that and
think about how that might play out in the show of course the idea that John
might be a replacement for the night king is a popular theory porous the idea
that the night King once a bride is also a very popular theory and we know that
the night King was taking babies from Craster which he is no longer getting
anymore and that there’s a big connection to this idea of the night’s
king from the books possible deals that might have had his babies going north
for the White Walkers and all of that stuff that you already know all these
things could be what’s going on but I really find it hard to see them doing it
that way that’s all I have always kind of fallen
back to this idea that rather than there being a lurking night king at the end of
the story that actually all magic would have to be
destroyed and that’s where we would end up it just seems to fit into the
framework of the television show better so to wrap it all up I think at the very
least this symbol was used as a way for brand to get keyed in to what he has to
find and the weirwood net I think I laid that out pretty good here and I think we
can all agree that that’s probably gonna happen I tend to think that this means
that what brand finds is going to be something that involves him making a
sacrifice and magic ending up not being the same if not completely eradicated by
the end of the story one of the things that has sold me on this idea and I
don’t really love it because I really kind of like the idea it used to be out
there about brand being the one at the end to still be in the weirwood tree and
him remembering the story being like the dream of spring you know what I mean
I’ve been stuck on that idea for a very long time the thing that kind of makes
me get to this point the idea of the rule of threes where you know things
usually happen in threes in George RR Martin’s writing so you have brand
affecting what’s going on by his father being able to hear him you see him
affect what’s going on by warding Hodor and Hodor becoming Hodor and then
it kind of feels right that the third thing might be that he has to do this
one more time and he’s going to end up sacrificing himself in one way or the
other in that process but it’s all just a guess I mean at this point I do think
without a doubt this is going to start to play itself out in the next episode
what do you guys think is gonna be found when bran goes looking based on this
information you’re gonna pop back up and be like yo John you have to go north and
stay there forever or is he gonna be like Daenerys this guy really wants a
wife would you be able to make that sacrifice for us because we kind of need
your help here we need you to take one for the team let me know what you think
in the comments do check out that video it was funny because I was going through
a bunch of stuff today and I read this really great article about the horror of
the episode shaunti Collins wrote that you know it’s thinking yeah this is
really effective visually and it really does make sense that this will set off
this chain of events I was looking at some articles about art and how you know
that pulled up the idea of Mance Rayder saying they were always artists and
having a background in art myself you know I thought about how this spiral is
always expanding you know it’s a circle as a container a spiral is expanding
especially if we start talking about the golden ratio so I was thinking you know
that definitely has this idea that they’re saying look we want to cover the
world with winter just like we did the tree where I was created right so then I
watched the German Edition video again and I was like you know what that’s a
pretty good point about him sending a personal message about what he wants so
I’ll be interested to hear what you guys think thanks for checking out this video
please give it a like please subscribe I’ll be trying to do more bonus videos
on top of my regular videos throughout the season so check back for that thanks
for watching I will talk to you soon