Here's What That Spiral Pattern Meant In The “Game Of Thrones” Premiere

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This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1.


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Proceed with caution!

The Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere featured a pretty grisly scene: Tormund, Beric and Edd meet up at Last Hearth (the holdfast of House Umber) and discover its inhabitants have already been slaughtered by the White Walkers, who have left a message – written in body parts.

The body parts form a spiral pattern, with the corpse of little Ned Umber (who then turns into a wight) pinned at the centre. Beric lights the whole thing on fire to kill Undead Ned, and it really, er, elevates the artwork.


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You might be asking, but what does it all mean?! Why would the White Walkers do this?! Let’s unpack it a little…

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the White Walkers create “art” with body parts. In fact, it first happened way back in Season 1, Episode 1 – although the pattern was different.


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In this scene in the pilot episode, three Night’s Watch men find the pattern and are then attacked by a wight child. The Last Hearth sequence in the Season 8 premiere was obviously a direct callback to this. But there’s more to it.

We later see the spiral pattern itself in Season 3, when Mance Rayder and Jon Snow find the horse corpses the White Walkers left from their battle with the Night’s Watch.


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Mance says “always the artists”, implying he has seen this type of pattern created by the White Walkers before – or that he knows of it, at least.

The spiral pattern is significant because, as we see in Bran’s vision of the birth of the first White Walker in Season 6, it was presumably used for magical purposes by the creators of the White Walkers, the Children of the Forest.


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With the weirwood in the middle, it even more strongly resembles the flaming Undead Ned pattern in the Season 8 premiere.

The same spiral stones, grouped around the now-frozen weirwood, are seen in another of Bran’s Season 6 visions – when he finds the Night King and his army, and the Night King leaves his mark on him.


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This is obviously an important place for the White Walkers. It is the spot of their creation, after all. Perhaps the spiral pattern is simply a reference to this – a mark they leave on the world. Or maybe it’s connected to their magic, and they need to keep recreating it in order to do…whatever they plan to do.

Both the spiral pattern and the original circular pattern from Season 1 crop up again in Season 7, when Dany and Jon visit the dragonglass cave on Dragonstone and discover markings left by the Children of the Forest.

There’s other patterns in the cave, too – including this one, which almost looks like the circular and spiral patterns combined.


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Could the symbols each represent something (like, say, ice and fire), and the combination of them indicates how the White Walkers might be defeated (like maybe by bringing ice and fire together)?!

Importantly, direct representations aren’t the only time we see these patterns. They crop up throughout the series, primarily in connection to Jon and Dany’s storylines. For example, in Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre…

Or in echoes in the crush and mhysa cenes, which each saw Jon and Dany reborn in some way.

Also, maybe it’s just me – but doesn’t the spiral pattern look a lot like the Targaryen sigil?!


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And both symbols have seven points – which in itself is a significant number in the Game of Thrones world.

Of course, the message from the White Walkers could be rather simple: we’re coming for you.

No matter what the precise meaning is, they undoubtedly seem to connect the White Walkers to Jon and/or Dany in some way. Here’s hoping we get a solid answer before Season 8 is done.

What do you think these patterns mean? Share your theories in the comments below!

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