Sport of Thrones is an epic fantasy designed to spark the creativeness by way of its legendary tales of dragons, magic, and warfare. However as HBO debuts the present’s eighth season (and theories in regards to the finale attain a fever pitch), we will not assist however marvel if the reality behind the destiny of Westeros has been staring us within the face from the very starting. That’s to say, once we contemplate how a lot the season eight premiere, “Winterfell,” focuses on the Stark’s ancestral house and parallels key moments from the present’s first episode (equally titled “Winter Is Coming”), it might be protected to theorize that Winterfell’s historical past and the fort’s identify play a serious position within the sequence finale.
However earlier than we dig into our principle, let’s take a short have a look at the fort’s historical past.
Winterfell is situated on the heart of Westeros’s northern territory. The construction lies alongside the Kingsroad about 650 miles south of the Wall however multiple thousand miles north of King’s Touchdown. The compound acts because the area’s capital and the seat of rule for the Wards (and Kings!) of the North. A sequence of excessive partitions enclose the multi-level complicated, which covers quite a few acres thought to have been within the Stark household for practically eight,000 years. The fort correct sits atop a group of sizzling springs that hold the fort heat throughout the winter, and the catacombs beneath maintain the tombs of previous Stark lords and women. And, in fact, one in all Winterfell’s most notable options, as outlined within the opening sequence of the HBO sequence by the crimson leaves and white bark of its weirwood tree, is a godswood, or a courtyard grove designated as a spot of worship.
Within the A Track of Ice and Hearth novels, the oldest part of the fort is a tower often called the First Preserve – though debate about its origins make it tough to pinpoint a precise age. Some maesters hint the construction’s origins to the migration of the Andals from Essos to Westeros six thousand years in the past. Others imagine – and this philosophy aligns extra carefully to the tv sequence – that Bran the Builder created Winterfell after Azor Ahai defeated the lifeless within the Conflict For the Daybreak throughout the first Lengthy Evening, roughly eight,000 years in the past. This principle proves important once we contemplate how the Stark homestead acquired its namesake. To place it plainly, the fort could actually mark the spot the place Winter (aka the Nice Different) fell to defeat by the hands of the dwelling.
And in that very same approach, the identify Winterfell foreshadows the White Walkers’ return. Now that the Wall has fallen, the Evening King and his undead military will quickly descend upon the fort for one more battle – echoing Eddard Stark’s prophetic line from season one, “Winter Is Coming.” Maybe this time, the White Walkers achieve storming the compound and destroying the dwelling. This may then flip the identify on its head and make Winterfell the place the place the Stark household, the Kings of the North (aka the Kings of Winter), fell by the hands of the lifeless.