“The Night King is not stupid.”
This is the name of the now-viral Game of Thrones season-eight theory posted less than 23 hours ago by Reddit user Qp0n that’s garnered over 11,000 “up” votes...and after reading through the lengthy explanation, we have to agree. (And then shout some of our favorite four-letter words at the sky.)
Basically, the theory, which is garnering serious attention because of its bulletproof reasoning, posits that the Night King isn’t going to just waltz into Winterfell with his Army of the Dead and his ice dragon like we all expect. Daenerys still has two dragons, Winterfell is equipped with loads of dragonglass for weapons and they’ve got (almost) all the armies in the world readying for the big face-off.
The Night King, being a rational (undead) being, isn’t going to risk the loss of ice dragon Viserion and the chance of defeat against TWO dragons (which would probably end badly for him). Instead, he’s going to already be at King’s Landing by the time half of the Army of the Dead reaches Winterfell (the other half will bypass the Stark fortress and continue on their way south). Glaring hint numero uno: Bran’s not freaking out, and he’s supposedly able to see everything (past, present and future). So if Bran’s good, we’re good.
Also, during season four, Bran Stark touches a Wierwood and has a set of visions which we see: his father about to be executed, a flight of ravens, the Night King turning Craster’s last son into a White Walker, the Iron Throne sitting empty with snow falling around it, Bran falling from the tower, a dragon flying over King’s Landing and the same tree on a hill again, all while a strange voice tells Bran to find this speaker “beneath the tree, North.”
All of those visions have basically come true, except the two where he sees a snow-covered throne room and the dragon shadow pass over King’s Landing. The Reddit theory says the only reason that we don’t see the actual dragon and rider (Dany on Drogon, for instance) is because it’s the Night King on Viserion. And we haven’t seen the throne room covered in snow yet, but we will once the Night King reaches the Red Keep.
But why would the Night King want to go to King’s Landing? Probably because he can avoid facing off against two dragons (a losing battle) while gaining a million more foot soldiers by turning all the tightly packed and unprotected citizens of King’s Landing into wights.
Our opinion (we know you didn’t ask): That Bran’s staying put in the North with Jon and his sisters, Sansa and Arya, because he knows this to be true. He doesn’t want to give warning because that would mean he’s saving evil Cersei, whom he knows has abandoned everyone and broken all of her promises. So should this theory instead be called “Bran Stark is not stupid”?
The second episode of GoT debuts on Sunday, April 21, on HBO at 9 p.m.