[UPDATE: The screenshot in question was altered from the original episode - see them both below.]
A massive Game of Thrones Easter egg has come to light, further hinting at a connection between Bran and the Night King. The idea that Isaac Hempstead Wright’s Three-Eyed Raven and Vladimir Furdik’s White Walker head honcho might somehow be linked has recently become one of the biggest theories in the Game of Thrones fandom. Everyone needed something else to speculate about after ‘R+L=J’ was confirmed, and this game-changing idea filled the gap nicely.
The ‘is Bran the Night King?’ fan theory essentially suggests that Bran will, at some point, travel back in time to try and stop the Night King’s rise to power. This will backfire, with Bran’s consciousness getting trapped in the icy villain’s mind. Bran and the Night King would then become one and the same, with the blue big bad benefiting from Bran’s omniscience and warging powers.
The theory has become so huge that Isaac Hempstead Wright actually commented on it. The actor declared the idea “a little far-fetched”, and asked, “I don’t look that much like the Night King, do I?” But still the speculation persists, with Thrones fan Hareem Sajjad adding extra fuel to the fire with this Easter-egg-unearthing Tweet:
— Hareem Sajjad (@hareem_sajjad) August 29, 2017
The shape of the White Walker horde in the scene does provide a vague outline - so it's understandable that fans might draw the conclusion that Game of Thrones' showrunners were planting a sly easter egg. Though, no doubt, it could easily be coincidental - and fans are overreaching here.
You can see the shot in context below (note, the tweeted image had been lightened up to highlight the supposed Stark sigil outline).
The Game of Thrones season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf”, ended in a highly dramatic fashion, with the Night King and his reanimated dragon Viserion destroying The Wall and leading the army of White Walkers and Wights into Westeros. And, as Sajjad noted, that’s when the Easter egg popped up: as the undead horde charged forward, they seemed to do so in formation, with a bird’s eye view on the action revealing an intriguing fact. The Night King’s forces are walking in the shape of a wolf's head - the Stark sigil. Many have taken this as a clue towards the Bran/Night King connection. Is this Easter egg the Game of Thrones showrunners tease towards a big season 8 reveal? Perhaps it is.
However, in a world as vast as Westeros, there are always other possibilities. Perhaps the Night King is just thinking about Starks because Winterfell is his next big target. Maybe he’s telepathically telling his army to march in a Stark sigil as a taunting message to the men on The Wall: ‘I’m going after your leader, next – Jon Snow’, or something like that.
Or maybe this is all a mad coincidence, and the Game of Thrones producers didn’t intend for the dead men walking to resemble the Stark sigil at all. All will be revealed, presumably, in the show’s upcoming final season.
Game of Thrones season 8 does not have an official release date yet. Our best guesses about when the show will return can be found here.