The Armies of Men will face off against the forces of the Night King in Game of Thrones season 8, but is it really that simple? Is House Stark - including Jon Snow, Sansa, Arya and Bran - actually a White Walker bloodline? A new theory has some compelling evidence and major implications for season 8.
Based on George R.R. Martin's book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Game of Thrones is an epic story that explores how sins of the past create events of the future. In the pilot, Ned Stark refuses to believe that White Walkers exist, but the season 7 finale brings the narrative full circle as the Great War begins. Jon Snow is also revealed to be the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, thus complicating his love affair with Daenerys Targaryen, all the while emphasizing Game of Thrones' primary theme: a song of ice and fire.
But the Stark connections to the War To Come may run deeper than that. A Game of Thrones theory, recently highlighted by Maester YouTuber Alt Shift X, suggests that House Stark's lineage contains White Walker blood. And, while it may at first seem one of the more out-there theories about Game of Thrones season 8, it actually makes a surprising amount of sense.
- This Page: The Stark-White Walker Theory
- Page 2: What This Could Mean For Game of Thrones Season 8
The Starks Have A Secret History With The White Walkers
The formation of House Stark dates back to “The Long Night”. This legendary tale details “The War of the Dawn,” in which the Children of the Forest and the First Men defeat the White Walkers. Soon thereafter, Brandon the Builder created The Wall and builts Winterfell, the foundation of House Stark, both of which are suspected to be built as defences against any further White Walker attacks. In the HBO series, House Stark fully embraces their legacy, vowing "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell" and warning "Winter is Coming", although there’s a crucial bit of information that was apparently removed from their recorded history.
Not long after the construction of the Wall, a descendant of Brandon known as the Night's King (only in the books and totally distinct from the show's Night King) overtook power from the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. According to legend, his wife had “skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars” and, during their 13-year reign, they allegedly made plentiful sacrifices to the White Walkers at Nightfort. This was stopped by the reigning Starks and any connection to the family written out of history.
The Starks May Have White Walker Blood
The House Stark-White Walker bloodline theory suggests that Brandon the Breaker, unable to kill the offspring of the Night’s King and his Corpse Queen after they were deposed, instead raised the half-human child as his own. This means that the foundation of House Stark is directly connected to a union between a Stark and a White Walker, at least based on the description of the Corpse Queen. If so, that means all descendent Starks could have White Walker blood.
The idea of a great family raising someone else's child as their own recurs throughout Game of Thrones, most notably with Jon Snow, who was raised as Ned's bastard, but also with Craster, who offers his male children to the White Walkers and later has a son with his wife/daughter Gilly who is set to be known as Samwell Tarly's instead.
In the light of this theory, a lot of how House Stark is presented in Game of Thrones takes on a new light. Their ability to tolerate the cold is indeed genetic, "Ice" is more than just a weather-inferred name for the family sword, and "Winter is Coming" can be read as a threat as much as a warning. There's a particularly interesting aspect involving the Winterfell crypt, which holds the bones of generations of dead Starks. Each grave boasts a steel sword, a metal that White Walkers are weak to - it could be that this is less a mausoleum and more a prison. The Game of Thrones season 8 teaser put a lot of focus on the crypt, suggesting its contents will be important in season 8 somehow.