An Easter egg in the opening credits of Game of Thrones' seventh season may explain how the White Walkers will get past the Wall. For the past six seasons, Game of Thrones has stayed true to its title by highlighting the scheming and backstabbing the nobles of Westeros have employed to situate themselves on the Iron Throne. However, both the show and book series that it's based upon open with a more primordial threat: the White Walkers.
Since that cold open, the seasons and books have continued to sketch out the magic around the edges of its political story. It's that very threat that divides Jon and Sansa currently, and separates the North even more from Cersei and Dany. So while the machinations of those trying to rule Westeros have led to intense fight scenes and plenty of character deaths, a greater war is still on its way. And if factions like Dany and Jon can't learn to work together, life in Westeros could come to an end when the White Walkers arrive. Of course, to do that, they have to pass through the Wall - and a new theory may point to how they will do it.
A Reddit user noticed an interesting change to the opening credits of Game of Thrones this season. As the camera pans away from the Wall, it's clear that the waters around Eastwatch-by-the-Sea have frozen over, when you compare the shot to the same one featured in the previous seasons' opening credits.
The reason this little Easter egg is so important is that it explains the relatively simple way the Others and their undead army will get south. The Wall isn't just a physical obstacle, but is covered in magical enchantments designed to keep the White Walkers from passing under, over, or through it. As such, dozens of theories have cropped up about how they will manage this feat. Some have pointed to the Horn of Winter or the mark the Night's King left on Bran's arm. If this new theory is correct, however, it seems that Game of Thrones fans were simply overthinking things here.
In the end, the White Walkers might simply use their abilities to freeze over the small section of the sea and march around the Wall. It's likely, too, that this is where Tormund and the wildlings will make their stand, as prophesied by the Hound in the season premiere.
This also means that the maesters of the Citadel are right and the Wall really isn't in danger of falling. Sadly, they're wrong that the coming chaos will be just like every other ill that's befallen Westeros. We will have to wait a bit longer for any confirmation of this theory in the show, but the opening credits of Game of Thrones have long been purposeful when it comes to the images they show and how they relate to the series.
Game of Thrones continues next Sunday with ‘The Queen’s Justice’ @ 9pm on HBO.