From their very first appearance in the first episode of Game of Thrones to the morbid configuration in which they arranged the dead body of young Lord Ned Umber to the wall of Last Hearth in S8E1 “Winterfell”, the White Walkers have demonstrated both intriguing and enigmatic use of symbolism.
But what could these symbols possibly mean? Symbols used for magic by the Children of the Forest? Some sort of communicative effort from the Night King? A reference to the Gods Eye and the Isle of Faces, the “largest inland body of water in Westeros located in the southeast of the Riverlands” and the location where the pact between the Children of the Forest and the First men took place? Seven spirals which represent the Seven Kingdoms? Seven spirals to represent the Faith of the Seven, the main religion in Westeros? Or something really cool we don’t even know about?
A recent interview with Game of Thrones writer Dave Hill may shed some more light on one of the uber-popular HBO series’ most chilling mysteries.
“As we saw with Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven, the spiral pattern was sacred to the Children of the Forest, who created the Night King by sacrificing a captured man in a spiral ‘henge of stones.’ The Night King then adopted the symbol as a sort of blasphemy, like Satan with the upside-down cross,” Hill told the NY Post.
Does this display of sacrilege and twisting of iconography from the White Walkers provide further insight into their sentience — perhaps how they can be negotiated or reasoned with when the odds become insurmountable for our protagonists?
Or it simply a bit of cosmetic flair from the showrunners? We’ll find out as Game of Thrones‘ final season runs its course.
Game of Thrones S8E2 airs this Sunday at 9PM EST on HBO.