The Great War is coming to Game of Thrones. Actually, make that two Great Wars. Yes, all of the Houses are fighting among themselves to see who will come out on top to rule the Seven Kingdoms, but a much larger threat looms on the horizon: the White Walkers. Luckily for all the humans in Westeros, there's one gargantuan thing standing in the army of the dead's way: The Wall. It's a soaring structure of ice that is completely insurmountable, especially when guarded by the forces of the North. But now that Winter is creeping into the southern lands, everything is changing. And based on a few key hints, we're almost certain the White Walkers will make it past The Wall.
Before we break down the theory, it's important to establish the importance of The Wall in relation to Westeros. Jon Snow does plenty of the legwork here. In the season seven premiere, he makes it clear that manning The Wall is priority. He sees it as the primary and last defense against the White Walkers. But it's actually not Jon Snow that impresses upon us the importance of The Wall. It's Archmaester Marwyn, played by Jim Broadbent. In a key scene with Sam, he declares he's not even worried about Winter because of The Wall.
"When Robert's Rebellion was raging, people thought the end was near, the end of the Targaryen dynasty. 'How will we survive?!' When Aegon Targaryen turned his eye westward and flew his dragons to Blackwater . . . 'The end is near! How will we survive?' Thousands of years before that, during the long night, we can forgive them for thinking it truly was the end. But it wasn't. None of it was. The Wall has stood through it all. And every Winter that ever came has ended."
Marwyn's attitude must be the prevailing sentiment all over Westeros. The Wall has our back . . . until it doesn't. In just the season premiere alone, there were a lot of hints that the army of the dead would make it past The Wall.
1. Bran Stark's Arrival
At the beginning of the season premiere, Bran and Meera finally arrive at The Wall. What the Night's Watch doesn't know is that Bran is a dangerous person to have around, mostly because of the Night King's brand on his arm. This brand is what inevitably leads the Night King to the weirwood tree, which consequently caused the deaths of the former Three-Eyed Raven and Hodor. If, by some chance, the Night King doesn't know which way is south, Bran has just given him a very good inclination.
2. Jon Snow's Urgency
Jon Snow sees firsthand how formidable the White Walkers are at Hardhome. He knows what he's dealing with, and he's worried. The fact that he's so desperate to man the Wall means he's preparing for a confrontation sooner rather than later. With the ticking timer, there's a strong chance the army will arrive before the North is ready. And even if they are ready, we have a feelings they won't be able to hold the White Walkers off.
3. The Hound's Vision
Perhaps the most damning clue is the Hound's vision in the fire. "Ice, a wall of ice," he says. "The Wall . . . it's where The Wall meets the sea. There's a castle there. There's a mountain, looks like an arrowhead. The dead are marching past, thousands of them." There's a strong chance he's talking about Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, the castle at the eastern edge of the Wall, which also happens to be close to Hardhome. It's also the castle Tormund agrees to guard with the Wildings. The Hound might be seeing the next big battle with the White Walkers. There's a chance the could win and overtake the Wall there. Or maybe, with just the see to the east, they'll manage to find a way around The Wall. Winter is here, after all, and Winter comes with ice . . . and frozen bodies of water.
So, there you have it. The Wall is basically the only thing standing between the White Walkers and Westeros, and we have plenty of reason to believe they'll make it past. Once they do, it could be the beginning of the end of the world. Will all the Houses be able to set aside their differences and fight as one? Or will they be too busy fighting among themselves to see the real threat? We'll have to see how the rest of the season plays out.