Game of Thrones Season 8 only gets six episodes to address many unanswered questions before the show officially ends. Near the top of that list: Who’s going to defeat the Night King? Someone has to do it. Right? RIGHT? Well, it turns out ‘GoT’ may have revealed the hero in question way back in Season 1.
Potential spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 below.
In Season 1 Episode 3, “Lord Snow,” King Robert Baratheon (RIP) recalls his first kill.
“[It] was some Tarly boy at the Battle of Summerhall,” he says. “He came running at me, this dumb highborn lad, thinking he could end the rebellion with a single swing of his sword. I knocked him down with a hammer … Stupid boy. Now the Tarlys bend the knee like everyone else. He could’ve lingered on the edge of the battle with the smart boys.”
Could that have been foreshadowing another battle, say the one against the Night King in Season 8?
Several fans think it’s possible.
“I think there’s a chance Sam, the last living Tarly, will use Heartsbane to kill the Night King with a single swing of his sword and bring an end to the Great War,” writes Redditor u/DLun203.
Redditor u/WowBaBao also suggests that might be a hint that Sam could even be Azor Ahai.
“The Nissa Nissa is Gilly and Heartsbane turns into Lightbringer through the prophecy,” they write.
According to the legend, Azor Ahai made the sword Lightbringer by stabbing it into his wife Nissa Nissa’s heart.
Redditor u/Alutic even made a chart that details all the possible candidates for Azor Ahai and whether they meet the qualifications for the prophecy.
Sam may not seem like the most likely candidate compared to others like Daenerys and Jon. However, Game of Thrones fans should know by now that the show (and the books it’s based on) isn’t afraid to throw in an unexpected twist.
Co-executive producer Bryan Cogman told Entertainment Weekly the final season is “emotional, haunting [and] bittersweet” and “is flipping this kind of story on its head.”
While that could be about pretty much anything that happens in Game of Thrones Season 8, the identity of Azor Ahai is almost sure to be addressed in the final episodes. So don’t be surprised if the show ends up flipping that legend on its hand as well.
Redditor u/ThyJuiceBox thinks King Robert’s story “foreshadows Sam trying to kill the Night King poorly, failing and dying,” explaining, “he would have thought he could end the rebellion with a single swing of his sword, and like with Robert that was just an overambitious failure.”
That would mean a tragic end for Sam, but maybe Sam doesn’t have to use Heartsbane exactly like the Tarly boy tried to end a battle in that tale from Season 1.
Redditor u/Subtleiaint suggests that Heartsbane is a Chekhov’s gun. (If you introduce a gun in a story, it should be used.)
“There is a narrative reason Sam went home and stole that sword,” they write. “It will be used in season 8 for something and the primary use of valyrian steel swords is to kill whitewalkers. Therefore it is a reasonable assumption that Sam will use heartsbane to kill a white walker in an important scene.”
It just doesn’t necessarily have to be the Night King.
Meanwhile, redditor u/GSD_SteVB’s theory ensures Sam’s survival.
“I think Sam will be left to document the events of the show as a Maester Bilbo-style.”
Even so, that doesn’t mean he can’t see a bit of action in battle before he retires to chronicle the adventures that make up Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres in April 2019 on HBO.
Related video: The art of killing named characters in ‘Game of Thrones.’