'Game of Thrones' Season 8, Episode 3 Preview Teases the Night King's Plan

The Night King isn’t coming to the North without a plan, and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) might know what that ice cold villain is up to in the next episode of Game of Thrones. A line of dialogue spoken by Dany in the trailer for Season 8, Episode 3 actually supports a popular, if very dark theory about how the Night King will take Winterfell in the imminent Battle of Winterfell.

Minor spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead.

Shortly after the credits rolled in this week’s episode of Thrones, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” (set to Florence Welch’s touching cover of “Jenny of Oldstones”), a teaser trailer for the third episode showed the beginning of the Battle of Winterfell, the main event of all of Game of Thrones.

In the 40-second teaser, which is a fast-paced montage of all the gathered armies in the Seven Kingdoms looking cooler than sliced bread, Daenerys tells Jon Snow: “The dead are already here.”

While Dany could just be reiterating what Jon Snow already learns at the very end of Episode 2, Dany might actually be revealing the most important detail that’s set up Winterfell to fail.

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For reasons that seemed perfectly sound at the time, the North has rounded up its most vulnerable citizens, including non-able bodied women and children, and hid them inside the crypts beneath the castle.

It is supposedly the safest place in all of Winterfell, a point they make abundantly clear over and over again without questioning it. In creative writing terms, this is called a Chekhov’s gun, named for 19th-century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, where writers introduce story elements they intend to revisit later on. (In other words: If someone brandishes a gun in Act I, that gun will have to fire in Acts II or III.)

Yet somehow everyone in the North has forgotten that White Walkers have the ability to raise the dead and turn them into wights (basically frozen zombies). Thus, many fans are starting to believe that the Night King will raise the dead of Winterfell and use them to strike at our heroes right where it hurts the most.

All these brilliant minds and no one remembered that the Night King can raise the dead. Yup, they're doomed.


There is currently a lot of chatter among Thrones fans regarding the so-called “crypt theory.” As pointed out by several fans, including user u/The-Saucequatch on Reddit’s r/FanTheories, the Night King wasn’t present in the shot of the White Walker army because the Night King has already snuck off deep into Winterfell to raise the dead inside the crypts.

The lyrics of “Jenny of Oldstones,” a song sung by Ser Brienne’s former squire, Podrick, just before the battle, may also allude to the Night King turning Winterfell’s crypts into his own trojan horse. Lines such as “in the halls of the kings who are gone” and “into the night through the snow that swept through the hall” seem to support this theory.

Will the Night King actually sneak around and destroy Winterfell from within? Maybe! All that really matters now is that time has run out. Winter has come, and it’s time for Westeros to fight.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.