At this point, spoilers for Game Of Thrones control almost as much of the cultural conversation as the TV show itself. As the popularity of the show increased, fans consciously divided into two camps: Those wishing to live in spoiler-free ignorance, and those impatient enough to say, “Fuck it, just tell me how it ends.” No segment of the fandom is as entrenched in the spoiler-filled camp as the people at Watchers On The Wall, a fan community dedicated to breaking Game Of Thrones news and spoilers that are acquired by means of espionage.
Earlier this week, one of these brave obsessives ventured to Northern Ireland and captured a video near the Game Of Thrones set. The resultant clues about next season are telling and devastating. Needless to say, if you’re not interested in potentially heartbreaking spoilers, turn back now.
No, your eyes don’t deceive you. That blurry cell phone video shows Ned Stark’s ancestral home, Winterfell, up in flames. Watchers On The Wall has taken this as a confirmation of what many already predicted. Season 8 will see the end of Winterfell. How exactly this will play out is another story.
Season 7 ended with the Night King marching south from the wall with an army of zombies and an undead ice dragon. Winterfell is the first major landmark he would hit on this war path, so it may be the White Walkers that bring the fire to the Stark’s reclaimed home. But they aren’t the only ones with a dragon. Maybe Dany and Jon will have a falling out (or realize they’re related) and the Mother Of Dragons will respond by burning her new boyfriend’s house down. Or maybe Podrick will accidentally knock over a candle.
To find out what actually happens, we’ll just have to wait until … ugh, next year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still speculate wildly.