Please note that this article is dark and full of spoilers for episode four of the eighth (and final) season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. You have been warned.
A lot went down in last week’s installment of Game of Thrones, ‘The Battle of Winterfell’. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) seemingly put an end to the Night King once and for all, taking out the biggest threat to everyone in Westeros (‘seemingly’ being the most important word in that sentence). Meanwhile Bella Ramsey’s Lyanna Mormont valiantly gave her life to take down an Ice Giant, like the badass feminist she is, Alfie Allen’s Theon died trying to save Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and sweet, sweet Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) did what we always knew he would do and sacrificed himself to save Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
Next on the agenda? Well, Daenerys wants to take the battle to the door of her enemy in the south, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).
“We have won the great war, now we will win the last war,” Dany says, vowing to rip Cersei out of King’s Landing “root and stem”.
Check out the trailer for Game of Thrones episode ‘The Last War’ below:
Dany may sound confident, but we doubt it will be that easy. After all, pretty much every single Dothraki warrior was wiped out in the first wave of battle, along with countless Unsullied soldiers. Drogon and Rhaegar were injured in battle, so Dany doesn’t have as much (dragon)fire power as normal when it comes to taking down Cersei, Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) and their well-equipped Golden Company.
And could it be that her staunchest ally, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), might be set to turn his back on her, too? Well, he may very well be advised to do so, especially if the theories circulating about HBO’s new episode four stills prove to be true.
As GOT fans will no doubt already be aware, Daenerys’ costumes have changed throughout the show’s run to reflect her changing personality and goals. Way back in season one, she dressed in soft creams, lavenders and ivories: it helped to emphasises her vulnerability and role as a pawn in her brother’s twisted plot to win back his crown. Since then, we’ve seen her don Dothraki leathers, midriff-bearing gowns, and form-fitting costumes. In season seven, she opted for a military vibe (think strong shoulders, sturdier fabrics, and higher necklines), not to mention a warmer wardrobe… one which was appropriate for the winds of winter.
“I really wanted there to be a definite shift in her look as she embraces aiding Jon’s team trapped north of the wall,” Game of Thrones’ lead costume designer Michele Clapton previously told InStyle. “I also wanted a sense of great beauty and drama. Dany is elevating her look to that of Warrior Queen, with the beautiful silver Mother of Dragons chain worn across her chest in military style, completing the look.”
So what is Daenerys wearing in GOT season 8’s ‘The Last War’? And, more importantly, what does it tell us about her story arc?
Throughout the earlier episodes of season eight, Dany has been wearing a similar wintry coat to that seen in season seven, albeit with one tiny difference: tucked between each row of white fur is a rich, red lining. This could be symbolic of many things: that Daenerys is embracing her Targaryen colours, that she really will take back the Iron Throne, or that she is (as some have predicted Azor Ahai, come to save the Seven Kingdoms from a terrifying enemy.
In stills for ‘The Last War’ (see the main image at the top of this article), she has amped up the red with a blood-coloured silken scarf at her throat… a similar hue to that seen on Cersei Lannister in her own preview photo.
So what if the colours signify something different to what we thought before? What if they suggest that our two warring queens are irreparably linked (read this GOT theory in full here), and that their mutual thirsts for power will prove their undoing?
What if they suggest that Jon is going to be forced to kill the woman he’s come to love, just as Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has been predicted to kill Cersei?
It’s horrible to even contemplate such a thing happening, but it’s well worth remembering that the late Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) predicted that Jon is the legendary “Prince That Was Promised” or “Warrior of Light”.
According to the legend, the figure would be born “amid salt and smoke” and pull a sword named Lightbringer from the flames. However, a theory says that the legend will only come true if the sword is quenched in “living fire” (can you see where we’re going with this?).
In the original legend Azor Ahai forged his sword by stabbing his wife Nissa Nissa in the heart. So, by all accounts, this may mean that Jon has to plunge the blade into the heart of a loved one – aka Daenerys (thought by many to be the new ‘Mad Queen’ of Westeros, especially after she burned Samwell’s relatives to death when they refused to bend the knee) – and kill her.
It’s a dark theory, sure. But it’s certainly a compelling one – particularly when you look at Daenerys’ behaviour in episode one. She demanded that Sansa show her respect. That the people of Winterfell acknowledge her as their true queen. That her dragons be allowed to eat “whatever they want”. And, when faced with telling a tearful Sam about the deaths of his father and brother, she barely flinched: instead, she kept things as matter-of-fact as possible, and jerked her head in assent when he asked permission to have a moment alone.
Hmm. Then again, these could all be red herrings carefully laid by GOT producers to keep us off the scent. We guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in episode four, when she (now that the battle against the Night King is done) is forced to consider her response to the fact that Jon has a better claim to the Iron Throne than she does. Because, as noted by Samwell, a leader who truly wants the best for their people should be prepared to step aside and make room for another ruler.
Anyone else incredibly doubtful that Daenerys will do so?