How Defeating the Night King in Game of Thrones Could See the End of the Starks

HBO
HBO

The HBO series Game of Thrones has advanced far beyond the book series it's based on, meaning that not even diehard George R.R. Martin readers know how the show will end. All we can do is theorize as we wait for the eighth and final season to premiere this Sunday. One of the biggest questions we all have is in regards to the Night King and whether or not he, along with his army, can and/or will be defeated. And if so, what consequences will that bring? One theory claims that the undead leader will be conquered, but that the living Starks will be sacrificed in order for it to happen.

The Telegraph posed the idea that the Night King was once a Stark (as Old Nan once told Bran was a possibility). This theory, when paired with the idea that killing a White Walker would also kill all of its creations, could mean the end of the House of Winterfell.

What's the evidence behind this bold theory? The publication explains a few key things. The first, and the most obvious, is that the series is known to kill off main characters we all love. Eliminating the remaining Starks would mean saying goodbye to Sansa, Arya, Bran, and even Jon, whose mother was Lyanna Stark. They also point out how showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss previously revealed there would be "three holy s**t moments" throughout the show—which came directly from Martin—with only one left for the final season. (The co-creators clarified that the first was Shireen's death, and the second was Hodor's origin story.) The last moment could be any number of things, but killing off the fan-favorite family in one move might be the most shocking possibility.

Another potential reason this theory could work is the Starks' connection to the White Walkers. Thousands of years ago, the Wall was created by a Stark named Brandon the Builder, as the legend goes. It's also believed there was magic involved in building it, something that hints the undead were involved. The Telegraph goes on to explain that since it was apparently Brandon who enforced that there must always be a Stark at Winterfell, it begs the speculation that he could have made some type of pact with the Walkers. There are a ton of details from that time that we just don't know.

And of course, if you're into the theory that Bran Stark is actually the Night King, this also aligns nicely. There's no doubting Bran has a connection with the lead White Walker, even if you don't believe he is or will become the Night King. Could their bond be because they're family? There's not enough evidence to know for sure, but the idea is interesting.

The other part of this theory derives from something we learned in the season 7 episode "Beyond the Wall." While trying to capture a wight, Jon Snow kills the White Walker the wight was traveling with, which in turn destroyed nearly all of the wights in that group. The men wonder if killing a Walker means killing any wights that he turned, which leads Beric Dondarrion to point to the Night King and urge Snow to "Kill him, he turned them all." Jon cryptically responds, "You don't understand." If killing a Walker means killing its creations/followers/descendants, would killing the Night King mean immediate destruction of all the undead? But what of the living? If the Night King is a Stark, and the current Starks of Winterfell are his descendants, might they die along with the undead?

What The Telegraph is suggesting here really is a complex two-parter, but as with any theory, there's always a possibility of there being some truth to it. The Night King being a Stark would explain a lot, and having the remaining Starks die in order to defeat him would fit the kind of tragic, bittersweet ending we should all be expecting from the series.

Soon enough, all of these theories won't matter, as the finale is almost here. Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14.

[h/t The Telegraph]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping Newsletter!

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Office Children's Book Is Coming to Introduce Your Kids to Dunder Mifflin

The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary is coming from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in October.
The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary is coming from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in October.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Amazon

Thanks to constant TV reruns and easy access via Netflix, The Office hasn't lost any of its popularity since airing its series finale in 2013. Now the beloved sitcom is about to be introduced to a whole new audience that (fortunately) isn't old enough to understand what Michael Scott means when he says "That's what she said." As Entertainment Weekly reports, a new book for kids, The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary, is out now.

While it might be hard to imagine how a children's book all about Dunder Mifflin would work, now that we're getting a glimpse at it, it seems like the best idea ever. A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary will introduce your little ones to all your favorite paper company employees—though they won't be the same Jim and Pam we all know so well. In this book, the illustrated characters are all school-aged.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

The 40-page book is written by Robb Pearlman, author of Bob Ross and Peapod the Squirrel, Pink is for Boys, and Star Trek: Fun with Kirk and Spock, and illustrated by Melanie Demmer, who works on the My Furry Foster Family series. Though the book is intended for kids ages 4 to 8, you can be sure that we'll be reading it, too.

You can order your copy of The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary for $16 on Amazon right now. And if you're looking for more Office collectibles that are available right now, head here.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.