When Beric, Tormund, and their crew found the Night King's disturbing signal at the end of "Winterfell," the first episode in season 8 of Game of Thrones, fans immediately began wondering about what the symbol could mean for the end of the series. Already, several fan theories have emerged, with one suggesting that the symbol could be the key to finding a way to kill the Night King.
To say that the graphic burning death of the young Ned Umber was disturbing is an understatement. But the spiral symbol he is the center of is nothing new; it was first seen in the pilot episode, made of bodies of wildlings.
One elaborate Reddit theory, which Esquire spotted, explains how this could mean that this death could be the key to killing the Night King.
"I think the wight that Beric killed is a representation of the Night King's power," the theory begins. "The Weirwood symbol it was centered on indicates the Grand Weirwood located on the Gods Eye is the main source of that power. In order to shut off the Night King, they will need to burn down the Grand Weirwood with a flaming sword. I'm guessing Jon will be the one who pulls it off so Beric will eventually teach Jon how to get the fire sword."
In order for this to work, however, the theory says that Bran must die:
"The Three-Eyed Raven was meant to be an all-knowing library of knowledge, specifically created to house the memory for defeating the Night King. It's almost as if they knew the White Walker concept would become lost to men and/or they couldn't trust even something like the Citadel to keep the knowledge. So this would mean Bran would be a [shoo]-in to die as well."
The theory concludes that, "It will be along those lines [of characters like Beric and Daenerys dying] when Bran finally reveals what Jon must do, and that's to take that flaming sword and burn down the Grand Weirwood, knowing he will die in the process."
It's a dark theory that involves the deaths of many of our favorite characters; we'll just have to see how it all plays out over the course of the remaining seven episodes.