Since the “Game of Thrones” Season 8 trailer debuted, we’ve suspected something spooky was stirring in the crypts of Winterfell. Well, in Episode 3, “The Battle of Winterfell,” our suspicions were confirmed.
This post is dark and full of spoilers.
Despite everyone talking about how safe the crypts would be during the fight against the Night King and his army of wights ― “We’ll put you down in the crypt where it’s safest!” “You’ll be safer down in the crypt!” ― turns out the dead made their way into, er, out of the crypts, too, in the form of deceased Starks.
And these Starks weren’t friendly, no. They were on the side of the enemy after the Night King resurrected all the dead bodies ― fresh and stale ― lying in Winterfell.
It appears Sansa (Sophie Turner), Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Varys (Conleth Hill), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) made it out alive after Arya (Maisie Williams) ― yes NO ONE ― stabbed the Night King with her Valyrian steel dagger, destroying his army once and for all.
For background, the crypts have long been a part of Stark history. Most family members are buried down there, with various Kings of Winter and Lords of Winterfell also having statues made in their likeness. (Brandon and Lyanna Stark are exceptions as their brother Ned (Sean Bean) had vaults made in their honor.) Facts about the crypts are scattered throughout George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, including that the statues are described as having stone wolves by their feet and swords placed upon their laps, which are said to keep the spirits of the dead locked in their tombs.
And if that doesn’t freak you out, in A Game of Thrones, the first book in the series, Jon Snow has a telling dream: “In the dark he’d heard the scrape of stone on stone. When he turned he saw that the vaults were opening, one after the other. As the dead kings came stumbling from their cold black graves.”
(We should’ve seen it coming, people!)
Some did theorize that the crypt would play a big role in the season after one of the teasers showed Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams) walking through the cold, dark Winterfell basement before stumbling across their own shrines. Then, in the Season 8 trailer, Arya is seen running from someone or something in the halls of Winterfell ― and she looks pretty terrified. Many wondered what would scare a faceless woman. Finally, a tour of the crypts appeared in the new credit sequence, so all signs pointed to deceased Starks rising from the dead.
Now that the dead are truly dead, those north will head south to attempt to take the Iron Throne from Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). And with the sweet moment Tyrion shared with Sansa in the crypt, who knows what their once matrimonious future holds.
All we know is that they lived to tell the tale of Winterfell’s scary basement.