Warning: Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season eight, episode two.
If Game of Thrones spends any significant amount of time insisting something is safe and cozy, you better brace yourself — that very thing is more than likely going to become a wellspring of death and destruction. So, after the second episode of GoT season eight, fans are convinced the crypts at Winterfell might be dangerous. After all, the show devoted quite a bit of time establishing it as a safe place for the Northerners to harbor their women, children and other non-combatants during the battle against the Wight army. When GoT hammers home a point as much as they did with the crypt in episode two, it becomes a waiting game for the hammer to fall. And that teaser trailer showing Arya Stark running through the crypt terrified? It stoked the fire of this particular fan theory even more.
The notion that the crypts at Winterfell are perhaps more dangerous than anyone thinks isn’t baseless, either. Per a Reddit thread in the popular GoT Theories board, a passage in the books alludes ominously to the crypt. Revealed one Redditor, “So I’m re-reading the books and on page 553 of A Game of Thrones, Jon recounts a dream in which he is in the crypt of Winterfell and the tombs open and out walk the dead Kings of winter. A lot of people have theorized this will happen just based on the season 8 trailer that shows Arya terrified running through the crypt at Winterfell and narrating about the ‘many faces of death.’ Soooo I think we’re gonna see some zombie Starks, including possibly Ned since his remains were returned to Winterfell!”
A little exposition leading up to this: Episode two of GoT revolved mainly around everyone preparing for the upcoming battle against the Wight army. When a sweet little girl approaches Ser Davos for food (and apparently counsel), he reassures her that the crypts are safe. Then, Jon Snow and Daenerys both send friends/allies to the crypt under the assumption of safety — Jon tells Samwell to join Gill and little Sam there, while Dany orders Tyrion to stay in the crypt to safeguard his brilliant mind. That’s a lot of build-up about the crypt, and clearly enough to make anyone suspicious. And then the teaser trailer with Arya fleeing in abject terror dropped.
But does all of this really mean that the Night King can bring the dead Starks back to life? It’s a sound theory, guys. Remember at Hardhome when he literally lifted his arms and all the dead rose up? There’s nothing to prevent him from doing the same at Winterfell and, as another Redditor points out, “having the characters have to combat the corpses of their decedents is tragically poetic.” Also compelling is the moment in the trailer for next week’s episode when Dany tells Jon “the dead are already here.” Given how long the Starks have ruled Winterfell, it stands to reason there are many, many dead Starks in the crypt. It would be a shrewd move on the Night King’s part to put this veritable army to use at his behest.
Of course, this begs the question as to whether Ned could come back. He was beheaded, after all. Would his head be returned to him in undeath? Then again, there are few things we can imagine would be more terrifying than headless zombie Starks. So, there’s that.