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Will the dead in Winterfell Crypts rise when the Night King arrives?



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The Army of the Dead is at the door and Winterfell is all set for battle. But with all the security going on outside, there might be a weak link the living side has not considered. There are dead people inside Winterfell, and there is a strong possibility the Night King can raise them.

Yep, we are talking about the crypts of Winterfell. A Thousand of years worth of dead Starks buried there, it’s fertile ground for the Army of the Dead for scoring recruits.

Scared much? Let us notch up the ominousness here – all of the North’s women, children, elderly, and people otherwise incapable of fighting will be down there, ‘safe’ from open battle. That sure looks like a massive loophole in the battle plans.

Now, most of the dead Starks buried in the crypts should be bone and dust by now. Also, no one really knows how close the Night King has to be to wake the dead up. So there’s a chance that this is all just theory-mongering.

But unfortunately, there are also signs throughout Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 and in the Episode 3 preview that point towards an unexpected attack from inside Winterfell.

‘The Dead are already here.’

Around the 0:24 mark in the Episode 3 preview, Daenerys tells Jon Snow that ‘The Dead are already here’. Now, that’s not new information. If by ‘here’ she means they have reached Winterfell, Jon and everybody else knows that already. So why does she sound so panicked?

The reason may be that ‘here’ is not the borders of Winterfell but inside it. Specifically, the crypts down under, because that is the place most likely to cause an influx of dead people from inside.

Everybody thinks the crypts are ‘safe.’

Throughout the runtime of ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’, people keep referring to the crypts as a safe haven. Gilly and Ser Davos are seen telling refugees to go down into the crypts when the time comes, and that they’ll “be safe there”. Gendry tells Arya to be in the crypts, a suggestion she scoffs at. Evidently, both of them think of it in terms of a hiding place.

But in the Game of Thrones world, safety is an illusion. And every time a character has felt safe in some knowledge, that has been turned to dust. Remember the Red Wedding? That too was considered safe, because of the Starks’ supposed guest rights. The repeated mention of the crypts as a safe place hints there is a high chance it is not safe at all.

What awaits down under

If the dead in Winterfell crypts do awaken, it will present a horrific situation for the defenders. One, most of the people hiding in the crypts will die and join the Undead Army. That will significantly increase their numbers. Two, the defenders will have to fight against their own family.

There’s nothing in the show to suggest that Catelyn and Robb’s remains were returned to Winterfell. But Eddard Stark’s was. Among the most recent dead Starks, there also lie Lyanna, Brandon, and Rickard Stark, Eddard’s siblings and father respectively. All of them could be among the resurrected dead.

Jon has just learnt that Lyanna was his mother. Arya saw the beheading of Ned. How will the Stark children deal with having to fight against their dearest ones? The preview also has a shot of Arya running through the passages of Winterfell, visibly frightened and disturbed. What horror could evoke such a response in Arya, a seasoned assassin and one so familiar with death?

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For the answers, we will have to wait for Episode 3. For now, this seems like a frighteningly plausible theory.

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Founder at Wiki of Thrones and a full-time Game of Thrones fan who does other work when he has finished reading and writing about Game of Thrones and also dreams about playing a role in the show.