Winter is finally here, but there's something even more frightening coming to Game Of Thrones Season 7. It's something that the show has warned us of before, but we may have forgotten. Luckily, HBO's official YouTube just uploaded a throwback clip from Season 1 Episode 3, "Lord Snow," as a friendly reminder. The video features a very young Bran being told a story about the White Walkers, who don't walk this world alone, but bring some scary companions with them. Specifically, giant ice spiders.
As Bran lies in bed after falling — or, more accurately, being pushed by Jaime Lannister — out a window, Old Nan, who is the Starks' oldest servant and Hodor's great-grandmother, tells him a wild story from beyond the Wall. It's a scary story, just like Bran said he likes, about the winter when the "White Walkers moved through the woods." She talks of the darkness that came and brought the White Walkers for the first time riding in on their dead horses and "pale spiders, big as hounds."
The theory that Game Of Thrones would eventually include ice spiders has been floating around for years now, thanks to Nan's story. But also because, as the website Dorkly pointed out, these ice spiders have been mentioned twice in the show and three times in the books. The persistent mentioning of them makes them feel like a significant clue that will pay off before the show is over. Some have even guessed that the reason Jon Snow and Tormund are running in the Season 7 trailer is to get away from these spiders.
While very creepy, the ice spiders may not be the only thing HBO is hinting at with this clip. The Huffington Post noted that Old Nan's story is another hint that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai, better known as the one who has been chosen to save the Seven Kingdoms from the white walkers. Old Nan talks of a hero who must defend the world from the walkers and their spiders in an episode called "Lord Snow." Coincidence? Not with this show.
But let's not ignore Old Nan's importance in this clip. Already, her stories have been prophetic; Bran reiterated Nan's story of the "Rat Cook," who cooked a visiting king's son into a pie — which sounds a lot like what Arya did to Walder Frey. Earlier this year, Time wrote that it could be Old Nan who actually holds the key to GOT's end. Especially when it comes to time travel.
Author George R.R. Martin wrote in Game Of Thrones that it was Nan who first told Bran the story of Brandon the Builder. She told him it was his favorite story, despite Bran knowing it wasn't. "She had lived so long, Mother had told him once, that all the Brandon Starks had become one person in her head," Martin wrote.
But what if they actually are the same person? The concept of time is fuzzy on Game Of Thrones, but this could hint that time is a closed loop. Or, as the Three-Eyed Raven told Bran last season, "The past is already written. The ink is dry." What if Old Nan already knows that Bran Stark is actually the original Bran the Builder and has been making that clear with her stories? Time wrote "there seem to be clues about both the past and future — and [Bran's] connection to them — in much of what she says." This means Bran may be the real key to finishing off the White Walkers and saving the Wall, if only he can make the connection Nan had hinted at long ago.
Way back in Season 1, it may have been easy to write off Nan's story just like Robb Stark did, or Bran, who makes it very clear he "hates" Old Nan stories. But the posting of this video by HBO proves that we should all pay better attention to Nan's tales. The clip also makes a case for why you need to go back and re-watch the first season. It may just hold the answers to how Game Of Thrones ends.