There were plenty of Easter eggs in the July 16 Game Of Thrones premiere, "Dragonstone," to keep fans speculating for… well, for seven days, until the next episode. But one moment in particular seems to have captured viewer interest: Was Wun Wun in the Game Of Thrones Season 7 premiere?
The scene in question occurred early in the episode, as the White Walkers continued the march south with their undead army… which was for the first time revealed to contain several undead giants. As the camera zoomed in on one wight-giant in particular, many viewers couldn't help but wonder if this was the same giant who had recently lost his life at the Battle of the Bastards. After all, Wun Wun's cause of death was an arrow through the eye socket… and this undead giant is also missing an eye!
But, like all the theories that claim Ser Pounce is somehow Azor Ahai, this is a case of overexcited Thrones fans reading too much into something. For one thing, the wight-giant is missing the wrong eye. Ramsay's arrow pierced Wun Wun's right eye while the zombie in the Season 7 premiere is missing his left. For another, the undead giant is in a much more advanced stage of decay than you would expect from someone killed just two episodes ago, in show-time.
Most damningly, Jon Snow has always been the biggest proponent of burning dead bodies; he practically sounds like a broken record at this point. They made a point to burn all the corpses after the Battle of Castle Black in Season 4 and, even though it wasn't shown explicitly onscreen, viewers can safely assume Jon would have urged the same show of caution after the Battle of Winterfell. At this point, Wun Wun's corpse is ashes, not somehow marching with the White Walkers — who, at this point, are still on the other side of the Wall from Winterfell, to boot.
So what was the whole point of this conspicuous shot of an undead giant, then? There are probably a couple of reasons behind the decision. First of all, the scene serves as a reminder that the White Walkers can reanimate things other than humans; they can reanimate anything that used to be living, in fact. Viewers have seen a couple of undead horses that the White Walkers use as mounts, but other than that, all of their wights have been human so far — whether for storytelling or budgetary reasons. In the books, the White Walkers have undead giants and bears and birds and spiders and water creatures and even dragons, if rumors are to be believed, and the sight of three towering wight-giants serves to drive home this fact on the show.
Additionally, this sequence is a clever Easter egg that harkens back to the earliest days of the show. In the third episode of Season 1, Robb regales Bran with a story Old Nan once told him:
This is a Westerosi old wives' tale that actually gets repeated in Season 4, when Oberyn Martell casually mentions it in conversation with Tywin Lannister. The White Walker sequence in the Season 7 premiere ends with the camera zooming in on the giant's blue eye, playfully referencing this story that has been the subject of numerous fan conspiracy theories.
There are plenty of reasons why the undead giant glimpsed in "Dragonstone" couldn't possibly be Wun Wun. But do you know who did die north of the Wall, and whose corpse wasn't burned?
Could this sequence have been foreshadowing the return of Hodor as a zombified wight? The jury's still out, but I wouldn't put such a tragic twist past Game Of Thrones…