Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.
Tormund Giantsbane faced an enemy even more terrifying than a group of wights on Sunday night’s season finale of Game of Thrones. He and Beric Dondarrion were standing atop the Wall when the Night King commanded Viserion — now a wight dragon — to melt the massive barrier with blue fire. Tormund and Beric ran for their lives, but initially it was unclear whether they survived.
People on Twitter began to mourn the apparent death of fan-favorite Tormund as the episode ended. But others argued that Tormund could have escaped and may yet live to kill more wights and woo Brienne.
According to the official Game of Thrones recap from HBO, “Pieces of the Wall begin to collapse, as Tormund and his wildings rush to safety.” Depending on how you read that sentence, that could mean that Tormund and Beric do find a safe haven or just that they tried and failed to do so.
The two characters certainly did not make it to the bottom of the Wall, but it’s possible they ran to the part of the Wall that did not collapse. In our last look at the two characters, we see them stop and watch as the Wall melts behind them and their fellow soldiers fall to their deaths.
The camera then pulls back to a wider shot of the Wall falling. When the dragon flies away and the snow clears, we see that most of the Wall surrounding Eastwatch has fallen. There is perhaps a section on the right where Tormund and Beric could still stand.
Game of Thrones has never shied away from showing a brutal death. So if there is no body, Tormund could still be alive. Such was the case at the end of season five when Sansa and Theon made what looked to be a deadly jump from the walls of Winterfell to escape Ramsay. Many believed them to be dead, though the audience didn’t get visual confirmation. But when season six began, it became clear they had somehow survived the fall thanks to a fluffy pile of snow. Let’s hope an even fluffier pile was awaiting Tormund and Beric if they made a similar leap.
It’s also likely Beric survived considering that in the episode prior to the finale, he made a comment that the Lord of Light must have resurrected both him and Jon for a reason. Beric may still have a purpose to serve in the wars to come. We will have to wait until season eight — which could be 18 months away — to find out.