Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.
HBO gave Game of Thrones fans a season 8 debut date teaser ahead of Sunday night’s premiere of True Detective season 3, but as is often the case with the fantasy epic, it has left viewers with more questions than answers.
In a new teaser dubbed “Crypts of Winterfell,” Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Arya Stark are shown walking separately through the aforementioned tunnels as significant-sounding lines of dialogue from the late Lyanna Stark, Catelyn Stark and Ned Stark —who all have statues in the crypts — can be heard as voiceovers. In the promotional video, the three siblings then come together to look upon what appears to be their very own statues before turning to protect themselves as an ominous-sounding icy wind sweeps through the chamber.
The teaser contains several details that are worth noting. However, one that fans seem to have particularly latched on to is the absence of Bran Stark, the only other living Stark sibling.
Bran returned from beyond the Wall as a vastly different — and often distant — person following his transformation into the Three-Eyed Raven.
“I can never be Lord of Winterfell. I can never be Lord of anything. I’m the Three-Eyed Raven,” he told Sansa in season 7. “It’s difficult to explain…It means I can see everything, everything that’s ever happened to everyone. Everything that’s happening right now. It’s all pieces now, fragments. I need to learn to see better. When the Long Night comes again, I need to be ready.”
However, while one popular theory posits that Bran, through a series of misguided time-traveling and warging decisions, will turn out to be the Night King, some fans are speculating that this teaser hints otherwise. Instead of foreshadowing his evolution into the Night King, Bran’s absence may just signify his new status as the Three-Eyed Raven.
“He has no statue because he’s not a Stark anymore,” Reddit user eddey1999 wrote on a teaser analysis thread. “He’s [the Three-Eyed Raven].”
“Once you’re the [Three-Eyed Raven], with all of time constantly populating your mind, the short timeframe of Brandon Stark is irrelevant,” user Amaxophobe added. “He no longer has any concept of nor loyalty to being a Stark. Brandon Stark is effectively dead.”
Some even suggest that Bran may be showing this vision to his three siblings in order to warn them about the danger ahead.
Watch the full teaser above.
Game of Thrones will return for its eighth and final season on April 14.