Does Game of Thrones season 8's most shocking scene (so far) reveal who the Night King really is?

Game of Thrones season 8
Image credit: HBO

While Game of Thrones season 8 didn’t open up with as much bloodshed and gore as we’d have hoped, it wasn’t all dancing round the Winterfell maypole. The Night King sent a stomach-churning message midway through the premiere that not only teases his and the army of the dead’s impending march south, but could open up the floodgates to one of the best (and most plausible) theories from Game of Thrones.

So, that poor Umber boy. Don’t remember the bit I’m talking about? You’ll remember pieces of his body pinned to a wall next to his (not so) lifeless body. He was eventually chargrilled for having the nerve to attempt to bite Tormund, but the fire spread into an eye-catching pattern. That’s where the secret lies.

You see, it formed a symbol – one we’ve actually seen a few times throughout Game of Thrones history. The Night King also arranged a morbid, Hannibal-esque display of dead bodies in that exact style in Game of Thrones season 6, which you can see below. It even appeared in the Dragonstone caves in Game of Thrones season 7. But, most strikingly of all, it also looks incredibly similar to the Targaryen sigil, showcasing a spiral of dragons.

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See where we’re going with this? The Night King could be a Targaryen, and he’s been hiding the message all through Westeros before starting his bloody rampage.

Hidden birthrights are pretty much part and parcel of the Thrones universe now, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suggest the blonde-haired clan of Targaryens have a SUPER old relative just waiting to take his rightful place on the Iron Throne.

After all, he already sees himself as White Walker royalty. It could stem from the fact he once wore a crown in the realm of men. I’ve seen worse Game of Thrones theories, let me tell you – though if this rings true then god forbid the master in the Citadel who needs to try and work out the line of succession in King’s Landing after this.

Here's what the cast and crew have had to say in the lead up to the Game of Thrones ending in just a few weeks.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.