A Game of Thrones season 7 (opens in new tab) promo image may have inadvertently teased a new monster appearing on the show, at least if internet sleuths are correct. In the image below, we see Sam and Gilly studying. Gilly looks intensely at her piece of paper, but what does it say?
According to Reddit user itsjayrr (opens in new tab), it's a passage from the real-world book, "The World of Ice & Fire." Specifically, this clause:
"It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R'hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return."
Now, I know what you're thinking: where's this talk of spiders? Well, as Huffington Post (opens in new tab) points out, in the same section of the real-world book, there is an account of the Others (AKA White Walkers) riding giant ice spiders. There's even an illustration, which you see at the top of this very article. Ergo, some think that we'll see ice spiders this season as Game of Thrones builds to its climax.
It may not be the most compelling of evidence and of course, correlation does not equal causation. Just because Gilly read it in a book doesn't mean it will happen in the (fictional) real world. But interestingly enough, this isn't the only foreshadowing of the creatures that HBO has given us. In fact, if you rewind all the way back to season 1, episode 3…
That's Old Nan telling Bran of the first time the White Walkers came, riding dead horses and hunting people with "pale spiders, big as hounds." So is it all a coincidence or is this the culmination of years of planning? We'll find out when Game of Thrones returns on July 16.
Images: Marc Simonetti / HBO