the crypts
Source: HBO

The Winterfell Crypts Theories on 'Game of Thrones' Are Terrifying (And Convincing)

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Apr. 25 2019, Updated 9:10 a.m. ET

Major Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!

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The second someone mentioned using the Winterfell crypts (you know, where the corpses from generations of generations of Starks have been buried) as a safe house for women and children, many viewers realized this could be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. In the last episode of Game of Thrones, we learn that the arrival of the Night King's army of White Walkers and wights is imminent, and without the Lannister's army, 

Winterfell is vastly unprepared. It's decided that women and children (along with Sam,Tyrion, and Sansa) are to seek shelter in the crypts, which are described — multiple times! — as being the safest place anyone could be when the dead arrive. But that is probably so very, very wrong. 

We've seen a lot of the Winterfell crypts lately.

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Remember the Game of Thrones Season 8 teaser trailer that dropped in January? It featured Jon, Sansa, and Arya in the crypts, passing the tombs of their parents and then facing what appeared to be their own statues. Or, rather, tombs. As they stand, gawking at their statues, we see frost creep along the ground: The White Walkers are here. So, that's clue number one that the crypts not a good hiding spot for people who are unarmed. Why? Because the Night King could raise every single Stark corpse with the flick of his wrist. (Never mind that some of those corpses are probably dust by now.)

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There was also that scene in the official Season 8 trailer that showed Arya running through the crypts.

The trailer, which dropped in early March, showed a better picture of what Season 8 will be: A frantic fight for survival. Arya is seen running through the crypts in a state of fear we've never witnessed in her before. Again, the crypts are clearly emphasized.

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Jon Snow learns about his true heritage in the crypts — and so does Dany.

It's in the crypts where, in Episode 1 of this season, Sam tells Jon about who his mother and father are, that his real name is Aegon Targaryen, and that he has more claim to the Iron Throne than Dany does. In Episode 2, he tells Daenerys the truth in that very same spot, in front of Lyanna Stark's crypt. 

Daenerys may have literally already given away the dangers of the crypts.

Redditor IgnorantSportsFan thinks the show writers already told fans that the crypts are going to be a major problem when they have Dany say, "The dead are already here." They are *literally* already here, because they're in the crypts just waiting to be resurrected.

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If the Night King hasn't gotten to them already (we never did see him at the end of the episode). A dead Ned Stark, Lyanna, and Catelyn is going to be hard for the Stark children to see, but it could totally happen (we're assuming Ned got his head back).

There's even a passage in one of the Game of Thrones books that foreshadows the dead coming alive in the crypts when Jon has a nightmare about it.

"Last night he had dreamt the Winterfell dream again. He was wandering the empty castle, searching for his father, descending into the crypts. Only this time the dream had gone further than before. In the dark he’d heard the scrape of stone on stone. When he turned he saw that the vaults were opening, one after the other. As the dead kings came stumbling from their cold black graves, Jon had woken in pitch-dark, his heart hammering."

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At this point, every Game of Thrones fan is convinced the crypts are bad news.

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On the other hand, the crypts could hide something very useful for Jon.

Fans think that so much attention has been drawn to the crypts because there could be useful tools for Jon to prove his identity to Dany (and probably to everyone else who could think he's bluffing). People have theorized that in Lyanna's tomb, one could find Rhaegar's harp (he was a legendary musician), or possibly even more dragons eggs.

It's Game of Thrones, so anything is possible — but we do wonder if Ned Stark would have allowed anything of Rhaegar's to be buried with his sister, especially since everyone thought Rhaegar kidnapped and raped her.

Some believe the Night King wants a very specific Stark corpse.

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Considering the Night King is very, very old (he's existed since the age of the First Men), he probably knows his way around a few castles, especially Winterfell. Chances are, he knows exactly where the crypts are and how important of a role those bodies will play. 

While there might not be that many Starks buries down there (compared to the thousands he's already gathered, what's a few dozen more corpses?), there may be one Stark corpse that could be incredibly powerful. And that would be Stark ancestor Bran the Builder, who defeated the White Walkers and built the Wall to keep them out of Westeros. 

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Others believe The Great Other could be buried beneath Winterfell.

In this theory, we learn that "Winter" literally "fell" where the Winterfell castle exists. Within the castle, one could find the resting place of The Great Other, who is the antithesis to the Lord of the Light. The Great Other basically encompasses darkness, death, and evil. He's also called The God of Winter. So, just the guy the Night King would be looking for in order to bring death upon the world, right? 

Whether or not Game of Thrones has enough time to dive into the tales of Bran the Builder and The Great Other, we're almost 100 percent certain the crypts plan is going to backfire horrendously. 

Watch Game of Thrones Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

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