Sweet summer child, if you thought Wednesday was going to be a nice, relaxing first day of the season, think again.
In the closing moments of the trailer, Sansa says in a voiceover, “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” Then we see one final image of a lone Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Does this mean Jon is going to die? Is Sansa betraying him? Howl does HBO expect us to move on with our lives?
Now, it appears we can rest easy again.
Reddit user D-Stark has presented a good argument that the trailer wasn’t actually sending fans a message about the Starks’ downfall, but rather a rallying cry reminding the family to stay together ― and it’s right out of George R.R. Martin’s books.
The passage first appears in A Game of Thrones, the first installment in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series on which the show is based. Ned Stark has a talk with Arya after she says she hates Sansa:
Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm.
Ned continues, telling Arya, “Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you ... and I need both of you, gods help me.”
The show has its own version of this scene, but the message is the same: Starks need to stick together.
In the books, the passage comes up again and again.
Redditor G-Girl95 notes that it appears in A Clash of Kings, the second book, when Arya appears to hear her father’s voice:
As if she heard her father’s voice. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” he said.
It also shows up in A Feast for Crows:
A long time ago, she remembered her father saying that when the cold winds blow the lone wolf dies and the pack survives. He had it all backwards. Arya, the lone wolf, still lived, but the wolves of the pack had been taken and slain and skinned.
More than once ...
There is no place here for Arya of House Stark, she was thinking. Arya’s place was Winterfell, only Winterfell was gone. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.
So it appears Sansa’s words in the trailer are more about the Stark pack getting back together than Jon’s death, or her betraying anyone in the family. Perhaps she’s even saying it to Arya (Maisie Williams), or an enemy trying to come between the Starks.
According to a suspected “Game of Thrones” leaker, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) will try to get between Arya and Sansa in Season 7. This could be a baller line to drop right before Arya kills him ― which is rumored to happen in the upcoming season.
You know the Stark words. Winter is coming ... for enemies of the Starks.
“Game of Thrones” Season 7 premieres July 16 on HBO.