One of the most intriguing scenes in the Game of Thrones premiere was the time we spent with The Hound and The Brotherhood. Clocking in at 9 minutes, it was one of the longest single locations of the hour. And yet, we just learned it should have been just that much longer.
HBO's official recap of the episode was uploaded post airing, complete with speculation on what we saw, and quotes from the episode. Here's where things get interesting. The version the recapper saw wasn't the final cut. And one of the quotes they transcribed from the show happens to include something that wasn't actually said in the episode that aired.
It comes during the portion of the The Hound scene where Thoros of Myr asks him to look into the flames. Let's go over what the Hound says he saw:
The Hound: Ice? A wall of ice... The Wall. Thoros: What else? The Hound: It's where the Wall meets the sea. There's a castle there.... There's a mountain, looks like an arrowhead. The dead are marching past. Thousands of them.
Now, here's what HBO transcribed:
The Hound: It's where the Wall meets the Sea. The waves are frozen. There's a castle there....
"The waves are frozen." It may not seem like much. For all we know, HBO shaved it because they really needed the episode to come in at the one hour, one minute mark. But it's a highly intriguing line, and it could have been cut because everyone decided it gave too much away.
At the top of the episode, we saw the Army of the Dead marching. Fans assume they're marching south, to the Wall, to maybe destroy Castle Black and march straight down to Winterfell. But what the Hound saw was the army... marching east.
Let us consider the Wall, as the show has rendered it. (For those who are wondering about the difference, mostly the show cut a number of forts that exist along the wall, most of which aren't staffed in the books anyway.)
The Wall was built where it was because it was the shortest distance across the northern Westerosi area. There are three castles: The Shadow Tower, which sits along a river that feeds into the Bay of Ice to the southwest. Castle Black is in the center. And on the far side, up against the ocean, there's Eastwatch-By-The Sea.
The last place we saw the Army of the Dead was up somewhere north where Bran and company were tucked away. Before that, they were at Hardhome. So they're already focusing on the East Coast of the Beyond The Wall north.
We've all assumed they'll smash down the Wall and go over it. But why would they do that? There's magic in those stones, and things that make it so HalfDead Benjen can't go near. What if the plan isn't to go over the Wall, but around it?
How did the First People come to the US? Over a frozen land bridge of ice. How is the Night King getting around the Wall? Why not just freeze the ocean? After all, "the dead are marching past." Marching past what? The castle? On the frozen waves?
Would circumventing the Wall like this cause it to crack? Would it defeat the magic and make the Wall collapse? And how exactly does the Night King plan to freeze the ocean solid enough to go around anyway? Those questions we still don't have an answer to. But in terms of a solution to get his army south, it's one that makes a lot of sense.
The real question is if the Hound will live to see it happen, or if he dies fighting it first.