With Game of Thrones Season 8 still months and months away, this is the season for the hardcore fans to begin doing re-watches of the show to help tide themselves over. Watching the early seasons with fresh eyes is always a joy, especially now when so many of the show's shocking plot points have been revealed. But it also creates new theories, as fans discover moments that could be foreshadowing of things to come, or could have just been happy accidents. The latest Game Of Thrones foreshadowing theory is based on one of the iconic scenes from the pilot episode, and how it presaged the fate of the Stark clan.
One of the most effective moments in the early pilot was the introduction of the entire Stark family in the courtyard when King Robert Baratheon arrives. The scene defines many of the characters early on, from Ned and Robert's brotherhood to Cersei and Jaime's supercilious behavior, not to mention a perfect excuse to line up the Stark children who will become so important later, and introduce them one by one.
But fans rewatching the scene took note of how Robert interacts with each member of the Stark clan, and apparently his connections with each line up to how they fare down the line.
As Reddit user dnspartan305 notes, pay attention to who Robert Baratheon touches, and who he doesn't:
I'm not sure if all of this has been pointed out before, but it is worth bringing up. When Robert greets the Starks, he touches Ned, Cat, Robb, and Rickon. All of them die. He calls Sansa a pretty one, and she is later kept on and tormented by Joffrey as a trophy. Robert has Bran show him his muscles, and Bran becomes a cripple. He asks Arya's name, and later on, she becomes No-One. Jon is behind a wall of Starks...
This is a fascinating insight into this interaction. It's subtle enough the actors involved probably don't even realize this foreshadowing is happening. The Starks who die are all the ones closest to the Robert, a kind who will fall before the first season is over. The Starks who Robert stereotypes live to experience how those stereotypes will work both for and against them. And the one Stark who is kept as far away from Robert as possible rises and will perhaps rule the Seven Kingdoms by the story's end.
So is Robert meant to play the angel of death when it comes to the Stark clan? As far as the actor knows, none of this was deliberate. At the Winterfell Festival event this summer, actor Mark Addy (who plays King Robert) was asked about it and seemed taken aback at the idea.
Well, erm, ha! I don't think that was a conscious decision. That's just the way it fell. That's an interesting conspiracy theory though! You'll have people thinking that King Robert was responsible. Oh blimey! I think that's just the way it worked out though.
Game of Thrones Season 8 will return to HBO sometime in 2019.