The final novel in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series will be called A Dream Of Spring, at least, according to the author. Back when the series was conceived of as a trilogy, the final book was The Winds of Winter, but when it expanded, Martin split Winds in half, with A Dream Of Spring as the conclusion. But watching the Game of Thrones adaptation finale, fans were confused. Where was spring? The title didn't seem to relate. But this small detail in the Game Of Thrones finale proves not only that spring is coming, but Westeros itself is changing now that the Night King is gone.
This has been a big question for the show since the end of Season 8 Episode 3, "The Long Night." The Night King is soundly defeated, stabbed in the chest by Arya's Valyrian steel dagger, whereupon he explodes in a hail of ice crystals.
But is that it? Is he really defeated? After all, Azor Ahai supposedly defeated the Army of the Dead back during the first Long Night, 10,000 years in the past. And yet, here they were again. Was this fight cyclical? Or did Arya finally end it for good?
Those who guessed the Night King was done forever seem to have been correct. As Jon snow leads the Wildlings out of Castle Black, his horse walks by something that can only be considered a Westerosi miracle.
Check out the 4:14 mark in this video:
That's a green shoot sticking out of the ground. It may seem like a small, insignificant detail. After all, snow thaws.
But snows *don't* thaw north of the Wall. That's the whole deal for the wildlings who live north of it. In Season 1, it's been summer for years, Winterfell has no snow on the ground at all. Yet the Wall is frozen, and there is nothing but snow as far as the eye can see. The maps even refer to beyond the Wall as "The Lands of Always Winter." It is a sign that the Night King holds sway, that this is "his side" of the divide, even if the living descendants of those who built the Wall no longer remember that, and believe White Walkers are nothing but fairy tales.
The takeaway here is that though the living won a victory over the dead during the first Long Night back so many generations ago, they didn't win the war. They knew it too, hence the Wall being built. But what happened at Winterfell was far more final.
Daenerys may have claimed she was breaking the wheel, but Arya broke a far greater one. The Night King isn't coming back in 10,000 years. The epic struggle between the Lord of Light and the Lord of Death is over, and the Three-Eyed Raven is safe. (No wonder he has time to rule the Six Kingdoms.)
The Wall will not need to be rebuilt, the Night's Watch can disband, as a relic of a different time. The free folk will experience seasons for the first time in their lives. The dream of spring is real. The Night King is dead.