Game of Thrones wouldn't feel the same without the sneaky secrets and subtle clues sprinkled throughout each episode, which can either be amusing bits of intel or hints for much bigger things to come. The Season 7 episode, "Beyond The Wall" contains what could be one of the biggest Easter Eggs yet.
In the episode, Jon Snow and his improvised suicide squad were rescued by #DaenerysTargaryen from a hoard of vicious white walkers. The good guys gained the upper hand, but while everyone else escaped, Snow was dragged into the cold water by a wight, and our hero left his trusty sword, Longclaw, behind.
Just when we thought Snow was no more, he managed to free himself and climb out of the water. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed something in that scene: right after Snow was revealed to be alive, Longclaw's eye blinked.
This sent fans into a speculation-filled frenzy, as they tried to figure out what had happened. The most common theory was that Bran used his abilities to connect with the sword to check up on his brother/cousin. That seemed quite plausible, especially with the possibility of Bran having called Uncle Benjen to aid Snow against the hoard of White Walkers coming his way. Sadly, there was no way of confirming that, and the mystery continued. Fortunately, it's time to stop theorizing, because we finally know the meaning behind Longclaw's intriguing moment –– and it's not what any of us expected.
"Beyond The Wall" director #AlanTaylor sat down for an interview with Insider to discuss his episode, and he was asked what the deal with Longclaw was. Did Bran actually warn Uncle Benjen of what was happening with the white walkers? Or is the sword a sentient object that decided to acknowledge the audience? It turns out the director had no idea of that moment until it was brought up to him, because the minds behind GoT never planned to hint at anything regarding the inanimate object:
"That is so funny, somebody else mentioned that to me and I haven't got a clue what they're talking about. So either this sword is magic and it's doing stuff on its own or something happened. I'm going to have to go back and watch that moment close up and in slow motion to see what's going on there. I can say that there was no intention for that to be the case."
Ok, there wasn't a bigger meaning behind that effect. However, there was clearly something going on with the sword's eye, so what happened with that?
Here's What Happened With The Sword
The reporter suggested to Taylor that #Longclaw's apparent eye twitch could have been the result of Jon splashing water at it after climbing back to the surface. Given that the sword was already frosted, the water was quick to dry, which resulted in the quick movement we glanced in the episode.
Taylor was fond of this theory, because there were actually conversations regarding the physics of Snow coming out of the water. Taking that into account, the director chalked up the internet breaking millisecond to the post-production team wanting to show off the effect of the freezing water:
"That sounds very likely because there was a lot of conversation about frost because he climbs out of the water and collapses on the ice and there's a slight time cut, so when we see him staggering to shore he's frosted up and not wet anymore because everything freezes that fast [...] There was discussion about starting to show that process, and so they probably amped it up and used whatever they could to show the shift. So I think that's a very good theory and I'm gonna go with that one until I look at it more closely and see if I can figure out what's going on."
Even in the ever-complicated Seven Kingdoms, sometimes things are exactly how they seem and nothing more. But the debunking of the sword theory raises a major question mark for the show. If Bran's abilities weren't what warned Uncle Benjen about Jon Snow's precarious situation, how exactly did he know he had to help his nephew?
We could argue he was warned by Gendry once he got to the wall, and Benjen just left as fast as he could, but that's still a serious stretch. Unless there's an explanation later on, it looks like we'll have to chalk that one up to good old fashioned convenience.
Game of Thrones Season 7 will come to an end on August 27th.
What do you think about the fact that there wasn't a bigger meaning behind Loneclaw's apparent eye twitch? Let me know in the comments!