We are only days away from the seventh season of Game of Thrones, which means the HBO series is everywhere. There are new images, new information, and new hot takes. Most importantly, there’s a new interview with author George R.R. Martin from Time that’s wide-ranging and full of interesting tidbits. But, between Martin discussing how Daenerys’ wedding scene was originally filmed for the show and lamenting the loss of Lady Stoneheart due to budget and time constraints, GRRM casually dropped a piece of information that completely upends the worldview of who the Song of Ice and Fire is about.
Are you ready to have your minds’ collectively blown?
[P]oor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he’s a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.
Fire wights. Fire. Wights.
If you’re wondering why I’m freaking out, it’s because the show has spent seven years (and Martin has spent over two decades) talking about the Night King and his White Walkers and wights and how these unholy ice abominations are a threat to everything humanity holds dear. Now Martin is just casually dropping into conversation that Beric Dondarrion is a fire wight. How did no one see this until now? It’s like being smacked in the face with a “Captain Obvious” sword.
Not sure who Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) is? Real quick(ish): He’s the guy with the magic flaming sword called Lightbringer. He fights The Hound (Rory McCann) in the Season 3 episode “Kissed by Fire.” Dondarrion enters the story as a knight tasked by Eddard Stark to bring the rogue knight known as The Mountain to justice. Somewhere along the way, Beric gets killed by The Mountain via a giant lance through his chest cavity. When Thoros of Myr (a Red Priest of the same religion as Melisandre) performs last rites over Beric’s corpse, he accidentally resurrects him. Then he just keeps resurrecting him every time Beric falls in battle. But each time Lord Dondarrion returns, he is less human. His scars don’t heal. He loses memories. He’s a walking corpse. In A Feast For Crows, Beric Dondarrion dies for real when he passes his “gift” to the corpse of Catyln Stark, resurrecting her as Lady Stoneheart.