Game of Thrones might have had a rocky ending, but it still remains one of the greatest TV shows to ever air. The years since its conclusion may have been unkind to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, unforgiving to the memory of how Jon Snow wasn’t the one to kill the Night King, and angry about the many character assassinations we had to sit through in the final episodes, but no one can keep a straight face and say we’re done with Westeros yet. Take a look at the impressive numbers House of the Dragon pulled in for just its first season and you can tell that the world of A Song of Ice and Fire is still waxing strong.
After House of the Dragon concluded its first season I was left craving more of Westeros, so I did what many may now consider unthinkable – I rewatched all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones.
Did I regret it? Of course not! It’s been long overdue and I enjoyed every second of it, especially the earlier seasons with all the politicking and endless scheming for power. As I watched episode after episode, knowing fully well how it’ll all end, I kept an open mind and eye for key details and foreshadowing I might have missed while the show was still on air. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of all the many foreshadowing I found; lines of dialogue and actions that paid off in subsequent seasons. Have fun reading.
15 Times ‘Game Of Thrones’ Accurately Foreshadowed Future Events
1. Melisandre sees Thoros of Myr bring Beric Dondarrion back to life. This encounter foreshadows her raising Jon Snow from the dead.
In a season 3 episode of Game of Thrones, Melisandre meets the Brotherhood Without Banners and sees, firsthand, how the Red Priest Thoros of Myr brings Berric Dondarrion back to life. Although at the time it didn’t really mean much to her, that scene sowed the seed that it was possible, a seed that’d pay off about three seasons later when she raises Jon Snow from the dead at Castle Black.
2. Melisandre meets Arya for the first time in s03e06. She says some words that foreshadow Arya killing the Night King in s08e03.
Just before departing with Gendry on her mission to place Stannis Baratheon on the Iron Throne, Melisandre the Red Priestess leaves Arya with these passing words: “I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again”. Indeed, they did meet again at the Battle of Winterfell and Arya did shut the only blue eye that matters, forever.
3. The story about the Rat Cook Bran told Jojen Reed and the others in s03e10 foreshadowed Arya killing Walder Fray in season 6.
One of the reasons game of Thrones was so great was because of the rich lore and attention to details author George R.R. Martins paid to building the universe. One of such times this was manifested was in the tale of the Rat Cook.
While cozied up in the wild on their way to the Three-eyed Raven, Brandon Stark found the time to regale the story of the Rat Cook to his companion. The Rat Cook was a member of the Nights’ Watch who’d killed guests under his roof and saved their body parts as a pie for their father, the king.
If this sounds familiar, it’s only because Arya Stark took a page off the popular Westerosi folktale and enacted her revenge on Walder Frey and his entire clan some three seasons later.
As old Nan once said to Bran, “t was not for murder that the gods cursed him, nor for serving the Andal king his son in a pie. A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a guest beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive.”
4. “You have no idea what people would do. All your books and you still don’t know.” – Shireen’s mother to her in s05e02.
This one’s really painful as it turns out Shireen had no idea how far her mother and father would go in the course of their ambition. The quote directly foreshadowed Shireen’s burning at the stake a few episodes later.
5. “You have many enemies in Castle Black. Have you considered sending Alister Thorne elsewhere? Give him command of Eastwatch by the Sea” – Stannis Baratheon to Lord Commander Jon Snow.
This foreshadowed the mutiny that led to Jon’s death at the hand of his brothers of the Nights’ watch.
At the time of Jon Snow’s death, it was easy for the lot of us to wish Jon had listened and sent Alister Thorne as far away from Castle Black as possible, but on the other hand, if that had happened, we wouldn’t have gotten the Jon that was completely free from the shackles of his vows to the Nights’ Watch to go wage war on the Night King. A win-win.
6. “He who passes the sentence should swing the sword” – Ned Stark to his children in s01e01.
We later see all of his children, from Theon (s02e06) to Robb (s03e05), and Jon (s05e03) all abide by this principle later in their adult lives.
7. “My own sister married someone she loathed… she ended up having him killed.”
“Perhaps it won’t come to that”
Tyrion and Daenery exchange words in s05e08 about the former joining the latter’s campaign
This is a subtle exchange, easy to miss. It foreshadowed Tyrion pushing Jon to kill Cersei afterward, for the greater good of the realm.
Same scene as above:
“Perhaps this is where you belong, where you can do the most good” – Tyrion tries to convince Daenerys to forget about ruling Westeros.
Indeed, Meereen turned out to be exactly where Daenerys made the most impact on humanity. From the moment she steps foot on Westeros, it’s all loss and chaos, until her eventual descent into madness. Take a moment to imagine how different Game of Thrones would’ve been if Daenerys stayed back at Meereen and never made it to Westeros. Would you have preferred that to the ending we got?
8. “I saw him fight at the battle in Winterfell” – Melisandre over Jon Snow’s corpse in s06e01.
This foreshadowed either (or both) The Battle of the Bastards or/and The Battle of Winterfell, two of Game of Thrones‘ biggest battles.
9. “You’re surrounded by enemies, thousands of them… what are you gonna do? Kill them all by yourself?” – Lady Olenna Tyrell to Cersei in s06e07.
Cersei is, arguably, the most terrible person in the entire Game of Thrones run. The quote from Lady Olenna Tyrell above foreshadowed Cersei blowing up the Sept two episodes later, destroying all her enemies in one swoop. If only Olenna had known to guard her lips that one time.
10. “Essos is East and Westeros is west. But what is west of Westeros? If like to see that.”
In s06e08, Arya foreshadows her path at the end of the show. Exploring the world west of Westeros.
11. “I’ll walk the rest of the way. I can’t go on a secret mission in the company of the most famous dwarf in the city.”
“The most famous dwarf in the world”
Varys and Tyrion exchange words. Tyrion’s latter response is a meta call to him actually being the most famous dwarf in the real world at the time Game of Thrones was airing.
12. The Sept of Baelor and Wild Fire
Wild Fire played a huge role in Game of Thrones.
When Tyrion was telling Daenerys about her father’s plan for King’s Landing just before his death in s06e09, he mentions the Sept of Baelor as one of the places he’s stored caches of Wild Fire to blow up the city should Robert’s forces breach the walls. This foreshadowsed the events of Cersei’s revenge on the High Sparrow and all the other casualties later in the episode.
13. “I am not here to be queen over the ashes”
Daenerys said this line to Ellaria Sand. Sadly, it foreshadows her eventual descent into madness and rendering of King’s Landing to literal ashes.
14. “You love her. You really do love her. You poor fool. She’ll be the end of you”
Lady Olenna Tyrell to Jaime s07e03. This foreshadowed Jaime’s death in the literal arms of Cersei: the end of him.
One of the thing that still hurts me after all this time of Game of Thrones‘ finale is how Jaime Lannister’s character growth was assassinated as a means to wrap up his story with Cersei. I don’t buy all that implied thoughts of he and Cersei being soulmates, but that’s a conversation for another day.
15. “You and I won’t find much joy while we’re here, but we can keep others alive.”
Berric Dondarrion to Jon snow during the Suicide
Squad mission in s0706. This foreshadows Jon’s unhappy ending and punishment of rejoining the Nights’ Watch after killing Daenerys.
- Technically not a callback, but the Game of Thrones s08 premiere features Queen Daenerys marching into Winterfell, a royalty party just like s01. And just like in s01 which ended painfully, this, too, foreshadows the end of the series ending painfully.
- Rhaegal and the undead Viserion clawing at each other at the Battle of Winterfell s08e03 foreshadow the Dance of the Dragon events that’ll unfold in the House of the Dragon TV show about 3 years later.