Winter is here and the White Walkers are coming – that’s the very clear message we got from this week’s Game of Thrones season opener – but what are our heroes going to do about it?
Jon and the rest of the North are very aware of the undead threat slowly advancing down on them, while Cersei, Daenerys and co. remain blissfully ignorant – which is far from ideal given we’ve just found out Dany’s sitting on a mountain of dragonglass – one of the materials we know is capable of killing Walkers.
Sam ‘discovered’ this fact (he had actually already been told by Stannis in Season 5, but doubted it was true) while leafing through a book he’d taken from the restricted section of the library at the Citadel – but as has been pointed out by eagle-eyed viewer Beastmodekait on Reddit, there is also another bit of potentially vital information in that big old leather tome.
A well-timed pause revealed that a page of the book talks about dragonglass as a possible cure for greyscale – it notes that ingesting it could help begin the curing process and stop it from spreading to the rest of the body. This could be how Shireen was cured – since she grew up on Dragonstone it would make a lot of sense.
Who else do we know with greyscale? Perennial friend-zone dweller Ser Jorah Mormont, who just so happens to have quarantined himself in Oldtown – where Sam is studying to become a maester.
This leads us to a theory made by Redditor redragebar back at the end of Season 6, which, with a little tweaking, posits a very interesting idea as to how Westeros might be saved.
They write: “Sam leaves for the Ruins of Valyria to search for information about the creation Valyrian steel. He read about the Doom of Valyria and in the process finds the cure for greyscale, a maester seems to have known something already via Shireen. He meets Jorah, not quite fully consumed yet, and helps to cure him. Jorah, now immune to greyscale, enters Valyria and finds the secret to Valyrian steel.”
Now, we know that Sam won’t need to bump into Jorah on the way to Valyria, as they are conveniently already in the same place, so I’d wager Sam finds something out about Valyrian steel – and also notices the cure for greyscale – before any potential trip to the Ruins.
What could happen is: Sam and Jorah strike up a relationship and Sam realises that dragonglass could cure him – we already know that Jon will be in touch with Dany about the huge deposits of dragonglass on Dragonstone, so some of that will be brought to Oldtown to save Jorah.
Sam will discover that the secret to forging Valyrian steel lies within the Ruins of Valyria, and Jorah, now immune to greyscale, will be able to travel their safely to uncover it – remember, Valyria is infested with Stone Men – that’s how Jorah got his greyscale in the first place, while he and Tyrion were sailing through.
Sam may accompany Jorah on that journey, but only so far as it is safe – it’d be cool so see them buddy up and travel together, but it will be Jorah who does the real dirty work.
The other burning question that needs answering about this theory is why do we need Valyrian steel if we already have huge amounts of dragonglass? And well, right now, it’s not clear – it just seems far too convenient that Sam’s stumbled across this huge deposit of it in the first episode of Season 7. Something bad has to happen. Most of it is going to be destroyed somehow, or Danerys is going to thwart the plan, but it just can’t be as simple as ‘everyone mines Dragonstone, the White Walkers are defeated’.
Valyria has to have some importance in the endgame of this series, and Jorah’s greyscale, you feel, has to have some significance too. I don’t think they would have given him the disease for no reason, and he deserves to play a part in all this. Having him just slowly deteriorate into madness would be a wholly unsatisfying end for a character we’ve been with since the very beginning.
So, what do you think? Are you buying the theory?