In the season finale of Game of Thrones, the White Walkers used a dragon to bring down part of the Wall, allowing them to make their way into the Seven Kingdoms. But that might not be how things play out in the forthcoming books written by George R.R. Martin.
When it became clear that Game of Thrones would outpace the book series, George R.R. Martin sat down with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and told them about his plans for the end of the story, according to Entertainment Weekly. But that doesn’t mean that Benioff and Weiss were ever going to execute those plans exactly, as the show and the books often tell the story quite differently.
Based on this week’s “Inside the Episode,” it sounds like the destruction of the Wall is an example of something that happens under different circumstances in the books. After all, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss talk about this plot point as if they came up with it, never once mentioning George R.R. Martin.
“There’s one thing on the board from the beginning that’s now big enough to [put a hole in the Wall], and that’s a dragon,” Weiss says. “It just started to suggest itself as a logical way forward.”
Weiss certainly seems to imply there that the outcome of Viserion destroying the Wall is something that suggested itself to them, not something that George R.R. Martin outlined. Compare this to the way that Benioff and Weiss spoke about the “hold the door” twist from Season 6. In the “Inside the Episode” video from the episode “The Door,” they made clear that the reveal was all George R.R. Martin’s idea.
“We had this meeting with George Martin where we’re trying to get as much information as possible out of him, and probably the most shocking revelation he had for us was when he told us the origin of Hodor, how that name came about,” David Benioff said at the time.
If the Wall comes down in the books after being destroyed by a dragon being controlled by the Night King, Benioff and Weiss would likely attribute this twist to George R.R. Martin and mention that it was one of the plot points he made them aware of years ago. They did not do that on the “Inside the Episode,” speaking instead about the plot point as a creative decision they reached on their own, suggesting that this is probably not a direct adaptation of any scene in “The Winds of Winter” or “A Dream of Spring.”
That’s not to say that the Wall won’t come down in the books. In fact, on the “Inside the Episode,” David Benioff says that he and D.B. Weiss have known that this would be the ending of the penultimate season “for many years.” George R.R. Martin outlined the remainder of the series to them in a 2013 meeting, so they may have learned at this point that the Wall would come down in the sixth or seventh book, at which point they figured they would have this take place in Season 7.
Some fans believe that in the novels, the Wall’s destruction will be due to the Horn of Winter. This horn is legendary in the books, and the Free Folk believe that it has the power to bring down the Wall. The Horn of Winter has not yet been found in the books. Mance Rayder claims to have it, and that horn is burned by Melisandre, but it’s later implied that this was just a regular horn that Mance pretended was the Horn of Winter. The theory goes that at some point, the Night King will come upon the Horn of Winter and use it to destroy the Wall and get into the Seven Kingdoms. The horn hasn’t really been a part of the HBO series, and so it makes sense that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would want to come up with a different way of bringing down the Wall for Season 7.