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If you are feeling a cold draft in the nether regions, it could have something to do with the approaching winter on HBO's Game of Thrones. As we wrap up in our woolen warmers and prepare for a long winter, there is still some two years until Season 8 hits our screens.
With production already underway for Westeros' wave goodbye, a steady flow of pictures and spoilers naively hopes to satisfy our hunger until 2019. As the penultimate season of #GameofThrones showed us, it isn't just the inhabitants of the realm that can fall victim to the changing seasons, and the latest leaks tease another beloved landmark could fall in the final run of episodes. Season 7 gave us the Field of Fire 2.0, but is the show's swansong preparing for another bloody Battle of Winterfell?
Winterfell Is Coming
Fan site Watchers on the Wall shared the work of Twitter snoop @alinastark, who used her best binoculars to spy on the set in Northern Ireland. Among the green grass and lack of frozen zombies, it looks like there is some serious construction going on at Winterfell.
It may just look like the production team is giving the Stark sanctuary a new lick of paint, but note that there is some substantial work going on to the towers and battlements. What could this mean? Well, it certainly hints that we will be spending some time elsewhere other than just meandering round the Winterfell courtyard. The various towers and battlements were previously finished through CGI, but with actual sets being built, it surely means that the actors will be climbing higher up the homestead than before.
The grey parts are what still remains from last year's set, while the brown bits are unpainted and imply new areas of the set. If the various northern armies are taking to the battlements, it would neatly tie in with that incoming Army of the Undead and a certain Night King atop his fiery steed.
We have already seen production pictures of a Dothraki stronghold, leading us to already theorize that Daenerys Targaryen's bearded brutes may set up camp outside Winterfell. With most of the core cast heading in the same direction, it all marries together that Season 8 will move further away from King's Landing and spend most of its abridged season freezing its tits off in the North. If this is the case, it makes perfect sense that Winterfell would become the unofficial Justice League headquarters for Jon Snow, his Snow Men, and Queen Dany with her duo (sob) of dragons.
The fortress of Starks has stood the test of time for over 8,000 years, and although it briefly fell under the flayed sigil of the Boltons, Team Wolf valiantly claimed back Winterfell at the close of Season 6. As winter blows in and the snow starts to fall, how much longer can the ancient building really last against the elements and approaching enemies?
Admittedly, the production team could just be preparing to expand the set so we aren't stuck sparring in the confines of the courtyard, holding council in the Great Hall, or establishing brooding shots while lurking in the crypts, but it certainly points to some big action among the towers and trees of Winterfell. The Season 7 finale saw how easily monuments can melt thanks to a reanimated Viserion who brought down the Wall with his icy blasts, so here's hoping Winterfell can fare a little better.