Fate is a funny thing. Just the slightest change can have a huge impact on an outcome. Turn left instead of right, you avoid some random catastrophe. That ten minute delay on your commute when you impulsively decided to stop for coffee? Might make the difference between getting to work early or leaving you stranded in traffic. The idea that one little detour making a huge shift is one that fiction often explores and with Game of Thrones back for its final season on HBO TV, fans can't help but wonder if it's one of those "turned left instead of right" moments from Season 7 may ultimately have doomed all of Westeros in Season 8 -- specifically, Hot Pie.
With Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season underway, fans have been looking back at previous seasons looking for clues and anything they can to get some idea of how it will all end. In the course of that, they've happened upon an idea that might not directly reveal the ultimate outcome of the series, but points to a huge moment that may well have changed the entire course of Westeros' history. That moment? Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) visiting Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) in Season 7.
This is how it breaks down. Arya was on her way to King's Landing with the intention to kill Cersei Lannister when she stops at the Inn at the Crossroads, catching up with Hot Pie how is a baker there. Now, Hot Pie is something of a connoisseur of gossip. He knows all the goings-on so when he and Arya chat, he comments that she must be headed to Winterfell. When Arya asks him why she would be doing that as, to her knowledge, Winterfell was held by the Boltons. Hot Pie quickly informs her of the things she's missed. House Bolton was defeated by Jon Snow in the Battle of the Bastards; Jon is now King in the North.
This is huge news for Arya, and it leads her to change her course. Instead of continuing on her path to King's Landing, Arya changes course and heads north towards home.
Okay, so Arya heads to Winterfell. How does that doom Westeros? Well, that's pretty simple. If Arya had continued her path south and killed Cersei, it would have cleared a path for Daenerys to head to King's Landed and take the throne easily. Daenerys then could have sent her army to help Jon in the North and thus, could have ended the threat of the Night King. There's also the idea that even if it hadn't played out quite like that, Daenerys may never have been in a position to fly north to save Jon, meaning that she never would have lost Viserion, who then would not have been able to come back as an undead ice dragon who destroyed the Wall. No fallen Wall, no war.
Now, to be certain, Game of Thrones is a very complex story. There are countless factors that worked together to lead up to where things now stand in Season 8. That said, details like this matter and for fans, it's one that will have us all thinking "what if" for a long time to come.
Do you think Hot Pie may have doomed Westeros? Let us know your take on this theory in the comments below.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.