Whether or not this means anything for the characters on Game of Thrones, it’s too irresistible a notion to ignore: wights given life by the Lord of Light.
As spotted by TV Guide, A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R.R. Martin discussed with Time the tragedy of Beric Dondarrion. If you’ve forgotten him, don’t worry. He’s only one of the hundreds of Ice and Fire characters to make it onto HBO’s Game of Thrones. Martin’s saga contains many more. In the context of the television series, Beric is a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners. You may remember him dying at the hands of the Hound back in season three. He got better thanks to the Lord of Light. But as Martin outlines, better may not be all that great; the character comes back “a little less Beric” every time he is resurrected.
“His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore,” Martin explained. “His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.”
While TV Guide suggests this may have implications for John Snow, himself brought back to life by the Lord of Light and his priestess Melissandre, it also suggests a new appreciation for the varieties of dead in the series and a certain Ice and Fire character fans still hope to see on the show.
But let’s step back for a second. Beric has discussed this “lessening” of himself in the show and at greater length in the Ice and Fire novels. Despite being in control of his faculties, he is something else. In the novels, this gets amplified when the Brotherhood finds a new leader: the infamous Lady Stoneheart. Like Beric, she was returned to life by the blessing of a Red Priest. But returning from a more horrific death — and a prolonged decomposition period — she was left without the ability to speak and a more acute sense of vengeance in what was left of her soul.
If Martin considers Beric a wight, Lady Stoneheart is definitely one as well. As it happens, her behavior more closely resembles that of the show’s White Walkers. This isn’t to suggest that Lady Stoneheart will appear in the show, but perhaps some of her material will be covered by Beric. And that in turn could have implications for John if he is also not exactly alive. If nothing else, Martin also mentioned his view of resurrection is in opposition to J.R.R. Tolkien, who brought back characters in more powerful forms.
In the meantime, it’s more to think about as a viewer of the show and a reader of the books. Also, I just want to thank TV Guide for the term “fire wight.” That’s a new level of metal for Game of Thrones, which returns this Sunday.