This is what the White Walker spiral really means in 'Game of Thrones'

This is what the White Walker spiral really means in 'Game of Thrones'

It was all the way back in 2011 when Game of Thrones first aired, and even fans of the books didn't know what to expect from the seasons that followed.

Considering the stupendous amount that happens every episode now, with fully-grown dragons and armies of the dead on the loose, it's easy to look back at the first season of the show as a very slow-paced, low-key affair.

Episode two of season eight promises more action in its trailer:

However, despite the fact there was far less action and far more exposition back in the day, it wasn't a show that started off with a bunch of noblemen having a lengthy conversation about politics around a big ol' table. Instead, the first scene jumped right into the supernatural element of the show, with our very first peek of White Walkers.

As men of the Night's Watch head beyond The Wall (RIP, you'll be missed), they explore the forest, making the age-old mistake from horror movies ,and splitting up.

One such watchmen discovers dozens of dismembered bodies, organised into a symbol in the snow. The group leader (RIP) is quick to blame it on the Wildlings, but one by one, they're picked off by re-animated corpses.

Here's the scene where we first see a White Walker symbol:

The survivor ends up having to be executed by Eddard Stark (again, RIP) for deserting his watch, because who's going to believe someone who says they were attacked by ice zombies?

By season eight, that's a little more believable to the people in charge of Westeros - and they've seen their fair share more of these strange gruesome patterns left by the dead, too.

The most memorable part of the latest episode is the horrible sight that is found by Tormund and Beric (thankfully, not RIP - yet) in the Last Hearth, the seat of Lord Umber.

A small child is impaled on the wall, surrounded by a gruesome pattern of dismembered limbs in a spiral - which was promptly lit ablaze when Ned Umber himself came to life.

game of thrones burning spiral Credit: HBO

These weren't the only instances of spirals, either.

In season three, Jon Snow came across slaughtered horses arranged into this pattern

game of thrones spiral Credit: HBO

During his stay in Dragonstone, he saw the pattern carved into the walls of the caves

game of thrones spiral Credit: HBO

A lot of fans believe that these spirals have something to do with the Children of the Forest, who were revealed to have created the White Walkers in an attempt to protect themselves from mankind.

A spiral of stones surround the weirwood tree where they created them

game of thrones weirwood tree spiral Credit: HBO

As far as what these spirals may represent, there are a number of theories out there. It may be that they're using the symbols of their creators after taking on the symbol to represent themselves (or death), or it may be a form of deliberate blasphemy.

Some fans have suggested that the spiral shape is deliberately similar to the house sigil for the Targaryens.

This idea is supported by the other theory that the Night King is secretly a Targaryen, given that he has the ability to ride a dragon. Until we find out a little more about the undead leader and his plans for Westeros, we'll have to keep guessing...