5:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Podcast: How an Ancient Prophecy Teases the End
Raise your hands if you remember ghost grass.
No, it's not grass that's experienced the misfortune of encountering Ghost the direwolf. It's a form of grass referenced in "The Kingsroad," the second-ever episode of Game of Thrones. In the opening scene, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) rides alongside her new khalasar and stops on the side of the grassy trail for a quick moment with Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). As he so often does, the Westeros exile explains a bit of Dothraki mythology to Dany, just as the newly minted khaleesi has paused to contemplate the veritable ocean of grass fittingly known as the Dothraki Sea.
"In the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are fields of ghost grass, with stalks as pale as milk that glow in the night," says Ser Jorah. "The Dothraki believe that one day, it'll cover everything — and that's the way the world will end."
It's one of the show's earliest indications of its endgame: a bleak future in which everything will be enveloped in a dark form of white. Consider it the Dothraki version of House Stark's iconic words: "Winter is coming."
The ghost grass myth speaks to an idea that runs through the mythology surrounding Game of Thrones, especially present in The World of Ice and Fire, the in-universe history book co-written by George R.R. Martin, Elio M. García Jr. and Linda Antonsson. Versions of the Azor Ahai prophecy, the prince who was promised and all of that, echo throughout the various lands even beyond Westeros, suggesting that the long-ago Long Night was a global event, not just one that impacted the Children of the Forest and the men dwelling within the lands that would one day become the Seven Kingdoms.
In the latest episode of "Winter Was Here," the Game of Thrones rewatch podcast from Post Show Recaps co-hosts Rob Cesternino (of Survivor and Rob Has a Podcast fame) and THR's Westeros guru Josh Wigler (that's me!), we're exploring the ramifications of the ghost grass prophecy, considering what we know with only six episodes still to go. Other topics covered in the conversation about "The Kingsroad" include:
• A crackpot theory about Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and her long-deceased first child — and no, we're not talking about a certain bratty prince;
• An incredible amount of enthusiasm for just how vividly and quickly Game of Thrones established Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) as someone worth rooting against;
• Forecasting some future reunions, including Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Arya (Maisie Williams), Jon and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), and Jon and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau);
• The first major scene featuring Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson), and how his departure from the series paved the way for a larger role for a certain sellsword;
• Whether or not Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) as the man behind Bran's would-be assassin makes any further sense in light of his season seven fate;
• And more!
Listen to the podcast in the player below: