‘Game of Thrones’: The Ghost of High Heart

TV Game of Thrones
TV Game of Thrones

If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones Episode 4 “Book of the Stranger” yet, go watch it now or read the recap here.

Warning: Spoilers below.

Now that Jon and Sansa have finally reunited at Castle Black and chosen their future course, I thought it was an appropriate time to talk about the Prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart. A little bit of background first and why this may be important.

In a scene not portrayed in the show, Arya and the Brotherhood without Banners visit High Heart during their travels through the Riverlands. There they encounter the Ghost of High Heart. She offers to tell them her prophetic dreams if they agree to play her a song. I believe the Ghost is a member of the Children of the Forest. The children often prophesize or offer advice, like when Leaf offers encouragement to Meera.

The events of “The Book of the Stranger” seemingly lead to the final part of the prophecy. Let’s break it down.

In A Storm of Swords, the Ghost of High Heart says:

Prophecy: “The old gods stir and will not let me sleep. I dreamt I saw a shadow with a burning heart butchering a golden stag, aye.”

Realization: After Renly refuses to bend the knee to or negotiate peace with Stannis, Renly is stabbed in the heart by a dark shadowy creature birthed by Melisandre.


Prophecy: “I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings.”

Outcome: Euron Greyjoy (known as Crow’s Eye in the books) confronts his brother Balon in the middle of a storm on a rope bridge. Euron claims he is the Drowned God and throws Balon off the bridge.


Prophecy: “I dreamt of a roaring river and a woman that was a fish. Dead she drifted, with red tears on her cheeks, but when her eyes did open, oh, I woke from terror. All this I dreamt, and more.”

Outcome: This is a reference to Lady Stoneheart. Book spoiler alert: after Robb‘s death during the Red Wedding, Catelyn Stark is so grief-stricken, she claws at her face until blood is streaming down. After she is murdered, her corpse is submerged in the river for days, and when she is later resurrected, she becomes bent on vengeance. Catelyn is originally a Tully, whose House sigil is a fish.

Prophecy: “I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief. I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells.”

Outcome: During the Red Wedding, Robb’s direwolf Grey Wind, penned up, senses the forthcoming betrayal by the Freys and howls sadly. As the massacre continues, the musicians continue to loudly play “The Rains of Castamere.” In the books, Catelyn offers to trade Aegon Frey for Robb, a son for a son, but Walder Frey is willing to give up his mentally disabled grandson. When Robb is murdered, Catelyn slits the throat of Aegon, also known as Jinglebell.


Prophecy: “I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs.”

Outcome: Sansa is an unwitting accomplice to Joffrey’s murder during the Purple Wedding, as one of the stones from her necklace (a hair net in the books) contained the strangler poison that led to the young king’s demise.


Prophecy: “And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.”

Outcome: Unknown

The sixth unique part of this prophecy is actually right where we are in the show. My prediction is that the Savage Giant is Ramsay Bolton and the castle built of Snow is Winterfell. Sansa appears like she is ready to do some slaying and the viewers can’t get rid of Ramsay soon enough. The other option for the savage giant is Smalljon Umber (the House Umber sigil is a giant in chains), who as it stands right now has appeared to have betrayed the Starks and killed Shaggydog. My personal feeling is that Lord Umber is actually double crossing Ramsay and by giving him Rickon Stark, is in fact, luring Ramsay into a false sense of confidence. Maybe this is just wishful Stark loyalist thinking. Either way, I believe we will find out whether this prediction is true by the end of Season 6.

Here’s a bonus quote from the Ghost of High Heart when she sees Arya Stark:
“I see you. I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death…You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone.”

There’s no real prophecy here; just confirmation that Arya is, and is will continue to be, a badass.

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