A segment of Game of Thrones diehards have the ultimate nerd bragging rights today, as two split-second shots in yesterday’s season-five trailer seemed to confirmed a fan theory that’s been steadily gaining ground in the Throne-osphere recently. (Potential spoilers within, so stay away if you want to stay completely unsullied.) The theory is like this: Sophie Turner’s Sansa Stark, last seen evolving into Dark Sansa, is headed back home to Winterfell, a location she’s still thousands of miles away from in the books. The initial evidence: George R.R. Martin’s suggestion that the new season will diverge from the books even more, and a shot in the first season-five trailer that shows Sansa taking a bath in a room that looks remarkably familiar.
But why would Sansa be visiting Winterfell, which was burned by Ramsay Bolton at the end of season two? This is where it helps to have advance knowledge. In A Dance With Dragons, the rebuilt castle is the site of the series’ second-most-depressing wedding, as Ramsay marries a young girl posing as Arya Stark in a union the Boltons hope will bolster their claim as the new Lords Paramount of the North. (This imposter-Arya later bonds with Theon Greyjoy.) At the wedding feast, a northern lord named Wyman Manderly, whose son was killed in the Red Wedding, gains a small measure of revenge against the Bolton-Frey alliance by serving them enormous meat pies stuffed with the bodies of three dead Freys. The Manderlys exist in the show’s universe, but there’s been no word of a Wyman casting, and Thrones has proven over and over that rather than introduce minor characters, it would prefer to just hand their actions over to the main ones.
So, the theory goes, Sansa is traveling to Winterfell to fill the combined roles of fake-Arya and Wyman Manderly, marrying Ramsay and then causing all sorts of trouble for her new in-laws. Since it began bubbling up last month, this idea’s proponents have found more supporting evidence, including another shot from the first trailer, in which Littlefinger tells Sansa, “Avenge them,” and two recent interviews, in which Turner tells InStyle U.K. that Sansa “spots a few familiar faces” in her new story line, and Alfie Allen hints that his arc will feature characters “crossing paths and interacting” in ways they never did in the books.
But two quick shots in yesterday’s trailer seem to seal it. In the first, Sansa is seen walking through the Winterfell crypts, the site of a crucial Theon scene in Dance. In the second, a party from the Vale makes a dramatic entrance into what looks like the castle’s courtyard. Sansa Stark is coming home, and revenge is most certainly coming.