Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the rest of Game of Thrones Season 2.
Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 7: "A Man Without Honor" ended on an upsetting note, with Theon revealing the blackened bodies of two young children, presumably Bran and Rickon. This seemed to seal his position as the new Prince of Winterfell, and it's another huge blow to the already struggling Stark family, who are dispersed across the continent in mostly desperate situations.
But astute fans will have realized that we didn't actually see Theon kill Bran and Rickon, and those bodies aren't identifiable. Most savvy TV viewers know that if you haven't seen a body, there's no guarantee that the death is real. Did Theon actually capture the youngest Stark children?
We haven't seen the rest of the season, but we have read the books. So if you're dying to know if Bran and Rickon are really gonners, we can tell you what happened in the other version of this story.
Are you sure you want to know?
Based on the books, no, they are not dead. In the books, Theon fails to track down the Stark kids, so he kills two millers boys in their place. He covers them in tar, which makes it impossible to tell the difference. As for what happens to Bran and Rickon … well, we'll let you find that out on your own.
It's possible the show will go in a different direction, since it has been branching off from the books fairly significantly recently. However, while it's possible the details of what happened will change, we find it unlikely that Bran and Rickon are dead on the show. For one thing, the show made a point of drawing attention to the children at the farm: Rickon even discussed how one of them was good at climbing trees. Also, killing these characters at this point would mark a way larger departure from the books than anything the show has done so far, and would seem to have irreparable plot-consequences down the line.
Still, you never know, so take this all with a grain of salt.
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Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones on Sunday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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