In Season 7 Episode 4 titled The Spoils of War,

Jon Snow shows Daenerys cave drawings made inside the mine at Dragonstone: Jon shows Daenerys the mine of Dragonglass. Venturing further into the caves, he shows her carvings made on the cave wall by the Children of the Forest, depicting the Children and the First Men fighting together against the White Walkers. Seemingly convinced that Jon is telling the truth, Daenerys vows to fight for the North, but only if Jon bends the knee.

The cave drawings appear to be vivid and bright without much fading.

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Were the cave drawings actually drawn by the Children of the Forest? Is there any evidence that Jon Snow drew them himself to convince Daenerys to fight the White Walkers with him?


2 Answers 2


It's highly unlikely Jon Snow painted these and lied about it:

  • Jon Snow would somehow have had to brush up on ancient and mystical knowledge on the Children of the Forest's symbology in order to make these seemingly accurate drawings.

    These symbols you see bear significance in the culture of the Children of the Forest, which in turn is reflected in the White Walkers (which are created by the Children of the Forest)

    enter image description here The spiral cave painting here on the left coincides with the same geometric pattern that the White Walkers put together using corpses in Season 3.

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    Another spiral pattern, here seen in a top-down view of one of an elaborate monument made by the Children of the Forest, where we have Stonehenge-style standing stones in a spiral pattern, seen in S06E05. The creators of the show talk about this pattern in this scene on 'Game of Thrones Season 6: Inside the Episode #5'

    enter image description here Here we have what looks like the Greek symbol, phi ('Φ'), on the left coinciding with the same geometric pattern of corpses that the three rangers in S01E01 run into, also put together by White Walkers.

    The only Westerosi people who might know this much about the White Walkers, Children of the Forest and their symbology are Sam Tarly, Bran Stark (Three-eyed Raven) and perhaps some members of the Reed family. Neither Jon Snow nor Davos would know these things. While the Night's Watch and the Wildlings are aware of these symbols made by the White Walkers, they wouldn't make the connection with the Children of the Forest, so for Jon Snow to paint these symbols and attribute them so confidently to the Children, while being very accurate, seems extremely far-fetched.

    This whole idea of Jon Snow faking the cave paintings is essentially debunked, implicitly, by the creators of the show in 'Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 4: Inside the Episode (HBO)', where D&D discuss the importance of the symbols in the cave and how it relates to the Children of the Forest and the White Walkers.

  • Jon Snow would have to have had blue paint on-hand

    enter image description here
    Close-up of the cave painting of the Night King and his White Walker lackeys. The blue in their eyes stands out as quite intense and vivid.

    Blue is historically the most difficult colour to make pigments and dyes and paints of, in our world.

    If we assume the fan-theory to be true, then we also have to assume Jon Snow brought blue paint with him to Dragonstone, just in case he needed to draw some White Walkers in a cave, just in case Dany didn't believe him. It's not impossible, but not very believable.

    Incidentally, on the topic of blue, I found this quote on Wikipedia:

    Reds, blacks, browns, and ochres are found in cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period, but not blue.
    Blue (In the ancient world), Wikipedia

    It's an interesting, funny fact that would coincidentally lend credence to the fan-theory, but one shouldn't compare non-fictional, early Homo Sapiens from the Upper Paleolithic era with fantastical, magical, spell-casting Children of the Forest in a fictional setting, in order to arrive at conclusions about the availability of pigments for cave paintings.

  • Jon Snow would have to be a skilled liar

    Jon is honourable and true (not a trickster or liar), much like his surrogate father, Ned Stark.

    The last time Jon specifically lied was when he had to deceive the wildlings into believing he was a turncoat crow - he even killed Qhorin Halfhand to sell this deception.

    The thing is, he was already sexually attracted to Ygritte and was starting to have conflicting feelings about the wildlings, and the pointless violence between them and the Night's Watch, and he was starting to see that what he was told about the wildlings wasn't true, after spending some days with Ygritte. Had he not had these conflicting feelings, he would have executed her when he had the chance. All this to say: he didn't really lie, so much as he was following Qhorin's orders, and leaning into his true, new, growing feelings about the wildlings.

    It would be very unlike Jon Snow to lie to Daenerys about this, not to mention the risk of getting caught lying, whether because he was spotted by guards carrying paint around, or spotted in the middle of painting, etc. would jeopardize the entire mission (the most important mission in the world) of getting help for the War for the Dawn - a very high risk.

This is one of those fan-theories where it sounds funny/entertaining at first glance, but the more you think about it, the more unlikely it sounds.

  • 2
    so for Jon Snow to paint these symbols and attribute them so confidently to the Children, while being very accurate, seems extremely far-fetched. at the same time if he didn't paint them he still needs confidence in his Children of the Forest lore to even broach the subject with Daenerys.
    – Brad
    Aug 7, 2017 at 15:03
  • @Brad Did you watch the episode? I'm glad you bring it up, though, because this way it can exist in the comments, rather than my answer (I had a feeling someone would bring this up) Aug 7, 2017 at 15:05
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    @Brad That's fair enough, I'll add detail: The hyperlinked watch the episode in my previous comments will send you to a timestamped Youtube video in which Jon and Dany are gazing at a depiction of the First Men and the Children of the Forest. It's from this depiction of the Children (short, little dudes) that Jon (or more likely Davos, who was there with Stannis for a long time, and likely got a few tours, including the cave, as well as any history (as shown in Davos' response "So they did" in this episode) concluded the Children drew it. Aug 7, 2017 at 16:21
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    One of the best answers i have ever read on here, both in terms of presentation and the quality of the content. I love this website the standards are among the best I have ever come across in social media xx Aug 8, 2017 at 10:30
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    @Brad: Jon is biased. He can jump to the conclusion of the inscriptions being made by the children of the forest because it supports his claim that the white walkers are real. His intention is evidenced by him blatantly saying that "the children and the first men worked together despite their mistrust and differences" and immediately following up with "so should we". He is editorialising what the images show (where does it show mistrust?) Jon was trying to convince Dany, he wasn't necessarily interested in the archeological and historical correctness of the origins of the inscriptions.
    – Flater
    Aug 8, 2017 at 10:37

I know you are not the only one thinking like this and it's all over the internet:

'Game of Thrones' fans are all making the same joke about Jon Snow

But it doesn't suit the character of Jon Snow. Jon Snow never tricked anyone like this before.

We already know the White Walkers were made by the Children of Forest to beat the First Men by use of the dragonglass dagger. So why is it impossible to think that the Children of Forest living near a place where they have this much dragonglass made these paintings?

  • Oh, wow! I didn't even know that everyone else was thinking the same thing! Hmmmmm... Aug 8, 2017 at 19:14

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