Any true fan of Game of Thrones knows that seven is a unique number. There are seven kingdoms, the faith of the Seven, seven knights of the kingsguard. As far as foreshadowing goes, there were seven members of the Stark Family in the first season (excluding the bastard). Even beyond the story, we have seven books of “A Song of Ice and Fire” so far, and currently in the middle of season 7 of Game of Thrones.
In the latest episode, we saw another instance of seven. The group of 7 men, led by Jon Snow, goes north of the Wall to capture a wight. Some are calling it “Suicide Squad of Westeros” while others prefer “Fellowship of the Wights”. This group of misfits consists of Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, Sandor “Hound” Clegane, Jorah Mormont, Beric Dondarrion, Genry and Thoros of Myr. Ser Davos was missing from this company, perhaps because he is “not much of a fighter.”
But, why do seven keep appearing? Mayhap it is because of the importance of the number in various fields of life. The lunar phase is approximately of seven-day duration. There are seven wonders of the world and seven continents. There are seven colors of the rainbow. Even if you talk about culture and religion, the number keeps appearing. In Christianity, we have the seven sins and seven virtues. In Islam, Judaism and Buddhism too there is the importance of the number. It is so common that when asked to choose a number between 1 and 9, most people select 7.
So, what role does this number play in Game of Thrones? Apart from the significance in the original books, perhaps the writers took some inspiration from pop culture. We are talking about the classic movie The Seven Samurai (which inspired another classic, The Magnificent Seven). In the film, seven outcasts (called ronin) were hired by villagers to protect them from robbers. In the end, only 3 samurais survive, pointing to the fact that in violence, everyone loses.
It seems like that our beloved group in GOT is set on a similar path. Like the samurai, these men are not going beyond the wall for personal gains. Jon Snow wants to obtain a conclusive proof for the existence of wights. Tormund follows for their friendship. Jorah is there for his Queen. Gendry wants to be part of the action to avenge his father’s death. Beric, Thoros, and Hound are a part of the mission because the Lord of Light guided them.
The interesting part is that our favorite characters match the Seven Samurais to a great extent. Jon Snow is Kambei (the leader), Genry is Katsushiro (the newest member), Thoros is Heihachi (foul-mouthed but good at heart), and Beric is Kyuzo (the one with the sword). Tormund is Shichiroji (Kambei’s old friend), Hound is Kikuchiyo (the rough guy) and Jorah is Gorobei.
So, since their personality is so similar, maybe their fates would be too. In The Seven Samurai, four men die. In Game of Thrones, these could be Beric, Thoros, the Hound, and Jorah. However, it seems unlikely since Hound is supposed to confront his brother and Jorah still has a part to play. But whatever be the case, it is safe to assume that this team of seven would soon be the stuff of legends.