What does "Winter is Coming" mean?

The Stark family motto in Game of Thrones. I don't understand what that is really supposed to mean?

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  • Literally that winter is coming. The world in which George Martin wrote the series has an oddball seasonal cycle in that there's no set amount of time that a season will last. Both summer and winter can last for several years with no one knowing when the next season will roll around. The Starks being the northernmost house of the seven kingdoms always bear the brunt of the winter, so it's a continuous warning that eventually summer will end and to always be ready.

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  • Winter is when all the evil things wake up from their sleep.

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  • Depends on the context

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