HBO released the first full-length trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones on Tuesday. We’ve learned a lot about the new season so far (read more here), but, in what’s become something of a tradition for us, we’re going to look now at every shot in the trailer to see what details we can pick up.
Which moment made you squeal with joy? Or, do you think we missed something or got something wrong? Tell us about it in the comments!
1. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) panting and covered in — blood? Wight guts? She’s hiding and obviously afraid. If Arya’s scared, you know we’ll be clutching the sofa pillows when this moment rolls around.
2. Arya runs. What could be chasing Arya through a castle? Is it Winterfell? Surely. She wouldn’t have left the remainder of the Stark clan for any reason. Probably. In a lightened version of this video on Reddit, you can definitely see a pale figure lumbering wight-like after her in the darkened shadow.
3. Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) looks grim on the ramparts of, this one presumes, Winterfell. This appears to be the only glimpse of Ser Davos in the trailer. Arya in voiceover says, “I know death.” Was that what she was running from?
4. More Arya running.
5. A back view of Arya running. (We warned you: shot-by-shot.) We lightened the image as much as possible, but this tells us nothing more; that said, the urgency of the music and the desperation of the character in these moments is a hugely effective tease.
6. Varys (Conleth Hill) hiding with women and children in the Winterfell crypt. How do we know it is the Winterfell crypt? This image shows a stone effigy of a man with a sword and a direwolf — we guessed that it was Robb Stark, who was murdered at the Red Wedding. The last we saw of his corporeal self, he was being paraded in front of the Twins with the head of his direwolf, Grey Wind, replacing his own. Reader Rit Umm says in the comments below that it’s the statue of Rickard Stark, Ned’s father who was burned by the Mad King, and that the statue was seen in season 1 — looking back at the premiere, you can see the statue Rit means in the crypt scene between Robert Baratheon and Ned when they go to visit Lyanna’s tomb. Arya in voiceover says, “He’s got many faces.” Why we get a close-up of Varys while she says that is ominous, but seemingly insignificant other than the fear Varys apparently has in this moment. A coworker later points out Gilly and Little Sam over there under Robb. (Thanks, CK!)
7. So in these shots of Arya running, we keep looking behind her (in the original version) to see what she’s running from, but we see nothing so far: windows, wall sconces burning, here a spot of light, but it looks like just another window. The running is effective, however; the pit in this one’s stomach grows with every cut to Arya panting. In the lightened video, however, you can see at least two figures chasing her.
8. Arya says, “I look forward to seeing this one.” The face of the Night King, she must mean. She holds up a spear. Is it dragonglass? We lightened up the image to see more clearly and it seems to have the notches of roughly hewn glass. The question that arises is: “Who could she be speaking to?” If she’s got a dragonglass spear and is being somewhat honest about who she has become, it may be her “half-brother” Jon Snow (but really cousin Aegon Targaryen).
9. April 14! Yaaaassss!
10. No shot yet has captured the often-promised cinematic quality of the season quite like this one of
Euron’s Theon’s ships. (Eagle-eyed readers noted the differences in the Greyjoy sigil between this shot and the next — thank you!)
11. Cersei revealed to Jaime in the season 7 finale that Euron had not actually abandoned their cause. The “king” of the Iron Islands had actually staged his theatrical departure to hide his true intent: to cross the Narrow Sea to Essos and pick up the Golden Company to fight her cause against the North and Daenerys. This is our first look at the sell-swords. They are sailing for Westeros, but who is that at their head? New character alert! Back in October 2017, WatchersontheWall.com noted the casting of German actor Marc Rissmann in the role of Harry Strickland, the leader of the Golden Company according to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels upon which the show is based. (Rissman’s agency now lists “various,” however, rather than the character name on Rissmann’s credits.) So the “not Jaime” guy on the boat is likely new guy Harry. (Can you see Euron in this image? Reader PegasaurusRex notes in the comments below that you can. We looked at the moment in full screen and frame-by-frame, and while there’s someone who looks like Euron helping to move cargo/supplies in the lower left of the frame, the face is still a bit fuzzy and this one feels like Euron wouldn’t be doing that. What do you think?)
12. Bran speaks in voiceover as the image of the Golden Company dissolves to black: “Everything you did brought you where you are now…” Acting Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Edd Tollett, Brienne’s boyfriend Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion and his flaming sword emerge. Here we cheer, because this is first confirmation that Tormund and Beric survived the fall of the Wall. We knew they would, but we feel a sense of relief nonetheless. Now, where are they? Best guess is perhaps one of the abandoned castles along the Wall. Edd had been at Castle Black, so Beric and Tormund could have run to Castle Black to sound the alarm that walking dead have breached the Wall and are headed south. But those surroundings don’t look like Castle Black, the buildings of which tend to be low with squat doorways. In the books, there are 19 castles, the oldest and largest of which is abandoned castle Nightfort, which includes the Black Gate, a secret way through the Wall sealed by a magical weirwood door that only opens to a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch. (Read more at A Wiki of Ice and Fire.) But if they’re trying to cross through the Black Gate, they’re going the wrong way. In any case…
13. Three-Eyed Raven/Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) appear to be exactly where we left them in the season 7 finale: having a chat. What is very notable, however, is Sam’s frosty breath when he exhales.
14. The Red Keep at King’s Landing has never looked quite so red as now. Bran continues, “…where you belong…”
15. Cut to: The Mountain, Cersei, and Qyburn (Anton Lesser). Cersei looks like she’s got mischief on her mind, and, for once, Qyburn looks a little concerned about that.
16. The residents of Winter Town line the road to watch the Unsullied march toward the castle. Bran says, “…home.”
18. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) sees live dragons for the first time. She may have seen the skulls of dragons while at King’s Landing, though it’s doubtful prissy young Lady Sansa would have braved the Red Keep’s musty cellars (as Arya did) to see bones.
19. Drogon and Rhaegal fly over Winterfell, preparing to meet up with their wight-dragon brother, Viserion. Jon in voiceover says, “They’re coming.”
20a. Whoops, missed a shot! (So embarrassing.) Danaerys approaches Jon in the Winterfell crypt. Now that we know where they are…
20b. Daenerys and Jon share a moment in the Winterfell crypt. He’s probably gotten the news that she’s his aunt, and she’s probably about to tell him that Targaryens have married Targaryens for generations, and he’s likely to note that her dad was batsh– crazy. Jon in voiceover says, “Our enemy doesn’t tire…”
21. This looks like the work of a master smith. And piles and piles of dragonglass (the lightened video shows). Guy walking in the back? That’s …
22. Gendry! One of our staff members said, “so gendry kinda neville longbottomed,” and we all laughed heartily – at least, we traded a flurry of cackling emojis in a group chat. (Yes, we’re nerds.) Jon’s voiceover continues, “…doesn’t stop…”
23. And there’s Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). We knew that it was cold while filming season 8, but look at that horse breath! Reader xifar250 notes the Dothraki in this scene. You can see them clearly in the lightened version of this video. In a Winteriscoming.net post, David Harris notes that Jorah is carrying Heartsbane! That’s the Tarly family Valyrian steel sword — Sam’s “inheritance” that he took (a bit prematurely) from his father when he, Gilly, and Little Sam left for the Citadel in Oldtown. As Harris says, it makes sense that Sam would gift/loan the weapon to such a talented swordsman, who will make much better use of it.
25. Speaking of “feel,” rrrrawr.
26. In another “not Jaime” moment, who is this Winterfell warrior? One particularly insistent social team member says it’s Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), so we’ll go with that. Assuming that it is Winterfell…
27. Here’s Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), surrounded by fire and smoke and obviously in distress. Again, it’s difficult to say for certain in these quick glimpses where the moment is taking place, but we can be certain that Jaime is in the fight. He yells something. This one heard “Pod.” The insistent social team member says that’s not what he said. (Tell us in the comments what you think he yells.) OK then, moving on…
28. Fire pillars are a hot design addition to the Iron Throne room. It makes sense that we hadn’t previously seen this particular feature before, but that we would now that winter has come. Zooming in on Cersei and her posse — the Mountain on the left and Qyburn on the right — it looks like it could be the Golden Company leader Harry Strickland there in front of her, but who’s that robed figure off to the right side of him? Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gatiss) repping the Iron Bank of Braavos perhaps? Reader xifar250 says in the comments that the figure is Euron, which would also make sense. An ankle-skimming coat would make sense for the weather.
29. Cersei’s eyes water as she drinks a glass of wine. Probably just heard that Jaime left for good. Girl, wine is fine, but liquor’s quicker. (This one was kind of a joke, but, in the comments below, one reader makes a very compelling argument that the wine consumption is evidence of a miscarriage. Thank you for the insight, David M Martin!)
30. Drogon and Rhaegal fly over the frozen North. We’re beginning to think they’re having a good time.
31. Where’s this? Are they visiting the Eyrie now? A grand tour of Westeros dragon style? (We think we’ve found a new VR experience that needs to exist.)
32. So this moment is less about Arya standing awestruck and staring at the skies, as it is about the people around her panicking and staring at the skies. Our bet is that they’ve all just seen dragons for the first time. Jaime’s voice comes in over the moment: “I promised to…”
33. Grey Worm and the Unsullied saddle up. Jaime continues, “…fight for the living…”
34. Jon Snow in front of the Stark family’s weirwood tree in the Godswood of Winterfell. Unmistakable.
35. The Hound (Rory McCann). Probably prepping for Cleganebowl! Jaime continues, “…and I…”
36. Jaime speaks: “…intend to keep that promise.”
37. We learned from the last time we did this shot-by-shot trailer exercise not to guess what vague weapons in hands were or meant or else this just turns into 20 minutes of “guess the cuff” and we’d still be wrong.
38. Now Jon is running. All of these scenes are so dark. It’s no wonder that the dragon’s look like they’re having a good time — they’re the only ones who see sunlight in this trailer.
39. And the soldiers are running. (This moment looks suspiciously like a retreat.)
40. And the horses are running. This one notes a pattern…
41. The Targaryens approach Drogon and Rhaegal (who’ve apparently recently eaten). Jon’s going to be a dragon rider!
42. So Wiki of Ice and Fire notes that some in the histories have said that Drogon is Balerion the Black Dread reincarnated. Don’t know about that, but look how massive that dragon is now! Rhaegal looks like a Schnauzer next to him.
43. Finally, more Sansa. She’s not really doing anything and not wearing anything particularly notable. Moving on…
44. This is a difficult moment to get a clear shot of. It’s clearly Arya, and she’s twirling a staff or a spear. We’re going to go with spear since the dragonglass arrowhead will be important in this fight.
45. Another angle on Arya in the fight. She serves a nice uppercut in this moment. (Yes, those shadows appear to be figures — wights most likely — pulling themselves over the wall.)
46. Daenerys looks like she’s got morning sickness. That would be really quick work by Jon. (It could also be a severe sense of dread, Jon has told her that he won’t continue in an incestuous relationship, or she’s been informed that she’s technically not next in line for the Iron Throne.)
47. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) finally. It took 47 shots to get here, and he looks very much the same as last season: gazing longingly into the skies. He must be looking at dragons because there’s sunlight in this scene. We’re heartened to see that he still has his Hand of the Queen pin on.
48. In your face! There’s no fire like dragonfire!
49. The Unsullied hold in formation. In the lightened version of the video, you can clearly see trebuchets in the background.
50. Looks like Brienne and Podrick head up the
Northern coalition. Lightening the image later revealed that these are the Knights of the Vale behind Brienne and Pod — warriors of the East! And we can’t help but think of the immortal words of Oda Mae Brown, “Brienne, you in danger, girl.”
51. Jorah Mormont again. Hopefully, he’s ordered little she-bear Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) back to Bear Island to live a long, happy life away from the wights who can’t swim. She probably won’t go, but this one likes to think he’d insist.
52. Nice editing. This is, hooves’ down, the scariest moment in the trailer.
The Night King A White Walker/someone has arrived on a wight steed. Gah! (Jackytreehornn makes the astute observation in our comments that the Night King is likely still riding Viserion. Of course! Thank you, jackytreehornn!)
53. And this is the saddest.
Almost as important as what is in front of our faces is what is absent. If we missed any of the following in the trailer, we’re confident you’ll tell us in the comments:
Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season on April 14 on HBO.