Unpacking the new Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer
Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, but for the perpetually warring folks of Westeros, winter has finally come. That is made painfully, beautifully real in a brand new trailer for Game of Thrones’ seventh (and penultimate) season, nearly two minutes of fresh footage that speaks to a lot of what we were thinking (and hoping) was going to happen this season, and a lot of what we've been reading. Let’s have a look at the trailer and discuss. Spoiler alert—some of the below is based on speculation that, if true, could be unwanted information for those of you hoping to go into the new season without knowing anything.
The trailer opens and closes with Sansa. We first see her walking through Winterfell while Littlefinger gives some advice in voice over. His advice, as always, is keep every possibility, every grievance, in your mind, where all your wars are truly fought. If Littlefinger survives to the end of GOT, we'll have to glumly give him and his sallow world view credit.
Next we see the Castle Black gate rising for Bran and Meera, who appear to have finally made it back to civilization (so to speak). We also see Jon, but he’s wearing Wilding gear, so its unlikely he and Bran have their reunion here.
The next sequence takes us to Kings Landing, where Goldcloaks march through the streets. Why does everyone look so…happy? This could speak to an alliance between the Lannisters, led by Cersei, and Euron Greyjoy.
Then we see some people landing on the beaches of Dragonstone at dusk. Is it Jon Snow? Perhaps its Dany? Or is this the long-awaited return of Gendry? Our money's on Gendry, as the next shot shows Dany walking, in daylight, along the Dragonstone beach.
The trailer stays with Dany as she rips down the Baratheon banners in Dragonstone, which had recently been home to Stannis Baratheon. Jon Snow’s voice over kicks in here, saying: “For centuries our families fought together, against their common enemy. Despite their differences, together. We need to do the same if we’re gonna survive.” Clearly the intention here is to have us believe that the families Jon’s referring to mean that Jon and Daenerys will finally join forces, but this seems too obvious. Jon could be talking to the scattered families of the North, or rallying some other potential ally in the battle to come.
And finally, were given our first shot of Dany’s dragons as they fly toward Dragonstone.
Next we see Grey Worm, in full armor, sailing towards a strange rock outcropping. It could be Dragonstone, but rumors persist that the Unsullied might be making a push for Casterly Rock, the ancestral home of the Lannisters. And who knows Casterly Rock, which is believed to be impregnable, and happens to be an advisor to Dany? Tyrion Lannister, who may have given Grey Worm and the Unsullied a way in. Hmm….
Our next sequence is pure happiness—Brienne and Podrick—only Brienne is now wearing what appears to be Northern garb, yet it doesn’t appear they’re in Winterfell, and it wouldn’t make much sense for them to have gone further north to Castle Black, would it?
We next see a battle between the Unsullied and Lannister forces, then a fight between some Lannister men, led by Jaime Lannister himself, and Dany’s forces. We also see the Hound, aka Sandor Clegane, wearing what sure looks like Wildling fur. If he’s now alligned with Jon and the Wildings, one wonders/hopes that he and Arya will have a reunion—and that they won’t try to kill each other.
Next it's the first appearance of the Night’s King, whose attention is drawn to a huge mob of ravens flying over Wildlings. Then we see Bran in a wheelchair in front of a weirwood tree, but who’s he with?
Arguably the most compelling shot in the whole trailer is of Beric Dondarrion, the former leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, holding a flaming sword. Remember that Beric has died and been resurrected a bunch of times, so he’s hardly fully human anymore, and what he’s doing back is a mystery. We will see in a few moments that Beric appears aligned with Jon, but how and why? For more information on his flaming sword, click here.
Next we see the tell tale insignia of House Greyjoy—the Kraken—as ships sail towards King’s Landing. Again, this might not be Yara and Theon but their murderous uncle Euron's fleet. After this, we see a regiment of Unsullied sneaking their way into what we believe is Casterly Rock, and then overtaking some clueless Lannister soldiers.
The following sequence is another one of the trailer’s major moments— Jamie Lannister riding over a burning battlefield, and then a shot of Dany atop Drogon. As we’ve written before, this season includes a historic stunt in which 20 people were set on fire simultaneously, and that’s likely because Drogon roasted a ton of Lannister’s men.
Then we see hellfire destroying ships as Theon and Yara watch helplessly. Is this the battle between their fleet and their uncle Euron’s? Is a Lannister/Euron alliance strong enough to resist Dany's forces?
From this point on, the trailer kicks into even higher gear. You've got Jon (and Beric, you can see his flaming sword) atop a rock being surrounded by…Wildings? How did that happen and why have they presumably turned on Jon? Or is this some sort of initiation, as some folks are speculating, to get the entire Wilding clan to fight behind Jon. You also see the Hound, now in warmer climes, drawing his weapon, but where is he? Rumors are he could be in Dragonpit, a ruin outside of King's Landing where the Tagaryens used to keep their dragons. If he's there, and he's drawing his weapon, who is he about to fight? Perhaps…his zombie brother, the Mountain?
We see Theon, looking broken once again, on the beach of Dragonstone, we get a nasty, awesome closeup of Drogon's teeth, and we finish with Jon going boot-to-boot with a Wilding, and taking him out. This could be, again, an weird initiation rite in which the Wildings will only fight behind someone strong enough to take on their best fighter. Or, something's happened and they've turned on Jon.
The last thing we hear is Sansa's voice: "When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies…but the pack survives."
So who's the lone wolf? Your guess is as good as ours.
Game of Thrones season seven premiere is on July 16.