Breaking Down the Game of Thrones Season 8 Trailer

So you’ve seen the Game of Thrones season 8 trailer. Multiple times, if you’re anything like us. From the opening seconds, we get the distilled spirit of what’s to come in a single character—Arya Stark. At first, she’s running, panicked, through the dark. Then we see her coolly discussing death while holding her trusty sword, needle. She’s one of Game of Thrones’ most changed characters, from beloved youngest Stark daughter and tomboy to something entirely different. She’s one of the highlights of what is a very detail rich trailer.

With that in mind, let’s go through the trailer and see if we can’t draw some conclusions. Here it is again so you can follow along:

Was that the Golden Company?

At the 0:25 second mark we see a fleet of ships sailing under the Kraken sigil. From this sigil, we must assume these men sail for Euron Grejoy. A closer look at one of the ships offers a shot of a man in golden armor, overlooking a phalanx of similarly armored troops. One can only assume these are the infamous Golden Company, sellswords from Essos who are being paid by Cersei Lannister. Euron Greyjoy pretended to have been spooked by the captured wight at the end of season 7 and stormed out of King’s Landing. In fact, he left to procure the Golden Company on behalf of Cersei. This must be them.

Long Live Tormund

If you were worried that Tormund Giantsbane was killed when the wall collapsed in the season 7 finale, the trailer confirmed he survived. At the 0:32 mark we see our favorite Wildling and his new pal Beric Dondarrion alive and well. This mean’s Tormund’s ultimate quest—to prove to Brienne of Tarth he’s her equal and her romantic partner—can continue. We see them in the dark, lit by Beric’s flaming sword. They also appear to have Jon Snow’s most trusted Night’s Watch ally not named Samwell Tarly—Dolorous Edd—at their side.

A Tale of Two Queens

Nobody does a smug smile better than Lena Headey. Nobody does a sinister smile better than Lena Headey. In fact, Lena Headey, as Cersei Lannister, doesn’t get enough credit for being one of Game of Thrones’ most valuable players if you ask us. Anyway, at the 0:37 mark, there’s Cersei smiling like the cat who ate the dragon. At her side is her trusted ally and one of GoT‘s reigning creep champions, Qyburn. Five seconds later at the 0:42 mark, we see a very different queen. Daenerys Targaryen rides alongside Jon Snow with her Unsullied army. They’re heading for Winterfell. We see this unfold while Bran is speaking to Samwell Tarly. “Everything you did brought you where you are now … home.” Perhaps he’s speaking about Jon Snow. You never really know with Bran, though.

Sansa Sees Her First Dragon

Has anyone made a Game of Thrones dragon reaction supercut of all the times a character saw a live dragon for the first time? Can someone please do this? Sansa Stark’s reaction at the 0:44 mark would be one of the best. Dany’s two remaining dragons swoop over the walls of Winterfell and Sansa’s head literally whips around to track them. It’s a great shot. Her sister Arya gets her own at the 1:13 mark.

The Return of Gendry

Detailed oriented Game of Thrones fans must have been pumped when Gendry makes his reappearance at the 0:58 mark. We first met King Robert Baratheon’s bastard son in season one. He was forging weapons in King’s Landing. His skills are many, not only with making weapons but using them as well. The last time we saw him, he was on his way to the East’s Watch. One imagines Jon Snow will be calling upon him for the battle to come.

Brienne at her Best

A few seconds after we get a lovely moment between Grey Worm and Missandei, we see Brienne of Tarth laying waste to someone in a firelit battle. The next person we see? Jaime Lannister, also in a firelit battle. Could it be the same one? Could they be fighting against one another? Or will Jaimie join Brienne on the right side of GoT history? “I promised to fight for the living,” he says later on. “I intend to keep that promise.”

Seriously Lena Headey’s Smug Smiles Are Everything

Cersei pulls off an unprecedented five-second long Master Smug Smile that even includes a sip of wine. Watch perfection unfold from 1:05 to 1:10.

Dany, Jon, and the Dragons

Sounds like a GoT sitcom spinoff, but the shot of Dany, Jon, and the dragons at the 1:23 mark encapsulates pretty much everything fans have been waiting for in two seconds of screen time.

Arya Water Dancing

Arya Stark began her water dancing lessons (sword fighting, folks) from Syrio Forel way back in season one. Since then she’s seen more death than she could have possibly imagined. She’s also been practicing dealing death for years now.  At the 1:29 mark, we see Arya spinning with sword in hand, looking like someone who could take on pretty much anyone, living or dead.

Game of Thrones returns April 14 on HBO.

Featured image: Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke. Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.