For millions of people, this week has been the most exciting in a long, long time; HBO released it’s official trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. Since the season 7 finale on August 2017, no new footage of the hit series has been released, making the two-minute trailer a precious sip of water in an 18-month drought. It racked up over 81 million views in the first 24 hours, smashing HBO viewing records (specifically the season 7 trailer, which had 61 million views). There’s a lot to break down, so here’s my take on the trailer and what it means for the upcoming season. If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, or aren’t caught up, immediately stop reading and start watching.
In a nutshell, it was great to see so many familiar faces. Notably, Jon and Daenerys seem to still be into each other, since we see them hanging out in the Winterfell crypts together. Jorah looks healthy, and Gendry (Robert Baratheon’s bastard) was hard at work making weapons. There was also a lot of dragon shots, which seemed to really emphasize to the viewers that there are only two left. While it may hint to some epic living and dead dragon fights, it could also mean something more in terms of the Targaryens. There is one clip of Jon and Daenerys with the two dragons, symbolizing their political unity and mutual statuses as a Targaryens (also, when does Daenerys find out about her new cousin??). But what does this mean for the third dragon; is there another hidden Targaryen, perhaps it’s new rider, the Night King? We still don’t know a lot about this guy, but I bet his past is pretty juicy.
Speaking of dead characters, one appearance in the trailer that surprised me was Tormund, the wildling leader, and Beric, Stannis’s old Hand, who we both last saw in the collapsing Eastwatch. I was pretty happy to see them partially since I was convinced they had died, but mostly because Tormund has the hots for Brienne and we all want to see that play out. However, a shot of Varys was shown as Arya talks about the “faces of the dead”, so perhaps The Spider will be one character we have to say goodbye to.
Something that stood out to me a lot was the high presence of Arya. The trailer starts off with Arya talking about these faces, as well as her running from something in castle hallways. She does have somewhat unresolved business from her time in Essos, so perhaps the Faceless man has made his way to Winterfell to find her. We’ve seen her become quite fearless in the last few seasons, but Arya definitely looks scared in some parts of the trailer.
Lastly, what’s going to happen with Cersei? We only see her a few times, but the longest clip of her is in the throne room, sipping some wine and smirking. Shortly before that shot Jon is narrating in the background that “our enemy does not feel”, which she certainly doesn’t do a lot of. We may think we know Cersei’s selfish intentions in staying behind, but maybe there is more to her opposition? Perhaps she knows something we aren’t aware of yet.