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The great war is here — and so is the great trailer for Game of Thrones‘ seventh season.
Months and months after Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) set sail for Westeros, viewers are finally getting their best look yet at what the Mother of Dragons’ looming arrival means for Game of Thrones moving forward. In a word? It means trouble, and lots of it, based on what’s revealed in the official season seven trailer that was released Wednesday.
What the next season of Game of Thrones lacks in episode count (clocking in at seven installments, as opposed to the traditional 10), it looks poised to compensate for with an insane amount of action. Dragons and Dothraki alike are ripping across the fields of Westeros for the first time in the whole series, while Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his fellow Northerners contend with the frozen forces barreling toward the Wall. And that’s not even accounting for the Mad Queen Cersei (Lena Headey), in the thick of her own schemes and plots as she throws not-so-subtle shade at her loathed brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage).
Even at a runtime of less than two minutes, there’s an abundance of new material worth chewing on. With that said, here are the highlights from the new Game of Thrones trailer.
1. Floor Plans
“Enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies to the south, enemies to the north,” Cersei says as the trailer begins, with flashes of the various factions headed her way. If nothing else, the Mad Queen knows her geography, or at least knows how to read the gigantic map that adorns her floor. Somebody let us know when a replica of Cersei’s epic Seven Kingdoms rug pops up on the HBO store, please.
2. Drag Him
Moments later, Cersei talks about how she and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are the only Lannisters left. Before you can form the words “but what about Tyrion,” the trailer cuts to Peter Dinklage’s Hand of the Queen, back in the Seven Kingdoms for the first time since season four, blissfully unaware of his sweet sister’s shade. Besides, he has other things to set his attention on, like the three massive dragons flying over the Westerosi cliffside.
The odds are in her favor, given the literal and figurative firepower on her side, but Dany still has a war to win before she can sit on the Iron Throne. Her consolation prize? Dragonstone, former seat of House Targaryen before Robert’s Rebellion. Since Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and his fellows don’t exactly need the place anymore, and since King’s Landing is currently off-limits, Dragonstone looks likely to serve as Dany’s main seat of power for at least the initial stretch of season seven. Sure beats Meereen, with all due respect to the city that resides in what was once known as Slavers Bay.
4. The Snake’s Kiss
Not that it was ever the show’s focal point, but with war upon us, is there room on Game of Thrones for romance? Maybe, maybe not, but there’s at least room for a passionate kiss, as seen in a quick flash of Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) locking lips with Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma). It’s an unlikely union between the Iron Islander and the Sand Snake, and one that could end poorly for Yara, considering what happened the last time we saw Ellaria kiss someone.
5. Fire and Iron
Has Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) put Reek behind him forever? The one glimpse at him in the trailer shows a man of renewed strength, surrounded by flares in an unknown lair. With Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) out of the picture and his confidence renewed, it feels like Theon is one of the main characters closest to the end of his arc — which could make him a top pick in any Game of Thrones death draft pools heading into season seven.
6. The Mountain’s New Clothes
Robert, looking Strong. Get it? Robert, Strong? Because that’s his … ah, forget it.
7. The Circle of Death
Doesn’t this look familiar? Several soldiers form a circle as snow swirls all around them, signaling the coming of winter — and with winter, comes the White Walkers, who are conspicuously absent from the trailer, despite the Night King standing front and center in the season seven key art. It’s an image that eerily aligns with one of the first scenes of the series, when three members of the Night’s Watch travel past the Wall and witness White Walker wreckage firsthand.
8. Arya There Yet?
After avenging her brother and mother in her final season six scene, Arya (Maisie Williams) now looks poised for a full-fledged Stark family reunion. She appears at multiple points in the trailer riding through the snow, presumably on her way toward Winterfell. In this particular shot, it looks like Arya’s made it back home, peeking underneath a bed and searching for … what? Enemies? A hiding spot? It’s an evocative image, a (wait for it) stark reminder of how much pain and sorrow Arya has experienced over the course of the series — so much so that she can’t even return home without keeping an eye out for monsters under the bed.
9. Snow Problem
If you come at the King in the North, you best not miss. Whatever the circumstances, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) finds himself on the receiving end of Jon Snow’s wrath, as the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch grabs the squirming schemer by the throat. There’s a lot to love in this trailer, but few images are more satisfying than Ned Stark’s son (err, nephew) delivering some payback to the man largely responsible for his father’s (err, uncle’s) death.
10. The King of Chaos
Speaking of Petyr Baelish, the artist formerly known as Mayor Carcetti stands here in the shadows, doing what he does best: looking incredibly creepy while he doubtlessly dreams up some awful plan to take out a Stark. Happiness is a rare commodity in Game of Thrones, but if you’re looking for the one guy who is thrilled to death about the war ravaging Westeros, you’ve found him.
11. The Red Woman
Melisandre (Carice van Houten) was last seen leaving Winterfell, only alive by the good grace of Jon Snow. What’s her next move? Some fans have speculated she might run into Arya on the road, based on their previous encounter back in the season three days. The trailer suggests a different destination: Dragonstone, where the Red Woman could become yet another powerful force on Dany’s side — as if she needs the help!
12. Hitting Hard
Whatever else he’s dealing with this season, Jon Snow’s primary focus remains the White Walkers. A quick shot of Jon running alongside Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) immediately evokes memories of “Hardhome,” one of the very best episodes of the series, an action-packed sequence that could very well be rivaled in season seven.
13. The Great War
If viewers needed to endure six seasons of Daenerys struggling to get to Westeros, it was worth every moment of pain for this image alone: House Lannister’s forces fighting it out against Dany’s combined Dothraki and Unsullied army, with Drogon hanging overhead for good measure. The July 16 season seven premiere cannot get here soon enough.
Watch the trailer again:
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