Game of Thrones’ final season FINALLY has a trailer, and it’s absolutely stuffed full of exciting dragon flights, epic battles and teases of the war to come that makes it unbearably hard to wait until the series begins in mid-April.
Still, while we are stuck hanging about we have noticed a few less flashy nuggets of new information, Easter eggs and intriguing mysteries set up by the new footage, which we’ve compiled for you below.
Whether its Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) battling on the walls, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) putting her water-dancing to good use or just the troops forming up to take on the White Walkers, characters including Daniel Portman’s Pod, Gwendoline Christie’s Brienne of Tarth, Iain Glen’s Jorah Mormont and both Grey Worm and Missandei (Jacob Anderson and Nathalie Emmanuel) are looking pretty tense as they line up to fight in and around Winterfell.
Meanwhile, down in the crypts it seems that the women, children and those unable to fight (including Conleth Hill’s Varys and Hannah Murray’s Gilly) are sheltering with the bones of the Stark lords past. Hopefully, all the readily available skeletons down there don’t give the Night King any ideas…
The Golden Company
Mercenary band the Golden Company, who were teased in the last series a few times and appear in George RR Martin’s source novels, finally make their first appearance here, ferried across to Westeros by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) to reinforce Cersei’s (Lena Headey) troops.
Accordingly, Cersei’s looking pretty smug on the battlements of the Red Keep – but would she really send them all the way up to Winterfell to catch Daenerys in the White Walker crossfire?
Oh wait, yes, she definitely would. Sorry.
Back from the dead…again
Hey, look who’s here! MIA characters Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Tormund Giantsbane (Kristopher Hivju) are revealed to have survived the fall of the Wall at the end of last series (no surprise given Beric’s track record), and now they’re accompanied by interim Night’s Watch Commander Ed (Ben Crompton). Here’s hoping they make it to Winterfell to give everyone some advance warning of the great battle to come…
We’re going back to the start
Many of the cast and crew have noted that the series’ first episode is intended to run along similar themes to Game of Thrones’ first story, and we can see some of the similarities here as soldiers march on Winterfell and Arya looks on appreciatively (something she did as a young girl when the household of King Robert arrived in season one).
But perhaps the most blatant callback comes when we see a young boy climb a tree to watch the procession of Daenerys’ Unsullied soldiers, echoing the sure-footed exploits of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) in the pilot.
Later in the episode, Bran was famously thrown from the tower by Jaime Lannister, so fingers crossed this same lad doesn’t meet a similar fate and is just intended as a fun callback. Though who knows? Given Bran’s ability to warg into the bodies of others, it could be that he’s using this boy to get up to some of his old tricks…
The revelation of Jon Snow’s true parentage and that legacy – that he’s the rightful King of Westeros – is sure to come as a shock in the new series, and some scenes in the trailer suggest that Jon looks for guidance from his dead family members when he learns the truth.
In one shot we see Jon in the crypts of Winterfell, staring at a statue that we can only assume belongs to his real mother Lyanna Stark before Daenerys comes to comfort him.
In another, Jon stands before Winterfell’s Heart Tree, the castle’s connection to the old gods and visions of the past previously used by Bran to help his visions. Perhaps he might be hoping for some connection with his adoptive father Ned Stark (Sean Bean) to find out why he hid the truth? Or maybe he just wants a bit of alone time – who knows?
Ghost at the Feast
It’s long been a complaint among fans that Jon Snow’s trusty direwolf hasn’t been seen in a long while, with the last sighting of Ghost occurring early in season six and the character essentially excised from the show since then (apart from one brief mention in dialogue in season seven).
But maybe that’s about to change – because call us crazy, but at one point during the trailer, as Jon and a collection of allies charge to hold a breach during battle, we thought we spotted some familiar snow-white legs running alongside them.
Now, we might just be seeing things, and it’s only a flash of footage – it crops up around 1.21, if you want to check our work – but don’t be so surprised if the battle for Winterfell sees Jon bring his best pal out of retirement.
Of course, there’s plenty more to talk about in this trailer – who’s Arya running from? What’s the Hound so scared of? And why doesn’t the Night King just attack Winterfell from above with his wight dragon anyway? – but until we get more answers, we’re just as in the dark as the rest of you when it comes to what it all means.
All we know for sure is, winter is definitely here. And to think, just a little while ago we all thought spring had come early.
The final series of Game of Thrones will air on the 15th April at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.