The new Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer is here just in time for Summer Solstice, and it’s packed with clues about the conflicts — and alliances — we can look forward to when July 16 arrives.
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The White Walkers were conspicuous by their absence in the first Season 7 trailer, but they’re back with a vengeance in the new promo, which sees Jon Snow and his wrecking crew battling the wights, while the rest of Westeros’ inhabitants glower ominously at each other.
But as Jon points out in the trailer, the noble families of the Seven Kingdoms used to be united, and they’re going to have to get back on the same page toot-sweet, because the Night King didn’t come to play, he came to win. And we all know what happens when you don’t win.
What can we learn from the new footage in the latest trailer? Glad you asked. Let’s start with the new dialogue.
1. Sansa must make some Stark choices (Sorry.)
The trailer opens on 15 seconds of Sansa walking through the Godswood at Winterfell looking shook, with Littlefinger’s raspy voiceover giving the impression that he’s whispering his particular brand of twisted wisdom in her ear.
It’s a long walk to the Iron Throne.
"Don’t fight in the north or the south; fight every battle, everywhere, always, in your mind," he advises. It’s a neat inversion of Cersei’s opening lines from the first trailer, in which she noted that the Lannisters were beset by enemies from the east, west, south and north (just say you’re surrounded, woman, damn).
The trailer certainly wants us to make a connection between Littlefinger’s counsel and Sansa’s troubled expression, implying that she might be considering betraying Jon — but if the past six seasons have proven anything, it’s that the Starks really can’t trust anyone but each other, and Sansa’s smart enough to know it by now. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
2. Jon’s rallying the realm
Meanwhile, Jon’s seemingly canvassing for support in the battle against the White Walkers. He doesn’t need to earn the loyalty of the northerners, since they all pledged allegiance to the new King in the North at the end of last season. So who’s he trying to convince? Smart money’s on Daenerys, since his dialogue is accompanied by shots of the Mother of Dragons exploring her ancestral home, Dragonstone, and doing some redecorating.
Stannis wasn’t the best interior designer.
"For centuries our families fought together against their common enemy, despite their differences. Together," Jon points out. "We need to do the same if we’re gonna survive, because the enemy is real. It’s always been real."
If it is Daenerys he’s addressing (probably along with Tyrion, as her Hand of the Queen), Jon’s right that the noble families of Westeros used to be united — the Targaryens ruled on the Iron Throne for almost three hundred years, with the other houses bending the knee without much fuss until the Mad King went and tried to burn everything to the ground. Right now, they have much bigger priorities than a sword-measuring contest.
3. The pack survives
But the most intriguing line in the trailer comes courtesy of Sansa (is it significant that the trailer begins and ends with her? Perhaps.)
As we see Jon, seemingly alone and outnumbered, facing off against a horde of reanimated wights (their costumes look like the poor unfortunate souls who were resurrected by the White Walkers at Hardhome), Sansa repeats a line that Ned told Arya in George R. R. Martin’s first novel in his Song of Ice and Fire series: "When the snows fall, when the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."
Between the ominous music and Jon’s isolation in the scene, the trailer certainly implies that our new King in the North might be in big trouble — that the lone wolf will die, leaving the rest of his Stark pack to carry on the fight without him.
But if you look at the rest of Ned’s quote from A Game of Thrones, it’s far less chilling than Sansa’s delivery makes it sound: "When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm."
In the book, Ned is actually cautioning Arya against hating Sansa, so the quote is probably a reminder of the family unity that Ned tried to instill in his children — a lesson Sansa won’t soon forget.
So those are the new lines — but what about all the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots in the Season 7 trailer? Let’s dive in.
4. Stay on target
Grey Worm is dressed for battle and seemingly leading his allies over water towards a small, narrow opening in an otherwise impenetrable rock wall. Since we know Dany’s forces are attacking a Lannister stronghold in Season 7, this shot seems to confirm the fan theory that Tyrion will be instrumental in helping Dany’s forces conquer Casterly Rock.
Back in Season 2, as you may recall, Tyrion told Varys that his father had once put him "in charge of all the drains and cisterns in Casterly Rock," the Lannisters’ seat of power. It might’ve seemed like a throwaway line at the time, but now it looks like he’ll use that knowledge to stick it to his father one last time, and knock Cersei down a peg in the process.
5. Eye spy
This shot sees Bran back in the Godswood at Winterfell (yay!), settled into a fancy new wheelchair after six seasons being hauled around by Hodor and Meera. While this definitely seems to imply that a Stark family reunion is imminent (which would allow Bran to spill the beans about Jon’s real identity to the rest of his fam pretty early on), the shot also reminds us — just as we saw last season — the Night King is now aware of his presence any time he tries to spy via his warging abilities.
Have the White Walkers managed to cross the Wall? Could they be marching on Winterfell? And who’s the dude with Bran? The Three-Eyed Raven died last season, but that might not stop him from pulling a Star Wars and appearing as some kind of spirit guide when Bran uses his abilities. Otherwise, there are two balding older chaps hanging around Winterfell who might fit the bill: Ser Davos, who has proven to be a trusty advisor thus far; or Maester Wolkan, who was serving the Boltons at Winterfell before Ramsay met his timely end.
6. The Prince Who Was Promised
There are so many candidates who could be the reincarnation of the legendary warrior Azor Ahai, aka The Prince Who Was Promised, it’s hard to keep track. But the members of the Brotherhood Without Banners are fairly convinced that their champion is Beric Dondarrion, who has been resurrected six times by the Red Priest Thoros of Myr so far, and even has himself a flaming sword. We haven’t seen him in the promos up until now, but this hero shot looks like he’s ready to rumble.
And judging by the below shot, Beric will join forces with Jon at some point in Season 7, which is good, because it seems like they’ll need all the help they can get.
We’re gonna need a bigger posse.
It’s hard to tell, since it’s such a quick shot, but it sure looks like there are thousands of wildlings fleeing from something that Jon and his posse are facing down, and our bet is that it’s the Night King himself — maybe the White Walker army is even marching towards Jon in the vision Bran sees. (Alternatively, Jon and his posse are already surrounded by thousands of dead wildlings who have become wights, in which case, they’re really screwed.)
7. Say hello to Euron’s little friend
Last season, Euron declared his intention to make Dany an offer she couldn’t refuse, by presenting her with the Iron Islands’ fleet and a certain part of his anatomy. Unfortunately for him, Theon and Yara got to Dany first, leaving Euron short a queen and an alliance.
In the new trailer, it looks like the new King of the Iron Islands is on the rebound and hoping to make Cersei the same offer, judging by all those Greyjoy ships heading towards King’s Landing. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has hinted that Jaime might have some competition for Cersei’s affections in Season 7, so perhaps Cersei will accept both of Euron’s generous offers?
8. Jaime and the Dragon
While Cersei’s entertaining a potential new suitor, her brother-lover is in the heat of battle, quite literally. In this shot, we see Jaime going medieval on something, and our money is on one of Dany’s kids.
The battlefield is completely scorched and Jaime certainly seems to be the last man standing — is he feeling suicidal enough to go mano-a-mano with a dragon? This is one tourney where he might be outmatched.
9. New phone, who dis?
This mystery warrior caught our interest — between the hair and the height, it looks like The Hound, but he was last seen traveling north, while this shot seems decidedly sunnier. What could bring the Hound back to warmer climes? Perhaps a showdown with his evil brother, The Mountain. Cleganebowl 2017, anyone?
10. Euron your own, Theon
The new trailer is all about its vague silhouettes, and this one could mean bad news for Theon (or possibly Yara, although the figure’s hair seems too short for it to be her). We’re fairly confident that Theon and Yara get caught up in a huge sea battle with Euron, and since Euron has a distinctive long coat, our best guess is that at least one of the Greyjoys ends up captured by their uncle, and perhaps this shot sees them coming to terms with their crushing defeat and the loss of their allies.
Know what else this trailer has a lot of? Ice.
Can’t Jon catch a break?
I think I know a song about that…
There are probably dozens more clues we missed on our first ten trailer viewings, but luckily, we’ve got the next few weeks to obsessively rewatch to find more before Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16. Happy hunting!