Features and Columns · TV

The ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Trailer, Explained

“The Great War is coming.” Also Winter. And Dragons. And horse-lord parkour.
By  · Published on May 24th, 2017

“The Great War is coming.” Also Winter. And Dragons. And horse-lord parkour.

HBO has finally released a full trailer for Game of Thrones season 7. This time around, it’s a trailer with actual footage from the show, not simply a group of main characters walking down hallways and sitting in chairs. It feels somewhat late in the game to be showing off the first substantial footage — the new season is only 8 weeks away — but this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about. Do they really have to show us anything at this point? If there were no trailer, would that dampen excitement enough to give watchers a reason to skip it? Nope. For hardcore fans, no trailer is needed.

For everyone else, this trailer serves as a nice catch-up as to what’s been happening in Westeros over the past 6 years. A reminder of where everyone is and where they’re headed. Chiefly, it reminds us that Cersei is on the Iron Throne and everyone is coming for her. That’s the framing device the HBO marketeers have chosen to open their trailer.

Let’s break it down in a mostly spoiler-free, book knowledge enhanced way.

1. The Lannisters are surrounded.

As Cersei (Lena Headey) explains in voice over, she and her brotherlover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) may be seated at the heart of the Seven Kingdoms’ traditional power center, but they are surrounded by threats.

From the East, an army led by Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her highest ranking Unsullied officer, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). Note the updated Unsullied tunics with the triple dragon broach. It’s as if the symbolism of three dragons might become very significant this season.

From the West, a dark vision of terror on the high seas. This is undoubtedly the fleet led by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek), the swarthy uncle to Theon and Yara we met very briefly in season 6. The last time we saw Uncle Euron, he was getting started on building a fleet of 100 ships to chase down his niece and nephew before heading off to woo the Dragon Queen. He appears to be back and looking to pay the Iron Price for several things this year.

From the South, a sharpened blade. This could very well be the blade of a Dornish person. Yes, the Sand Snakes are still around. More on their whereabouts and companions later.

From the North, a murderous child. Arya (Maisie Williams) continues her post-Walder Frey life by traversing through the woods. Is she going North back to Winterfell? Will she go South to King’s Landing where more members of her infamous list reside? There’s a clue later in the trailer.

As if this geographic metaphor weren’t strong enough, it appears as if Cersei has commissioned the painting of a giant map. This works well in helping us locate her many enemies. Now I want one of these floor maps for my living room.

But The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) is still hanging around, so it’s not all bad.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)