Thank the gods old and new, the Seven and the weirwood. Hell, maybe even throw a little praise R’hllor’s way while we’re at it! Because even that fiery demon god seemed chill with giving us a second full Game of Thrones season 7 trailer. And considering how mum HBO and the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been this year, we didn’t even expect that!
Yes, the second trailer is here and with Ramin Djawadi’s haunting season 6 finale music from Cersei’s trial (aka “she just killed everyone!”) sequence, this Game of Thrones trailer is something to covet. And so we have in our full breakdown below of what we think it all means. Join us, won’t you? But be warned: here there be dragons…
“Don’t fight in the North or the south. Fight every battle everywhere, always, in your mind.” These cynical and vaguely apocalyptic words from Ser Petyr Baelish are two-fold. They implicitly promise within this trailer that season 7 will be about battles everywhere. And indeed, much of the rest of our breakdown is essentially trying to predict how the “Wars to Come” will shape up into actual battle strategy.
However, it also serves a purpose here with Sansa Stark being slowly nudged toward the darkness. Notice how Sophie Turner slightly looks over her shoulder, and you can see Littlefinger’s creeping influence in her mind…
Ah yes, if there needed to be a single image to define the concept of “sneaky” or “duplicitous,” this would be it. But for the record, Sansa’s seeming retort to Petyr at the end of the trailer suggests she may finally be able to cast off the yoke of his influence. The theme of the season appears to be about coming together and putting aside past slights to face an existential change in the climate. When Sansa says, “When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” she is suggesting the theme of the year.
She also, I would argue, is probably giving an explanation to Petyr about why she is not betraying her Stark kin. They are a pack, and if this line means anything, it might be a prelude to the lone Littlefinger wolf getting devoured by those of the dire variety.
Speaking of duplicitous, these images are cut together in a somewhat misleading way during the trailer. They suggest that this is Jon Snow on the outside of the wall. However, the former is actually Bran Stark and Meera Reed finally crossing into Castle Black after getting dropped by Uncle Benjen. Still, let’s look at Jon’s role in the trailer more closely…
Jon has a big speech hinted at in the trailer where he says, “For centuries our families fought together against their common enemy…. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive, because the enemy is real.” He is of course referring to the White Walkers. But what is more curious is who is he addressing?
It seems as if he is having a détente with enemies—perhaps even the Lannisters?!—to discuss the threat of ice zombies to the north. As Sansa’s own quote hints, “The lone wolf dies.” Could there actually be peace in our time in Westeros?!
Of course, if he were to prove such a thing, he would need proof. Maybe that is why Jon, Tormund, and the rest find themselves surrounded by wights in the above images. How could they possibly survive this horror movie scenario?
Well, it turns out that Bran will finally be good for something, as this trailer shows him commanding a battalion of ravens to do his bidding and seriously ruin the Night King’s calm.
Speaking of Bran, we see him here plugged in, as it were, to his raven army or some other dream while Max von Sydow watches. Given that von Sydow’s Three-Eyed Raven character died last year, is raises the possibility that von Sydow will go the full Obi-Wan Kenobi in the story and force ghost-haunt his pupil with sagelike advice.
But there is more to Game of Thrones than Stark drama. Elsewhere in the world, we see Queen Cersei looking grim, perhaps that is because she has gotten news from home? Indeed, the second image above shows the ancestral Lannister seat of power, Casterly Rock, looking grand… It’s not going to say that way.
In these images, we see dragons, Greyworm, and the rest of the Unsullied soldiers mounting an amphibious assault on Casterly Rock. And given that the gates to at least Lannisport (the city that rests beneath the Rock) are broken through with ease by the Unsullied, we doubt Cersei’s childhood home will last any longer than the Slaver Cities did against Daenerys’ forces.
Here is another Lannister battle that will feature dragons, but I think this is a second battle between the House of Fire and Blood and the one with a cute little lion on it. For starters, it is in an open field that Jaime Lannister’s men are firing arrows, and then in the next corresponding image…
We see the dragons fighting alongside Dothraki, who are not known for the hushed covert missions like the Unsullied. Instead, they like a head-on fight, which this is. But when you have dragons and images as cool as the latter’s, it’s not much of a fight at all.
Indeed, it is an open question whether Jaime Lannister can survive this scenario. We definitely see the remains of dragon warfare behind him as he charges head first into battle. But fighting dragons on an open field? It’s already game over, so unless the Khaleesi of the Grass Sea spares him, Cersei could end up very alone before this is over.
Everything really is coming up Daenerys at first glance. We also see some more shots throughout the trailer of her landing on Dragonstone. This is the first time she has ever stepped foot on Westeros. And the way it is shot with clear longing for the homeland reminds me a lot of what happened when Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood finally made it back to England. The fact he had an American accent did not make it any less glorious.
And I just really like this image of Daenerys entering Stannis’ war room and touching his elaborate Dungeons & Dragons board. She must be pondering why a man who claimed to be a king must have wasted so much time playing RPGs.
But not everything will likely be roses for Daenerys. In this shot, we see kraken-adorned ships in Blackwater bay of King’s Landing. I cannot tell from this image if they’re either Euron’s ships or Yara and Theon’s. Either way, they are the great naval forces of the season, and battle between them seems inevitable.
And that battle may not go Dany’s way. We see there is a great naval battle at night, and the look on Yara and Theon’s face as they watch their ship’s mast burn does not suggest a victory for Team Dragon.
Finally, we see Beric Dondarrion holding a flaming sword in the snow. I just wanted to say this image looks a whole lot like the “Lightbringer” hokum that Melisandre is always yammering on about. But he is holding it in the snow, suggesting he might be part of Jon Snow’s “let’s hunt down a wight” party. If so—and I am admittedly reaching here—this might be further proof that Arya will be reunited with the Starks since she and the Brotherhood without Banners are starting from roughly the same place in the Riverlands as they migrate North for winter. And if Beric is part of Jon’s suicide mission noble effort, then perhaps Arya is safe and sound at Winterfell by now? Oh hell, she might be there fighting alongside them with Needle!
Game of Thrones season 7 begins July 16 on HBO.