A beat by beat recap of the Game of Thrones Season 8 trailer
I know Game of Thrones. It's got many seasons. I look forward to seeing this one.
Well free folk, after getting the cold shoulder with the Game of Thrones' icy Crypts of Winterfell teaser back in January, we finally have the first full-length trailer for Season 8.
Most websites would wait until they have actually seen the show to lay the smackdown but not us. We're coming at Season 8 like the untimely death of your favourite character, way too soon.
Check out the latest trailer below then follow us on this fast-tracked journey as we tear Season 8 apart limb by limb.
Raptors, finally (0:00 - 0:20)
We open on some (HEAVY BREATHING). What a cracking start. Heavy breathing, the cowbell of cinema. We see a frightened Arya Stark running through what looks like the Crypt of Winterfell, stalked by an unknown force.
We cut to a glum scene of Westerosi with the mosterosi, Davos Seaworth, marching down a hall (spoiler: there's a lot of marching in this trailer). I've been rooting for Davos for ages now and I truly believe he's one of the only players who deserve a happy ending.
There's also a shot of Varys holed up in some kind of shelter looking worried and confused. Varys and Littlefinger have always been the best at actually "playing" the titular Game of Thrones right up until the latter's weasely ways were uncovered and delivered swift justice in the last season. Has the death of Littlefinger rattled this birdkeeper's cage?
The biggest mystery in this scene is the unseen figure pursuing Arya from the shadows. Could it be Arya's on-again, off-again assassin mates Jaqen H'ghar and the Wraith catching up with her? Or is it just a rogue White Walker? Or, and hear me out, is it raptors? History shows scenes of heavy breathing and kids getting chased are best accompanied by a pack of clever raptors. Has GRRM actually been reading my fan mail? We'll have to wait until 15 April to see.
This spooky section finishes with our stabbiest Stark geeing herself up for more murder: "I know Death. It's got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one." Teens, huh?
Home (0:20 - 0:50)
Next moody teen off the block is Bran. Last season, Bran sort of, like, inherited an all-seeing superpower? That kind of caused him to absorb all knowledge of the past, present and future? It's complicated. If you think you've got trouble getting through to your kids, wait 'till you get a load of this guy.
Bran's psychically seasoned voice hums against what YouTube's subtitles have labelled (SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC): "Everything you did brought you where you are now. Home."
We then get a supercut that touches on a bunch of characters' whereabouts: Cersei's very 'spensive mercenaries, The Golden Company, have hitched a ride on Greyjoy's infamous Iron Fleet. The book fans tell me the blonde guy riding shotgun is the leader of the gang, Harry Strickland, who officially has the most normal name in all of Westeros. I had to double check I wasn't reading the actor's name. It's like finding out the Night King's name is Steve Middleton and that he runs a small tax firm in Ryde three days a week to help his bottom line.
Anyway. We go subterranean once more and our boy, Beric Dondarrion, is with us to light the way with his flaming sword. In this scene, Beric is accompanied by Tormund Giantsbane and Dolorous Edd (who was promoted to Commander of the Night's Watch at the worst possible time). It's good to know these lads are alive. Last season's finale left the fate of many wallies (the canon name for folks who watch the wall) unknown after the Night King tore through the wall like a big bugger-off spreadsheet at 4pm when the boys over at North Ryde RSL, already two schooies deep.
Next up, we see Sam Tarly having a chinwag with Bran; likely rocking off over who should tell Jon Snow that he gets to ride a dragon in Season 8.
Bran's "home" message is punctuated with a smiling Cersei (never a good thing) in the very home she fought tooth and wildfire for, Kings Landing. As we know, it's a bittersweet victory that cost her everyone she loves but who knows, maybe she gets to tuck the Mountain's animated corpse in at night and read it a bedtime story? It's not first prize but it's something.
Then we get a shot of the Unsullied army arriving and subsequently departing Winterfell. To be fair, they are used to a more tropical climate. Winterfell isn't really known for its "guns out" weather.
Everything you need before Season 8 begins
The debt is paid (0:50 - 1:15)
No Game Of Thrones trailer is complete without dragons cresting over some kind of ridge. This time around it's Sansa who gets an eyeful.
We see a shot of Jon and Dany getting cosy in the crypt while the former drones "They're coming. Our enemy doesn't tire. Doesn't feel". And I'm asleep.
This grim dialogue is accompanied by shots of a freshly shorn Gendry going at it hammer and tongs, a lover's embrace between Missandei and Grey Worm, Jorah rolling in on horseback and a further reformed Jaime Lannister duking it out on what looks like the Winterfell embattlements set ablaze.
This montage ends with a scene of sad Cersei (the jury's out on whether this is scarier than smiling Cersei), sipping on summer wine and in possibly the biggest twist yet, she doesn't seem to be enjoying it.
This could be a throwback to Tyrion's cutting line from Season 2:
"I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid."
Bloody Oathkeeper (1:15 - 2:09)
Just one of the many allegiances Cersei let slip through her fingers like a set of keys after one too many vinos is the very special relationship with her brother Jaime.
It seems like Jaime's time with Brienne of Tarth (a high point for the series) has changed his worldview for good. After one of the show's best odd couples split, it looked like Jaime might be slipping back into his old ways but the end of Season 7 saw him leave King's Landing to join the hodgepodge army of do-gooders up north.
Jaime's speech in the trailer confirms his moral metamorphosis has completed its cycle: "I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise."
While Jaime clears the air, we see more brief shots of chaos and brooding: Arya marvelling at the sky (probably dragons), Grey Worm suiting up for battle, Jon chilling near the Weirwood, the Hound (?) bloodied up, Jon and Dany approaching Drogon and Rhaegal after a mean feed, Sansa staring off into the distance (a newfound hobby, it seems), running, firebreathing, swordplay... you know the drill.
The trailer ends on a sombre note with some of our top-ranking "likely to die" characters (Podrick, Brienne and Jorah), staring down the army of the dead as a skeletal horse hoof saunters into frame. Chills.
And that's all she wrote. Well, that's all she intends to write? Who knows where GRRM is up to with The Winds of Winter.
Our Season 8 trailer verdict
Look, Weiss and Benioff have a mammoth task tying off every loose end in just six episodes. Recent comments about the season's production suggest it's going to play out like one long battle scene and most of what we see in the trailer backs that up. I'm not sure how I feel about that but if they can manage to slip in some tender character-building amongst the bloodshed, I'll be happy enough to see it through.
Based on what we've seen, I'm going to give Season 8 a solid 3 out of 5.
Now, with the addition of raptors, we could easily pump those numbers up to a 4 or 5.
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