The first promo for next week’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones promises a battle between the living and dead that’ll leave fans on the edge of their seats. Set to be the penultimate installment of the season, the episode already has a lot to live up to coming off of what have proven to be some of the largest and best episodes that Game of Thrones has ever put out. That’s especially true following ‘The Spoils of War’, which featured the Dragon/Dothraki vs Lannisters battle that fans had been waiting several seasons to see. But next week’s episode, which looks to focus almost entirely on Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his newly assembled team of fighters, has been shaping up to be this season’s show-stopping action set piece for several months now.
As such, tonight’s episode of the HBO series was probably the least notable to date, in terms of action and deaths, as most of its runtime was dedicated to plotting and bringing multiple different characters together for the first time. That included the long-awaited return of Joe Dempsie as Gendry Baratheon and Jorah’s (Iain Glen) equally-anticipated reunion with Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen. Considering some of the episode’s more monumental reveals/confirmations, though, the lack of any big battle sequences didn’t take away from the episode’s pacing or quality either.
However, it looks like this week’s heavy amount of set up may be paying off in spades for the penultimate episode. Following the airing of ‘Eastwatch’, HBO released the first teaser trailer for next Sunday’s episode, which just further teases the action and danger Jon Snow and his comrades will encounter on their mission beyond the wall. But before saying anything more about the promo, you can first check out the sneak peek for yourself in the space above.
In addition to dedicating a lot of time setting up the stakes of Jon’s mission — which revolves entirely around him capturing an undead wight and bringingn it back to King’s Landing (without dying) — the promo also further teases the growing tension between Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and her sister, Arya (Maisie Williams). Their relationship was already fairly tumultuous at times throughout ‘Eastwatch’, and now thanks to the scheming of Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), their sisterly bond only looks that much closer to being torn apart.
Game of Thrones has a reputation for providing audiences with the most thrills during their penultimate episodes — with only a few exceptions throughout the years — and next week’s installment only looks to further cement that. Visually and narratively, it looks more akin to previous, action-based penultimate episodes like ‘Battle of the Bastards’ or ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ than, say, ‘Rains of Castamere’. With returning Thrones director Alan Taylor at the helm — who will be directing his first episode of the show since its season 2 finale — the next episode will only help to make sure this season of Game of Thrones ends in appropriately epic fashion.
Game of Thrones continues next Sunday @9pm on HBO.
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