The Battle of Winterfell is coming, at least according to the newest trailer for Game of Thrones season 8. The series has had its fair share of blockbuster-sized blowouts, beginning with the Battle of Blackwater and continuing on through the series with showstoppers like ‘The Watcher on the Wall’ and ‘Hardhome’ and the ‘Battle of the Bastards.’ This being the series’ final season, and the stakes being higher than they ever have been before (the fate of the world resting in the hands of the the armies amassed at the Stark family home will do that) it stands to reason that the third episode will pull out all the stops in order to rank as high if not higher than all that have come before.
The episode will have plenty of time to leave its mark, as the previously released runtimes of season 8's installments have revealed that episode 3 clocks in at a dragon-sized 1 hour and 22 minutes. That’s in addition to the series bringing in its resident battle master Miguel Sapochnik (who delivered both ‘Hardhome’ and ‘Battle of the Bastards’) to direct the battle and perhaps outdo even his own past handiwork.
That episode 3 would be the Battle of Winterfell was more or less assumed as soon as the details of the season started to come out, and it was essentially confirmed with the release of the episode’s runtime and the name of its director. And while the season thus far has been made up of character moments and narrative payoffs, all in an attempt to add emotional weight to the looming conflict, there’s still quite a lot that fans don’t know. And despite there now being a trailer promising yet another battle episode, HBO’s still playing things very close to its vest. Check out the trailer for the next episode below:
Perhaps the most telling, and possibly unsettling, aspect of the new trailer is that, like all trailers for Game of Thrones season 8, the Night King is conspicuously absent. Episode 2 ended with a sizable army of White Walkers making their way to Winterfell, but the icy guy in charge was nowhere to be seen, much less his trusty steed, the reborn Viserion. Those two were last seen bringing down the Wall, and now their lack of screen time is beginning to feel as portentous as the Carpenter-esque screams of little Ned Umber in the season premiere.
Still, even without the Night King or Viserion there’s plenty to wonder and speculate about with regard to what’s really going to go down at Winterfell next week. It’s undoubtable that many will fall — even some favorites — but even that may be eclipsed by whatever it is the Night King has cooking.
Game of Thrones season 8 continues next Sunday @9pm on HBO.