Fans have had to wait longer than usual for the new season of Game of Thrones, but the release of the first trailer has more than makes up for it. For over a year now, we’ve been hearing all about what to expect in season 7 of HBO’s hit adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s books. From fast-paced stories to Dany on her dragon, it’s been clear that, despite the smaller episode count, season 7 will be the most epic one so far.
But outside of some photos and a botched gimmick revealing the show’s premiere date, no one has quite known what to expect when the show returns. For years, fans could look to the books for possible plot threads and story arcs, but those days are mostly gone. With the show moving well past much of the material printed so far, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen next.
With today’s trailer, we finally have a better idea of both the plot and action. We get quick glimpses of many characters, while the Lannisters, Dany, and the North get a bigger spotlight. And though the suspicious absence of characters like Bran and Brienne will worry fans they’re sitting the season out, it’s likely that they’ll appear in a future trailer. For now, today’s tease has given us more than enough to unpack and puzzle over, so join us as we break down the trailer for season 7 of Game of Thrones.
The Last of the Lannisters
The trailer kicks off with quick shots of various characters and threats as Cersei lists the foes at every cardinal point that she and Jaime will need to defend against. Following the shocking events of last season, Cersei has left King’s Landing in turmoil, lost two sons and kings in as many years, and seemingly destroyed any hope of receiving the help of Highgarden and the Reach with her obliteration of Queen Margaery and her court. While some clever spin of the events could help her save face, she and the remaining Lannister forces have never been in more danger. In Cersei’s mind, it’s her and Jaime alone now, but the audience knows that Tyrion is still very much in play.
While Cersei and Jaime brood over their massive map of Westeros, Tyrion is taking in the sights of Daenerys’ three fully-grown dragons and standing beside her as the Hand of the Queen. Judging by the results of his last stint as Hand, things could go a few different ways for him. While he was successful at improving King’s Landing and defending the city against Stannis, his tenure soon led to his downfall and exile.
Daenerys Comes Home
Much of the action of the trailer is intercut with shots of Dragonstone, and Daenerys’ return to the castle. Cersei’s opening words are mixed with shots of the Painted Table, the massive wooden map of Westeros that resides in the Drum Tower at Dragonstone. From there, Aegon planned his initial conquest, and recent years have seen Stannis brooding over the same table.
Of course, the more significant aspect of Dany coming to Dragonstone is that it marks her return to her place of birth and the only part of Westeros she’s ever known. Following the Sack of King’s Landing and the Mad King’s death at the hands of Jaime, Dany’s pregnant mother and her young brother Viserys were spirited off to the Targaryens’ seat at Dragonstone. During an intense storm, Dany was born while her mother died. Shortly after, her and Viserys sailed off to Essos, with Dany only now returning to her ancestral home. You can read a lot into the shot of Dany as the gates open to the castle, inviting her back to Westeros and her awaiting kingdom.