Game of Thrones season 8 trailer: End is nigh as Arya confronts danger, Jon-Dany ride dragons, and Cersei rejoices

Rohini Nair

Mar 05, 2019 21:55:37 IST

Game of Thrones began beyond the Wall, and at Winterfell. The story then sprawled out over two continents — Essos and Westeros — and several characters, most notably those belonging to the Houses Stark, Baratheon, Targaryen and Lannister. As Lord Eddard aka Ned Stark accepted King Robert Baratheon's offer to be his Hand and rode south to King's Landing, several of the kingdoms came into focus at various times, and them zoomed away: Dorne to the south; the Iron Islands to the northwest; to the east — Highgarden and Dragonstone; on Essos, as Daenerys Targaryen made her way through them, Pentos, Vaes Dothrak, Qarth, Astapor, Yunkai, Mereen.

In its last and eighth season, most of the characters have returned to Winterfell once more, from where the combined forces of the Targaryens, Starks and the male Lannisters will head to the Wall to hold off the Night King.

Only one major character from among the original series is not in the North — Cersei Lannister, who is holding on to the Iron Throne back in the capital.

Meanwhile, the Greyjoys may be somewhere off at sea — Theon looking for Yara, Euron looking for sellswords from Essos to bolster up Cersei's army.

Not since the very first episode of the very first episode of Game of Thrones have nearly all its principal characters gathered at Winterfell: The Stark siblings, Sansa, Arya and Bran; their half brother Jon Snow (who we now know is their cousin, and actually Aegon Targaryen); his aunt/paramour/queen Danerys Targaryen; Tyrion and Jamie Lannister; and their sundry advisors and supporters, including Ser Davos, Samwell Tarly, Brienne of Tarth, The Hound et al.

Game of Thrones season 8 trailer: End is nigh as Arya confronts danger, Jon-Dany ride dragons, and Cersei rejoices

Character posters for Game of Thrones season 8. Courtesy HBO

The Game of Thrones season 8 teaser depicted the Starks gathered in the family crypt — each shouldering their own burdens, each facing their different ghosts. Down here in the crypt is all they have lost as a family: mothers and aunts (Lyanna and Catelyn — although the latter's fate is in doubt since she was revived as Lady Stoneheart in the books), a father (Ned), brothers (Robb, Rickon).

It's going to be an emotional homecoming for Jon, who hasn't seen Arya and Bran since he set off for the Night's Watch all those many years ago. In the time since, Arya has grown from the little sister he gifted "Needle" the sword, into one of the 'Faceless Men', the elite assassins of Bravos. And Bran, who was abed after being pushed off the Winterfell ramparts, is now the all-seeing, all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven.

If the teaser gave us a tantalising peek into what will be, the Game of Thrones season 8 trailer, released today by HBO, offers a few more details.

'Few' being the keyword here: not enough to give the season's major outcomes away, but enough to leave us with many pertinent questions.

This is what the trailer — which seems mostly to comprise fleeting vignettes from episodes 1 to 3 of this eighth season — depicts:

It begins with Arya facing down some terror in the halls of Winterfell. She says she's seen the many faces of death, but seems unprepared for the horror that has visited her home now. Which can only mean that it's truly unspeakable and frightening — the Night King and his army perhaps?

Winterfell is clearly under siege. We see a few triumphant scenes heralding Jon and Daenerys' return to the Stark family seat — Sansa watching the dragons soar above the the rooftops, the Unsullied marching in; Jon and Daenerys make a visit to the Winterfell crypts as well. Jon pays his respects at the Godswood too.

We also get a hint that Bran and Samwell Tarly will finally tell Jon the secret of his parentage — that he is, in fact, Aegon Targaryen, heir to the Iron Throne and ruler of the Seven Kingdoms (well, if he chooses to be). "Everything you did has brought you where you are now. Where you belong — home," Bran says, presumably to Jon.

But the homecoming doesn't stay pleasant for very long. Because the Long Night is here.

The army of the dead is already on the march. "They're coming," Jon tells his allies. "Our enemy doesn't tire, doesn't stop. Doesn't feel."

Preparations for the coming war are on in full swing: Jamie Lannister reaches Winterfell; he reaffirms his promise to fight for the living. Gendry is hard at work in the foundry, producing enough dragonglass weapons to go around, while Ser Jorah is ready to head off into battle. Missandei and Grey Worm have a wrenching parting. Ser Davos keeps a night-time vigil atop the Winterfell ramparts, while Lord Varys and Gilly take shelter in the crypts along with the smallfolk.

Meanwhile, Ed, Ser Beric Dondarrion and Tormund traverse a torchlit passageway — have they left Castle Black after the damage to the Wall and made it to Winterfell? Or are they putting up a lonely resistance?

The armies of the living and the dead line up for a furious battle — Brienne and Pod on the frontlines, Jamie and Arya slashing and cutting their way through fields of fire. Jon and Dany prepare to mount their dragons — Drogon and Rhaegal. Will Jon finally become a dragonider, and acknowledge his Targaryen blood?

Of Tyrion, we see all too little, merely a flicker of fear on his face as he confronts a fiery vision.

As for the last Lannister — Cersei — she is, for the moment, safe in King's Landing. Taking stock of her domain with Maester Qyburn and The Mountain, she looks mighty pleased with herself. The army of sellswords she tasked Euron Greyjoy with bringing her, have reached Westeros' shores.

She commands a lonely Throne Room at the Red Keep, and in her chambers at night, she sips from a goblet of wine (which makes us wonder about the state of her 'pregnancy').

Cersei's happiness indicates events in Westeros are playing out just as she wanted. But for how long?

All we can say is, expect the unexpected.

Watch the Game of Thrones season 8 trailer here:

Updated Date: Mar 06, 2019 14:21:29 IST