There’s nothing like waking up first thing on a Monday morning to a new Game of Thrones trailer. Let’s discuss the healthy doses of new footage to be found in our latest fix, many of which boast the same strength of previous trailers in that they show key moments without giving too much away.
This trailer is the unquestionable property of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, who, apart from looking gorgeous in blue, is in the full flower of her conquest of the slave cities, a symphony that will eventually end in a bit of a fart when she gets to Merreen. But, that time has not yet come, so we’re treated to some glimpses of the strategic mastery that characterises her negotiations with the sellsword companies before slaughtering them; the growing destructive power of her dragons culminating in the sack of Astapor and a nice ‘I shall show you no mercy’ filling in the gaps between suspiciously 300-looking shots of her army of Unsullied and an ‘I want to eat you alive’-looking pretty boy whom I assume is Daario, and who looks just as punchable as he is in the books (where’s the blue hair? Or was it purple?). Let us recall Ser Jorah’s words: ‘I think you are Raeghar Targaryen’s sister.’
Presumably while visiting his Hand in prison, Stannis is still saying increasingly yawnable things about duty and his claim to the Iron Throne that bear all the promise of continuing to bore us to tears. On the plus side, prison lighting does wonders for his somewhat wonky looks, and the series’ further controversial portrayal of his relationship with Melisandre promises to instigate even more pitched online battles between fans. We’re given just a bit more of the epic fight between Jaime and Brienne (for thoughts on their relationship, see every GOT post I’ve ever done, ever) and quite a bit more of the bear pit scene, regrettably sans Brienne. The eternally virtuous Robb and Cat are accorded more screen time devoted to promising eternally virtuous actions; half second shots are given to Arya and Asha (Yara, sigh) Greyjoy, both in combat situations, and to some chick getting her clothes taken off, a reminder of the tradition paradoxical treatment of women in HBO shows.
The state of King’s Landing politics is appropriately described by Tyrion as ‘Seven Kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister.’ This is done in voice-over as he looks at his mangled face in the mirror, the cherry on top of all his power being unceremoniously snatched away from him in last season’s conclusion. He appears to still be squabbling with Cersei, who, three seasons later, still hasn’t got out of the habit of making chilling, if ambiguous comments about exterminating the enemy. Either of them squabbling doesn’t seem to be doing much good, since the one shot that is accorded Lord Tywin shows us that he is still a considerable badass and not to be fucked with. Meanwhile, in all things Joffrey, the hints made by previous trailers about the growing instability of his rule finally reach full fruition in that the boy king’s exasperating repetition of his favourite declaration: ‘I am the king!’ reeks of desperation, making him sound rather more like a seven year old declaring ‘I am Batman!’ Despite his desperation, he hasn’t yet got over his taste for torture (there appears to be a rack involved) and there is a gorgeously filmed scene involving a chapel and a flight of stairs that seems to hint at Sansa’s wedding, the fact that the groom is Tyrion kept entirely out of the equation.
There is a big increase in the quantity of North of the Wall footage, with Jon taking centre stage in most of it. This is both appropriate and important, not just because he’s the POV character of that particular part of the world, but because the previous season, and all previous trailers, have shown him as being an outsider to it. The connection to the North that Jon discovers in himself is extremely primal, and stays with him even when he returns to the Wall, so seeing Jon take up such a central position in the trailer is a good sign that this part of his personality is going to be preserved. We’re also given another reminder that no one can stop the white walkers (just in case we’d forgotten), and some incredibly quick shots of Bran, Hodor and Osha and what could be Jojen and Meera Reed testify to the incredible complexity of the land beyond the Wall and the many different stories and feelings it can inspire.