S8 Trailer: Ride My Dragon

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It’s… here.

A Game of Thrones official trailer for the eighth and final season.

I don’t even really know where to start. I have so many butterflies flipping in my stomach, the RSPCA should charge my digestive system with unnatural cruelty to natural fauna.

It’s been so long. So much waiting. So many hints, glimpses and teasers. So much stuff to avoid looking too deeply into lest I spoil myself too much, but wanting to get a little taste anyway, like pulling back the foil lid off a tub of thick cream, just enough to squeeze a bit out onto your fingers which you can quickly stick in your gob, and push the foil lid back on with minimal crinkling so other fridge users don’t suspect your greedy fingers have been in their pavlova topping.

Just me with the dairy analogies then? Fair enough.

Speaking of Thicc Cream, gosh my Beloved is a big dollop of it, and darn it couldn’t I just lick him right up. Of course, it appears I have competition with HERSELF, another favourite whom I ADORE but also wish she didn’t look at me THIS SMUGLY:

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Honestly, it’s enough to make you want to strap yourself to a dragon and go for a nice ride to clear your head WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY

2 Dragon 2 Furious

2 Dragon 2 Furious

That’s right, if you’re anything like me (and if you’ve been reading these recaps this long, sorry, but you are), this was the money shot out of a trailer that was making it rain.

Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen) and Daenarys Targaryen (aka HIS BLOOD RELATIVE) striding towards Drogon and Rhaegal with very serious intent. The dragons have been feasting on something, so no doubt are full of delicious protein and ready to feel the need, the need for speed.

Season 8 better have a shirtless volleyball scene.

Season 8 better have a shirtless volleyball scene.

The prospect of Jon Snow riding a dragon has hung heavy over the series since the R+L=J online conspiracy was half-solved at the end of season six, and swelled to a belly of enceinte proportions when Jon had a Toothless moment in season seven.

Given Viserion’s untimely (actually, very timely really, for narrative purposes) demise then reanimation into the Night King’s very own Falkor the F***ed Dragon, it eradicates the need for countless hours of YouTube deep dives into “Who is the Third Head of the Dragon?!” Presumably the creators are ditching that mythology and going with Jon and Dany, the rightful tzars of Westzaros. But hey, I’m as in the dark as you are.

Or indeed, as everyone in this trailer. Because there’s one word that came to mind after breathlessly taking in all one minute and 45 glorious seconds of it, and that’s GRIMDARK. Now that may be because somebody (who knows whom they are) had been using it a lot in particularly animated discussions of Warhammer 40K, but it really did sum up the Mood.

There’s not a whole lotta sun left in Westeros, and the question remains, can the last person left possibly turn off the wights?

Let’s break this sucker down.

For those who haven’t yet seen it, take a look-see. Or take another look-see.

We begin with Arya, her face bloody, her breathing quick and shallow, hiding then running from something (or drawing something to chase her) through the stone corridors of Winterfell (we presume). Her narration is from a calmer time though; “I know Death. He has many faces. I look forward to meeting this one”. We see her brandish some dragonglass menacingly - my guess is she’s just been told all the latest news about the Army of the Dead, and is referencing the Night King.

Still, it’s concerning to see Arya that scared - not something we’ve seen since she returned to Winterfell after kicking ass all over the House of Black and White. Surely no mortal could inspire such terror, so we must ask - have the wights breached the stronghold of Winterfell?

We then see a flash of Euron Greyjoy’s fleet, carrying the famed mercenary army, The Golden Company. Clearly sellswording is lucrative, because they have VERY shiny uniforms, particularly the chap up top who appears to be in charge (a quick Google search confirms his name as “Harry Strickland”, which sounds a lot more EastEnders Cockney than I would have expected. But maybe that’s his backstory. Regardless, I’d assume that’s him at the top of the ship’s apples ‘n’ pears there).

Then came the image that made me cry tears of joy:

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It’s TORMUND GIANTSBANE! He’s alive! Also Beric Dondarrion and Dolorous Ed, but TORMUND GIANTSBANE! What a relief to see his big bushy red beard again.  

This news will no doubt greatly pleased my erstwhile podcasting buddy and fellow GoT tragic Stuart Layt, for whom Tormund is his alpha and omega, and would follow him into all battles.

Actual footage of Stu awaiting news on Tormund’s status.

Actual footage of Stu awaiting news on Tormund’s status.

We hear Bran intone in his best detached spooknacular:

“Everything you did brought you to where you are now. Where you belong. Home.”

We briefly see Bran talking with Sam Tarly, but I don’t know if that’s who he’s addressing with those comments. I suspect it’s more likely Jon Snow, or Arya. I mean, it could be to Sam, but given the “home” comment I reckon it has to be a Stark (or a Snow, who’s actually a Targaryen, but whatever).

During that narration, we see a pan of the Red Keep, then a shot of Cersei looking supremely fash with her blood red velvet gown and Lannister gold epaulettes. Meanwhile, did the Queen’s Guard in the background all have that same uniform last season? They all match The Mountain now. Maybe they’re just all huge dudes, but still, perhaps Qyburn has been doing some more experimenting.

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Meanwhile, as much as I love Darth Cersei and her no-f***s-given ‘tude, it is a tad sad that her last remaining adviser is Qyburn. Dany really has got the pick of the crop when it comes to sidekicks.

As the voiceover says “home”, we see the first shot of Danaerys’ host marching through Winter Town towards Winterfell. I can’t quite make-out who the boy is at the side of frame; but it’s very much an echo of Bran watching King Robert’s expedition marching into the castle waaaaay back in the early 80s, or however long it is we’ve been hooked on this jam.

And then, there they are. Dany and Jon, on horseback, side by side, Dany’s comparatively thin overcoat leaving her laughably exposed to the elements next to Jon’s heaped drapings of fur. I do feel given she grew up in warmer climes and is the Mother of Dragons, that Dany should be more impacted by the freezing temperatures, but that’s mostly because I’m a wimp in cold weather and want to feel less alone. Except maybe if Dany was cold, Jon Snow would have to warm her up more. OK, I changed my mind, she’s fine as is.

We see Drogon and Rhaegal soar over the castle; Sansa marvelling as they fly.

Jon’s voiceover contribution starts as Dany approaches him in the Winterfell crypts, looking very lovey-dovey. I suspect he’s just found out about his whole origin story, and his auntie is there to comfort him, isn’t that sweet, harrumph. Jon does look somewhat strained here, but given he’s been a brand ambassador for Dulcolax going on nine years now, I can’t be sure what’s sparked this particular pained expression.

“They’re coming… our enemy doesn’t tire, doesn’t stop, doesn’t feel.”

Then there’s a shot of Cersei drinking wine, and yeah, fair enough, she does seem to be rather Terminator like in her drive to eliminate everyone from the face of Westeros apart from her, her baby, maybe the Mountain, Qyburn if he’s lucky, and one lucky vintner who can keep her in beaujolais until the end times.

Going back a step, and there were some key shots here that point to the massive battle HBO and Entertainment Weekly have been focusing on - you know, the one that took 55 nights to film, total darkness, freezing temperatures, hardest thing they’ve ever done, seven crew members died (I may have made that last one up).

There’s Gendry looking HOT in ALL SENSES OF THE WORD while manning the smiths - clearly production on dragonglass weapons is full steam ahead, or whatever the relevant blacksmith term is.

Well, bash me with a hammer and temper me in cold water, you saucy devil.

Well, bash me with a hammer and temper me in cold water, you saucy devil.

Also don’t @ me if I start ramping up the insulting male objectification of non-Jon characters at this point. If old lah-dee-dah-dee-Bend-the-Knee can get all caught up with his La Tante, then I can have a La Tanty and find myself some new crumpet. But then everyone wants Gendry to hook up with Arya, even though she was a small child when they first knew each other. Sweet, but with an edge of creepy, so I guess that’s GoT suitable.

Speaking of cute couples, Grey Worm seems ready for action, of both the military and kissing-Missandei variety. I really dream the best for them. I fear they might get cut down in their prime, but that’s just a tasteless castration joke, Natalie, you’re better than that.

We see Ser Jorah fighting in the darkness; Ser Jaime fighting in the flames. Cersei is also sitting in the Iron Throne-Room surrounded by braziers, so to be fair, the whole trailer at this point is looking a bit like an 80s Oz-rock video clip.

“I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise,” we hear (and see) Jaime say. One would assume this is him arriving at Winterfell to throw himself on the mercy of the Starks, who just so happen to have Bran “You Pushed Me Out a Window Bruh and I Got It All On CCTV Up Here” Stark ready to announce the Kingslayer’s crimes.

Still, I imagine Jaime will be forgiven, at least in the sense that he can provide another body in the fight against White Walkers, and Jon’s rather keen on that. It’s also delicious to think that perhaps Bran WON’T hold Jaime to account, or perhaps be able to see all the ways in which he’s changed since the old handy chop/meeting Brienne, because he knows Jaime has a valuable part to play in the war to come (namely, offing his sister?)

We see a glorious wide shot of the Dragons flying over forests and canyons (Beyond the Wall? Although why bother, the enemy is heading south now); a glimpse of Arya Stark looking excitedly at something everybody else is running from; Grey Worm getting his helmet on; the Hound looking angry with some fire nearby; Jon Snow from behind (hello) standing near the Godswood tree at Winterfell; and a split second of what looks like a hand grasping what looks like a sword.

Sword or nine iron?

Sword or nine iron?

If anyone has any idea what this could be, fill a gal in.

Then there’s a mighty shot of a cloak-less Jon Snow running full tilt at something; it cuts to a shot of soldiers running at some sort of gate or opening, following by stampeding horse legs. It looks like Jon is leading a charge; but here’s a conspiracy for you… what if it’s a decoy edit, and Jon has just grabbed that sword and is running at Cersei?

The flames behind Jon do mostly look like battlefield fire, but it also looks vaguely similar to Cersei’s brazier barn in the Red Keep.

S8 trailer jon run.jpg
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I suspect this theory is 100% inaccurate, but I’ve been watching some looooooooong explanatory YouTube deep dives into GoT lore that build theories of the tiniest bits of evidence so I feel like I need to keep up.

It’s at this point in proceedings we see that MAGIC shot of Jon and Dany striding up to the dragons like a couple of Wild West gunslingers about to saddle up and show Evil Old Prospector Night King they’re the sheriffs in this here town, there ain’t room in Westeros for them all, and maybe they should move to Westworld instead.

So will Jon Snow ride a dragon? Will I punch people who respond to that question with “Snort, he already did, lol” firmly in the nose? Why yes, I will.

Like, I’m fine with it. As long as he remembers he’s still a Stark, and doesn’t go all trendy Targaryen on us. Don’t leave us behind Jon, although damn I love watching you go.

There’s a shot of Sansa looking somewhat inscrutable; vision of Arya in the flames unleasing hell Sparta-style with her weapons; and Daenarys closing her eyes in quiet acceptance and/or resignation, possibly because she just found out exactly what kind of family values she has.

There’s Tyrion looking a bit nervously up at something; and Drogon firing up the ol’ mandible barbie ready to put some heat to the meat.

Finally we see lines of soldiers, Unsullied and more, standing, waiting, in the dark. There’s Podrick Payne and Brienne of Tarth at the front of the troops; Jorah Mormont is there too. Take a moment and appreciate that JORAH BLOODY MORMONT is the last human we see before two zombified horses legs stamp their disapproval onto the ice.

s8 trailer end.gif

Surely thats a sign he’s either about to die, or he really is the hero of the whole piece.

With Davos and Varys appearingly briefly at the very start of the clip, we can namecheck almost all characters off in this trailer, which is exciting.

But there were a handful we did not see:

Bronn - Exsqueeze me? Where is mighty Bronn, unleasher of huge weapons, also the guy that fired off that giant arrow that time? He’s got to have some interesting choices this series. He was Jaime’s buddy-for-hire, but Jaime left King’s Landing alone. Will Bronn follow? He likes Tyrion after all. But then he likes money the most. Maybe Cersei’s offered him a bunch to stay?

Melisandre - where dat Red Witch at?

Euron Greyjoy - don’t care really.

Lyanna Mormont - too busy learning to sword fight because no old man’s gonna protect her *snaps*.

Robin Arryn - fair to say he’ll probably choke on his own tongue or get bumped off early and humourously.

Edmure Tully - Arya didn’t let him out of the basement at The Twins after murdering the Freys, so probs still there quietly calling out like a minor Simpsons character.

Ice Viserion - Night King keeping him locked in the Pajero with the window half rolled down.

Gilly and Baby Sam - sweet lords, keep them safe.

Hot Pie - not giving up on the gravy.

Ghost - WHERE ME  DIREWOLF? ME WANT DIREWOLF!

Well there you have it, a fully-charged, turbo-powered, dangerous electric scooter of a trailer.

Hit me up with your thoughts, feelpinions, conspiracies, hot takes, hot pies - whatever you’ve got.

Let’s reach out and touch somebody (preferably not a blood relative).

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