We still don’t know when The Winds of Winter will blow onto shelves, but now we know that Season 7 of Game of Thrones will freeze loyal viewers to their screens on July 16, 2017. HBO teased the season with a video hinting at some of the series’ pivotal moments. Watch the video below, and a frank discussion of what the trailer means will follow.
— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) March 9, 2017
Picked your jaw up off of the floor yet? Here’s some more good news: the Season 7 premiere will be the longest running premiere since the show’s pilot. The first episode will run at 59 minutes while the pilot ran at 62 minutes.
Let’s continue with what we know. By the way, Season 1-6 spoilers may follow. You’ve been warned.
Game of Thrones‘ Great War to Come
It’s an understatement to say that the Great Houses of Westeros don’t really get along. Murder, war, and triple-crosses are the bread, salt, and Dornish wine that make up their bloody feasts. The nobles and lords of Westeros seem obsessed with who has the right to sit in the most uncomfortable of banquet chairs: the Iron Throne. But the thing is that all this power-jockeying doesn’t really matter. This trailer drives that point home.
The flora and fauna shown in the trailer are the sigils of the Great Houses. One by one, from the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen to the golden lion of House Lannister, the sculptures crumble and fall. Voiceovers remind us of great and terrible deeds. We hear Roose Bolton taunt Robb Stark as he murders him, and Joffrey calling for the execution of Ned Stark. The most stunning allusion is to Cersei‘s grand revenge last season, as we watch the flower of House Tyrell go up in wildfire-green flames.
Yet the voices of Ned Stark and Jon Snow stand above the rest, reminding us that one implacable enemy is coming for them all: the White Walkers. As the final sigil crumbles, it resolves into an aerial view of the sacrificial site where the Children of the Forest made the first White Walker, and then pulls out to show a haunting, frozen blue eye. The trailer is a reminder that all of this squabbling and infighting is inconsequential since there are ice monster necromancers invading from the frozen north with an army of zombies intent on killing or converting everything in their path.
We still need to know how it all fits together. Who is Azor Ahai reborn? When will Dany meet her nephew, Jon Snow? And as they face down the frozen hordes, will one of them get to make a great Bill Pullman speech? Yes, please.