HBO today released the trailer for the eight and final season of Game of Thrones.
The new season brings the epic fantasy saga to its ends. There are reportedly two major battles set to take place in these final six episodes. One will be the battle against the Night King and his undead army, which is headed south towards Winterfell after leveling the Wall.
The second will be the culmination of the great game itself. Cersei Lannister sits on the Iron Throne, but she is not uncontested. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow have united both personally and politically. Will it be enough to survive against both foes?
Here we’re breaking down the see what it tells us about the final chapters of Game of Thrones.
Are you excited about the return of Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments.
The final season of Game of Thrones premieres April 14th on HBO.
The trailer opens with Arya Stark looking not at her best. She's breathing heavily, she's bloodied, and she looks like she's on the run.
She also looks like she's within the walls of Winterfell. One theory - supported by the next two shots - is that the Night King's army reached Winterfell. It is possible that one of the White Walkers got into Winterfell and Arya is doing what she can to distract or defeat it.
A more insidious theory is that she's running from a human opponent, suggesting betrayal within the ranks.
The trailer next shows Arya running, a shot of someone walking the ramparts, and then Varys and some others hiding in what looks like the crypts of Winterfell.
Again, it seems that the Night King's forces will make it to Winterfell. The crypts would be as good a place as any for noncombatants to seek shelter.
As these scenes play out, Arya's voiceover has her saying "I know death. He's got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one."
We see at the end that she's speaking these words while holding a piece of dragonglass. It is clearly a different scene than the one with her running through Winterfell, likely an earlier scene, as she is calm, collected, and unbruised.
Arya's note about the many faces of death is a reference to her time studying at the House of Black and White in Braavos, where she learned the ways of the Faceless Men assassins.
Dragonglass is one of only two substance known to be fatal to White Walkers, the other being Valyrian steel. Arya is probably talking about wanting ot see the way White Walkers die when stabbed with Dragonglass.
Here we see the fleet of House Greyjoy, the ruling House of the Iron Isles.
Euron Greyjoy leads the House and commands the fleet. He's allied himself with Cersei Lannister.
At the end of Game of Thrones' seventh season, Cersei sent Euron to hire the Golden Company, the most respected and feared mercenary force in Essos.
It seems Euron is successful in his quest. The golden armor worn by the soldiers on this ship suggests that they are the Golden Company.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that's Jaime Lannister at the head at first glance, but look closer and you'll see this person has both of his hands. We don't see his face, but he also doesn't look like Euron.
Most likely this is a leader of the Golden Company. In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, the company is led currently led by Ser Harry Strickland. Ser Harry is a descendant of one of the Houses who rose up with Daemon I Blackfyre, the Great Bastard of Aegon IV who led the First Blackfyre Rebellion, a war of succession in the Targaryen line.
An interesting note is that the Golden Company is connected to House Targaryen, having been founded by Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers, another of Aegon IV's Great Bastards.
Bran Stark picks up the voiceover from here, talking to someone we don't see about how all of these events have been moving them where they need to be, "home." A shot of Bran with Sam Tarly suggests that may be who he is talking to.
Before we get that shot there is a shot Bronn, Tormund, and Berric, who apparently survived Viserion's assault on the Wall.
Here we see Cersei standing in the relative safety of King's Landing.
At her side is the Hand of the Queen, Qyburn. Behind her is the Mountain.
Perhaps she is looking out to sea as Euron returns with the Golden Company?
We see the Daenerys' army march through Winter Town towards Winterfell.
There's then a shot of Dany and Jon with the armies, either riding alongside or away from Winterfell.
Either way, it indicates that the Lord of Winterfell has returned home with the Mother of Dragons at his side.
Sansa Stark gets her first glimpse of a dragon as it flies overhead.
There's then a more distant shot of Dany's two remaining dragons flying over the home of House Stark, a potential foreshadowing fo things to come.
Here we see Dany joining Jon in the crypts of Winterfell.
This scene brings the entire series full circle in a couple of ways. Fans will remember King Robert and Ned Stark visiting Lyanna Stark's grave when the series began.
Fans now know that Lyanna is Jon Snow's mother. Jon and Dany's relationship mirrors that of Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen.
Here we see Gendry, Robert Baratheon's bastard son.
Robert is back doing what he does best, forging weapons and arms, it seems.
Gendry has become a fan-favorite character, and many wonder what role he still has to play in this saga.
We see a few shots of the likes of Jorah Mormont and Jaime Lannister preparing for and fighting in battle.
The longest shot lingers on Grey Worm and Missandei, two of Dany's most trusted followers, kissing before Grey Worm marches to war.
There's a shot of Cersei Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne in the mostly empty and dimly lit Great Hall of the Red Keep.
There's then a shot of Cersei drinking and with tears in her eyes in front of a fire. She doesn't say a word, but it is amazing with Lena Headey communicates through Cersei's body language.
There are a few quick shots. The dragons fly over the snowy landscape.
Arya and some civilians look upwards, presumably at the dragons.
Grey Worm puts on his helmet for battle.
Jon Snow visits a Weirwood tree.
The Hound stand surrounded by fire.
Here we see Jaime Lannister vowing to uphold his promise to fight for the living.
With how things ended between Jaime and Cersei last season, we imagine that Jaime has left King's Landing and travelled to Winterfell to offer his sword against the White Walkers.
How much else he tells them about Cersei's plans remains to be seen.
After a few more quick battle shots, we see Dany and Jon waling up to the two remaining dragons.
Could this be the moment before they ride the dragons together?
Jon is of Targaryen blood. Riding on the back of a dragon would prove that, like Dany, he is the blood of the dragon.
They may need two dragon-riders in the sky to defeat the White Walkers.
After this is a shot of Sansa. The trailer implies that she's watching Dany and Jon walk up to the dragons, though that may be a trick of editing. It does speak to Sansa's concern over what Jon and Dany's union means for House Stark and the North.
Some more quick cuts of combat, as well as a shot of Tyrion Lannister to remind everyone that he's still around.
There's a shot of a dragon breathing fire, and then we see Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne standing in front of an army.
And this is most likely what Brienne, Pod, and that army are waiting for.
Two boney horse legs appear in the frame.
This is almost certainly the Night King or one of his White Walkers leading the army of the dead towards Winterfell.
Quite the way to end things ahead of the new season.