While HBO continues to seem reluctant to release a full trailer for Season 8 of Game of Thrones, the network remains more than happy to release snippets of footage inside larger promos for all of its shows. In early January, HBO gave us our first glimpse of the final season, showing a brief clip of Sansa welcoming Daenerys to Winterfell. Today HBO released a two-minute video for its 2019 programming that included a short look at the upcoming Thrones season:
The opening and closing shots—of the ravens flying over the Wall and the montage of Dany, Jon, Tormund, and the Wall falling—appear to be recycled clips from Season 7. The never-before-seen footage is in the middle, when we see the Unsullied, Drogon, and Arya (and maybe some Dothraki too, if you look closely).
While there’s not much that we can glean from these few precious seconds of footage, that won’t keep us from speculating.
Here’s a good side-by-side, via the Pixel Factor, showing what is likely Arya’s first glimpse of a dragon:
The Unsullied were last shown lurking outside of King’s Landing early in the finale of Season 7. Given the blue-heavy color palette on this new clip and Arya’s presence, the Unsullied appear to be marching in the North now. The Unsullied have never been shown wearing this much clothing before, either; clearly they’re prepared for some time in the cold. But the spears they’re carrying don’t appear to be made out of dragonglass, which will be a problem if the Unsullied do end up in battle with the White Walkers.
The Unsullied may be arriving with Dany, or coming to meet her, as we already know from January’s clip that Dany will be in Winterfell near the beginning of the season. It could be that they’re simply making the march north—or that they’re marching off to war, with a battle against the Night King’s army on the horizon.
It’s possible that Jaime could soon join them in Winterfell, as he was headed out of King’s Landing to end last season, and a promo image from early February showed him in northern-style armor (and with a full beard!). It seems just about everyone other than Cersei is headed toward Winterfell to begin Season 8.
And then we have Arya. The youngest Stark sister has been relatively stone-faced since undergoing her Faceless Men training in Season 5, and so it’s great to see her here, filled with wonder and amazement. Arya has always admired legendary female warriors and, if they had one, their dragons. In Season 2, she recited to Tywin the dragons that Aegon the Conqueror’s sister-wives used to bring the Seven Kingdoms to heel. And she named her direwolf Nymeria, after the legendary queen who came over from Essos to conquer Dorne long before the events of the show. Arya meeting Dany and her dragons should be a true treat.
There’s still no word on an official trailer, so for now these clips will have to do until the April 14 premiere. In the seven weeks left before that, though, HBO may release what amounts to a full trailer’s worth of footage, but do so a few seconds at a time.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.