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Perhaps sensing that anticipation was getting a bit non-hysterical for its liking, HBO has deigned to toss us a new trailer to gnaw upon until Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14, the first to feature proper footage from the final season. And it will whet all but the most unwhettable of appetites.

HBO is aware that the first thing anyone is going to do with new footage is rip it apart frame by frame, panning for plot-points. It will therefore have sprinkled both clues and red herrings throughout. This means a) the best outcome of overexamining this trailer is to spoil the coming season for oneself and everyone else, and b) 95 per cent of everything predicted will turn out to be wrong.

Nevertheless, there’s a new trailer, and we have a public duty to investigate. It’s really very dark indeed.

Who’s chasing Arya?

Since training with the Faceless Men, “fear”, for Arya, is simply how a particularly northern Wildling might pronounce the word “fire”. Yet we see her, bloodied and afraid (and clutching what looks like a dragonglass dagger), being chased through Winterfell’s warren of sconce-lit corridors. We know the White Walkers are coming to Winterfell, but this gives the impression that she is being hunted by something with more intelligence than a shambling ice-zombie. Does this spell treachery in House Stark?

Will Varys live to scheme another day?

The Small Council’s premier web-spinner is also looking decidedly worried, appearing to be valiantly holed up in Winterfell’s crypts with the women and children, implying a full-on siege of Winterfell in the longest battle in the show’s history. You’d bet your last Silver Stag that Varys survives to scheme another day.

The Golden Company live up to their name

Cersei has hired the infamous band of sellswords (founded by Aegor Rivers) to assist in her efforts to cling on to the Iron Throne, despite having no reasonable claim to it. Couple this with her alliance with Euron Greyjoy and his formidable fleet, and the inevitable thinning of Jon and Dany’s armies in their confrontation with the White Walkers, and this Lannister is still very much a major player. Having the villain win would be very GoT, wouldn’t it?

Tormund and Beric are alive!


Last seen atop The Wall just before The Night’s King turned it into a pile of cold rubble, the worst was feared for the unlikely Free Folk/Brotherhood Without Banners double act. Now we know they survived, we might finally witness Lady Brienne and Tormund living happily ever after and producing frankly enormous babies. Forget wars and dragons and death — this is all we want to see.

Everyone is in Winterfell

Grey Worm and The Unsullied are seen trudging through the northern slush while profoundly regretting their decision not to wear jackets. But we’re also given Davos, Jaime (presumably after having apologised profusely to Bran for shoving him out of a window), Jon, Varys, Dany, Samwell, Gendry, Ser Jorah, The Hound, Arya, two dragons, Sansa, Brienne and Poderick gearing up for an almighty scuffle at House Stark. And was that Bronn’s silhouette? Either way, a lot of these people are definitely going to die.

Cersei’s back

She wasn’t drinking last season because she was pregnant. Either she’s had her kid, or this shot of her sipping wine doesn’t bode well. Cersei with nothing left to lose is an alarming proposition.

We go north of The Wall


Dany’s dragons swoop through the crisp vistas of the icy wilds. Taking the fight back to the White Walkers, perhaps?

It’ll take more to break up Jon and Dany

Either Samwell hasn’t told these two that she’s his auntie, or he has and they’ve decided to stick a pin in the news to concentrate on the task at hand. Awkwardness aside, Jonerys — which really is a rubbish portmanteau — are still presenting a united front, societal norms be damned.

The Night’s King might not be as smart as we thought

Assuming this is a shot of The Night’s King’s horse clomping towards Winterfell, what kind of berk gets their own ice-zombie dragon then schleps about on a horse?