We finally, finally have a release date for Game of Thrones Season 7, and that can only mean one thing — it’s time jump aboard the hype train and crank the theories into overdrive.
Luckily, we have some new material to work with. Thursday’s release date announcement coincided with the first official Season 7 tease — a 90 second video called “Sigils” which featured disembodied voices and some moody-looking, crumbling statues.
If you need a refresher, you can watch the whole thing again here:
The question is, what — if any — clues about the upcoming Season can we piece together from the video?
Well first, here’s a breakdown of all the snippets of dialogue that appear in that teaser, in the order they occur and attributed to the character they’re spoken by:
Daenerys Targaryen: “I know what my father was… what he did. I know the Mad King earned his name.”
King Aerys II Targaryen: “BURN THEM ALL.”
Robert Baratheon: “…kill every Targaryen I get my hands on.”
Cersei Lannister: “Everyone who isn’t us, is an enemy.”
Joffrey Baratheon: “Sir Ilyn, bring me his head!”
Balon Greyjoy: “We are ironborn, we take what is ours.”
Roose Bolton: “The Lannisters send their regards.”
Catelyn Stark: [Screams]
Olenna Tyrell: “You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?”
Qyburn: “I now proclaim Cersei of the House Lannister, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms.”
Daenerys Targaryen: “Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell — they’re all just spokes on a wheel. This one’s on top, then that one’s on top, and on and on it spins — crushing those on the ground.”
Jon Snow: “The same thing is coming for all of us. There is only one war that matters: The Great War — and it is here.”
The only new bit of dialogue is Jon’s quote at the end, and we’ll come on to that later. The rest are old quotes from various characters that have been spoken over the course of the show.
In other words nothing much to get excited about, right?
Well, maybe not. We know the people behind Game of Thrones love their symbolism and their clues, and we can’t imagine they’ve just randomly picked out lines of dialogue.
We’ve been through the video with a fine tooth comb and highlighted all the possible clues we could find…
1. “Burn them all”.
This line, spoken by the “Mad King” Aerys II Targaryen shortly before his death, has now been repeated so many times in the show it almost has to have some kind of deeper significance. Jamie Lannister has recalled it, we’ve heard various characters allude to the events surrounding it, and it’s even played a key role in Bran’s visions.
Could it be that Aerys wasn’t quite as mad as some people thought? Maybe he wasn’t stocking Wildfire to protect himself from rival families? Perhaps he actually had some kind of premonition about the White Walkers? Maybe, just maybe, they’re the ones he was so desperate to burn?
It’s a bit of a stretch, but this could tie in with the fan theories about Bran and time travel that have been cropping up on Reddit for awhile now.
2. Daenerys’ line about the “wheel”.
The penultimate line in the video, taken from a conversation Daenerys has with Tyrion back in Season 5, seems to be the key to the whole teaser.
“Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell — they’re all just spokes on a wheel,” says Daenerys. “This one’s on top, then that one’s on top, and on and on it spins — crushing those on the ground.”
The lines that come before this one in the teaser are mostly spoken by the five families Daenerys mentions, and they all embody the violence of the “wheel” she’s referring to.
Crucially, the teaser misses out what Daenerys goes on to say next: “I’m not going to stop the wheel — I’m going to break the wheel.”
Which leads us nicely on to…
3. The crumbling sigils.
Just as Daenerys is delivering her line, the camera pans over to the dragon sigil and the statues begin to crumble. This is clear symbolism, and seems to back up Daenerys’ statement about breaking the wheel — perhaps her arrival on the shores of Westeros will finally signal the end of the “Great Game” referred to by Tyrion in the Season 6?
One other possible piece of symbolism: the crumbling statues could well foreshadow the crumbling of the Wall, which many are predicting will mark the start of the White Walker’s invasion.
4. Jon Snow’s new lines.
This is worth flagging simply because it’s the first new piece of Season 7 dialogue we’ve heard.
“The same thing is coming for all of us,” says Jon. “There is only one war that matters: The Great War. And it is here.”
Once again, everything so far — the icy poster, the crumbling House sigils, and now Jon Snow’s new quote — points towards an imminent White Walker invasion.
5. The mysterious spiral pattern.
The weird spiral pattern at the end of the teaser — the one which morphs into the White Walker’s eye — is eerily familiar.
We don’t know the exact significance, but there seems to be a long connection between the Walkers and this specific pattern.
Jon Snow discovers the bodies of men of the Night’s Watch laid out in the same pattern in Season 3 (they’d been murdered by White Walkers), and a similar pattern features in Bran’s Season 6 vision of the Children of the Forest (the one where they appear to be creating the first ever White Walker).
Does the pattern symbolise the rise of the White Walkers? Is there some kind of old magic associated with it which enables their transformation?
We don’t know, but judging by its presence in the teaser, the meaning of the symbol may well become clear in Season 7.
Summer/Winter cannot come soon enough.