There’s a lot to process in the first full Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer, which dropped like a dragon out of the sky on Wednesday morning. As I write, most of us are too busy running around screaming incoherently to process everything we just saw. War in all directions! Ahhhhhh!
But once we calm down and examine the deluge of new images, it turns out the trailer is stuffed with that thing most precious to a Thrones fan: clues. Look closely and you can see the contours of the new season taking shape.
Let’s dive in.
1. Dany definitely reaches Dragonstone …
No question about it now: the Mother of Dragons has taken the former seat of Stannis Baratheon on the island of Dragonstone, a place of great importance to Targaryens.
Until now we had to guess, based on what appears to be Dragonstone’s previously unseen throne room. But now here she is in what is clearly the Chamber of the Painted Table.
This is where we saw Stannis and company military plots on an awesome combination table and map of Westeros way back in Season 2.
Later in the trailer we see Tyrion knocking over a Lannister lion on that same table, which suggests …
2. … she’s also hitting the Lannisters where they live.
From every hint the Thrones cast has been dropping, it seems Season 7 moves at a surprising speed.
Those of us used to the slow pace of previous seasons — and of George R.R. Martin’s prose — may be most surprised to see this: Danerys’ Unsullied legions pouring into a full-on Lannister castle.
(Elsewhere in the trailer, we see them clashing with what are clearly Lannister forces.)
Wait, what? Could this be … Casterly Rock, the Lannister seat of power? But that’s all the way in the west, a.k.a. the opposite side of the continent of Westeros from Dragonstone!
Then again, we know Dany has made alliances with the Iron Islanders (in the west) and Dorne (in the South), so anything’s possible.
And where in Westeros is this place Dany is entering?
It’s grand and imposing, so it’s a major location — but it looks too sunny (and not angular enough) to be Dragonstone. It’s too low down to be the Eyrie. It’s not ruined enough to be Harrenhal.
If this is Casterly Rock — or even if it’s a smaller seat like Lannisport — and the gates are just opening to Daenerys like that, then the Lannisters are in more trouble than they think.
3. The Red Woman may be waiting for her
Where in the world is Melisandre after she was banished from the North for burning poor young Shireen Baratheon?
The ancient sorceress may have returned to Dragonstone to await Daenerys, if this shot in the trailer — in which she looks down on a winding road — is anything to go by.
And that means her Red God magic, which seems to have been more powerful in Dragonstone than anywhere else, would be at the disposal of the Targaryen Queen too. No wonder she’s able to make inroads into Westeros so fast.
4. Littlefinger shares some key information with Jon Snow.
Jon Snow and Littlefinger are in Winterfell as the season opens — and given Littlefinger’s designs on Westeros as a whole, it was always likely to come to blows between them.
Jon, after all, is in the way of Sansa, whom Littlefinger thinks of as the rightful Queen in the North. And from the brief scene in the trailer, it seems they both have reason to attack each other.
But notice where they’re having this rumble. That appears to be the crypt. Now why would the two of them be fighting in the crypt at Winterfell?
Well, what’s most remarkable about the Winterfell crypt is that it consists of the graves of the long line of Stark men and just one woman — Lyanna Stark, who we now know is Jon’s mother.
But Jon doesn’t know that yet — and if Littlefinger were to tell him at an inopportune moment, or in an incomplete way (perhaps suggesting Lyanna was his mother and her brother Ned was his father?), that would certainly provoke some Fight Club action.
5. Jorah may be in bad shape
What is this nasty hand we see before us? Could that be Ser Jorah Mormont, last seen leaving Daenerys and searching for a cure for his troubling case of greyscale?
If so — and it’s unlikely the show would introduce yet another Greyscale-sufferer at this late stage — the fact that he’s reaching out from some sort of prison suggests he didn’t get the treatment he bargained for.
6. There’s a new, um, alliance between the Greyjoys and Dorne
Here we see Yara Greyjoy, the true ruler of the Iron Islanders, getting hot and steamy with Ellaria Sand, the Red Viper’s former lover and the new ruler of Dorne after the Sand Snakes’ coup.
Yara was last seen making an alliance with Daenerys, and Ellaria seemed on the edge of doing so as well. So maybe this is just a way of sealing the pact between all three of them — or could Ellaria be trying to steal Yara away for a faction of her own?
7. Ser Davos is proposing an anti-White Walker alliance to … who?
“If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die,” says everyone’s favorite onion knight. “And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”
This may, in retrospect, turn out to be the most important line in the trailer. As we know, and as the people who’ve been beyond the Wall (like Davos) know, the White Walkers are the most dangerous threat to all of Westeros.
Forget dragons; zombies who can bring the dead back to fill their ranks will kick everyone’s ass once they make it past the Wall. And given that we also see a shot of Jon and some wildlings running away from something in the trailer, that moment may have arrived.
Could Davos, last seen at Winterfell pledging allegiance to Jon, have been dispatched back to Dragonstone to warn the incoming Queen of the White Walker threat? Or south to make peace with Cersei?
If so, it’s a fair bet from what we know so far — and from all the warfare we see in the trailer — that they’re not going to listen. Sorry, Davos.