War! Homecomings! Stabbings! Nude Grey Worm!
The Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer contained so many delights, that of course I must put pen to papyrus and recap the seven hells out of it.
But there was one thing in that 1 minute 35 seconds of glorious GoT bounty that thrilled me more than any other.
“Oh, yes, here she goes again, ranting about Jon Snow like a sad obsessed cat fancier,” I hear you say.
I mean, yes, I am obsessed with Jon Snow in a sad, cat fancier kind of way. And we’ll get to our beloved King in the North later.
But the cutaway in that trailer that gave me the most joy was...
THE LANNISTERS’ HUGE WAR ROOM FLOOR MAP!
Jaime is all at sea.
I have been waiting seven years for this, and it’s everything I ever wanted and more.
I have now placed a call to a home decorator to rip up my large format charcoal grey tiles and install a FANTASY MAP OF WESTEROS in my living room so I can walk over it pointing and plotting tactical army movements and supply routes because I am a FICTIONAL QUEEN OF EVERYTHING.
Oh, it will be grand. Setting up the foster kittens to represent the different warring families, instructing them on when and how to attack each other, STOP RUNNING UNDER THE COUCH MICAH YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE TULLYS OF RIVERRUN AND HAZEL GET DOWN FROM THE SCRATCH POLE DOTHRAKIS DON’T LIKE HEIGHTS.
It will be epic times at my place, people.
But back to the trailer. Let’s make like biodegradable shopping bags and BREAK IT DOWN, starting with everybody’s favourite super villain, Darth Cersei. Her voiceover goes as follows:
“Enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies to the south, enemies to the north. Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it. We are the last Lannisters. The last ones who count.”
This is delivered while shots of the Lannisters’ many enemies are spliced in with a tracking shot over a 3D map of Westeros (and the WAR ROOM MAP!). Did anybody else notice that when she said “enemies to the south” it passed over the Vale of Arryn, which is totes NORTH of King’s Landing, but then you don’t want to ruin the momentum of the shot, do you?
The enemies pictured are Grey Worm (not yet nude and at the head of Daenarys’ army), a large sailing ship in the gloomy mist (Iron Islanders, either Euron or the Yara/Theon alliance?), an axe being sharpened (really could be anyone), and ARYA FRICKING STARK.
There’s a brief glimpse of marching Lannisters flying the golden lion, and then a throne room sequence, with Jaime standing by his murderous usurper sister lover lover (mmmm). Cersei has always been scary, but the underlying mismanagement of her grabs for power have always grounded her in some reality. Now that seems to have gone, and she appears utterly terrifying. YOU GO GIRL.
Darth Cersei with some dark side of the force hand moves.
I loved the fact that immediately after we hear Cersei saying “We are the last Lannisters”, it cuts to a shot of Tyrion. “The last ones who count.” ZING. Of course Tyrion has more than a few things that make him count in the great game - there’s his faith in his new Queen, Daenarys, and her reliance on him as her Hand. Then of course there’s those enormous dragons, we which see slicing up through the air beside the cliff Tyrion is seen striding towards (more brilliant advertising for Northern Ireland).
We transition to hearing Dany’s voice, as she gazes on the opening gates of what we assume is Dragonstone, her birthplace, and formerly the seat of Stannis “Fewer” Baratheon.
“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms,” she intones. “And I will.” Strong Churchillian language there from Our Dany, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Wearer of Less Revealing Clothes This Season, Somewhat Disappointingly. We see her touching the sand (Kevin Costner’s return to Dover in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves remains the gold standard of touching the sand, best movie ever, no arguments please), and sitting on her angular, rocky throne.
It’s sad to think we won’t have the luscious Maario Doharis standing by her, quietly flexing, and as for Ser Jorah, there was no sign of him in this trailer at all. Hopefully he’s finding that cure for Stoneman’s Disease - I would hate to find out halfway through the season that he just turned up dead at the Oldtown docks and nobody noticed because he looked like part of the jetty. For devotees of the “Ser Jorah is Azor Ahai” theory, it would be positively disastrous.
There’s also what looks like a raid on the Red Keep - or at least I assume it’s the Red Keep, given all those archways are giving it much more of an Alhambra vibe than in previous seasons. We see some helmeted heavies fighting in a courtyard and on a balcony. This is about as much analysis as I can do on that one:
Next up it’s time for MY SWEET SWEET BELOVED JON SNOW WHOSE ABS SHOULD BE PRAISED AS GODS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.
“King in the North!” comes the resounding cry as we flick past Jon’s beautiful, brooding face in the Winterfell Great Hall, Sansa and Brienne watching from behind, and a flash of what looks like a war council of Northern lords. You can just about make out the side of Lyanna Mormont's face. SO keen for more of her, please.
Then it’s time for Mr Snake in the Grass himself, Petyr Baelish, to get all Wormtongue or Wormtail (but not Grey Worm) up in Sansa’s grill. “Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand - the last best hope against the coming storm.” I know his control of the Vale knights saved Jon and co in the Battle of the Bastards, but I do wish Littlefinger would go away. Or at least get a clue and realise there’s no point in playing his stupid power games anymore.
Luckily at that point we hear Littlefinger’s total opposite in character chime in, and once again, it’s Davos Freaking Seaworth who brings the true emotional punch to proceedings. “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die,” he says. “And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”
PREACH. Once again Davos represents the everyman, the pragmatist, immune to the trappings of power and much more concerned with basic survival. If you did a poll of most loved characters in the show, the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS AND THREATEN VIOLENCE.
It’s at this point of course that the trailer builds in speed and pace and frequency of shots included. Here are some of the things I noticed:
*Jon Snow outpacking Tormund in a snowbound steeplechase.
*record scratch* Yep, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation.
*Kate Bush looking quite sad in a castle somewhere, watching soldiers go running up that hill, or rather, ramparts. It looks too nice to be the Iron Islands, and not nice enough to be Dorne, so where could it be?
*Jon Snow grabbing Littlefinger and shoving him up against a wall, in a totally non-sexual but still highly sexy way.
*Ellaria Sand snogging Yara Greyhoy in a totally sexual and highly sexy way.
Just make sure she took her lippy off first, Yara.
*Missandei ripping off Grey Worm’s shirt. Finally, some action in their relationship beyond courtesies and low-level chit chat.
*A burning ship, bodies falling into water and Theon Greyjoy surrounded by licks of flame - an attack on the combined Targaryen/Greyjoy army, or perhaps a dragon fart with follow through?
*Arya all alone and making a fire - come on Nymeria, you come back now, good doggo.
*Cascading packs of rampaging Dothraki.
*Rugged up northerner types running away from something, and forming a circular guard.
*The Mountain, helmeted, but I’m pretty sure it was him.
*Dany and Tyrion checking out Stannis’ old tabletop role-playing board on Dragonstone.
"Has this been disinfected? Anybody?"
People we didn’t see in that trailer include: Sam and Gilly (on SWOTVAC), Ser Jorah (MIA), the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners crew (revenging), Bran and Meera (defrosting), White Walkers (ice cold), Olenna Tyrell (cheese, bitch) or any flashbacks to Ye Olde Times Like Twenty Years Ago.
The crescendo of music builds until we see a majestic wide shot of barrelling Dothraki on horseback, with the stupendously huge Drogon carving up the sky above. It’s the greatest fly-by since Top Gun.
After this, a quick game of shirtless volleyball.
But then we fade to black, and my beloved’s sonorous words remind us of the *snort* gravity of the situation.
“The Great War is here.”
Final thoughts? GARRRGHHHHUUUUMMMBBAAARGGGGHHH WHY CAN’T IT BE ON NOW.
For me the focus of this season is Daenarys’ transition from hot weather slavery-busting conqueror to winter homecoming queen. She has never stepped foot on Westeros; is it ready for her? Does it want her? She seems all-powerful, but her father’s rule sparked revolution and there may not be the appetite for the Mad King’s daughter. Cersei is nobody’s favourite, but then she’s proved time and again how resilient she is. Can she consolidate her power in King’s Landing and prove that a Queen Regnant can do what so many King Repugnants couldn’t?
Jon Snow is being heralded as King in the North, but is it a job he really wants? After his whole death-and-reanimation experience, he’d kind of given up on being in charge. But like Monkey, Jon Snow’s nature is irrepressible. He can’t help being a good guy, even if he has the odd sulk along the way (let me comfort you and your abs, beloved).
This trailer definitely seemed more focused on the Great War of families, rather than the Ever Greater Holy Crap War Against Monstrous Armies of the Undead. I kind of want them all to win, in my own special way. But of course there’ll have to be some losers. As long as they don’t KILL anyone, I’ll be fine.
OH GOD I’M DOOMED.
See you on July 16, beloved Throners!