HBO's hit fantasy epic Game of Thrones loves toying with the fans, and this year they are really outdoing themselves. On Thursday, March 9th, the show announced that its long awaited seventh season will premiere on July 16th, 2017, but Thrones wasn't done yet. Mere hours later, fans received their first official look at #Season7 when the show uploaded a new trailer.
Surprisingly, the unconventional trailer showed us none of the characters, and instead only featured stone statues of animals synonymous with Westeros' house sigils. However, the trailer still gave a deep insight into what the God of Death has in store for Season 7.
In previous seasons, the #GameOfThrones team has made slightly aggravating teaser trailers, showing us clips from past episodes. It keeps us up to speed, yes, but feels more like a recap than a trailer. This year #HBO broke away from that, showing us something that is as beautiful and artistic as the title sequence itself, while giving us a brief and captivating history of the Iron Throne.
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A History Of The Iron Throne In 90 Seconds
The latest trailer focused on power changing hands. We begin with the stag of House Baratheon overtaking the dragon of House Targaryen, the moment King Robert defeated Prince Rhaegar. We fast-forward years later, when Cersei kills Robert, and Joffrey orders Eddard Stark's execution. The lion kills the stag and the direwolf. This is when we begin to see the tentacles of a kraken sneak in, better known as House Greyjoy. Things begin to meld together, happening too fast to be understood. This perfectly represents the War of the Five Kings. At the end of that war, all but the Tyrells lost. However, the rose of House Tyrell erupts into flames, reminding us of the explosive Season 6 finale, where Cersei finally fulfills her destiny and becomes the Mad Queen. This trailer is unlike any other, creative to the core, and can't help but keep you on the edge of your seat.
It Shows The Fragility And Subjectivity Of The System
Perhaps one of the most powerful moments of the trailer is watching the stone animals twist and tangle, quite literally strangling each other. The symbolism of this visual mixed with one of the most powerful quotes from Daenerys created a breathtaking moment:
"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."
What makes this sequence most fascinating is that as the camera spins, each animal looks both frightened and terrifying, perfectly showing the truth of both the houses and the system itself. When the show began, it was very much House against House. Lannister vs. Stark, Targaryen vs. Baratheon, brother against brother. However, notice a repeating pattern. As Daenerys herself says, the Mad King earns his name. And so Robert overthrows him and becomes a lazy king, barely even remembered for his death. Joffrey is known for his cruelty, and Tommen would have been known for his kindness if not for his mother, who caused her own son's death.
No matter how promising a reign starts out, no matter which House sits on the Iron Throne, the pattern repeats itself. Each House has had its moments of both good and evil, prey and predator. Every war is a circle, a problem that never fixes itself. That is because the true battle is not House against House. The true villain is no King or Queen. Well, not a human one.
'There Is Only One War That Matters'
History has shown us that no family, be it Targaryen or Lannister, can ever remain in power forever. Be it insanity, laziness or greed, each has a downfall, and given the proper time that downfall will come. But there is one war, what Jon calls "The Great War" that could destroy all of the Houses for good. In the end, it isn't family against family; it's species against species. Life vs. Death. Humans vs. the White Walkers. Many don't believe it yet, but Jon Snow has set them straight.
"The war is not over. And I promise you, friend, the true enemy won't wait out the storm. He brings the storm."
The stone animals all crumble into pieces at the end of the trailer, showing us a real possibility. If the Houses do not unite, Westeros stands no chance. Walkers do not divide themselves, which makes them stronger. Given the choice, wouldn't it be better to fight side by side with a Lannister or a Stark, than become an undead creature? This season will be the turning point, and based on the trailer, it will be the most chaotic season yet. Houses will crumble, and I have a feeling some of those Houses will be large ones. The Walkers are coming, and if the land cannot be defended, they will take and destroy everything in their path — winter will never end.
Our first look at Season 7 was a short one, but it was one of the most beautifully crafted sequences yet. The more you watch it, the more symbolism you see, the more history you learn and the more you hints you can gather for the upcoming season. While we have no further insights into possible character deaths, one thing is certain: The long night is coming. Which side will you be on?
What are you most looking forward to in Season 7?