Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 7

Game of Thrones returns for its penultimate season in less than two months and no other 2017 pop culture event has me more excited. Season 6 was one of the epic fantasy series’ best batch of episodes yet, trimming the main cast down to its key players (via a huge body count) and maneuvering the survivors into position for a final showdown. This is going to exciting. And grisly. And nerve-wracking.

Because the new trailer is so full of greatness worth exploring, it’s time for a good ‘ol fashioned trailer breakdown. Let’s go through this whole thing shot-by-shot and see what we can find.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 1

“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.” And here we go! Cersei Lannister now sits on the Iron Throne and it only cost her almost every single person she has ever cared about. I’ve heard more than one person say that Cersei doesn’t stand a chance against the opponents that currently surround her, but if there’s one thing these past six seasons have taught us, it’s that no one else in the Seven Kingdoms is as prepared to burn everything to the ground in name of holding on to power quite like the current Queen of Westeros.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 2

As Cersei’s voice over goes on about enemies, we get to see a few of them. First up is Grey Worm, Daenerys’ general and one of the toughest men to ever swing a weapon on this show. Note his new armor, which is a bit more regal and stylish than the more stripped-down costume of past seasons. Also note the long sleeves – warm Essos is behind them and winter has arrived.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 3

After a few seasons of studying abroad, Arya Stark has retuned to Westeros as a full-fledged assassin, ready to start crossing names off her list of enemies. She got things started in a grand, bloody fashion at the end of season 6 when she cut Walder Frey’s throat after feeding his sons to him in a pie. Will she actively pursue additional vengeance or will she prioritize reuniting with the surviving members of her family? This scene looks like it could be taking place in the Riverlands (where she killed Walder), so it’s just a question of whether she rides north or south…

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 4

We haven’t seen this room before, so it’s likely that Queen Cersei just had it installed (the ladder off to the side indicates this as well). While we’ve seen our fair share of map tables on Game of Thrones, this is our first map room. Of course Cersei would want something more grandiose than her enemies and of course she’d want a room that truly emphasizes that she views this whole war as a game…a game she’s proven herself to be quite good at playing.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 5

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen Lannister troops in full-blown battle mode, but here they are, assembled for war and marching toward… Well, with enemies on all sides, it could be any direction. But since Daenerys is a bit closer than Winterfell (and because Jon Snow has a lot more on his mind than just a human war), I bet these guys are marching toward dragon doom.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 6

The Red Keep’s throne room has gotten a makeover. While the Iron Throne is just as intimidating as ever, the Lannister sigil now hangs over it. Cersei clearly wants to make sure everyone in the room knows exactly who’s calling the shots now. And despite what should have been a career-ending injury, Jaime Lannister is still at her side, leading the Kingsguard.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 7

In the season 6 finale, Cersei took the throne in a black outfit that was fair bit more militaristic than what we’ve seen her wear before. After all, the men who could have told her to go put on a pretty dress are now all dead. This new outfit continues this. Now that she’s in charge, Cersei is going to wear outfits that better reflect her inner warrior.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 8

After a few seasons in Essos, Tyrion is back in Westeros, where he will help Daenerys Targaryen wage war against his own family. At first, it’s not clear where this shot is taking place…

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 9

…and then we cut to this wide shot, where we can see the edge of a castle in the distance. Tyrion is at Dragonstone. We’ll talk about the strategic importance of this area in a moment. For now, let’s just admire the view…

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 10

…and appreciate that Dragons have finally returned to Dragonstone.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 11

And here, we see the gates to Dragonstone opening, letting Daenerys and her army through. There are two reasons for Dany to take this castle first on her mission of conquest. First, it’s on an island of incredible strategic importance. Located in Blackwater Bay, it’s an excellent base of operations from which to assault the mainland…or to sail right to King’s Landing. Remember, this used to be Stannis Baratheon’s home and it was from here that he was able to organize his army against the Lannisters back in season 2, culminating in the Battle of the Blackwater.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 12

And secondly, and more importantly from an emotional point of view, Dragonstone used to be the seat of House Targaryen. Built centuries ago, it was from here that Dany’s ancestors established a foothold Westeros before going on to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. This is truly a homecoming for the Mother of Dragons, who is hoping for a similar outcome.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer Breakdown 13

But it goes beyond that. Daenerys was born at Dragonstone, during a huge storm that decimated the Targaryen fleet and sealed her House’s doom during Robert’s Rebellion. She was spirited away by loyal allies (along with her now-deceased older brother) to be raised in Essos. Although she was born in Westeros, Daenerys has no memory of her homeland or the castle that was her first home. And now she’s here. Expect this to get emotional.

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