In an article by USA Today, fans of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones were given a look at the second trailer for the upcoming season, but the article doesn't really go into too much detail about what could be in store for next season.
After the series' remarkable first Season 7 trailer generated significant buzz upon its release last month, this second trailer, released earlier this week, delivered chilling imagery once again. Feel free to check out the full second trailer below, and then we'll get into some details.
The trailer begins with a slimy voice of Petyr Baelish, who seems to be plotting something involving Sansa Stark, once again, as it's her discouraged face we first see come across the screen. "Don't fight in the North, or the South," Baelish says. "Fight every battle, everywhere. Always. In your mind."
If we assume that Baelish is speaking to Sansa here, then it is probably also safe to assume that he has some kind of plan to manipulate Sansa yet again. The plot will thicken next season however, when Jon Snow, Sansa's last living sibling (as far as she knows for certain) and the man most recently proclaimed "King in the North", gets wind of Baelish's deception.
Speaking of Snow, it is his delightfully dramatic monologue, which occurs about half way through the two minute trailer, that really gets the adrenaline pumping.
"For centuries, our families fought together against their common enemy, despite their differences — together," Snow says. "We need to do the same if we're going to survive, because the enemy is real. It's always been real."
This one is a bit more complicated to dissect, as the newly crowned King in the North could be addressing any number of people. Perhaps he is talking to the other Northern houses, attempting to further convince them to fight beside him. Perhaps he is talking to the head of a Southern house, attempting to convince them that "the real enemy," the White Walkers, are coming, and no one can survive alone.
Most tantalizingly however, he could be speaking to one, mega-important person: Daenerys Targaryen.
We've already seen Dany arrive to Westeros in the previous trailer, and it's more of the same here. Specifically, she holes up in her family's ancestral seat, Dragonstone. Snow could be addressing the Dragon Queen herself, in a moment that Game of Thrones fans have been expecting for years.
The rest of the trailer is a bit skimpy on the dialogue, but heavy on the battle imagery and dramatic music. Collectively, we see brutal fighting between Unsullied and Lannister soldiers, Dothraki riding horseback while Drogon, Dany's most ferocious dragon, flies above them, Jaime Lannister charging into battle on horseback while flames burn all around him, and Jon Snow fighting alongside the Wildlings.
As promised, this shortened season will be heavy on violence, warfare, and spectacle, which is sure to be every bit as entertaining as the squabbling and scheming between great houses.
Lastly, let's get into the subtle clues the second trailer allows us to briefly glimpse. The one causing the most buzz is the image of Beric Dondarrion wielding a truly badass flaming sword. It's unlikely that this flaming sword is the prophesied burning sword "Lightbringer" which is said to be the chosen weapon of Azor Ahai, "the prince who was promised," but rather, a simple tribute sword set aflame with magic in honor of the prophesy.
HELLO MR. DONDARRION pic.twitter.com/Eb3NegksvZ— Kelly Lawler (@klawls) June 21, 2017
In both the HBO series and George R. R. Martin's book series A Song of Ice and Fire, there has simply been too much indication that Dondarrion is a faux prince who was promised, rather than the real deal, so its unlikely that he's been Azor Ahai all along. Still though, it will be sweet to see Dondarrion in action once again.
We also get a glimpse of Arya Stark riding horseback, but it isn't entirely clear where she is exactly. When we last saw Arya, she had just gone full-savage, and killed the elderly-yet-despicable Walder Frey in his own great hall. This should mean that she is somewhere in the Riverlands, which would set up a number of interesting possibilities.
When we last saw Beric Dondarrion and his band of merry murderers, they too were in the Riverlands, along with Arya's old friend and former member of her "to-murder" list, "The Hound" Sandor Clegane. Seeing Arya and The Hound meet up again after she left him to die in misery should be interesting.
Also in the Riverlands is Brienne of Tarth and her squire Podrick Payne. While Arya did reject Brienne's assistance once before, it might be interesting to see the dynamic play out yet again, with Brienne being as pushy as she is and Arya having recently morphed into more of a dark, no-nonsense character.
For what it's worth, Arya's direwolf, Nymeria, was set free in the Riverlands in the first season in order to protect the animal. In the books, it's somewhat-explicitly stated that there has been a gigantic she-wolf spotted in the Riverlands leading a pack of normal wolves, so it would be amazing to see Arya and Nymeria reunite in the show; especially considering the rate at which the Stark's direwolves have been falling lately.
Additionally, the trailer gives a few fleeting looks at the Greyjoys, who had formed an alliance with Dany last season after fleeing from the Iron Islands and their psychotic Uncle Euron, who proclaimed himself king of the sea. We only see Yara and Theon Greyjoy's faces briefly, but the looks they each display could be construed as either shock and awe or pure horror. Take that for what it's worth.
Finally, the trailer ends with one last monologue from Sansa. "When the snows fall and the white winds blow," she says, "the lone wolf dies but the pack survives." What could this mean for the fate of the Starks? Only time will tell, but it looks as though winter is finally here.
Game of Thrones Season 7 will consist of seven episodes. It will premiere on July 16, 2017.