Game of Thrones Season Seven Trailer Breakdown: Unnecessary and Obsolete

Posted: May 27, 2017 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion, TV
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To be clear, the trailer for Season Seven of Game of Thrones was great!

My post is technically unnecessary and obsolete, because the trailer came out a few days ago and instantly a plethora of podcasts, YouTube videos, and professional/semi-professional online articles were released talking about the trailer.

But this blogging hobbyist can’t be silent. And I can’t listen to these podcasts or read the trailer articles until I got my thoughts down, so after diligently screen-shotting each frame (more or less) from the trailer (thank you YouTube and the PrintScreen button) here’s my analysis.

Things start off with Cersei (I assume in the Red Keep in King’s Landing) walking into a courtyard. We hear her first in the trailer.

Cersei: Enemies to the east…

We immediately see those enemies.

We start with representatives from Team Targaryen: Grey Worm the Unsullied general and the spears of the Unsullied host behind him.

His armor now has this cool Ouroboros-like symbol, but it’s three dragons instead of one serpent. That’s a nice Targaryen the-dragon-has-three-heads reference, and since the Ouroboros symbol implies infinity or eternity, that’s a pretty cool design.

Dany was coming from the east, so her army is a nice representation of what Cersei’s voice-over is saying, but as we’ll see later in the trailer, Dany’s forces will be taking up position at Dragonstone, not far off the east coast from King’s Landing.

Enemies to the west…

We get a shot of what I believe was Stannis’ table at Dragonstone. (Okay, it was originally Aegon the Conqueror’s table, but Stannis kind of marks it as his property when fooling around with Melisandre on that big map. Fight me.)

It’s a good transitional piece, but the map isn’t showing anything west of King’s Landing. It’s north (and a little east of King’s Landing) in the crownlands, heading up the Kingsroad. I like this peek at Duskendale and Rosby on the map, since that area might come into play. (I’ll get to that a little further down.

The shot of ships, as “enemies to the west” would best signify the Iron Fleet that Euron Greyjoy is building. Although maybe Dany’s fleet has sailed around south of Dorne and has come up the west coast. I’m kind of skeptical about that, but there’s some evidence that something like that has happened. Which I’ll get to. But now, back to Cersei’s litany of troubles.

Enemies to the south…

The map is still going north, but that’s okay, we’ll just treat the map as a transitional image.

It’s showing the Vale of Arryn, which is next to the Riverlands and directly north of the crownlands. I wonder if we’ll actually get any of these map shots on the show.

We book readers are pretty good about keeping the map and spatial locations in our head, and the show does present a map before every episode, but sometimes it would be nice to have a little visual reminder in a scene. I guess?

Feel free to call me out on that.

Oh, back to the enemies. An anonymous person is sharpening a weapon with a whetstone.

I want to say that’s a spearhead, which doesn’t really narrow things down. If we assume this is someone from the south, like from Dorne, then this might be a spear-wielding Sand Snake, like Obara Sand.

Obara, who secretly betrayed Ellaria and her half-sisters by being an agent of Prince Doran. And then shifted her allegiance for the chance to kill Prince Trystane. Don’t believe me? I recognize your skepticism. It’s just part of my elaborate head-canon. But if I say it enough, it might become true in everyone’s hearts.

But back to the trailer, no need to derail with my ramblings.

Enemies to the north…

Whoa. The map is totally in sync with what Cersei is saying. The point-of-view is coming up on the Wall and Castle Black.

Arya Stark is an excellent example of a northern enemy to Cersei. One that Cersei probably doesn’t even realize is alive, and so can’t plan for.

Whatever stands in our way…

This is possibly my favorite shot from the trailer.

Cersei is having a large map painted (I assume that the white area in the upper left is unfinished detail, and not a glacier or something.) The maps on the floor are clearly reference materials for the artist doing the cartography. Now, this map is probably a bit too awesome and detailed, but maybe one of the dragon-riding Targaryens was really into map-making early on, and the maps the artist is working from are pretty solid.

So, if we consider that Cersei is eyeballing a region of concern, she’s considering the North, which has recently tossed aside the Boltons (who had gone rogue by marrying Sansa Stark to Ramsay Bolton.) It’s fair to say that the North is not pro-Lannister.

I like that Cersei is standing on the location of Moat Cailin, which is the traditional defense point and line of division (well, the swampy Neck, really) between the kingdom of the North and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. Like Cersei is symbolically stuck in the Neck, like all southerners who think about invading the North.

We will defeat it.

Cersei is pretty optimistic. Or at least unwilling to truly consider her situation.

The Lannister holdings are down to the crownlands around King’s Landing, the kingdom of the West (Lannister home territory), nominally the Riverlands (there’s a simmering rebellion happening, requiring Lannister peacekeeping forces), and maybe — MAYBE – the Stormlands, in that there wasn’t anyone else to follow after Stannis’ defeat at Blackwater, and then his death at Winterfell.

The Iron Islands have seceded, with half of the fleet supporting Dany, the rest of the fleet (some current still being built?) supporting their new king, Euron.

The Vale is not pro-Lannister, Dorne has declared war, and if the kingdom of the Reach is supporting Olenna Tyrell against Cersei, there’s that problem as well. I don’t think diplomacy will get Cersei out of this.

Cersei appears to be relying on boots on the ground, Lannister forces, to keep her on the Throne. Unless she has another wildfire plan or something. (Doubtful.)

The Throne room has seen cheerier times. Everyone seems to be in a bad mood.

Jaime is looking just a tad bit scruffy. He’s wearing his Lannister vestments, so it appears his previous dismissal from the Kingsguard still stands. That’s relevant, since this will make him Lord of Casterly Rock, able to marry and have children. Which might be important since the world is running short on Lannisters.

We are the last Lannisters.

I just said that, Cersei.

Cersei seems to have received some bad news. And she seems to have forgotten in her monologue one other Lannister, her little brother Tyrion.

The last ones who count.

Oh, I see where’s she’s coming from.

Tyrion Lannister is walking along the cliffs. We’ll get a good look at where he is in a moment.

Wearing his Hand of the Queen badge, he looks up at a wonderous sight.

Nice shot of where he is, some cliff-side plateau, with a fortress in the background.

Three huge dragons in the foreground.

We get an establishing shot of where Tyrion, and the rest of Dany’s team, have come to. It’s Dragonstone, the volcanic island just off the coast. Note the carved Targaryen symbol at the top of the fortress. (It’s hard to see from my screenshot, I apologize.)

Dany taking Dragonstone is a smooth move, since it’s the oldest Targaryen fortress in Westeros. It’s unclear that when Stannis abandoned it to go North, if he truly abandoned it or left some skeleton force to hold it as his possession. In the books, Cersei sent troops to retake Dragonstone. I assume that on the show, it will just be there for the taking for Dany.

After all, she’s one of the few groups that seems to have ships on the show.

Dany: I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

Dany’s return to Dragonstone will be a big deal for her personally.

She was born here. Her mother died here.

… and I will.

This is not the first time Dany has been to Westeros, but it may as well be, since she was just an infant when Ser Willem Darry spirited her and Viserys away to Essos.

We see Dany taking up residence in the old fortress, sitting on the cool stone throne that was seen in the Sit Down teaser trailer. We only see Dothraki attending her in this shot.

But we see Unsullied immediately in the trailer, attacking a Lannister held position.

I assumed at first that this was King’s Landing, but the prevalence of lions and the big “L” on the wall could indicate Casterly Rock. I’m not a huge fan if that happens, or they’ll have to convince me that it is even possible. Casterly Rock is on the other side of Westeros, she’d have to split her forces and that seems a risky move.

Particularly because Euron Greyjoy could cause problems, depending on the number of ships he’d managed to put together. (We really have been given few information in regards to Euron and his navy’s status.)

Northmen: THE KING IN THE NORTH!

So, we covered Cersei’s position, and Dany’s position, and how there will definitely be some conflict between them. The trailer now heads to the North, where we see King in the North Jon Snow, at court with his half-sister (she’s really his cousin, yo) and her sworn sword Brienne of Tarth. (So this scene is taking place sometime after the Season 6 declaration of kingship, since Brienne – and assumedly Podrick Payne – needed time to head back from Riverrun to Winterfell.)

Jon has pressing concerns in regards to the North. Like the undead army north of the Wall. But he has possibly more pressing concerns near at hand. Like treachery from Baelish.

Baelish: Your father and brothers are gone …

… yet here you stand.

Dammit, Sansa, don’t listen to his lies!

The last best hope against the coming storm.

We see a cool shot of one of the gates at the Wall (I assume we’re at the Wall) opening up. We see that Jon and some wildlings are on a mission into the Further North, so I assume that’s related. But I want to go back to the web that Baelish is verbally spinning, telling Sansa that she’s the last best hope against the coming storm.

Is he talking about the storm of conflict against the Lannisters, or is he trying to figure out an angle about the White Walkers? Oh, Littlefinger. I love you and hate you at the same time.

Theon, who rarely has a good day, appears to be having another bad one. Later on in the trailer, we see a naval conflict at night, with ships on fire. I assume this is what’s happening here.

Everyone could have ships, of course, but I doubt Theon’s command is being harrassed by Summer Islanders or whatever. My guess is that Uncle Euron has showed up. Did Theon bring a ton of Unsullied around the coast to attack Casterly Rock? And now is being preyed on by Euron?

On the other side of the continent, we see Melisandre being contemplative (and beautiful as always, the aged crone) on Dragonstone. Why do I say Dragonstone?

The shot cuts immediately to this frame, which has enough continuity with the previous that it’s from the same scene. Our red-clad priestess is watching some people walking the battlements. That curtain wall looks sufficiently like the one earlier on as part of the gates of Dragonstone being opened for Dany.

So Melisandre is at Dragonstone, with Dany’s forces. Varys would not be happy to see her, so that’s a wrinkle. But Dany might be Azor Ahai, and can Melisandre transition her belief that Jon is Azor Ahai, and put her faith into Dany? Will Dany accept Melisandre into her service?

This has my interest. I was expecting Melisandre to meet up with Thoros of Myr maybe, but this is solid too.

Back in the North. Possibly north of the Wall, some armed wildlings are fleeing. They probably have good reason to do so.

Arya is making a fire, and is someplace chilly. She could still be in the Riverlands, but I want to think she’s in the North, making her way to Winterfell. But that’s my heart, hoping for a reunion with Jon. But if she’s in the Riverlands, maybe we’ll get an Arya/Nymeria reunion. If the gods are good.

Davos: If we don’t set aside our enmities and band together, we will die.

I assume that out fleeing wildlings from previous are circling up, to stand and fight. I’m curious why we’re seeing stuff happening north of the Wall. (If that’s where we are, of course.)

It’s probably White Walker-related, and there must still be large groups of wildlings trapped in the far north, who scattered when Stannis broke them at the Wall, and who didn’t head to Hardhome.

Baelish, creeping about.

We see an interesting scene of Dothraki, hopping off their horses…

… to land on other horses. What’s that all about?

I assume we’ll get some shot of the Dothraki making excellent time in getting a huge group of cavalry from one location to another. To faciliatet this, they’ve taken extra horses and the horselords at times transition from a horse that has carried a rider for a sufficient time to one that has been running unburdened.

This makes sense if they need to make a long, continuous run and don’t want to over-tire the horses, or maybe they are just about to go into battle, and they are transitioning to ride the unburdened horses for the best advantage.

Either way, I doubt the riders are voluntarily hopping off their horses to fight on the ground. These guys ride until they can’t.

My guess is that the Westerosi will not anticipate the Dothraki being able to cover ground as fast as they can in a sustained manner. I also suspect that the reason we see the map table traveling up by Duskendale and Rosby, is because that’s where Dany’s cavalry will make landfall when she sends them to war from Dragonstone.

That region of coast is not far from Dragonstone, and Dany would want to take control of an open area and fight any Lannister army in the field, rather than engage in a siege.

And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.

This is the night-time sea battle I mentioned above, where Theon was looking rather glum. There’s enough blurry bucket helms, specific shields, and axes to indicate that at least some of these guys are Ironborn.

Davos, you’re the man. Please make it to the end of the season.

Another shot of Dany at Dragonstone, checking out Stannis’ table of love. Dany is standing south of Dorne, viewing the entire picture. Unlike Cersei with her floor map, where the Lannister was just checking out the North. That’s not to say Cersei isn’t worried about everything. And it would be weird for Dany to walk on the table.

Tyrion is assisting her, which will play into another shot later on.

The fact that we see possibly-undead Ser Gregor in the same sequence where Davos was talking about skeletons sitting on the Iron Throne – nice job, person who made this trailer.

Ser Gregor’s new queensguard armor is a great upgrade, and I like how the helmet still has a certain connection with the old kingsguard helms. (I am all about how the armor looks, y’all.)

One thing I like, his armor is very comprehensive. Maybe we’ll see Gregor playing the role of dragonslayer.

There’s a quick show of three people running down a curving path at night. There’s either a fight or some emergency happening around them. One of them (that light colored blob, sorry about the bad resolution) makes me want to say it’s Ser Davos. One of them looks like Jon Snow, sort of.

There’s three of them, so who is the third guy? Podrick Payne, loaned to Jon by Brienne? Gendry the bastard? Everyone knows I want Gendry to return to the picture. It’s just too hard to tell. It could be nobody.

And what’s going on in this scene at all? I’m curious and I want to know.

Jon’s in the crypts, getting rough with Baelish. There are so many reasons for him to do so. But Jon in the crypts is cool, because there’s so much Lyanna-related stuff that happens in the crypts. I’m into it.

The Unsullied are rushing a Lannister-held gate. At first I thought it was the gate to the Red Keep, but after checking out Cersei’s walk of shame again, it’s a different structure. Not that that means anything, since Game of Thrones films in different locations sometimes.

Regardless, the Unsullied appear to be unstoppable in this.

That’s good, because the Unsullied had developed a (in my opinion, unfair) reputation for not being awesome warriors during their time in Meereen. I’m glad to see them getting in some wins, even if I feel that they have been reasonably martial and proficient throughout the series.

A quick shot of Arya, checking under her bed. Is she just being thorough, looking for enemies, or is this an indication that she’s going to find something of interest?

I think Arya’s just paranoid. Maybe she’s worried that there’s a stone man under the bed, one of Old Nan’s tales.

Ah, speaking of stone men, here’s one.

I assume this is Ser Jorah and we’re seeing that his greyscale is progressing. Although we just don’t know. But if it’s Jorah, what’s happening here?

But don’t worry, I assume he’ll soon find a cure which will transform his greyscale into inert dragonglass, and he’ll have leveled up with the death touch kung fu moves to destroy White Walkers. Ser Jorah, the Stone King!

(I don’t really believe this, but if it happens, I want credit.)

The previous Dothraki riding scenes may or may not have been combat related, but this is legitimate cavalry actions against routed infantry. The running Lannister spearmen are doomed.

Whoa! Jon Snow and Tormund are also running like their lives depend on it. Presumably not from Dothraki cavalry.

This is a cool shot, because it establishes that Jon is going to be all over the map. He’s the king in the north, but he’ll also be on an expedition north of the Wall. That one guy in the background is all in black, so a member of the Night’s Watch, I assume.

All’s fair in love and war. We’re seeing some warfare, and now here’s some love.

We’ve been waiting for Grey Worm and Missandei to huddle and cuddle, so it’ll finally be happening. But now I’m worried that Grey Worm’s days are numbered.

And Yara, who is up for anything, will be hooking up with Ellaria Sand. Why not?

Look, Dorne and the Ironborn storylines were pretty heavily edited and transformed from the books to the show, so if they want to spin an #IronDorne angle, who am I to argue?

I’m pretty sure that’s Tyrion toppling over a Lannister lion. But where? King’s Landing? Casterly Rock? (Look, it could be anywhere, since it could be the representation of any army in the fields, and not necessarily a force garrisoning a fortification.)

This is why I wanted to finish up this post, and get to reading about what other people have already figured out. You know, the obsessives. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Underwater shot, looking up as people leap off burning ships. I assume this is all part of the Theon/Ironborn naval battle. My money says one of those people is Theon.

Jon Snow: The great war is here.

We finish up with a ton of Dothraki cavalry, tearing up the plains, with some overhead dragon air support. Is Dany riding the dragon (or is Bran???)

Okay, that’s the trailer. Typically, I try to have a non-spoilery and spoilery analysis of the trailer, but since we’re past the books, I can only speculate. I won’t create a spoilery version, because there just can’t be one.

The trailer is interesting in what it showed, but also what (or who) it didn’t show. No Bran (unless he’s warging the dragon), no Qyburn, no Euron, no Sand Snakes (other than Ellaria), no Olenna. No Lady Mormont. No Sam and Gilly.

We can only make of that what we can.

We have evidence of at least three battles: a cavalry action against the Lannisters, Unsullied taking over at least one location from the Lannisters, and a naval action which I assume will not go well for Ironborn under Theon’s command.

Poor Theon. Can’t catch a break, man.

Okay, I’ll be reading up the other analyses of the trailer from the usual suspects whom I trust, and I can finally hear the Game of Thrones podcasts that I like, who are going to dissect the trailer. If you’ve read my breakdown, thank you!

I’m totally behind the curve, and I appreciate your interest.


(Comments are always welcome. Super welcome! But if you want to talk spoilery Game of Thrones talk with me (also welcome) I’d invite you to visit my Safe Spoilers page on my backup blog. That way my non-book-reading friends won’t be shocked with foreknowledge.)

Images from HBO’s Game of Thrones (OBVIOUSLY.)

I make no claim to the images, but some claims to the text. So there.

If you liked this article, thank you! I have all of my Game of Thrones related articles on my handy-dandy Game of Thrones page should you want to read more but don’t want to navigate around my site.

© Patrick Sponaugle 2017 Some Rights Reserved

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Comments
  1. joanna says:

    Hey Pat – so, here’s my two or five cents 🙂

    Does Cersei even know that Jon Snow is King in the North? That the Starks and the Northern Lords are back in power? And that the Boltons are finished, over, kaput?

    I think that shot in the Throne room is when she gets the happy news. Hence clenched fists and “I’ll burn their houses to the ground” look.

    Those stairs, where are they running to? And who are they? I was also curious about that. Not sure it’s Jon and Davos. It’s really hard to tell.

    Jorah’s arm – I think he’s undergoing some kind of treatment whereby the greyscale is literally being burnt off, possibly with some kind of descaling ointment or poultice. It will peel off in large scabby like segments, leaving clean flesh underneath. But he’s locked up for everyone’s safety. Of course it could Septa Unella enjoying “Mountain like” hospitality 🙂 Just joking. It’s Jorah, the photo shows his left infected arm. I stand by my therapy theory.

    Jon slamming Baelish. Perfect. Can’t wait for the conversation leading up to that.

    Most intrigued by Melisandre at Dragonstone. Is she tracking Jon Snow? Did she see a vision of him going there? Is that him with loyal supporters climbing up the steps? Shoot photos were posted a few months ago of Jon and Dany walking together in a battlement-like location.

    Or, is it Dany arriving, thus linking up with the “open gate” shot. And Melisandre is changing allegiance. She does need a cause, that one.

    Or, best scenario, Mel has finally connected the dots, realises both Jon and Dany are needed in the Great War to Come.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love your suggestion that Cersei’s teeth grinding look is because she’s getting an intelligence briefing in regards to the North.

      That ties in well with the scene of her checking out the map.

      I am not surprised that you doing a lot of thinking about Melisandre. Of all the characters on the show, she’s the most mysterious when it comes to motivations. (I’m not saying that she’s poorly motivated, it’s just that she’s very complicated, like Varys. She might do anything.)

      Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m very pleased that you checked my trailer analysis, Joanna.

      Liked by 1 person

      • joanna says:

        I forgot to mention these thoughts: I think the scene with Dany sitting on the Dragonstone throne her having an audience with Jon Snow. The men she’s talking to seem to be wearing thick clothing. One is in a fur cape, at least that’s what it looks like. Sansa’s gift to Jon? This would tie up with my other idea – it’s Jon & entourage walking up the steps.

        And, I also suspect that Mel went to Dragonstone for 2 reasons:
        1. She’s now heard of Dany, her dragons etc. [Maybe there was a red priestess annual conference]
        2. She went to tell Dany about Jon, perhaps persuaded her to invite him

        p.s. shouldn’t you be asleep?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. writingjems says:

    Nice trailer breakdown. I saw one or two, but I still like reading your thoughts. I definitely think Cersei’s sourpuss reaction is hearing that the Starks have crushed the Boltons, and that the Vale is backing them too. In season 5, Baelish swore his loyalty to help her against the traitorous Boltons in exchange for being named the new Warden of the North. I assume she won’t take his betrayal well at all. Other than Qyburn, she’s seriously lacking in loyalty.

    I thought it was interesting that we don’t see Bran, but I wonder if any scenes he’s involved in involve spoilers they’re not ready to give away. Maybe his first scene is reuniting with Jon at the Wall (since it seems Jon is back in the True North in his scenes?).

    Speaking of Jon, if he does leave to go up to the Wall to help more Wildlings, that will give Baelish the perfect opportunity to worm his way into Sansa’s confidence. I would actually love to see Sansa “fall” for Baelish’s tactics, and then turn the table later and reveal that she’s actually been playing HIM the whole time.

    It seems from the battle at the Lannister stronghold and the fact that there’s an Ironborn battle that Dany might split her forces to deal with the Lannister holdings in the West before bringing a pincer strike on King’s Landing. Things definitely don’t look good for Theon, and I suspect that naval battle isn’t going to go well for Yara’s faction. Based on Theon’s expression, I wonder if Yara will get killed in the battle and tell Theon to escape. We know Ellaria at least will be there, and possibly the other Sand Snakes, so that would be a convenient way for the showrunners to get rid of all the Dornish players.

    And last, I actually disagree with most people’s thoughts on Melisandre. I think she returns to Dragonstone first because after being banished by Jon, it was the only place she could think to return. It was her home for a long time while she was advising Stannis. But I do think Dany’s arrival will give her a chance to speak with Dany and jump ship once more to Dany’s cause. Hopefully, she will be instrumental in uniting Jon and Dany’s forces when Cersei is finally dealt with.

    Ugh, why isn’t July here yet? I’ll just have to content myself with rewatching the show in preparation. I’m already on season 5 and moving fast!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re right about Bran, even showing him might be spoilery.

      Also, that’s a good point about Dragonstone. That’s the part of Westeros that she knows well. Maybe she left some magic items of hers there as well. For a rainy day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heya Pat – good insights, as usual, from both you and your commenters. I particularly like the thoughts on how Jorah Mormont is getting treated for his Greyscale. I can totally see that happening.

    Also, the three guys with torches? That looks like some guys crossing over stormy water to board another ship to me.

    I’ll be putting up my own commentary soon.

    ~Geoff

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] I checked out my friend Pat’s blog to see what he thought of the trailer and get his input.  If you want the opinion of another person who has read all of the books and is […]

    Liked by 1 person

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