Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer: The Long Walk
The showdown for Westeros is about to begin and HBO wants to make sure we know it. The official trailer showcases this in drama and details, the way only Game of Thrones can, comparing the three rulers of Westeros as they take their corresponding thrones, walking steadily through their strongholds alone. The tone of each ruler’s walk is very different, which represents the confidence each has in their position and the gravity of what they face ahead of them.
The King in the North
Jon Snow, bastard son of Leanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, still assumed by all to be Ned Stark’s son from an unknown woman, is taking his seat as King of the North; a seat once occupied by a man he believed to be his brother. The dark corridors of Winterfell are lit with metal braziers lining the cold, practical stone walls. There is no fanfare in Jon’s walk, just purpose, and determination. His face is serious, almost grave at times, but this is apt considering he alone of the monarchs knows of the Night King’s threat, which is looming north of the wall. Cersei, meanwhile, adjusts to her seat in the south, and Jon knows it’s only a matter of time before she turns to attention on him, eager to crush the Northern secession. The King in the North (whose name is Stark/Snow/Targaryen) is dressed, as usual in the furs and black wool of a northern lord, and he bears nothing ornamental on his clothes, nor does he wear a crown to mark his station. Jon is forever a humble soul and it shows in his frames. He already feels the weight of the crown he doesn’t bother to wear. His walk brings him, not to a throne, but the Lord’s table and the heavy wooden seat at the center placed to face the room. The last you see of Jon is the hard stare he gives the camera before closing his eyes.
Queen Cersei Lannister, First of her Name
Although Jon’s face is the first to be shown, Cersei’s shadow occupies the first frames of the promo. It reminds the viewer that she is a threat looming over Westeros and the show’s heroic characters. Her walk is slow and confident, through the candle and sunlit halls of the red keep. The queen remains in black, though her shoulders are covered with intricate embroidery and delicate beading. It’s uncertain whether her decision to remain in black is due to an extended mourning period for her youngest son and former king, or if it’s more foreshadowing on the part of the writers. Either way, she promises to be a force to be reckoned with. Her crown, which no one expects her to forego, is a delicate halo with a stylized lion’s head high above her brow. As she enters the hall, it’s impossible to miss the changes Cersei Lannister, first of her name, has made. Dark metal Lannister Lions decorate every window so that no one who stands in the audience with her can ever forget who she really is and where she came from. Finally, she takes her seat on the Iron Throne, an expression of confidence twists her lips into a smirk as she savors her victory. She sacrificed everything to get to where she is and something in her, not the mother for sure but the lioness of Casterly Rock, is telling her it was worth it. She has the Iron Throne and she’s prepared to defend her prize. The look she gives the camera at the end is challenging, daring anyone to try to remove her, and then her eyes close.
The Mother of Dragons
Danaerys’s parts of the promo leaves fans answering a few questions on their own, but it’s no less powerful for the missing information. The mother of dragons walks through corridors of natural stone like a cavern, lit by braziers and sunlight. But where could she be taking her seat? The most natural assumption is Dragonstone, the place of her birth and likely to be chosen because of its name and defensibility. Varys would no doubt be able to secure it for her now that Stannis is dead; no one claims that seat as far as fans have been told. Her outfit is also black, but less intricate than Cersei’s. The only ornamentation she wears is a maroon cape off her left shoulder and the three headed dragon brooch that held it in place. She wears no crown, but instead, her hair is styled in braids that circle the top of her head, holding it back from her face. Dany walks with confidence toward her new seat, her eyes fixed on the prize before her, which she knows should be hers. All she has to do is reach out and take her family’s seat, and she is prepared to do just that. The rightful queen of Westeros stares the camera down with steely determination in her eyes. That in itself is a promise: I will have what is mine, and I will take it with Fire and Blood. The throne she seats herself upon is simple, carved from stone just as the wall behind her is. The looming slab serves as a suitable backdrop for Queen Danaerys, the room made from stone as solid and unmoving as her will. She too closes her eyes in her final frames, but not before showing cool confidence to the camera.
The Night King
The frames after the monarchs close their eyes (which in itself reminds fans that death must come for some of them), Cersei is shown again on the Iron Throne, letting out a breath (a sigh of relief?) but the air from her lips fogs before her face, as if the air in the throne room has dropped to freezing temperatures. The cold breath, to remind you there are more than three monarchs in this game, even though our two queens know nothing of the second king. And the cold, blue, haunting eye, the last frames of the promo, set in the angry face of the Night King, seems to be set on the three who rule south of him. He may be as of yet and unknown threat to our queens, but he promises to make himself known in a big way in the season to come.
The song used for the promo is an interesting choice. “Sit down” by James is a bit more upbeat than fan may have expected but the lyrics are the important focus here.
Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they’re touched by madness
Sit down next to me
Those who find themselves ridiculous
Sit down next to me
Love, in fear, in hate, in tears
Oh sit down
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down
There are several things that the song could mean, though for monarchs the song is appropriate. One must stand, or sit as the lyrics say, besides his or her people to rule well, hear their woes and try to provide as best they can. Not all of these we see seated will follow this rule (*cough cough Cersei*) but for those that do, they will find their subjects more willing to follow and serve. It can also be referring to the fact that, unknowingly, they face a common enemy that can only be defeated through cooperation. No matter their position, they will have to come to an agreement and battle shoulder to shoulder against the Night King’s forces. The most obvious reason for the lyrics is the fact that the promo shows them all taking their seats as King and Queens of the realm, though no one should expect any sympathy from any of them in the battle to come.
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Images via HBO.