Already at the halfway point of Game of Thrones‘ final season, commissioned artist Robert Ball has designed two beautiful new posters for the two most recent episodes. ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’, followed by last weekend’s battle epic ‘The Long Night’. As we wait with anticipation for Sunday’s fourth instalment, we attempt to breakdown the hidden meanings and Easter eggs within these intriguing posters.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Game of Thrones/Robert Ball/HBO
Only the third episode in Game of Thrones history to not include a single death, this poster takes a far more mellow approach. In an episode that focused on memorable character moments, Ball chose to focus on a scene which included a number of fan-favourite characters conversing with one another on the eve of the biggest battle for their lives.
From the poster we can see the chairs symbolising and distinguishing our characters gathered around the hearth, an extended scene that appears as such in the episode. Moving anti-clockwise around the gathered chairs Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) is sat to the far left side, as indicated by his horn. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) sit in that order as their gloomy shadows are noticeable on the stone floor of the hall of Winterfell. On the far right sits Podrick (Daniel Portman), identifiable from his training staff and goblet filled high with wine.
The most notable element of this poster would perhaps be what can be presumed as Gendry’s (Joe Dempsie) hammer, sending sparks flying as he works hard making Dragonglass weapons at the forge, something we see in the episode itself. Looking in detail at the light the sparks cast we can see how the ends are tipped like Dragonglass daggers. Brienne and Jaime also hold their twin Valyrian steel swords Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail respectively, that will shield them in fight against the menacing and decaying hands of Wight Walkers. Ball’s hope to convey the theme of togetherness is shown with his inclusion of a snippet of Tormund’s quote, “We are all going to die, but at least we die together.”
The Long Night
Game of Thrones/Robert Ball/HBO
In the opposite vain of the previous episode, Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3, ‘The Long Night’, includes numerous gruesome and heartbreaking deaths of both our heroes and villains. Ball comments by saying, “It was obvious the Night King would be the subject of this week’s image, but I couldn’t bring myself to ignore the characters we’ve grown to love over the season. I decided straight away that it was all or nothing, and I would show the deaths of all the major characters in one image. It was such a tense, exciting and epic episode that I’ve tried to convey the feeling by shattering my own image template.”
The centre piece of the poster showcases Arya’s (Maisie Williams) killing blow with the Catspaw dagger to the Night King, perhaps one of the most pivotel actions of the series now going forward. This is nicely accompanied by her quote ‘Not today’, which is the answer to the question “What do we say to the God of Death?”. First asked to a kid Arya back in season 1 by her dancing teacher Syrio, and repeated by the Red Woman, Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) in this particular episode.
In the shatterings of the destroyed Night King we can the silhouettes of the dead and the ones left behind. Melisandre herself appears as she accepted her fate at the end of the episode, and begins to degrade in an ancient old woman. The recently deceased Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton), alongside Dothraki leader Qhono, who is reanimated as a Wight Walker, all feature in memoriam. Notable details include the crow behind Edd, a member and Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and Beric in the stance as he barricades the door to save Arya and The Hound. Theon’s face is also covered with a Direwolf’s, which could be perceived as Ghost, but also Theon’s loyality to House Stark.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) can be seen tearfully clutching Heartsbane, the sword Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) used to be protect her before dying an honourable death. Above her is Arya, dagger in hand in front of a piercing blue eye, which Melisandre kindly reminded her she’d shut forever. A dragon’s head also appears in this section of the poster, but as it has blue lights shining from it’s eyes perhaps we can say this is the undead Viserion, who proved to be a dangerous defensive weapon of the Night King’s.
Game of Thrones continues to air Sundays on HBO.