With just over two months to go until the long-awaited return of Game of Thrones we have but only breadcrumbs of promotional material so far to over-analyze. Nevertheless, we take a look at what can be deduced from the slim pickings HBO has so kindly released over the past few weeks and months as we grow evermore excited for the final season of this fantasy epic.
EW Cover – Jon and Daenerys (November)
The first official slither of Season 8 promo we received for Game of Thrones was way back in November of last year. Entertainment Weekly released an exciting cover showing both Jon (Kit Harington) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) with arms around one another, standing in front of the snowy woodland of what one would assume is the North. Many inferences can be made from this image alone including Jon and Dany’s romantic embrace implying that their relationship is strong, at least upon arrival in the North, and that Daenerys’ winter coat, which you may remember as being white and grey on its first outing in episode 0706, ‘Beyond the Wall’, now appears to have an added stole as well as staple Targaryen red streaked in. This perhaps indicates that Dany is attempting to warm to the Northerners, whilst also embracing her house’s heritage.
Art Promo teaser 1 – The Painted Table (December)
Perhaps not so wisely in the same week Marvel dropped the first footage of Avengers: Endgame, HBO released the first piece of moving image Game of Thrones promotional material for Season 8. Whilst not giving anything away this animated footage shows ice creeping over the painted table of Dragonstone engulfing both a snarling wolf and a flying dragon piece as fire burns brightly around Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) lion piece in the south of the map. These are of course the sigils of House Stark, Targaryen and Lannister. The fire then meets ice to create what appears to be some sort wall as the two elements clash together. From this we can take that both Jon and Daenerys’ forces will be united in their fight against Cersei, but are far closer to the real threat of the Army of the Dead.
Sneak Peak – Daenerys Meets Sansa (January)
Tucked within HBO’s 2019 trailer was the first actual Game of Thrones footage of Season 8. Making ripples across the internet this clip, no longer than a few seconds, shows the highly anticipated meeting between Daenerys and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) at Winterfell. The scene strongly parallels Robert Baratheon’s arrival at Winterfell way back in the very first episode of the series with Sansa repeating the words of her late father “Winterfell is yours, your grace”. Here’s hoping that these frosty first moments between these two strong personalities can warm up into at least mutual respect for one another, which may be the case from evidence in the next piece of released footage.
Teaser Trailer – Crypts of Winterfell (January)
Probably the piece of promotional material that most caught fans’ attention thus far is a teaser showing three of the four remaining Starks walking through the crypts of Winterfell only to then come face to face with stone statues of themselves representing their tombs. Jon, Sansa and Arya (Maisie Williams) then turn around to see the approaching freezing cold mist and draw their swords in defense. Whilst again footage only created for promotional purposes, much like ‘The Long Walk’ teaser for Season 7, this teaser hints heavily at some of the core themes of the new season, those being the reveal of Jon’s parentage and the Starks remaining a close family unit. As for the tombs of our heroes’ death is around the corner for all, and whilst not a flag post that all three of these beloved characters will die soon, but a reminder that everyone has a death sentence looming over them.
Art Promo teaser 2 (January)
Dropped shortly after the teaser, although to unfortunately little attention, another art promo recalls some of the series’ most memorable and world-changing moments through scenes on a woven tapestry, a medieval method of capturing important moments in art. The teaser shows us iconic snapshots from previous seasons such as Daenerys sitting in smoke with her new-born dragons, Cersei sitting on the throne with Jaime by her side, as well as unseen moments in the show that have been previously mentioned, such as a young Ned riding home to Winterfell to greet a stony faced Catelyn as he holds baby Jon. All of the imagery is depicted around an empty Iron Throne, reminding us, as with this season’s tagline, that every action and event thus far has all been #ForTheThrone.