The trailer opens with arguably the most terrifying sight possible: a scared and beaten Arya Stark breathing heavy and hiding.
She then takes off running from an unseen threat she keeps looking back for.
Arya’s desperate flight is intercut with other shots, including a somber Davos manning the walls at Winterfell.
We also see Varys “safely” hiding in the Winterfell crypt with other non-fighters, like Gilly (on the left) who holds little Sam. Varys seems worried as he looks up to where the fight is happening.
That’s no surprise since Arya looks this beaten up, in what would certainly appear to be after some major fighting, if not after the end of the battle itself.
This is all juxtaposed by a quote from a much more confident pre-battle Arya saying, “I know death, he’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one,” which ends as she holds up a dragonglass dagger (it looks ridged, unlike her smooth Valyrian steel dagger).
We get a brief respite from that horror as we see Euron Greyjoy’s fleet returning from Essos. The unusually stormy weather outside King’s Landing could be a sign of the winter we saw coming when Jaime left the capital at the end of season seven.
The ships are transporting Cersei’s new mercenary force the Golden Company to Westeros.
We then hear Bran say, “Everything you did brought you where you are now, where you belong – home.” As he says this we first see Tormund and Beric (with flaming sword) with Dolorous Edd, walking through a large door into a dark (underground?) room. They all seem calm, even though it seems like they already told the Night’s Watch the White Walkers breached the Wall. Is Edd showing them something important? Has the Night’s Watch found something useful in its treasure trove of ancient books and relics?
We then see Bran and a very worried Sam talking. This could be them discussing when/if/how to tell Jon who he really is (Aegon Targaryen, lawful son of Rhaegar and rightful heir to the Iron Throne…and a relative of Daenerys).
From there we see a lightly fortified Red Keep in King’s Landing.
Bran’s quote continues as we see a content (for now) Cersei with Qyburn and the Mountain. She’s looking out on the sea, possibly at her new army arriving. Does this mean even she, the person who has abandoned the living during the Great War, is exactly where she needs to be? If so, what role does a Mad Queen with a large army far from Westeros have to play? Could she be an accidental backup plan for the living?
Bran’s quote finishes as the Unsullied march into Winterfell.
That “home” is where Jon and Daenerys belong, as they ride in like the King and Queen they are.
Sansa also sees Dany’s two dragons arrive, and unlike the Northeners we see freak out later in the trailer, she does not look scared. She seems to be in awe as they then take a tour in the skies above Winterfell.
Jon Snow’s voice is the next one we hear, as he says, “They’re coming. Our enemy doesn’t tire, doesn’t stop, doesn’t feel.” During that narration we first see Daenerys find Jon alone in the crypt.
Jon looks downtrodden (more than usual). Is he at the crypt of his “father” Ned, or is he at Lyanna Stark’s because he’s just found out the truth about his parents, which is why he’s so sad?
As Jon’s quote continues we see Gendry overseeing masonry work as more weapons are forged, and Jorah on horseback pulls up in front of a line of soldiers outside the walls of Winterfell.
Jon’s “doesn’t feel” is heard as we see Grey Worm and Missandei kiss shortly before the battle begins.
We then see Jaime fighting in a blaze of glory. Looks like the lessons with Bronn paid off.
As exciting as it is to see him fighting alongside the living, this looks to be inside Winterfell, which means the White Walkers have broken through, or at least breached, its walls.
We then see Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne in a mostly empty room. There is no royal court to preside over as Cersei is very much alone.
Is that why we then see her in a quiet moment alone crying? Is she lonely now that even Jaime has left her? Does she regret her decisions? Is that why she’s drinking even though she is supposedly pregnant? She told Tyrion she wasn’t drinking anymore in the season seven finale. Was that a lie, or has something changed? Maybe she just can’t handle the idea of marrying Euron Greyjoy.
After a couple of epic shots of Dany’s dragons flying over the snow, we see the previously released footage of Arya being amazed by the creatures as everyone else flees (though it cuts off before we see her smile like before).
We then hear Jaime say, “I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise.” When he starts we see an uneasy Grey Worm put on his helmet as he stands in formation.
That’s followed by Jon, alone again, this time at the Winterfell weirwood tree. Praying for help to fight the dead, or asking for guidance on what to do with the knowledge of who he really is?
We then see a closeup of a bloodied Hound as fire rages behind him. We know he’s scared of fire, but this is also reminiscent of the opening shot of Arya. If The Hound is also hiding from the White Walkers, we have very little hope for the living.
Finally we see a rugged Jaime in normal clothes telling someone he will keep his promise. The best bet is he’s speaking to Daenerys, Jon, and their advisers about why they should accept him into their forces, which means he has likely told them of Cersei’s double-cross. Tyrion’s presence could help save Jaime, but will it mean Daenerys loses trust in him since he brokered the peace with his sister.
An unknown hand then grips a weapon. In the context of the trailer it feels like Jaime’s (it is a left hand), but it could be anyone, maybe even Gendry since it’s not a sword and he uses a war hammer.
Jon then plunges into battle surrounded by flames, but they seem small and weak. With the White Walkers bringing the cold with them it might be hard to keep fires going.
That’s followed by the Unsullied rushing to hold a door, another bad sign.
After seeing horses go rushing by, we return to a sunny time before the fight, as Jon and Dany approach her dragons who have been eating, as evidenced by the many large animal bones scattered around them.
The reverse of that shot hints at secret Targaryen Jon possibly being the dragon rider for Rhaegal.
We then see Sansa again looking like the weight of the world is on her shoulders, which is still easier than Arya has it as we see her in the throes of battle, during what looks to be the same time when Jaime was seen fighting.
That’s followed by Daenerys looking tired and Tyrion (strangely his only appearance) looking worried.
After a fiery roar from Drogon, the trailer’s ending involves some quiet, ominous shots from the front line of the battle before it starts. We do NOT like seeing Brienne and Pod out front and in grave danger, and Jorah has us very worried.
The trailer ends with what could be the final, nightmarish shot of the season premiere: a White Walker horse stepping into camera with Winterfell in the near distance.
We’ve been waiting for this trailer for a long time, and it exceeded our wildest expectations – and our greatest fears.