Screencap breakdown: The Game of Thrones season 8 teaser trailer

Yesterday, HBO released the first official teaser trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. This is it, everybody. Let’s watch it again!

The teaser might not have any new footage, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go frame by frame and over-analyze every single moment. Let’s begin!

We start with a white mist spreading across a map of Westeros:

Mist, of course, is a harbinger of the White Walkers, so the symbolism has already started. Naturally, the mist is rolling in from the north, just as the army of the dead will soon be bearing down on the rest of Westeros.

Next up, we have a direwolf map marker:

The direwolf is the symbol of House Stark, and the mist quickly frosts it over. Does this spell doom for the Starks at the hands of the White Walkers? How literal is HBO being?

Anyway, the camera pulls back and we really understand what we’re looking at: it’s Aegon’s map table from Dragonstone, which featured pretty heavily in season 7.

Notice that the map marker for Daenerys’ Unsullied forces it standing at the far end of the map in the shot above, a fair distance from the Stark map marker. If the Starks are at Winterfell in this shot, the Unsullied are somewhere on the North’s east coast.

Next we see House Targaryen’s dragon marker, although it’s hard to tell exactly where it is. It’s further south than the wolf, though.

The mist gets the dragon, too, covering it in frost:

This is not a good sign for our heroes.

Next, the mist rolls further south, possibly sweeping over a body of water:

Down south, things are looking a little more calm…for the moment, although there’s an alarming fire burning beyond Dorne (notice the sun-with-a-spear map marker in the background):

The fire quickly spreads, setting ablaze the Lannister map marker, which we imagine sits over King’s Landing.

And soon the whole countryside is on fire:

Fire and ice race towards one another, freezing or burning all in their path. That certainly looks like the Iron Islands in the middle:

Finally, the two forces of nature meet, colliding in steam-filled haze near the center of the map:

Notably, they clash happens near the three forks of the River Trident, a place of great historical significance for Westeros. It was here that Robert Baratheon defeated Rhaegar Targaryen in the key battle in the War of the Usurper. After that, the fall of Aerys Targaryen and Robert taking the Iron Throne were pretty much follow-through.

The Trident is also where Torrhen Stark, the last King in the North before Robb, knelt to Aegon Targaryen during Aegon’s Conquest. Now, another conflict between ice and fire is happening in the same place. But how will it play out?

Well, if we go by the trailer, a new sort of Wall starts to form, one thrown up by the collision of ice and fire:

Or at least, that’s what some fans are theorizing, with several suggesting that it’s a Wall made of dragonglass. If that’s the case, it raises all kinds of questions. Will we see a new Wall replace the old one, with humanity pushed further south? Or is this just HBO’s way of depicting a cataclysmic battle in miniature?

Here’s a live image of our brain cells colliding against each other trying to figure this out:

Finally, the Game of Thrones title card forms on the screen, and we rest:

The words themselves look to be made of ice:

There’s still no exact date, unfortunately, although we already have plenty of educated guesses.

So this teaser is heavy on symbolism, teasing the conflict between the Starks/Targaryens on the one hand and the Lannisters on the other: north vs south, ice vs fire, life vs death. Now we sit and wait for new footage!

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