We’ve all been so busy preparing ourselves for the events to come in the final six episodes of Game of Thrones that we haven’t given much thought to whether one of the show’s most fundamental elements — the opening credits — would change. Well, last night, the cast and crew stepped out in New York City to watch the season 8 premiere, and although HBO surely would disapprove, a couple attendees recorded a snippet or two from the landmark episode. There’s no footage from the episode proper, but it looks like the opening credits have gotten a makeover.
First, take a look at how the Wall has changed:
For starters, LOOK AT THE HOLE IN THAT WALL NEAR EASTWATCH. My god, it’s gigantic.
This is obviously a reference to the scene at the end of season 7 when the Night King and his skeleton crew straight up blitzed through the Wall by using the undead dragon Viserion. Immediately, my thoughts go to Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion, who were on top of the Wall when the Night King showed up. We know from the trailer that they survived, but where do they go?
Fans on Reddit note that the “ice floor” that spreads out from the breach skirts around a castle rather than through it. That castle is the Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber. As we know, if we see a location on the map, usually we visit it in the episode. Maybe Beric and Tormund will try and take refuge there as they flee south?
We’re also looking forward to seeing the ice spread further south as the season progresses.
Let’s also talk about the names popping up onscreen. Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, all of them heavy hitters, show up first. Then we’ve got Liam Cunningham and Nathalie Emmanuel. Alfie Allen, John Bradley and Isaac Hempstead Wright are grouped together.
And that wasn’t the only clip from the opening that made it onto the internet! Another fan filmed a snippet from our trip to King’s Landing:
The clip doesn’t cover quite as much territory as the first, but there’s still stuff to unpack. Instead of just gliding over the Red Keep, the new opening credits actually take us inside. There’s a steel dragon’s skull waiting at the bottom of about a million sets of stairs. Does that mean we’ll have a scene set in the room where they keep the old dragon skulls?
Or is it just a cool stylistic flourish? What do we make of the changes?