The recently released Game of Thrones trailer tells us a lot, without really telling us anything at all. There are magnificent shots of dragons circling overhead, glimpses of the impending battle (described as “the longest in cinematic history”) and teases of long-awaited reunions between characters. We take a look at the the journeys of characters who started from the bottom…and now they’re here:
Where he started out: As Ned Stark’s presumed bastard son.
Where is he now? With Daenerys Targaryen back home in Winterfell. It’s unclear whether the two have found out that they’re aunt and nephew yet, making Jon the true heir to the Iron Throne. There’s a lingering shot of Jon in the crypts, possibly paying homage to his real parents – Ned’s sister Lyanna and Dany’s brother Rhaegar.
In between: Jon’s been busy. He joined the Night’s Watch, was promoted to Lord Commander, got killed and was brought back to life.
What are his next moves? Riding a dragon, maybe? Jon’s a Targaryen, making him a natural dragonrider. Plus, since Dany’s mount is Drogon, the only dragon left for Jon is Rhaegal, fittingly named after his father.
Where she started out: As a teenager in Essos, the continent all the way across the sea from Westeros, being sold off to Khal Drogo by her brother, Viserys.
Where is she now? In Winterfell, where she’s pledged her support to the Starks in the upcoming war against the White Walkers.
In between: She lost her child and husband, but amassed an army of Unsullied soldiers and three dragons, one of which was killed and turned into an ice dragon by the White Walkers.
What are her next moves? Dealing with the revelation that’s she not the last Targaryen in the world. And that the guy she’s in love with is her nephew. That might get weird.
Where she started out: In an unhappy marriage with King Robert Baratheon.
Where is she now? On the Iron Throne. She’d promised Daenerys and Jon her support against the White Walkers but has no intention of honouring it. Instead, she’s sent for mercenary soldiers of the Golden Company to take them out.
In between: She’s lost her three children (to poisoning and suicide), her husband Robert (though it’s not really a loss if she orchestrated his death, is it?) and her brother (who wants to be on the right side of things for once).
What are her next moves? Nothing good. She’s got even her most maniacal right-hand man, Qyburn, to look worried. That can’t be a good sign.
Where she started out: As a young girl in Winterfell, betrothed to Prince Joffrey.
Where is she now? Back home at Winterfell, which she won back for her family thanks to some strategic planning during the Battle of The Bastards.
In between: Was taken hostage in King’s Landing, married off to Tyrion Lannister, then married off to rapist Ramsey Bolton, who she eventually fed to his own dogs.
What are her next moves? Frostily welcoming Daenerys to Winterfell, if a recently released clip is anything to go by. Handing over her hard-won childhood home to a rival house can’t be easy.
Where she started out: Being mistaken for a boy at Winterfell.
Where is she now? Back home after a long time. The trailer begins with her fleeing in the corridors of Winterfell. From whom? We don’t know yet. There aren’t many things that can frighten Westeros’ best assassin, so Arya’s laboured breaths, bleeding forehead and frantic running are a little worrying.
In between: Arya trained to become a Faceless Man, an assassin capable of assuming the identities of those she’s killed.
What are her next moves? We see her holding what appears to be a piece of dragonglass: the key to defeating the White Walkers. It’s obvious she’s going to fight. While a dream ending would be her marrying Gendry and establishing the Stark-Baratheon family their fathers always wanted, we both know there are no happy endings in Game of Thrones.
Where he started out: Being pushed out of a tower by Jaime Lannister and crippled forever.
Where is he now? Back home at Winterfell, after a long an arduous journey.
In between: He learnt how to control his powers of ‘greensight’ – the ability to see into the past and future, discovered the truth of Jon’s true parentage.
What are his next moves? Having to tell Jon and Dany that they’re aunt and nephew after witnessing their romantic encounters. Maybe being an all-seeing entity isn’t really for the best.