It only lasts about a minute, but the new Game of Thrones teaser trailer will leave a pit in your stomach the size of Westeros.
Appropriately titled “Aftermath,” the eerie promo pans over Winterfell post-battle (yep, that epic battle between the Night King’s Army of the Dead and our people, the living, that we’ve heard so much about since before season eight even began filming).
HBO revealed the video on Tuesday with the caption, “Fight for the living.” They also tweeted, “The great war was here” along with the clip, which shows a tattered Stark banner, then footage of an empty and war-torn Winterfell. Arya’s sword, Needle, is left abandoned in the snow, as well as Jon Snow’s Valyrian-steel Longclaw.
While it’d be a bit too obvious for HBO to reveal the deaths of these two major characters in a promo like this, it does give viewers a serious sense of dread about who will live and who will die in the great battle of Winterfell. But it’s also not out of the question that this promo does give a clue about how season eight will play out. Namely, that our favorite characters, the Starks, Daenerys, Tyrion and Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Ser Jorah and others who come to Winterfell to fight may actually lose. In this case, the Night King and his army of the dead will continue marching south toward King’s Landing.
Then it may be up to Cersei to become the hero of the story and save the day for mankind and the living, especially with the Golden Company shown arriving at the Red Keep at Cersei’s behest. If she realizes it’s life or death, she may end up using the sellswords she just bought to fight the Night King and his army. After all, she does deserve some sort of redemption arc, right? Right?!
The new promo comes two days after GoT released brand-new clips from the final season. In that footage, we see Beric Dondarrian wielding his flaming sword alongside Tormund, Arya and Jon meeting underneath the Weirwood tree, Dany looking deeply into the fire at Winterfell, and Varys, Tyrion and Ser Davos looking at the sky with shock and awe (perhaps because Jon is riding a dragon?).
So, dry those tears, pick up that chin and don’t worry: They couldn’t kill off Jon and Arya in the first or second episodes, anyway. (Or…could they?)