Although HBO has already released the first Game Of Thrones Season 7 teaser, you probably shouldn't get too excited. But just because we didn't actually get to see any of Season 7 in this Season 7 teaser doesn't necessarily mean the video can't have hinted at some key plot points for the upcoming batch of episodes. Because coming up with outlandish theories about Game Of Thrones is consistently one of fans' favorite pastimes during the drought between seasons, let's comb through the teaser for any clue, however minor, at what the penultimate season might have in store for us.
The two-minute video, which announces the upcoming season as being officially "In Production," was unveiled recently at San Diego Comic Con as a nice present for fans in attendance. It features shots of crew members building sets and sewing costumes and painting props, some voiceovers from Season 6, and absolutely no actual footage of Season 7 itself — which makes sense since filming hasn't even begun yet. (Production was pushed back so the crew could actually film during winter this time around). Sure, you could argue that the assemblage of behind-the-scenes footage is more arbitrary than meaningful… but where's the fun in that? There has to be a secret code hidden somewhere in the images, right?
Here are the 12 most interesting shots from the Season 7 teaser.
1. The Turn Of The Screw
That's clearly one of the screws that was used by Ramsay to torture Theon back in Season 3, but why is it being pulled off the shelf now at this late stage? Ramsay is dead, and Theon is halfway across the world with Daenerys. Ramsay did promise that he would always be a part of Sansa (a promise that we get to hear again in voiceover during this teaser). Could she find her late husband's instruments of torture and use them to punish the Northerners who betrayed the Starks? Would Sansa really go so far?
2. The Eyes Have It
By this point, we all know what these creepy eye stones mean: somebody has died. So who are the unlucky ones this time? By my count, this shot alone means that four characters are about to shuffle off this mortal coil. On the show, we've strictly seen these stones used in royal funerals, but who's left in King's Landing after the Season 6 finale bloodbath? Are Cersei, Jaime, Qyburn, and Gregor all about to die in another retaliatory massacre?
3. Hear Me Roar
As if it wasn't clear from Cersei taking the Iron Throne for herself in the Season 6 finale, the Lannisters are going to be very important in Season 7. As the widow of King Robert Baratheon and the mother of Kings Joffrey and Tommen Baratheon, you would think that Cersei would stake her claim on being a Baratheon. Yet, at her coronation, Qyburn proclaimed her "Cersei of the House Lannister" (as another voiceover in the teaser reminds us). Is she about to shed all pretense and finally tell the whole world about her relationship with Jaime and their incestuous offspring?
4. Cutting Edge
This close-up of the Iron Throne reminds us that the chair everyone has been fighting over for six seasons is really just an uncomfortable seat made out of metal blades. The emphasis of this shot on the individual swords is evocative of Mad King Aerys, who was said to continually cut himself on the sharp edges of his throne. Is the teaser deliberately drawing a parallel between Aerys and Cersei? If so, does that mean there's merit that Cersei is about to go full Mad Queen and burn all of King's Landing down with the rest of the wildfire?
5. The Headless Horseman
It's interesting to see this shot of Gregor Clegane's empty helmet, because it's a shout-out to the book version of the reanimated corpse. You see, the Kingsguard knight known as "Ser Robert Strong" is notable for not having a head. (After being killed by Oberyn's poison after their combat, the Mountain's skull was shipped to Dorne as a placating gesture towards Prince Doran.) Does this shot mean that the show's version of Gregor is finally about to lose his head, too? Perhaps in the long-awaited fight against his brother, Sandor? CLEGANEBOWL GET HYPE.
6. No Shame
Hmm. I'm sure most of us assumed we had seen the last of Septa Unella after Cersei had her strapped to a table in the dungeons and left at the mercy of zombie-Gregory. So why are we seeing that same dungeon in a teaser for Season 7? Hopefully, the crotchety old nun won't just come back so we can see gratuitous scenes of her being tortured. Maybe she'll somehow manage to escape, hence the empty table? That seems unlikely. It's more probable that the Septa's ghost will come back to haunt an increasingly crazy Cersei with shame, shame, shame.
7. The Pointy End
It's a foregone conclusion that battles will figure heavily in both of the show's final two seasons. But, so far, most of the fighting has been between the Lannisters and the Baratheons or between the Starks and the wildlings and/or White Walkers and/or Boltons. So it's interesting to see shields on the wall bearing the sigils of other houses like Martell, Tyrell, Greyjoy, and Arryn. It looks like all of Westeros will be engulfed in war soon.
Also, tinfoil hat theory: we could be shown a shot of any kind of weapon, but the weapons they chose to feature are clearly spears… also known as pikes. Does that hint at an alliance between the Martells (the capital of Dorne is Sunspear) and the Greyjoys (the capital of the Iron Islands is Pyke) — perhaps behind Daenerys' back? We already know the Sand Snakes and the Ironborn are untrustworthy folk; will one or both of them end up betraying their new ally?
8. In The Bedroom
Here we see a crew member writing on a piece of wood: "SANSA'S CHA—" There are only so many things that could be, the prime suspects being "Sansa's chair" or "Sansa's chambers." Personally, my vote is for the latter; that large piece of wood looks like it more likely be part of a wall than a seat of some sort. If so, why is Sansa's bedroom going to be an important part of Season 7? Could those crazy Jon Snow/Sansa shippers actually be onto something?
9. Raise Your Glass
The identity of Joffrey's murderer is a plot thread that has been dangling for almost three seasons now, ever since the king was poisoned at his wedding in early Season 4. We the audience know that Petyr Baelish and Olenna Tyrell were the culprits, with the unknowing help of Sansa Stark. But everyone on the show still thinks Tyrion was responsible. Could this shot of an elaborate wine glass mean that Cersei is finally going to find out the truth about who killed her son?
10. A Direwolf In The Desert
What are the Starks doing in Dorne? That's an excellent question, and one you may be asking yourself after seeing this shot of the House's direwolf sigil situated in the southernmost kingdom, right on the coast of the Narrow Sea — aka right where Dany and her army will be landing if Dorne is indeed the first stop on her grand tour of Westeros. Does this foreshadow the inevitable alliance between the Targaryens and the Starks? Could Jon even dispatch someone to meet the Mother of Dragons in person — or go himself to meet his aunt once he learns the truth of his parentage from Bran?
11. I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost
As someone is passing out scripts, an ominous reflection of a shadowed face can be seen in the table's glossy black surface. Upon close examination, the face in question belongs to Jaime Lannister, from this Season 3 poster, which must be pasted on the wall above the table. The way the shot is framed, Jaime seems to be sitting at the head of the table… only when the camera pans up, the chair is empty, as though a ghost occupies it. Does that mean Jaime is about to die? Or does it mean that he will kill the person who should be sitting in the chair — aka his own sister, Cersei?
12. Script Tease
OK, so there's actually not much to theorize about in this shot. I've just included it because it's so cruel. The script is right there, you guys! If only we could reach through the screen and flip that first page, we could read what's going to happen in the Season 7 premiere. That's just cruel and unusual, HBO.
How many of these theories will come to pass and how many will prove to be the crackpot musings of a Thrones-starved madman? (Don't answer that.) We'll find out when Game Of Thrones Season 7 premieres… sometime… later than usual… in 2017. Enjoy combing through the teaser for clues until then.
Images: GameofThrones/YouTube (12)