The Game of Thrones season 8 teaser “Aftermath” depicts the Battle of Winterfell’s devastation and references the personal belongings – and possible deaths – of several main characters. Of course, the most blatant clues in the clip could just be a way to manipulate the heartstrings of Game of Thrones fans all over the world. But, as the saying goes, “When you play the Game of Thrones, either you win or you die.”
In the Game of Thrones season 7 finale, Jon Snow strategized for the impending Great War against the Night King and the Army of the Dead, Sansa Stark and Arya Stark bonded in Winterfell, and their younger brother Bran Stark embraced his telekinetic powers as the Three-Eyed Raven, revealing to him that Jon Snow is the true son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. In January, the Game of Thrones season 8 teaser “Crypts of Winterfell” emphasized the Stark family legacy, and the recent Game of Thrones season 8 full-length trailer teased what will inevitably be the greatest battle sequence depicted on screen. Now, the most recent Game of Thrones season 8 teaser reminds that nobody is safe.
Game of Thrones season 8 will be bloody, raw, and bittersweet. The big question hanging over it is who will survive, and that’s something the marketing is leaning into. Here’s who the new “Aftermath” teaser suggests may have their days numbered.
While Cersei Lannister remains in King’s Landing at the end of Game of Thrones season 7, Tyrion Lannister travels to Winterfell as Daenerys Targaryen’s Hand of the Queen. In the new Game of Thrones season 8 teaser, his pin briefly appears in the snow (0:19), suggesting that maybe he’s fallen during the Great War.
As for Tyrion’s brother Jaime Lannister, he’s turned over a new leaf by deciding to fight, or at least lend his support, in the Great War. However, the new Game of Thrones season 8 “Aftermath” clip shows his trademark golden hand in the snow (0.36). Once a great warrior, Jaime lost his sword hand in Game of Thrones season 3 after being punished by House Bolton enforcer Locke.
In Game of Thrones season 1, Jon Snow gave the sword “Needle” to Arya Stark before leaving to join the Night’s Watch. Over the course of the series, Arya has evolved into a skilled warrior assassin, however, her beloved Needle is seen stuck into an object at 0:23 in the new Game of Thrones season 8 teaser – not far from Tyrion’s Hand of the Queen pin. The location is significant, as both objects appear indoors rather than out on the battlefield.
As for Bran Stark, an overhead shot at 0:34 shows his wheelchair, with a floating feather ready to land upon it. For context, a feather was placed upon Lyanna Stark’s statue by Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones season 1, and reappeared in the recent “Crypts of Winterfell” teaser. One theory suggests that House Stark is descended from White Walkers, so the recurring feather theme is intriguing on numerous levels.
Game of Thrones season 7 ends with the revelation that Jon Snow is a Targaryen and has begun a sexual relationship with Daenerys. This complicates matters, as the bloodline reveal means that Daenerys is Jon’s aunt. In the new Game of Thrones season 8 teaser “Aftermath,” Daenerys’ dragon chain appears near Jaime Lannister’s golden hand (0:40), with the roar of dragon making the visual even more dramatic.
Then, a jump cut reveals Jon Snow’s sword Longclaw – bloody and resting upon an unknown object. This sets up the Game of Thrones season 8 teaser’s final seconds, which shows the Night King walking ominously towards the sword.
So, what does this all mean for Game of Thrones season 8? If taken literally, it appears that the Night King is in control, or at least ready to make another big power move. Of course, it’s more foreboding than it is genuinely prophetic: this trailer is highlighting what’s at stake rather than what could genuinely lost. Still, once the Battle of Winterfell begins, nobody’s life is safe: any Game of Thrones star could theoretically fall in the snow.