Don't know about youz around Aotearoa, but 2018 and 2019 is best summed up via Game of Thrones or lack of GoT. Personally, there wasn't much progress through 2018 and it was more a case of slow movement, sussing a few things out and a whole lot of meditation. We had been on this crazy GoT ride of consistently awesome GoT mayhem, year on year and then 2018 hit and nothing. Now it's 2019 and maybe within your soul you can feel a push forward, a cheeky nudge of momentum just as HBO dropped a snippet of GoT season 8...
Starved of GoT content, this snippet got the fandom whipped into a frenzy and signals the home stretch towards the finish line of waiting. As you would assume, the snippet has already been broken down in every which way and in perfect 'snippet/trailer' fashion, such a brief squizz of GoT leaves us with a variety of different interpretations, or routes to go down.
Even for me, who has spent far too much time absorbing far too much GoT content throughout the long night of 2018, the only splash of certainty from that snippet is Daenerys arriving in Winterfell. Those who create all that GoT content that I have been absorbing can't even pinpoint exactly which narrative route this snippet alludes to and that in itself is the joy of where we sit as GoT fans right now.
Here are a bunch of notes from the kiwi GoT perspective, to spark your mind into gear and help you be a bit cooler when discussing GoT over the summer...
The most important and obvious thing to highlight is how much Daenerys' arrival at Winterfell resembles Robert Baratheon's arrival at Winterfell to set the wheel of GoT into motion. Similar/exactly the same as the only dialogue in the snippet is Sansa Stark saying "Winterfell is yours, your grace" and that's what Sansa's father Ned said to Robert when he arrived with his Lannister whanau.
As a ride or die Sansa fan, I also appreciate that it's Sansa who features predominantly in the snippet - outside of Daenerys having a waltz. Sansa has had a rough, but enlightening ride through GoT and this reached a climax last season when she, Bran and Arya killed pesky Littlefinger. With many of the old buggers out of the picture now, Sansa has reached a point where she can put into action all that she has learned and as the boss-lady of Winterfell, she welcomes Daenerys into the Stark whare.
The thing is, we had to endure multiple episodes of Sansa vs Arya angst last season prior to common sense prevailing and Littlefinger's neck being opened. That angst has left a mark and the warmth of Sansa's welcome is matched by the low key bitchy-ness, to the point where it feels like there is a notable lack of warmth in Sansa's welcome.
Why would Sansa offer some low key bitchy-ness towards Daenerys?
We don't know when Daenerys will arrive at Winterfell in season 8 (probably end of episode tahi), so we don't know how the show will set the scene and offer context around Sansa's behaviour. The basic idea though would be that Sansa's skeptical of Daenerys based on her Targaryan lineage and Sansa has had to endure the pestering reminders from the Northern folk of how shitty Targaryans have been in the past.
Hence, Sansa and the Northeners probably aren't all that happy that a Targaryan with a couple dragons has arrived in the North. People in Winterfell are probably unaware of Jon Snow and Daenerys' relationship either, although Bran and Samwell Tarly now know who Jon Snow really is. Again, there's ample room to speculate here but I'll stick to the basics and suggest that there will be some level of niggly from the Northerners towards Daenerys based on past antics and a lack of understanding of the Jon/Dany relationship.
All of this flows into the taste that the snippet should leave you with; things won't be super duper smooth in Winterfell.
As annoying as that is, it's all part of the drama and I revert back to the Sansa/Arya stuff last season as it feels like a continuation of that vibe. This then flows into the complex dramas of GoT that don't involve the impending doom of ol' mate Night King, his wight-dragon and army of the dead.
The reason this snippet is important is because it lays the foundations for all sorts of nooks and crannies that will accompany the impending doom, as well as Cersei Lannister's mayhem.
Daenerys arrives at Winterfell with Jorah Mormont and this in itself will present a few interesting moments as Mormont was banished from the Mormont whananu on Bear Island prior to the show starting. Jorah's cousin, Lyanna Mormont is the hearty girl we have come to admire in meetings of the Northern lords at Winterfell and this presents a bit of intrigue as to how their meeting will go down.
Brienne of Tarth is posted behind Sansa, further establishing her as a staunch protector of Sansa. Her eyes suggest some weariness in what is happening and she certainly doesn't look comfortable.
Then we have Jon, who is a bit of a sideshow in this snippet. I interpret that as everything around Jon going nuts, while Jon is somewhat ignorant to the mayhem as he is more zoned in on the impending destruction heading Winterfell's way. There is a bit of sigh, or deep breath of relief as Sansa extends her welcome and Jon would desperately be hoping that everyone can get along and align towards the common goal.
The three women in this snippet are portrayed as very powerful, proud characters and we'd expect nothing less from GoT. The least powerful is Brienne, yet she's portrayed as the protector and while we can interpret Sansa's manner and dialogue in different ways, she isn't fucking around. Everyone knows about Dany and her strut, smug smile and the fact that she's the only person in the snippet not wearing black - outlandish white - encapsulates all we know and love about Dany.
The lads on the other hand, are sideshows. Jon's hoping his sister and lover/aunt (still some wiggle room on how Jon and Dany are related) get along, without much control in the matter and Jorah is being typical, lovely Jorah in the background.
One thing is now certain; Dany arrives in Winterfell.
Another is being suggested; there may be some niggly interactions.
There is no shortage of other ideas to explore about the final season, all sorts of predictions, speculation and matters that can be washed over throughout our kiwi summer. This snippet sets the tone, primarily for what I suspect will be the early moments of season 8 and the main thing to keep in mind as you ponder the snippet is that Winterfell is about to get ravaged by dead folk and weird shit.
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Peace and love 27.