Deep in the depths of the kiwi summer, we got another reminder that winter is coming in its most brutal form as Game of Thrones dropped an 'Official Tease' last week. This tease came after a snippet from what appeared to be early in season 8, as Jon Snow brings his middy Daenerys home to Winterfell where she was given the haere mai by Sansa Stark.
The first notable thing about the Crypts of Winterfell tease is that it doesn't appear to be from season 8 and all signs point to the tease being made with the sole purpose of teasing us. While we could look at the Daenerys/Sansa interaction and assess the interaction specifically with regards to that stage of season 8, the tease points to broader themes and ideas coming our way in season 8.
That snippet was like minor munchies to soothe your soul right now, while the tease set the scene for the smorgasbord of munchies you could have in time. With that in mind, GoT fans with far greater knowledge of the book and show history than me have been going nuts on the Crypts of Winterfell tease because it raises some deep narratives with huge implications.
Go watch the plethora of Youtube videos for that as I'll keep it fairly simple here. The Crypts of Winterfell have always important and we've had a few interesting scenes throughout GoT beneath Winterfell. For casual GoT watchers, the key idea from the tease is that there is far more to the crypts than appears from a 'surface' level.
Whether it's the crypts covering a larger area than the actual castle, far larger than the area explored in the show thus far, or the reason why the crypts were built or where the name 'Winterfell' (the place where winter fell); there is no ideas to explore with regards to Winterfell and the magic, hmm, within Winterfell. Again, much smarter people than myself provide all that background information for show watchers and all of this is kinda reflected in the tease as we are told that the Crypts of Winterfell are excessively funky.
More basic ideas from the teaser start with the Jon, Sansa and Arya being together, looking at their tombs that are ready for their deaths ... without Bran. These three look strong together, a pack of wolves and even as Jon and Arya draw their weapons late in the tease, Sansa still looks powerful without a weapon. The mere image of these three together, reflecting what they’ve been through and where those paths have led them, is lovely.
The feather that is overcome with chills is a throwback to when Robert Baratheon placed it on Lyanna Stark's tomb way back in episode tahi. We also saw it later in the series when Sansa picked it up and the tease and much like the snippet we recently saw that throwback the Baratheon/Lannister arrival in Winterfell, we get another strong reminder of earlier events.
This feather, along with the three of voiceovers are also linked to Jon's lineage.
When Jon walks past Lyanna's statue we get a quote from Lyanna: "You have to protect him"
When Sansa walks past Catelyn's statue, a quote from Catelyn: "All this horror that's come to my family is all because I couldn't love a motherless child".
When Jon walks past Ned's statue, a quote from Ned: " You are a Stark. You might not have my name; you have my blood".
We all know what these quotes and the image of the feather means, so know need to go hundies on this.
What does intrigue me though is how the ideas of Jon's parentage and bloodlines, are woven into the icey mist that enters the underground passages. The themes of Winter's arrival and Jon's lineage both feature in this tease, blending in and out of each other's path as the tease rolls on.
This may be a case of what GoT has done so well, best seen in the politics of Westeros vs Winter's arrival and then scattered throughout all of GoT in minor plot lines. In just over a minute, the tease sets the scene for two major plot lines in a location that either adds another major idea into the mix that we haven't really explored yet, while the location also brings it all together.
Bringing it all together may not just be a slick production move though. This may be more a case of foreshadowing what we're all so giddy about with season 8 as Jon's lineage, the history of Winterfell's crypts and ol' mate Night Kings arrival finally blending together.
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Peace and love 27.