From Sigils to falling Snow, what does the new Game of Thrones trailer mean?

Will Lady Lyanna Mormont rise and rise? Is it all over for Westeros? "Sigils" hints at some answers.

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Last night, a date announcement trailer was released for the seventh and penultimate season of Game of Thrones. Called “sigils”, it includes visual representations of the heraldry of each house. We see dragons (Targaryen) and a lion (Lannister) attacking a deer (Baratheon), a direwolf (Stark), a bear (Mormont), the snaking thorny stems and the flower of a rose (Tyrell), all locked in a fierce battle. A cloud of wildfire blooms and dies (a reference to the explosive season six finale). Then snow (or ash?) starts to fall, and they all crumble to dust. We see a swirl on the ground, and it zooms out to reveal a blue eye.

Meanwhile, we hear old dialogue from different characters bigging up their own houses and legacies, and trashing each other. Daenerys says some shit about how the battle between the houses is an endless wheel that only hurts the people at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

The dust has settled since the trailer was first released – so what might you have missed?

Who is Jon Snow talking to?

Then – new dialogue from the upcoming season! We hear Jon Snow say, “The same thing is coming for all of us. There is only one war that matters. The great war. And it is here.” (Some people think those final lines sound more like Davos, but I’m firmly in the Jon camp.) Could this dialogue be from a meeting between Jon and Daenerys, as he tries to persuade her to join his fight?

There are ambiguous visual metaphors.

The crumbling of the sigils suggests that the power battles and traditional hierarchies of The Game of Thrones universe will soon be disintegrated by a larger foe. But what causes it? If those falling particles are ash, then it seems like the wildfire is to blame – suggesting that Cersei’s act of terrorism in season six has destroyed any chance of the houses working together against the White Walkers, thus ensuring their destruction. But could it be snow? What would that mean – that the winter brought on by the White Walkers could never be defeated? Or is it a reference to another kind of Snow?

The bear sigil takes on a more prominent role

Wil House Mormont get more attention in these later seasons? If so will it be thanks to Jorah Mormont or kickass child and fan favourite Lady Lyanna Mormont? The last seasons saw more and more young female characters (Sansa, Arya, Daenerys) finding their feet and more power in a show where they were primarily victims. Hopefully Lyanna will follow in their footsteps and gain momentum over the next two seasons.

Think that’s stone? It could be Dragonglass

So we clearly can see that the house sigils are representative of all the different houses we’ve come to know and love (and/or hate). And their cracking and crumbling seems to hint that the whole concept of power the houses have been squabbling over could fall to rubble when confronted by a new enemy - the White Walkers. But the material looks a lot like dragonglass – which viewers have so far seen to be the only fool-proof way of destroying a White Walker, the only hope for human survival. Dragonglass - which is used to make weapons which can defeat the White Walkers - crumbling in the face of ice is not a good sign. Is this hinting at the end of Westeros as we know it?

That spiral is growing in significance

As Heavy notes, The White Walkers were first created by the Children of the Forest at a great tree framed by stones in the same swirling pattern. White Walkers sometimes put bodies of their victims into a similar swirl pattern.

Dragon or walker?

The blue eye at the end of the still is assumed to be that of a White Walker – but it also looks like a dragon’s eye, too. The series often draws distinctions and parallels between ice (the North, Jon Snow, the Walkers) and fire (Daenerys, dragons, wildfire) – but the similarities here are a little unnerving. Were the White Walkers made, as many fans speculate, by stabbing humans with dragonglass? And if dragonglass is the only blade that can pierce them, is dragon fire the only fire that can burn them?

Anna Leszkiewicz is culture editor of the New Statesman.