The Hidden Horrors of the Game of Thrones Aftermath Trailer

The new teaser is heavy on dread and bad news.

The Stark banner

The question all over the Internet is, is this eerie post-apocalyptic teaser an actual scene from the show?

It’s possible that the sequence was shot specifically for the trailer, but I don’t think so. This footage is actually the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell, with some extra dread thrown in.

While it shouldn’t be taken literally, the shots of belongings strewn over the seemingly empty stronghold are conveying a strong message, just not the obvious one. The owners of those belongings won’t all perish during the battle, but the meaning of those artifacts is now irrelevant.

Clearly, the Battle of Winterfell will be lost, and most of the North with it.

That fact has been clear since the first teaser for season 8 — remember the map table? The frost moves south until it covers almost half the continent. That wasn’t for effect. That’s what’s going to happen.

What this slow take around the devastated Winterfell tells us clearly is only partly metaphor.

Winterfell is destroyed and beaten. The loss at Winterfell will be so epic that not only will hundreds die, so will the status quo. Look at what’s left behind.

The Battle of Winterfell will be a game-changer. There will be a surprise element during the battle that will change everything; the North will go from fight to flight.

The living will drop everything and run for their lives.

Battle of Winterfell aftermath
Why are untouched weapons left behind?

What will happen? Im not sure that it will be just one thing. Maybe another dragon is lost, or the Stark dead rise or something worse. One thing is clear. The North is gone.

Each of the items left behind is a prized possession to its owner, and each was a gift (except for Dany’s chain). Needle is Arya’s beloved first sword, given to her by the brother she loves most. It’s the sword she learned to fight with, and it has been with her throughout her journey.

Jaime’s gold hand represents the how much he has changed from the privileged arrogant young soldier we first met. It also represents his family and wealth. And it was a gift his sister.

Daenery’s dragon chain has no back story except that she has worn it ever since she landed in Westeros. It represents her lineage and her power, and her claim to the throne. It also carries her sigil.

Did this fall out of the sky after Drogon was injured?
Did this fall out of the sky after Drogon was injured?

Bran’s wheelchair was a gift (of sorts) from Tyrion Lannister, who designed it for him in season 1. It’s his only means of getting around.

Longclaw is Jon Snow’s sword, given to him twice. By Jeor and then Jorah Mormont. It has been with him all through his journey as well. Why in the world would Jon Snow leave Longclaw behind? Sure maybe he died (but I doubt it), but perhaps he now has a greater weapon than Valyrian steel. A dragon? Lightbringer?

Or maybe Valyrian steel no longer works against the dead.

Longclaw is also stained with blood. Wights don’t have blood. Do the White Walkers? Doubtful. So who’s blood is this? Who would Jon have to cut down in the middle of a battle against the dead? Or did someone use it against him?

Arya would only leave needle behind because she died or she had no time to get it.

Arya is in this room, un conscious. A previous shot in yhe trailer with the same wundow is from her point of view.

Besides, it’s useless against the wights. She has Cat’s Paw and the Dragonglass dagger she had in the previous trailer. Needle’s value is purely sentimental at this point, and there’s no time for sentiment.

Lyanna’s feather had been with her statue had that feather down in the crypts. Not only is it out of the crypts, it’s floating down from the battlements. Why? Who would carry that feather from the crypts to the battlements?

Lyanna's feather
Lyanna’s feather, last seen at her tomb in the crypts

Did Jon take the feather as a memento of his mother after he found out the truth about his parentage? Either way, the feather floating around outside Winterfell is chilling and tragic.

It’s crucial to pay attention to the way the items appear in this teaser. The dragon glass spears haven’t been used. Why?

Bran’s chair is overturned at the bottom of the stairs, as if he’s been tossed down the stairs, or perhaps over the battlements while in the chair. Observe the torn wood at the top of the battlement.

There’s the sound of a raven’s caw just as we see Bran’s chair. He may have warged just as he fell.

The falling feather could mean the dead (or Lyanna in particular) is responsible for tossing Bran over the battlements. Whether or not Bran actually dies remains to be seen.

Tyrion’s Hand of the Queen pin is carefully placed on a window ledge in the midst of all the chaos. All the other items are thrown about as if lost in actual battle or while fleeing.

Nada bueno
Why is yhere frost coming OUT of this window?

Tyrion’s pin is not thrown or lost. It is placed on the windowsill. If it was placed there by Tyrion, that’s very bad news indeed. That means he’s leaving his position and his queen in the middle of the most serious crisis any of them has ever faced. Why?

Jaime’s hand is lying in the middle of the snow, covered in blood. I think Jaime is now in the army of the dead.

Daenerys’ dragon chain hanging on the wheel is a terrible twist on her desire to “break the wheel” of endless struggle for power and constant oppression. But the audio during this shot is even more disturbing. The audio during the whole teaser is sort of an echo-y montage of the battle. Dothraki screaming, swords clashing, and just as we see Daenerys’s chain on the wheel we hear a dragon. But not a roar, more like a roar punctuated by a scream. Just like when Viseryon was killed. Could it be that Drogon is killed or injured? This would explain how Dany would lose her chain.

The other reason I think this is an actual scene or scenes from the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell is the shot of this door.

Because the camera is panning to the right, it almost escapes perception, but there it is – frames 00:16 to 00:18 – that door opening. This is an actual scene of someone – or something — coming out of hiding in the aftermath. I think it’s Arya and I think this is her coming out right before the chase in the first trailer. A wight wouldn’t hide and neither would the Night King.

Just past the open window is the door that opens.

Arya may not be the only survivor of the battle, but she’s the last one left behind. Everyone else is either undead or has fled. It’s the next morning. In the previous trailer, the scene where Arya’s being chased it’s also the morning. We can tell from the light pouring in through a small window in the background. I think that this scene if just before this chase begins.

The shot of the snow falling and a window in the distance is in the same room where we see Needle in sticking in a sack. The window is the same and the roof is torn up, letting in the falliing snow like in the previous shot. I believe the previous shot is from Arya’s perspective as she wakes up from being knocked out.

The most horrific thing about this trailer is what’s not in it. Victims. The site of a lost battle should be littered with bodies. There are no bodies in this scene. The Winterfell fallen are all now in the army of the dead.

But wait. There are no dead wights either. Winterfell has tons of dragon glass and Valyrian steel. There should be dead wights and pieces of wights strewn everywhere. There are none in this clip.

Have the White Walkers discovered how to protect themselves from dragon glass and Valyrian steel? Will they kill another dragon?

Every single thing this trailer tells us is totally horrifying.

The North will fall, and the White Walkers may have a secret weapon.

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