HBO released its first teaser trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, and things are looking pretty grim for House Stark.
HBO’s new teaser for Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season takes place in the Crypts of Winterfell, and it hints at some possible new additions to House Stark’s final resting place.
You can watch the new teaser here:
The teaser opens with Jon Snow entering the crypts of Winterfell. He passes the statue of Lyanna Stark, a character revealed to be his mother at the end of the seventh season. As he passes her, we get a voiceover of her telling Ned, “You have to protect him.”
Following that, Sansa enters the crypts. She passes Catelyn Stark’s statue, as does Arya not long after. As Sansa passes her mother’s sculpture, we get a voiceover from Catelyn, taken from a conversation she had with Talisa during season 3.
“All the horrors my family have suffered,” Catelyn says. “It’s all because I couldn’t love a motherless child.”
After Arya enters the crypts, we also get a shot of Jon glancing at Ned’s resting place. Our final voiceover is from Ned, echoing his last word’s to Jon from the show’s first season: “You are a Stark. You may not have my name, but you have my blood.”
All three quotes are obviously intended to highlight Jon’s true parentage, which makes him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. This will likely play a major role in the final season of the series, especially once Jon discovers Ned’s secret.
The teaser then has the three Starks meet inside of the crypts, venturing further into its depths. They stop when they reach new statues. It soon becomes clear that these are replicas of the three of them, marking their own tombs.
As they stare at themselves, Jon’s torch suddenly goes out and ice begins to coat the ground outside. The icy mist that heralds the arrival of White Walkers enters the crypt. Jon and Arya draw their swords, but the teaser ends on the mist surrounding the three Stark children.
We know from the past that teaser trailers like this aren’t necessarily canon, and it’s unlikely that this one shows actual footage from the eighth season. HBO released a similar teaser for the sixth season, one that showed all of our favorite characters in the Wall of Faces at the House of Black and White.
But even if this trailer is only intended to have a metaphorical meaning, it’s a worrisome moment for the Starks. The statues of themselves imply that Jon, Sansa, and Arya will be the next deceased Starks to join their relatives in the crypts. And given that the Night King is headed their way — on the back of Dany’s dragon — it’s not a stretch to think the three of them might not make it to the series finale.
The callbacks to Lyanna, Catelyn, and Ned only further this interpretation. These three characters have already perished, either earlier in the series or, in Lyanna’s case, before the show even began. This teaser suggests that their children could follow in their footsteps, much to fans’ dismay.
There’s also the question of Bran Stark. As many fans have pointed out since the trailer’s release, Bran is missing from the clip—but his absence could be explained in a few ways. For starters, Bran doesn’t believe himself to be a Stark anymore. He tells Sansa as much during the seventh season, when she suggests that he’s the rightful heir to Winterfell.
The fact that Bran is the three-eyed raven could definitely be why Bran isn’t in the crypts with his siblings. He’s no longer a Stark, and fans have even begin to question whether Bran is fully human at this point.
But some fans are suggesting a more sinister reason behind Bran’s absence. After all, there is a longtime theory that Bran Stark might actually be the Night King—meaning that he does enter the crypts, but as the cold (and thus, the enemy) instead of as one of the Stark children.
We’d like to think the series won’t pin the Stark kids against one another, but Game of Thrones has been known to do some pretty brutal things before. We’ll have to wait to find out if the events of this teaser come to fruition, but most fans will be crossing their fingers that they don’t.
On a brighter note, thanks to this teaser, we also have an official premiere date for the last season of Game of Thrones. The series will return on April 14. And if this teaser is meant to set the tone for what’s to come, it looks like fans are in for a wild ending.