LOS ANGELES (WASHINGTON POST) - It's been a minute since we visited Westeros, but we'll all be riding our dragons back to the Seven Kingdoms on April 14, when the HBO show returns for its final season. The first full-length trailer dropped on Tuesday (March 5) - following an ominous (and revealing?) teaser in January - and it might have even the most ardent of fans asking a few questions.
So let's do a little service journalism and see if we can't address them.
Here are the most exciting head-scratchers from the new trailer.
Oh yeah, spoilers for all seven seasons abound, obviously.
So are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen just, like, a couple now? (And how should we feel about that?)
Last season represented a shift from gratuitous sex scenes (these people had a lot of conversations in brothels) to those highlighting romantic and emotional connections between characters. There was Grey Worm and Missandei bonding despite the former lacking some important physical equipment. (The pair, we should note, still seem to be together: Missandei grabs Grey Worm and passionately kisses him in the trailer.)
Then there was the series' most anticipated sex scene: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, two unlikely leaders, finding solace in and admiration for each other. It was a beautiful, touching, erotic and romantic scene.
Only one small issue, as viewers know even if the characters don't: Daenerys is Jon's aunt. Remember, Jon Snow is the (secret) child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. That also means that Jon is an heir to the Iron Throne (which, as the show's title suggests, is a pretty big deal).
While the new trailer doesn't outright show that the aunt-nephew couple (not even the skeeviest relationship on the incest-filled show) are still together, it certainly hints at it. Jon, clad in black, and Daenerys, in white, appear together three times - once marching with their armies, once approaching the remaining dragons and once with her looking at him with great concern in her eyes - and let's just say most friends (or relatives) don't walk that closely together.
Which is sweet? Or creepy? We're not really sure how to feel. All we know is it seems they remain ignorant to the true nature of their relationship.
So, does that mean Samwell Tarly and Bran Stark have kept their mouths shut?
At least two main characters do know the secret bond shared by Jon and Daenerys. Bran Stark can secretly shift through time like a temporal peeping Tom, and he learnt this info on one of his trips through the past.
Samwell Tarly learnt it a tougher way: After cleaning chamber pots for the monks at the Citadel (a scene we'd all like to scrub from the ol' memory banks), he stumbled upon the information - but didn't even realise it at the time. It was only after quitting the crappy gig and heading to Winterfell that he ran into Bran and got the scoop.
The two, both of whom should probably be rushing to Jon Snow with this juicy gossip, are... where? Hard to say. Their only appearance in the trailer has a coat-wearing Bran staring straight ahead (as he does) and Sam seeing his own breath, suggesting they're somewhere cold. The wall? Still in Winterfell? Impossible to say, but it seems they haven't yet delivered their message.
Who is Arya Stark running from? And who is she about to kill?
You might remember that little Arya Stark is now a deadly assassin who carries around a bag of faces that allow her to turn into anyone she wants. At the end of last season, she (finally) slit the throat of one Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, for generally being a manipulative jerk. She then teamed up with her sister Sansa Stark, they had a deep conversation about their pasts and here we are.
The trailer shows Arya in a bit of distress, however. It opens with her panting, sweaty and maybe covered in some blood splatter. She then runs wildly down a hall while giving a voice-over: "I know death. He's got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one."
Then the trailer cuts to an unsweaty, unpanting and unblood-splattered Arya brandishing a dagger at... someone. She carries around a kill list that includes a lot of names, such as Cersei Lannister. But who she's about to stab (if she's actually about to stab anyone) is anyone's guess.
Wait, where's Tyrion?
Remember Tyrion? He's the funny one with a gift for banter, and he's always done a good job adding comic relief to a show that can become so darkly overbearing it borders on silly. So it's a bit of a shame that he doesn't make more of an appearance in the trailer.
He spent much of last season trying to convince his twin siblings that the White Walkers are a threat to all humanity. Then he witnessed Jon and Daenerys close the door to her cabin on a ship headed to the White Harbour.
So, where is he now? Standing outside somewhere and looking up, maybe at a rainbow, maybe at a dragon, maybe at a particularly interesting cloud. That's about all the trailer gives away, which makes us even more curious.
Speaking of the Lannisters, what's up with Jaime and Cersei?
All which brings us to our first creepiest couple, sibling-lovers Jaime and Cersei Lannister. As with most troubled, long-term couples, there's a lot to unpack here - more than we've got time for. The main thing to remember is Cersei, pregnant with Jaime's child, sits on the Iron Throne.
Last season, Cersei tried doing everything in her power to maintain the throne, including ignoring that a bunch of frozen zombies are on their way to kill everyone in the Seven Kingdoms. Jaime tries to convince her that the White Walkers are a true threat, but she doesn't care. Instead, she essentially disowns Jaime (after nearly killing him).
It seems that dynamic remains in play here. The two aren't shown together in the trailer, but we do see Jaime saying, "I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise."
It's unclear who he's speaking to, but it's a fair bet that Cersei probably isn't too thrilled with her twin brother (ie, her baby daddy).
Speaking of Cersei, has all of this led to a moment of self-reflection which caused her to quit drinking?
Lololololol, what a dumb question. The answer is obviously no. Some things never change, even in Westeros.