Game of Thrones’ Season 8 trailer gives us a pulsating reminder of what the show is all about

The well-fed dragons of the Targaryens look on as their riders approach.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement / Screengrab

To fans of Emmy-winning HBO series Game of Thrones, the gap between August 2017 and now will have seemed more interminable than even the time it has taken for Winter to arrive in Westeros. But, arrived it has. With the icy certainty of a pair of decayed hooves.

Not that fans need to be told to mark the date — but April 14 will kick off a six-episode extravaganza that will allegedly include the longest action/battle sequence in cinema history and last till May 19.

True to form, the trailer for the final season of GoT is an impressive montage of cinematically grand visuals, voiced over by key characters delivering pithy one-liners, that give precious little away plot-wise while serving as a pulsating reminder of what’s at stake for the characters and their world, more a recap of where the last season left off, a harbinger of the impending drama.

From the way the trailer is edited, you can tell that the showrunners at GoT aren’t growing any less fond of ‘maximum-impact juxtaposition’. Remorseless assassin Arya Stark pants with dread writ large on her blood-caked sweat-soaked face, before bolting through a dim underground corridor with darkness in pursuit, while her own words, “I know death. He’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one,” seem to mock her even as the many-faced regal Varys huddles with commoners.

The battle is between the living and the dead, the feeling and the unfeeling, and the eternal tussle between light and dark is made part of the trailer’s chiaroscuro. “They're coming. Our enemy doesn’t tire, doesn’t stop, doesn’t feel,” asserts Jon Snow’s determined voice, as we see eunuch Grey Worm and definitely-heterosexual Missandei lock themselves in a heartfelt embrace, and the smug grin that seems to be permanently plastered on the relentlessly strategic Cersei Lannister’s face falters and flickers into a pained sob. Maybe the Westerosi Queen isn’t dead inside after all.

It’s time to feel an adrenalin rush when you see the righteous Jaime Lannister (“I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise.”) bellowing a visceral scream into the fiery battle-filled night. It’s time to feel bittersweet when you see two Targaryens march into a tense Winterfell, home to neither of them, as Brandon Stark drones, “Everything you did brought you here where you are now, where you belong — home.” It’s time to feel a frisson of relief when you see that Beric Dondarrion and Tormund Giantsbane didn’t perish prematurely during the Wall-crash, after all.

Not much else is new.

The Golden Company, an army of mercenaries, is on its way to join the fray. Gendry, the smithing son of a former King, is busy in his foundry, likely forging an arsenal of dragon-glass-fortified weaponry. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen still seem blissfully unaware of the incestuousness of their relationship. The dragons are still looking stunning as they swoop over the landscapes of Westeros and treat its fauna as items on an all-you-can-eat buffet. The Unsullied army, the living equivalent of the insensate Undead, is still marching in perfect cornrows. Sansa Stark is still managing to look every bit the female protégé of the expressionless Littlefinger. Ser Jorah Mormont’s still got his hard-eyed weatherbeaten expression down. Arya’s still got her twirling sword-swinging moves. And, though his appearance in the trailer was minimal, Tyrion Lannister is still too short to look at anything without an upturned look of dismay.