If you had to make a list of Game of Thrones characters you feel are safest from kicking the bucket in the upcoming season seven, you’d put Jon Snow pretty high up that list. Maybe even at the top.
Right now, Jon is the closest we have to a ‘main character’ in a show that has never really had one before. He’s the moral heart of Game of Thrones, the man who has always taken the imminent threat of the White Walkers seriously, and could well be the prince that was promised – Azor Ahai reborn to save Westeros from the walking dead once again.
Not to mention the fact that he’s already died once. Surely killing him off twice is going a bit overboard?
But then you remember this is Game of Thrones, a show that has made its living out of shocking us to our core; making us scream out at the television and fucking with everything we thought we knew.
After seeing Jon stabbed to death by his fellow members of the Night’s Watch at the end of season five, season six was largely devoid of shock on that kind of scale – there were no Red Weddings. The most heartbreaking event of the season was undoubtedly the brilliantly done ‘Hold the Door’ episode which still runs fresh in our minds, even now, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a real, bona-fide key character meet a grisly end.
All of which is why the end of the brand new season seven trailer – released yesterday evening – feels more than a little worrying, at least to me.
It’s the bit right at the end that we’re talking about here, though if you’ve not seen the whole trailer yet then definitely don’t skip it – it’s packed with a whole bunch of interesting details I’ll get to a little later.
The trailer ends with a monologue from Sansa over the top of footage of Jon. We see him riding a horse through snowy terrain, quite possible north of The Wall, before he chops down what looks like a Wildling – odd, since they’re supposed to be on the same side now.
Sansa’s speech goes: “When the snows falls, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
And the final shot we see is Jon, alone, with his back to us, facing up to a fiery battle scene.
So what we’re worried about here is: is Jon that lone wolf? The one that dies? The imagery certainly suggests that could be the case, and being a Stark and all, the metaphor fits too, though of course the trailer may well just be toying with us; making us fear for the life of our hero.
What Sansa’s words may also be suggesting is the need for everyone to band together against the common enemy this season – there can be no ‘lone wolves’ hungry for power, because they will end up dead. What we need is a strong ‘pack’ who can prevail.
But then why is Jon fighting Wildlings? That doesn’t seem very pack-like. Will there be some sort of rebellion? Or has Jon gone rogue?
A few other interesting bits to point out from this new trailer – from the picture above we can be pretty sure Bran and Meera have reached The Wall. You can just make them out there in front of the gate. We also seem him warg into a raven later in the clip.
There’s confirmation of Danerys making herself at home at Dragonstone – the ancestral dwelling of House Targaryen before it was robbed from them by the Baratheons – and also what definitely looks like her attack on Lannister stronghold Casterly Rock. We get clips of Unsullied battling Lannister forces – including Jaime – there.
We also see Euron’s ship Silence heading for King’s Landing, a constantly worried-looking Tyrion, and the White Walkers in battle. Oh, and here’s Beric Dondarrion with a flaming sword, which is just cool, isn’t it.
Anyway, there’s only 25 days to wait until the real thing now! We’re almost there! You officially have permission to get hype.