By Matthew E. Owen, Contributing Movie and TV Critic for SatelliteWerx.com
HBO has finally broken the proverbial seal on Season 7 of Game of Thrones. This past weekend, the massively popular series saw a live streaming event to reveal the release date of Season 7. Fans across the globe joined in on Facebook.com, where HBO hosted the live streaming event. Fans joined in the fun by typing in the chat, which lowered the amount of time they’d need to wait for the reveal. As viewers eagerly typed away, the live stream culminated in the premiere date of Season 7 appearing. Prepare your feasts and plans, because Game of Thrones seventh (and second to last) season will be premiering on July 16th, 2017.
Game of Thrones Season 7: Official Tease: Sigils
That’s not the only news that released this weekend. In addition to the release date, we also got our first teaser. While the teaser didn’t show any new footage or hint at anything new, it was an excellent means of hyping up fans of the show.
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The teaser is mainly compiled of voice over, pulling lines from various turning points in the series’ past. It opens with a statue of three dragons, as Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) speaks. “I know what my father was, what he did. I know the Mad King earned his name.” Quickly thereafter, we hear the King in question scream “burn them all!”. Hot on the tail of Season 6, Game of Thrones viewers are well aware of just how mad the Mad King was. Season 6 provided a great scene that included the weaponization of wildfire, the green substance that the Mad King used to murder many of his own citizens. The teaser calls to this moment later, when we are reminded that Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) has been proclaimed the Queen.
The overall theme of this teaser is the constant battle between the families of Westeros, the show’s setting. The different Houses are constantly battling for dominance, or simply their place alongside each other. Some characters wish to see the whole kingdom under a different rule, namely Daenerys. Daenerys looks to be a large focal point for Season 7, as her story has been slowly progressing towards a climax for the past few seasons. Her quest to become Queen has gained plenty of enemies, although she holds herself above them morally.
“Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell… they’re all just spokes on a wheel. This one’s on top, then that one’s on top, and on and on it spins… crushing those on the ground.” This haunting line from Daenerys reminds us that there are so many players in political battle for Westeros. Season 7 might contain quite a bit of politics, or it may not contain any at all. This all hinges on the wrath of the White Walkers.
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Ever since the first season, we’ve been aware of the absolute monstrous power of the White Walkers. These undead beasts that are nearly impossible to kill lurk beyond a great wall of ice in the north. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen them make attacks and attempt to overthrow Westeros. The final two seasons will surely contain the culmination of these attempts. If the White Walkers are successful in making their way south of the wall, all the politics in Westeros will be worthless. This is echoed as the teaser wraps up. We hear fan-favorite Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) reminding us that “there’s only one war that matters. The Great War… and it is here.” referring to the war of humans against the White Walkers.
With Game of Thrones officially ending after Season 8, I sometimes worry if HBO will be able to do the series justice in its closing. There’s so many threads and subplots that have started throughout the series, and I yearn for a satisfying closing to all of them. With Season 7 being three episode shorter than a standard season, I wonder if we’ll have enough screen time. With a massive war, huge political conversations, and the insane amount of character stories scene-by-scene, I hope they’ll be able to fit it all. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait until July 16th to find out. Season 7 is looking to return with a thunderous beginning, if the ending of Season 6 is any indication. If you haven’t watched the series yet, now’s the time to catch up. All the previous seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO’s streaming service, as well as Blu-Ray and DVD. Make some time and catch up for the beginning of the end, as Game of Thrones looks to start wrapping things up on July 16th.