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Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 trailer is just pure terror

‘The dead are already here’

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Game of Thrones’ final season is going to great lengths (two hours, to be exact) to spotlight each character, give them a warm hug, then position for the battle of a lifetime. Season 8, episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” raised serious questions as characters said their goodbyes. Episode 3, based on HBO’s preview for the one-hour-22-minute throwdown, should deliver a few bloody answers.

What should you expect from the White Walkers’ march against mankind and the dragonglass-filled Battle of Winterfell? Let’s take a microscope to this short teaser.

[Ed. note: this post contains mild spoilers for Game of Thrones through season 8, episode 2.]

First up, we get a look at the Westerosi battalions, the meager catapult setups, and a bunch of pony butts. Helm’s Deep this is not. The war will be shaggy, and not the powerful kind.

game of thrones season 8 episode 3 - battle of winterfell HBO

I am very worried about Grey Worm in the here’s-who-could-die-when-there’s-still-three-episodes-left hierarchy. But he’s done his time, found his personhood, and made a love connection with Missandei, so maybe George R.R. Martin is capable of one happy ending.

grey worm - game of thrones HBO

Dany and Jon stand above the action staring at ... something on fire. Something with fire? There’s fire on the ground. The lights look less like wild blaze than organized torch-setting ... but are we seeing Winterfell or something adjacent? Could these be the pits hinted at in the opening sequence, or a plan gone awry? In true Game of Thrones trailer fashion, everything’s too dark to tell what’s truly going on. But it’s ominous.

game of thrones jon and dany season 8 HBO

The battle against the White Walkers will give a whole new meaning to “cold war.” What is staring down Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen in this frame? Do you think it’s 100 duck-sized White Walkers, or one White Walker-sized duck?

jon snow cold war - game of thrones HBO

Varys hides away with the women and children in the crypt. He doesn’t need a little bird to tell him what’s up: They’re coooommiiiiing. I’m sure a prophecy that predicts his death on Westerosi soil doesn’t help in times like these.

varys in crypts - game of thrones season 8 HBO

Beric and The Hound: two men who have lived long past their expected expiration dates. Shrouded in darkness, the Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 trailer does not tease another obvious victory for the two fighters. Gulp.

the hound and beric - game of thrones season 8 episode 3 HBO

Without an icy blue eye, we have to guess this is Rhaegal being ridden into foggy battle by Jon Snow.

dragon HBO

Theon Greyjoy is a lot like Pete Campbell from Mad Men when you think about it. Except Pete got to reinvent himself and settle down in the burbs. After reuniting with Sansa and proving his worth, there’s a strong chance Theon won’t be doing the same after the Battle of Winterfell. (Unless becoming a wight is the 1970s equivalent of moving your family to Wichita.)

theon in game of thrones season 8 episode 3 HBO

Do not kill newly minted knight Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones. We’re warning you. Don’t do it. There’s ferocious energy packed into this final beat of the trailer. Brienne will go all-out, no doubt. But don’t kill her, TV show. Don’t do it. We need Brienne.

brienne of tarth HBO

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