As we prepare for the final episode of Game of Thrones, the mind reels at everything the writers need to wrap up — but also how little there is, too. That’s why the trailer for season 8, episode 6 teases minimal amounts of footage while maximizing dread. The battle is over, but the war continues.
[Ed note: This post contains spoilers for season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones.]
The final trailer, shown after the fiery fifth episode “The Bells,” only contains eight measly shots. But it’s enough for us to see what we already assumed: King’s Landing is barely standing. What first looks like fluttering snowflakes hitting the ground is actually ash, created by Daenerys’ merciless, wanton destruction of the city from Drogon’s back.
Only three characters appear in the trailer. A disheveled Tyrion walks through the wreckage, with a lot weighing on him. His gambit from the previous episode — using Jaime to convince Cersei to surrender — failed miserably after Dany took it upon herself to raze the city, even after its soldiers looked ready to bend the knee. He’ll likely have to face Dany’s new unbridled rage, after she promised that his next mistake would be his final one.
Then there’s Arya, watching among the Unsullied troops. While we last saw her escaping King’s Landing on a mysterious white horse, she hasn’t gone far. Arya has survived horrific things through the show, but her keen sense of justice makes us wonder if Daenerys’ name has been added to her newly purged list, and in large bold type.
Those remaining troops are standing row after row on the wintery, white ash. The final shot of this trailer focuses on Daenerys herself. She finally has what she wants, but it seems likely that it will come with some price. Even when Game of Thrones makes its heroes out to be villains, it doesn’t let them live long enough with the spoils. Are we seeing a foreshadowed rebalancing of the scales, with Arya exacting the God of Death’s price?
We’ll see what happens to these three characters, and the few other survivors left alive in Westeros, when Game of Thrones’ final episode (all 80 minutes of it) airs next Sunday night.