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‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 trailer full of darkness, gloom

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Characters take a long and ominous walk in this latest trailer for "Game of Thrones," which returns for season 7 on July 16. (Credit: HBO)

The second trailer for the seventh season of “Game of Thrones” arrived Thursday full of darkness, gloom, foreboding and one cold blue eye.

If we didn’t get the idea already, we do now: Season 7 (arriving July 16) looks brutal, or brutally cold.

Here are some stray observations:

As has already been widely reported, the tracking song is “Sit Down,” by the English band James, released in 1989. A lyric sampling: “Those who feel the breath of sadness / Sit down next to me / Those who find they’re touched by madness / Sit down next to me / Those who find themselves ridiculous / Sit down next to me / In love, in fear, in hate, in tears.” (It’s amazing: almost as if an old hit was written with the seventh season in mind, or at least the seventh’s second trailer.)

The trailer is entitled “Long Walk” and — with the pervasive darkness and guttering, then extinguished, candles — certainly seems to suggest “The Long Night.” That mythical winter, as fans are aware, took place far back in the mists of time, long predating the Targaryen madness, when an interminable winter settled over Westeros. According to myth, that’s when the White Walkers first swept south, and a terrible war (“The War for the Dawn”) ensued. Because “GoT” trailers are thematically connected, this one is linked to the first one of a month ago, entitled “The Great War.” Again, we’re talking foreshadowing here, but both trailers taken together seem to indicate that old philosophical chestnut — those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it. The second long night looms, the second great war, too.

In the trailer, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) are each seen ascending thrones. Those appear to be in Winterfell, the Red Keep and Dragonstone, respectively. Winterfell’s the seat of the North, home of House Stark — Jon’s already been named king there. Red Keep is where the Great Hall is, and the Iron Throne. Cersei already crowned herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms — so again, this is a glance back. Finally Dragonstone: This is the most intriguing sequence of the trailer. Why Dragonstone? Well, dragons, first of all. On an island at the head of Blackwater Bay, Dragonstone is pretty much a theme castle and the theme is in the name. Everything is in the shape of a dragon, even the castle itself. (Charming, no doubt. But dated.) Dany was born there — that much is known — and she was once the Princess of Dragonstone. But why return? She couldn’t have been that fond of Dragonstone (cold, drafty, bad plumbing). Surely her ultimate goal — also Jon’s — is that throne that Cersei is sitting on, correct?

More foreshadowing. More foreboding.

Finally, when Cersei exhales, a frosty mist fills the screen.

A reference to the forthcoming winter? A premonition of her own mortality? A sly foreshadowing or perhaps inversion of that which will seal her fate — notably the hot breath of a dragon?

It closes this nice trailer, and only the eye knows — that deep blue reptilian eye of presumably the Night's King — and only the eye sees all.

Eyes and seeing: Vision is perhaps the most important theme of all in “Game of Thrones” -- also  foresight -- and it's vitally important in these trailers too.

With that, I think I’ll go back and have another look.


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