Going into this weekend, Game Of Thrones fans everywhere were excited. Rumor had it that HBO would at last unveil the official trailer for their fantasy epic’s long-awaited final season. Although Thrones is set to return in mere weeks — that April 14 premiere is days away at this point — there has been a real lack of actual promotional footage of Thrones season 8 out there. The trailer, expected to arrive before the True Detective 2019 finale, was supposed to change all of that.
Well, HBO did drop a trailer on Sunday, February 24. It’s just not what anyone expected — for more than one reason.
The obvious twist of HBO’s pre-True Detective preview, titled “It All Starts Here,” is that it isn’t exactly a Game Of Thrones trailer at all. Instead, like the commercial that debuted during the Golden Globes, the trailer teases all of the premium network’s upcoming 2019 content and merely features a few quick shots from Thrones season 8. After teasing Euphoria, the Deadwood revival, and a number of other projects, we see what appears to be Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) troops on the march somewhere as one of her two remaining dragons fly above them. Then we see Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) looking up at something at Winterfell; it’s a moment fans have already seen in the Thrones photo release from earlier this month (and only increases the likelihood she might be responding to a dragon sighting).
After turning its attention back to other upcoming HBO series — hello, Chernobyl — the 2019 tease then closes with a series of thrilling pieces of Thrones footage. There are shots of the Night King (Vladimir Furdik), Dany, her bae-nephew Jon Snow (Kit Harington), more dragons, and The Wall. Considering this entire preview is about 2019 content, viewers will likely assume these are more intense glimpses of season 8 and Team Targaryen’s looming war with the White Walkers.
Unfortunately, that isn’t entirely the case.
At least two pieces of this montage come from season 7 of Thrones. As an obsessive rewatch proves, the trailer’s look at the Night King preparing to throw a giant ice spear isn’t proof he’ll be tossing another one in season 8. Instead, the shot is directly pulled from “Beyond The Wall,” when he infamously kills Viserion. Then the final shot of the preview, which shows the Wall falling and ice Viserion flying away from it, is also one of the final shots of season 7 finale “The Dragon And The Wolf.” It’s unclear if any of the other teaser-closing scenes are actually from season 8 (although the shot of Dany is reminiscent of her “Beyond” look, down to the outfit and hair).
So if you’re looking for a Game Of Thrones trailer unquestionably chock-full of actual new season 8 footage and spoilers, you’re going to have to keep waiting.