What Do The New Game of Thrones Opening Credits Mean?

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
It finally happened. The moment we've all been waiting for arrived and Game of Thrones is back after nearly two years, and some of that time was spent animating a new intro for Game of Thrones Season 8. While the familiar theme song still plays (it’s forever a bop) and the camera still zooms over a map with important buildings and locations (old and new) that are integral to the seasons' plot popping up, there were not just several new spots edited into the previous seasons' intros. For season 8, the opening credits are completely and totally new. Not only that, but the details that the creators added in could even be considered hints for how Game of Thrones may end. Here's what we're thinking:
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The Wall Has A Big Ol' Hole & Winter Is Here
Last season The Night King burned a hole in The Wall with his re-animated ice dragon Viserion. In the intro, the broken wall is featured at the start of the theme. There’s also animated ice shown advancing past the wall and into Westeros, much like the White Walker army is attempting in the show.
There's A Lot Of Focus On The Revolving Ring Blades This Time
If you recall, Sam Tarly saw a very similar device when he was studying at the Citadel. The emergence of the astrolabe within the story of Game of Thrones gave lots of credence to a popular theory that Sam is the one who survives and that the books are told from his perspective. The new credits certainly give a boost to that theory because...
The Images On The Blades Are Significant, Too
The first is of a dragon destroying what looks like a city, or perhaps a wall. An army stands nearby, so it's likely this image is recapping what happened at the end of season 7, when Ice-Viserion destroyed the wall and the Night King's army marched through the gap.
The others, however, could be hints at what's to come. One scene finds a male figure holding a wolf head with what appears to be a wolf carcass pegged to a door. This one follows directly after Winterfell is shown, so it stands to reason this metaphor is going down at the Starks'. To boot, the opposing force is a Direwolf with a fish in its mouth, so this is potentially foreshadowing the Battle of Winterfell against the White Walkers.
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The last is a bit trickier — there are what appear to be three dragons at various distances and a comet or fireball projecting in front of them. There's a ton to unpack there, as this image comes around the credits' visit to King's Landing, which currently has only dragon bones in its midst. What might bring all three dragons together, away from the North? Is the comet just fire or something else Cersei should soon fear? In short: What is going on?
The White Walkers Move Past The Last Hearth Very Quickly
There is a long stretch of wintery ground before the White Walkers reach Winterfell, but based on the shot in the credits, which shows Winterfell in the near distance as tiles turn to ice one by one (signifying the Walkers' movement), it's not going to be long before we see a clash between northerners and the icy foes.
The Winterfell Crypts Get A Focus
These lie beneath Winterfell and house the Stark family tombs. Perhaps Jon Snow’s true parentage (his mother is Lyanna Stark) will be revealed thanks to these crypts. Or maybe part of the impending battle will take place there. Either way, look for these tunnels to be important this season.
Three Dragon Skulls Are Shown In King’s Landing
During the King’s Landing portion of the map, three dragon heads are shown moments before the Iron Throne is shown. Of course, there are dragon skulls in King’s Landing already, but maybe this image was also a hint at Daenerys’ eventual rule since she famously started this journey with three dragons. It could also foreshadow the opposite, since Dany does seem to be operating with some hubris and we've learned that dragons can, in fact, be speared by Lannister allies (ahem, Bronn).
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The Iron Throne Is The Ultimate Focus
Even though this whole show has been about the game to win the throne, the iron seat didn’t actually show up in the original intro. But the throne is the final image in this intro, highlighting what the ultimate season 8 prize will be. And maybe, something else too...
The Sigil Above The Iron Throne Is Currently A Lannister One
Hanging above the throne was the Lannister sigil. Perhaps that will change if Cersei loses power? We'd bet big that viewers should keep an eye on the throne portion of the credits each week as this battle (and season 8) rages on.
Nothing in Game of Thrones is put there by accident, so yes, there are clues everywhere — including this new intro.
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