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Drilling down on that “exclusive articles” thing for a minute, we were intrigued along with the rest of the world when HBO dropped the first (and only?) trailer for the final season of Game of Thrones on us last week. Right at the top of that trailer, we see Arya running scared for her life down a darkened corridor in Winterfell pursued by an unseen assailant (or assailants). It’s an usual look for the show (and for Arya), which has dabbled in horror imagery but rarely been so explicit. It got us thinking about how Game of Thrones has drawn from horror cinema before, and whether it might be amping things up for the final episodes.
Here’s an excerpt:
Of note here is that Arya looks freaking terrified. Look at her body language. She’s not moving with the precise movements and placid expression of a Faceless Man; her arms are waving wildly, her face is awash in fear and she keeps looking frantically over her shoulder. And I’m sure all that is perfectly appropriate for whatever horrible situation she’s in, but it just seems so…un-Arya. And the editors know this. They juxtapose Arya’s wild run with a rock steady speech she gives some time beforehand. “I know Death,” she says, cool and collected, “he’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one.” And we end this snippet with a look at a steely-eyed Arya hefting a dragonglass dagger, eager for a chance to use it. At some point between that speech and her run down the hallway, Arya will go from the person to fear to the one afraid.
I think it’s significant that this is how HBO chose to pull the curtain up on season 8. Compare it to the first trailer for season 7, which opened with Cersei Lannister contemplating her many enemies. And indeed, that season was largely about maneuvering players around the board, breaking and forging alliances, and preparing for the final conflict to come. The first trailer for season 8 opens with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Westeros style. What are we to take from this?
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