In these weeks leading up to premiere of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, fans have been throwing out theories left and right. The showrunners, cast and anyone else involved in making the series have been very good at teasing the events of the season without actually giving anything away, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen and how.
However, thanks to recently released promotional photos, we may have a better idea of what we can expect, especially when viewed in the contest of everything we’ve seen over the past seven seasons. One promotional image in particular, showing Jaime sporting a slightly different haircut as well as a new set of armor, may provide several answers while hinting at least one of the epic battles D.B Weiss and David Benioff promise will dwarf Season 6’s Battle of the Bastards.
The armor Jaime is wearing in the image bears a striking resemblance to Stark armor, and not just because of its dark color. The gorget and pauldrons (that’s the neck and shoulder pieces, respectively, in layman’s terms) in particular seem to be taken directly from Robb Stark’s armor, the only difference being the padding beneath it all.
It makes sense, given the end of Jaime’s journey in Season 7. To his disbelief, even after discovering that there was indeed an army heading south from Beyond the Wall, Cercei refused to aid Dany and Jon Snow, instead acting to secure the Iron Throne for what was left of House Lannister. Upon discovering her plans to betray their allies, an honor-bound Jaime boldly abandoned Cercei to her futile machinations and headed North as he had vowed to do.
From earlier teasers, we know that Daenerys and Jon Snow will arrive at Winterfell together, the first place the Night King’s army will attack. It’s no coincidence, then, that everyone we know of with a Valyrian steel weapon is now seemingly gathered at Winterfell. Brienne is armed with Oathkeeper, Arya with the dagger, Jon Snow with Longclaw, Sam with his stolen Heartsbane and now, finally, Jaime with Widow’s Wail, which he inherited from his deceased son/nephew, Joffrey.
Valyrian steel was revealed in “Hardhome” (directed by Miguel Sapochnik) to be similar to Dragonglass in that they are both capable of completely destroying the seemingly invincible White Walkers. Luckily for humanity, these rare weapons have been handed out slowly over time, subtly setting the stage for an epic confrontation with the Night King, who was last seen flying into Westeros from Beyond the Wall atop an undead dragon.
All that having been said, nothing is certain, especially when it comes to Game of Thrones. We can’t forget that since 2017, a King’s Landing set has been gradually burned. A dragon rig had also been sighted in the area, so it’s likely Season 8 will see Daenerys break the wheel she and Tyrion talked about by destroying the current seat of power. When, exactly, that will take place respective of the battle against the Night King is uncertain, though it’s likely to occur afterwards, near if not in the final episode of the series.
If the last couple of seasons have taught us anything, it’s that Game of Thrones has become incredibly well-equipped and creative in its presentation of medieval and fantasy warfare. We’ve had epic fight scenes like the previously mentioned Battle of the Bastards and the spectacular Battle of the Goldroad, during which Jaime first witnessed the power of a dragon for himself. There’s little doubt that the showrunners aren’t exaggerating when talking about the scope of the battles to come, and that whatever we see will be unlike any television war we’ve seen before; a fitting way to end an epic fantasy series.