Arya doing this on purpose, HBO?
On Sunday, the television network released another new clip from the final season of “Game of Thrones,” nestled in a promo for the network’s upcoming 2019 programming. The footage seemingly shows Arya (Maisie Williams) looking wide-eyed at a dragon, and doing her best impression of surprised Pikachu.
It’s a cool clip (Arya and dragons, what’s not to like?), but it’s hard not to be slightly disappointed, considering some fans were thinking a Season 8 trailer would be dropping, especially with the season finale of “True Detective” and the Oscars both airing on Sunday night.
On top of that, there’s some curious reused Season 7 footage tacked on to the end of the promo. After the teaser shows brief moments of when the Night King (spoiler alert) kills Viserion at the end of last season, this glimpse of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) eventually flashes on-screen:
Does that look familiar to anyone? Perhaps a little bit like this?
In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Bran isn’t the only kid in the Stark family who can warg, aka take over another creature’s mind (as he does above with Hodor). In fact, most of the kids seem to have some degree of this ability with their direwolves, including our King in the North, Jon Snow.
In the novels, it’s not yet revealed that Jon Snow comes back to life after the Night Watch’s mutiny (which took place in Season 5 of the show). It’s only theorized that he warged into his direwolf, Ghost, to avoid death.
Jon hasn’t been revealed as a warg on the HBO show, but seeing this brief clip of a very foggy-eyed-looking King in the North, especially viewed on a small phone screen, is enough to stir up some conversation:
For the record, Jon is not warging in the clip. It’s actually a shot of him beyond the wall in Season 7, Episode 6, before Khaleesi shows up to save the day with her dragons. Interestingly enough, the brief moment is included alongside other footage that occurs after Khaleesi’s dragons arrive, so it does make you wonder why HBO picked this particular earlier moment to shoehorn in.
Sure, it could be by accident that a slightly warg-like image of Jon Snow flashes across the screen. But HBO knows how much fans analyze footage, breaking it down frame-by-frame. And the network isn’t opposed to playing jokes. HBO infamously Rickrolled “Westworld” fans ahead of Season 2, promising spoilers and instead delivering a Rick Astley cover. The network was also reportedly messing with “Game of Thrones” fans during a Season 5 social media campaign that would show “visions” of the upcoming season. These clips could only be viewed once and would disappear, which HBO anticipated would cause some backlash from rabid viewers.
The network is well aware there’s already been a couple cases of “eye-gate” on the show, with fans pausing different moments to see if Jon’s eyes had changed color to indicate he’s warging. One incident happened in Season 5 when Jon Snow lay dying after being stabbed by the Night’s Watch, and the other was in Season 7 when people were wondering if the eyes on the direwolf pommel of Jon’s sword, Longclaw, had changed. In both cases, it turned out to be nothing.
If you think there’s absolutely no chance HBO was intentionally being a little cheeky, possibly giving fans a wink through warg-looking eyes, you know nothing, Jon Snow.