War is coming to Westeros in Game of Thrones Season 7 in a way we’ve never seen before. The new trailer and preview photos give us a hint of the damage that Daenerys’ dragons could do in open combat against the Lannisters, and now that our Khaleesi is in the thick of the action, the producers promise, “theres a pace and urgency thats very palpable. This is the end game.”
But the Lannisters aren’t the only ones causing trouble in Season 7 as the trailer teases, there’s also Euron Greyjoy’s armada, which could prove pivotal in the war to come, for one big reason…
As we learned last season, Euron has his eye on an alliance (and marriage) with Dany, but before he could impress her with his… “fleet,” Theon and Yara got to her first which leaves Euron with two courses of action: destroy his nephew and niece’s ships so that Dany has no choice but to turn to him for naval assistance in her war with the Lannisters, or cut out the middleman and ally himself with Cersei instead.
Either way, the Season 7 trailer definitely features a major sea battle, and it looks like Theon’s ship is in huge trouble.
We know that Cersei isn’t looking for another arrogant husband to mansplain the monarchy to her now that she finally has the Iron Throne, so it seems doubtful that she’d agree to a marriage with Euron (especially given how disdainful the Iron Islanders are of the Lords of Westeros, and vice versa), and last we saw Uncle Greyjoy, he was threatening to murder Theon and Yara for stealing the Iron Fleet’s best ships, so it seems like a safe bet to assume that Euron is going after his niece and nephew early in the new season.
We’ve got a couple pieces of evidence to support this from the trailer, so let’s get nerdy and take another look:
At the 0:56 mark, there’s a shot of Theon on what appears to be a burning ship embers are floating around him, and he sure doesn’t look confident. Then at 1:10, we cut to a battle raging on a ship’s deck, with flaming debris falling from the mast or rigging as the boat is boarded from a plank on the right.
We know that the Greyjoys are involved in this skirmish because one warrior is holding the Iron Islands’ distinctive rectangular shield in the bottom right. It doesn’t seem like the Dothraki are fighting, because the weapons briefly visible in the trailer are axes, swords, and maces, not the Dothraki’s signature arakh blades, which are shaped like scythes.
There’s another shield towards the top right of the frame that’s rounded and seems to have a red sigil in the center, which could either be Daenerys’ three-headed dragon, or the red sun of House Martell, since we know that Ellaria Sand has lent Dorne’s forces to Dany’s invasion, as has Highgarden, courtesy of Olenna Tyrell.
So it looks like we’ve got Ironborn fighting other Ironborn on a ship, with one faction potentially aided by Dorne could this explain why Yara and Ellaria are making out in the trailer? Perhaps the two killer queens are talking “strategy” on Yara’s ship before they’re rudely interrupted, and the threat brings Dorne’s warriors rushing to Ellaria’s aid; or maybe the near-death experience and heat of battle brings the warrior women closer together in the aftermath?
But the most interesting moment in the trailer comes after Yara and Ellaria’s kiss, when two unidentifiable figures jump into the water to avoid what looks suspiciously like a burst of dragonfire above them.
Game of Thrones is nothing if not sneaky when putting together trailers, so it’s entirely possible that this scene is completely unrelated to the battle on the ship some fans have speculated that the figure on the right looks like Jaime Lannister, while the person on the left might have long blonde hair like Dany, or it could simply be the movement of the bubbles and the water.
But let’s wildly speculate about that sea battle for a moment, because if these two mystery characters are trying to escape a burning ship (and especially if one of those characters is Dany), the trailer could be hinting at a major plot point from George R. R. Martin’s novels that the show hasn’t mentioned yet: Dragonbinder.
In A Feast for Crows, which first introduces Euron, the murderous Greyjoy reveals that he possesses a dragon horn with Valyrian glyphs etched into it. The horn is said to sound like “the screaming of a thousand souls,” which can make anyone who hears it feel like they’re burning from within and it will kill any mortal who blows it. But the horn has an even more impressive quality, at least according to Euron the ability to control any dragon that hears it, binding them to the horn’s master.
And what might Euron Greyjoy do if he happened to have a horn that could brainwash a dragon? Probably set fire to the ships that his niece and nephew stole, right? (And then maybe try and blackmail a prospective bride into marrying him before he gave it back, perhaps?)
And when was the last time we saw ships burning? The Battle of Meereen, when Dany’s dragons destroyed the Slavers’ vessels.
Of course, Euron’s forces could certainly attack Theon and Yara without the help of Dragonbinder or Dany’s scaly kids it certainly seems doubtful that any soldiers would be running onto a boat that’s the target of dragonfire, no matter who they’re trying to save.
But given that Euron has his sights set on Dany and has an ax to grind against his niece and nephew, plus a mythical horn that could level the playing field and make Dany a little less formidable during her invasion of Westeros, you can’t imagine that the showrunners are going to leave that particular plot point on the table.
Just sayin’. \_()_/
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 16 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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