In only a matter of days, Game of Thrones will return to HBO, and fans around the world will be glued to their screens to find out just how this incredible series will end. As HBO gears up for the premiere, they’ve been dropping an impressive number of trailers, teasers, posters, and more.
However, fans may have noticed that the majority of these promos have been focused on one event in particular: the Battle of Winterfell. This is the battle that the show has been building to since season one, when the White Walkers were first revealed. It will be the battle between the armies of the living and the dead, and promos have seen the Starks in their family crypt, hints of armies on the move and at Winterfell, the potential snowy aftermath of the Battle at Winterfell. It’s clear that this is going to be huge – but it also means that HBO has been surprisingly clumsy about reminding fans that there’s another battle in the offing: the battle for the Iron Throne.
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In amongst all the Winterfell-Battle goodness, the promos for Game of Thrones have included some fairly obvious nods to the Throne. The character posters for the final season take the focus away from Winterfell and to King’s Landing, showing each of the major players sitting on the Iron Throne (even the Night King). Another poster combines a dragon with the Iron Throne, showing swords on his forehead in closeup. And finally, there’s a poster showing the main characters all dead in the snow, splayed out to form the shape of the Iron Throne.
All of which would be fine, if it weren’t quite so… obvious. The posters are only a hair short of HBO jumping up and down pointing at the throne, and don’t have the kind of well-considered subtlety that the trailers do when dealing with Winterfell. A few shots of the Iron Throne doesn’t really do enough to balance out the incredible trailers that are focused on the Battle of Winterfell, at least in terms of building up fan excitement.
Of course, it’s not difficult to see why Game of Thrones would focus on the Battle of Winterfell to begin with. Not only is it going to be a truly epic on-screen moment, but it’s also likely to be an episode where some major characters die. Showing footage of characters past that point would be a definite spoiler, and no one wants that, but there are definitely better ways to balance out the buildup between the two major conflicts of the final season.
The question of who will eventually sit on the Iron Throne has been a core part of Game of Thrones for so long that it’s understandable that HBO would feel compelled to triple down on it in the final season’s marketing. However, the show itself has progressed to a point where the fight for the Iron Throne seems almost trivial, what with a wintry apocalypse on the way. Posters like the one showing characters frozen in the shape of the Throne, or the Night King sitting on the Throne, seem to be trying to tie the two big plot threads together, but Jon and Daenerys’ fight is for all of Westeros, not for who gets to sit on the pile of melted swords.
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Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 14