Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 follow.
Winter is here, and with it comes the biggest battle Westeros has seen in probably the past 300 or so years. Who will live and who will die on Sunday? More importantly, what side will emerge victorious? This is basically the Super Bowl of Game of Thrones, so what clues do we have about what's to come? Let's turn to the teaser trailer.
(As always, this contains a multitude of spoilers. Otherwise, it would be very short.)
Your forecast: Heavy blood with a high chance of death
There's been a lot of grumbling on the internet about the first two episodes of Game of Thrones, because apparently many bloodthirsty fans are disappointed that not enough people have been gruesomely murdered. If you count yourself among those consumed by bloodlust, fear not: This week should satisfy your urges.
The last episode ended with the army of the dead lining up outside Winterfell, preparing to storm the castle. Of course, the dead may already be inside those incredibly safe crypts everyone keeps talking about.
This week's teaser is short, almost a teaser of a teaser, which is interesting in and of itself. For anyone who likes reading into things too deeply, that could suggest some major twists ahead. But more on that in a moment.
The teaser opens with a shot of the Unsullied lined up in perfect formation alongside catapults and a close-up shot featuring the serious face of Grey Worm as he pulls his helmet on. As the camera pans over the waiting army, Sansa Stark narrates.
"The most heroic thing we can do now is look the truth in the face," she says, probably referring to the fact that the White Walkers and wights are a real thing and not a fake thing, as everyone thought for so long.
Then, as the closed captioning informed me, "♪ (SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYS)," Jon Snow and his aunt/lover/maybe-now-enemy Daenerys Targaryen look out onto what will soon be the battlefield.
So what to make of this? Based on the close-ups of Grey Worm, it feels like a further clue that he will be one of the major characters to bite the dust Sunday. And, of course, war is here, boys and girls, and the first major clash - probably the longest consecutive battle in cinema history - is about to kick off.
Uh, where's the Night King?
So, one little thing: Where in the world is the Night King?
Astute viewers will notice that he wasn't shown in this past Sunday's episode as the army of the dead approached Winterfell.
Nor does he appear anywhere in the teaser trailer, except by name.
As the "♪ (MUSIC INTENSIFIES)," and we see split-second shots of various characters, such as Jorah Mormont, Tyrion Lannister and Sansa, suddenly Jon's voice splits the pounding score.
"The Night King is coming," he says, as we're treated to a scene of Arya running through those safe crypts (though it doesn't look as if she feels too safe!) and Varys looking sad and Theon with a flaming bow and arrow and Beric with his fancy fiery sword and one of the living not-ice dragons roaring like the goodest boy in the world.
But we don't see the Night King. Anywhere.
We see Daenerys telling Jon, "The dead are already here," as they presumably prepare to make out, and then the teaser closes with an open-mouthed Brienne (who appears to have had access to shockingly good dental care in Westeros) shouting, "Stand your ground."
It is odd, to put it lightly, that a show as carefully constructed as Game of Thrones doesn't show its biggest villain in this teaser or the previous episode. That cannot possibly be an accident, which leads us to a fan theory: He's actually not there at all. Instead, some have theorized, the Winterfell attack is merely meant to draw attention from the real, surprise attack on King's Landing.
There isn't a ton of evidence backing this theory, but it's a compelling one. And while Jon mentioned the Night King by name, that could be synecdoche, like if an Atlanta Falcons fan were to say "Ugh, Drew Brees is coming to town" when they mean "Ugh, the New Orleans Saints, who have beaten us three times in a row, are coming to town."
More interesting is when Daenerys says, "The dead are already here," which could mean the army of the dead has breached the walls of Winterfell - or it could mean the dead in the crypts were indeed reanimated and are busy killing the women and children who thought it was so safe down there.
One way or another, Monday should be quite a ride.
Game of Thrones screens on Sky SoHo at 1pm Monday. It is available on Neon on the same day.