The currently untitled Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 is perhaps the most highly anticipated episode so far this season. This installment is the big one. If it were an episode of Friends, they would call it "The One Where The Showrunners Takes Everything They've Learned About Filming Battles Over The Last Seven Years And Apply It." It will be the longest episode of the show ever, and the most extended battle sequence ever in the history of film. Yet HBO released only six Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 photos to go along with it.
The show has earned the right to keep as much of this battle under wraps as possible. Despite all odds and 55 days of continuous shooting, no leaks got out as to what happens. Fans are going in blind, not know who will live and who will die. There's only one certainty, and that the promise of three more feature-length episodes to follow once it is over. Who will be in them is unknown.
It's the drive to keep as much of the hour and 20-minute installment a mystery to fans that drives HBO to release six photos ahead of time. Moreover, most of them match what fans already saw in the trailer for next week.
This first image, for instance, is seen at the nine-second mark in the above trailer. It's a little less dark, which means one can make out the Winterfell defenses a bit better.
This is an alternate angle photo, taken just before the shot at the 11-second mark, and far better lit from the side than the front. I am personally hoping Sansa is very impressed at what Arya can do.
Meanwhile, this is an exactly-as-dark-as-it-is-in-the-trailer shot of Jon which is seen at the 17-second mark.
Finally, this is a slightly pulled back version of the trailer's final shot at the 26-second mark, where Brienne screams "Stand your ground!" Jaime is by her side. My heart is full.
Both Varys and Tyrion are shown sitting down in the crypts in the trailer, but not sitting together, and not as well lit. It is interesting that after he protested, Tyrion did decide to listen to Daenerys and go below, where his mind could be safe.
This is the only photograph that is in no way already part of the trailer.
In Season 5, Sansa would recite the phrase "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell," as if it were a talisman against the Boltons who had taken over her home. Sadly, as viewers know, she had the phrase by the wrong end of the stick. She would say "I am the Stark in Winterfell," thinking so long as Winterfell walls surrounded her, she was safe.
A far more likely interpretation: The walls of Winterfell are safe from the Night King and the dead, so long as a Stark is inside. After all, Winterfell was built by the same man who created the Wall.
Perhaps it's just a saying. But right now, let's hope Sansa doesn't test it by going outside.