The Game of Thrones teaser revealing the debut date of the final six episodes arrived this past weekend. Though it had no footage from the upcoming season to analyze, the symbolism David Nutter packed into the minute-and-a-half clip sent fans into a frenzy. But while some fretted about how old or young statues were, and others wondered why Lyanna was holding a feather, my favorite detail was all in the hair, and what it portends for next season's alliances. Will Dany and Sansa become allies in Game of Thrones? The answer looks to be yes.
One of the reasons I'm a big fan of Sansa Stark is because her story is reflected in her clothing and her hairstyles. She's a sponge, soaking up the behaviors of the people around her, and reflecting them back, whether she's in King's Landing or up North. These lessons have done her good. Where Jon is still an idealistic fool like Ned was late into the series, Sansa has learned to be ruthless when necessary, and how to spot those who would be snakes in the grass.
That's why seeing Sansa's new look in the trailer was an uplifting moment. Check out the 21-second mark to see her new style.
The pinned back mass of braids at the top of her head is a look, but look closely, and you'll notice it's not one Sansa sported in quite this fashion before. Since taking over Winterfell, she's taken to pulling it back from her face with a single braid swirl on the top of her head. But otherwise, it's hung loose.
Here's a look at the back of her head from last season, during Bran's arrival home.
Now look at the hairstyle she's sporting in the teaser:
The swirl has gotten more elaborate, larger, more like a crown of braids, with two on either side of her temple pulling back from the front of her face, ending with one long one trailing down the back. It looks for all the world like a play on Dany's royal look here:
In fact, viewers have seen Dany sport a variation of this exact style.
Sansa's styles follow the people she's allied herself with. It reflects in her mode of dress, whether she's turned herself into a mini-Cersei...
...or a mini-Littlefinger.
The lean towards Dany isn't as evident as some of these other changes, because in this case, Sansa's outfit remains the same. But this is also an older Sansa. She knows who she is as the Lady of Winterfell. She's not about the start wear white fur or anything like that and go full out into dressing like a mini-Dany.
But the nod towards Daenerys' signature hairstyle in Sansa's new look suggests that for all fans are trying to gin up a Sansa vs. Daenerys plot for the final season, it's not happening. Sansa learned many things over the last seven seasons, most importantly how to recognize power when she meets it. In this case, it looks like not only does she recognize it, but she's bent the knee.
Game of Thrones Season 8 returns on Sunday, April 14, 2019.