Game of Thrones’ new title sequence always opens like the game of Risk, with locales exposed and houses announced with each and every cast member aligned to a certain house. However, on the premiere on April 14, the title sequence had some serious and immediately obvious differences from previous seasons.
The first difference being that the cities start way up North along with the newly fractured Wall, as well as some of the cities being harder to read than in seasons past. The specifics of these details will be analyzed for days and years to come, showcasing the importance of the inner game of this beloved series.
The geography has some obvious differences in its makeup, with the huge hole in the Wall starting things out and not the capital of King’s Landing.
The world according to Game of Thrones has become much smaller. Entrances, gates and what lies beneath may be very important, maybe more so than the cities themselves — as is shown during the title sequence.
The forged sword, first shown at the beginning of the credits, is very different from what we have seen in seasons past. The sword is more intricate with someone holding a head and two animals. This likely indicates a serious departure of how things used to happen in Westeros.
The seven new gods that include the hopeful blessings of the Father, Mother, Warrior, Smith, Maiden, Crone and Stranger are still represented in the new steel, with one of them being slightly less visible.
Perhaps Syrio Forel’s tip to Arya that there is only one god — His name is Death, and what do you say to Death, “Not today” — may come back into play.
Two dragons — not three — are shown on the initial blade itself with one breathing fire on … something, or, perhaps, someone? It looks like it may be the carcass of their deadish former sibling Viserion, but that could be up for interpretation.
Another blade is shown where someone is holding a head. It looks like a woman. Is it Cersei, Daenerys, or perhaps someone else?
Much more attention was paid to what exists beneath the cities, such as the crypts and the dragons’ lairs.
Game of Thrones’ title sequence still ends with the classic quartet of the Targaryen, Lannister, Baratheon and Stark sigils, and thanks to Gendry’s survival, all four houses still actually exist.
It is still unknown which, if any, existing house will end up on top.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs on Sundays at 8/7c pm on HBO.