Game of Thrones season 8 promo: Crypts of Winterfell explained

GAME OF THRONES season 8 is edging closer as HBO last week revealed the release date and a brand new teaser trailer. But what does the promo mean? Here is the Crypts of Winterfell explained.


The crypts are located beneath Winterfell which is the Stark ancestral home and stronghold in the north of Westeros.

The Promo revolves around three of the four surviving Stark siblings; Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Arya Stark, as they walk through the long, dark passages of age crypts which are lined with the graves of their ancestors.

It start with Jon Snow walking past the statue of his (unbeknownst to him) mother, Lyanna Stark. “You have to protect him,” she says. That’s Lyanna line from the season 6 finale, when she made Ned promise to take care of her son by Rhaegar Targaryen. That son, of course, is Jon Snow.

As Sansa stares at the statue of her mother, the voice of Catelyn Stark is then heard, saying: “All this horror that’s come to this family, is all because I couldn’t love a motherless child”.

The trailer then cuts back to Jon Snow, who is staring at the statue of, who he thinks is, his father Ned. “You are a Stark. You might not have my name, but you have my blood,” Sean Bean’s character says over the footage.

The trio then congregates together and is faced with three statues – themselves, only Jon’s one appears to be much older.

The frost associated with the Night King and his army begins to creep in and Jon and Arya draw their weapons.

While the trailer is full of symbolism, there is no indication that the footage shown is from the season. Previous season’s promos have proven to be somewhat of a misdirection so this could well be the same. We still have yet to get a trailer featuring clips of new footage and no doubt show bosses will continue to keep withholding until quite close to the release date.

However, there are some aspects which require a deeper reading.

Where is Bran?

The other surviving Stark sibling, Bran was notably absent from the promo. Bran’s arc has taken him on quite a journey over the series and his warging and psychic abilities have led him to realise his path of becoming the Three Eyed Raven. His newfound destiny has seen him become increasingly withdrawn from his old self and the around him.

Perhaps the trailer was one of his psychic visions?

Lyanna’s feather

As Jon walks past Lyanna’s statue, a feather falls from her hand to the ground. This seemingly unremarkable detail is actually quite significant, however. The feather was placed there by Robert Baratheon all the way back in season one. The next time we saw it was in season five when Sansa visited the crypts with Littlefinger and picked up the feather herself.

In a show rife with symbolism, nothing is a coincidence and the feather has come to represent Robert’s doomed love for Lyanna who he believed was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen (Wilf Scolding).

But we now know that they were in love and that Jon is their child, and thus, the true born heir to the Iron Throne.


Though all three are faced with their own image carved into the stone, Jon’s appears to depict a much older version of him. The most obvious, and tragic, interpretation is that Arya and Sansa die at their current age, but Jon lives longer.

“Crypts of Winterfell” was directed by David Nutter, who directed three of the final six episodes. It features music from series mainstay Ramin Djawadi, which is a nice change from the pop songs HBO tends to like to use in its promos.

So is HBO trying to tell us Winterfell gets overrun by White Walkers in season 8? Will our heroes make their last stand in the crypts, or is this more symbolic?

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