Now that the final season premiere of Game of Thrones has aired, it's time to roll things back and take a dragon's-eye view of those new opening credits. (Spoilers ahead.)
The credits have always been complex and rewarded repeat and close viewings. The elaborate opening spins through the map of Westeros and changes from week to week. But they're even fresher this season, as the creative team that designed the credits wanted a whole new chance to remake them.
"We wanted to explore the idea that there was more under the surface than previous seasons," creative director Angus Wall told BuzzFeed in an interview published Sunday. "And that there was an interior and a depth in terms of the layers beneath the surface that we had only hinted at before."
The credits begin inside of an elaborate astronomical instrument called an astrolabe. If you're quick on the pause button, you can see it's covered with murals depicting past plotlines that shaped the story, from the Red Wedding to the birth of Daenerys' dragons to the fall of the Wall. Look for the Red Comet, an omen of major events, such as the dragons' return.
Speaking of the Wall...
Once the credits move to the gigantic map, they begin at the Wall, which now has a huge chunk missing, thanks to you-know-who.
Last Hearth, we hardly knew ye
The credits now move on to a new location. Last Hearth is the ancestral home of House Umber, and if you watched the premiere, you know what happens there. Note the icy tiles representing the White Walkers reaching out to it, showing the path of the dead as they march. Also note the spiral pattern that plays out in a gruesome scene from the episode.
Winterfell is coming
Next, the camera shoots to Winterfell, the Starks' beloved home. Winterfell has always been in the credits, but not like this. Here the camera swoops through the godswood and then dives inside the castle itself. It races through the Stark crypt, where there's a statue of Lyanna Stark, among others. Her life, and the son she delivered before dying, is only going to keep returning as a plot point here. And there are plenty of rumors that the crypt will figure heavily in this season's episodes. Could the dead be resurrected? It's been known to happen.
King of the hill
King's Landing is next, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, home of the Iron Throne and the Red Keep. Look for Qyburn's scorpion and dragon skulls from past historical battles. Just a reminder that no one is bowing down to the terrifying dragons without a fight. And there's the Iron Throne, which really doesn't look worth all this blood and death. The Lannister lion is shown above it now, but maybe not for long.
More to come
The credits aren't going to be stagnant, so stay alert for clues in future weeks.
"I'll say that there are differences (in the credits) in every single episode," art director Kirk Shintani told BuzzFeed. "From episode to episode, pay attention, because there's lots of hints scattered around."