Only Game of Thrones could release a trailer without new footage and still get fans excited. But it’s also a bitter reminder of how long it’s been since we’ve seen Westeros.
HBO announced its signature series would return for its eighth and final season in April 2019. The finale of Season 7 aired last August. That’ll be nearly two full years without Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, the Night King and his ice dragon.
It’s amazing we’ve even made it this far.
Game of Thrones isn’t just a show. It’s an event. It’s the only popular entertainment brand that truly dominates our culture. It’s the only show people to watch on a Sunday night by appointment and discuss at the office water cooler or online comments Monday morning. Game of Thrones has spurred its own genre of internet content, from explainer podcasts to universe history videos. There’s enough GoT content out there to kill the time (as well as the actual books), but it’s just not the same.
Game of Thrones fans should thank HBO for reminding us how patient we’ve been. It’s genuinely impressive there hasn’t been a riot for new episodes as society collapses and the world literally burns around us. We need entertainment distractions now more than ever, which is why we’re giddy about a preview that doesn’t preview anything.
It doesn’t matter that the show fell off a cliff once it didn’t have George R.R. Martin’s books to draw from. It’s been so long since we’ve seen Game of Thrones, we’ve already forgotten the seventh season. Only five more months to go.