Season 7 of “Game of Thrones,” like winter, is coming. And HBO is reminding fans exactly what they should fear when winter comes.
In its announcement of the Season 7 premiere date today, HBO dropped the Season 7 tagline “Fear is for the Winter.” If that line sounds familiar to “Game of Thrones” fans, that’s because they’ve heard it before, way back in Season 1. Old Nan, the caretaker of Bran back at Winterfell, gave quite a little speech to Bran about how horrifying Westeros winters can be. As Season 7 approaches, winter is all but upon the continent, and in this fantasy world, winters can last for years.
Nan’s discussion of Westerosi winters with Bran gives a reminder of just how horrifying the cold can get in this world:
“Oh, my sweet summer child, what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness. That is the time for fear, little lord, when the white walkers move through the woods. Thousands of years ago, there came a night that lasted a generation. Kings froze to death in their castles, same as the shepherds in their huts. And women smothered their babies rather than see them starve, and wept, and felt the tears freeze on their cheeks.”
You can watch the clip above.
What Nan is talking about there is the Long Night of Westerosi legend, and it’s apt for the show to reference this story with the new tagline because the current winter is basically the sequel. The Long Night is when the White Walkers emerged from the North for the first time thousands of years prior to the events of the show — the invasion that was the impetus for the construction of The Wall.
What we’re going to see in seasons 7 and 8 of “Game of Thrones” is the second coming of the Long Night, which means that Old Nan’s story is giving us a glimpse of what life is about to be like for the people of Westeros.
Of course, in addition to the White Walkers amassing an army of the dead, we’ve got Cersei Lannister seemingly gone full Mad Queen after blowing up the Sept of Baelor, Euron Greyjoy trying to bring the wrath of the Iron Islands down on the mainland, and Daenerys’ massive fleet, trio of dragons and army of Dothraki sailing straightaway toward Westeros. Not to mention the North being united once again and Littlefinger’s Knights of the Vale being up for grabs. So, yeah, this is going to be quite the showdown in the snow.