The official trailer for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 does a pretty good job of obscuring Daenerys and Jon’s plan for defeating Cersei and taking the Iron Throne, but we may already know exactly how they plan to pull it off. Thanks to an early Season 8 trailer and some impressive detective work, we can probably guess where our heroes are headed next.
Possible spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 ahead.
You might assume Daenerys Targaryen will take all her remaining forces (and dragons) and head straight from King’s Landing, but we’re pretty sure she’s making a detour to Dragonstone first. That’s because a promo for Game of Thrones Season 8 showed Dany in what’s pretty clearly Dragonstone castle, which also has some clear strategic advantages for anyone planning to attack the Iron Throne.
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This isn’t actually new information. Back in early April, Reddit sleuths matched up an official Season 8 screenshot with an image from Game of Thrones Season 7 to reveal Dany’s location.
The background image above comes from Season 7; the one that’s being superimposed over it is still coming in Season 8. Note the lines in the fireplace wall on the left. They match up perfectly. So clearly, Daenerys will head to Dragonstone soon after the Great Battle of Winterfell, and she’ll probably bring her entire entourage with her.
There’s two main reasons to return to Dragonstone: the historic one and the strategic one. From a historic perspective, Dragonstone was the place the Targaryens first established a base when they came to Westeros before setting out to conquer and unite all seven kingdoms on the continent. So if Dany hopes to achieve the same thing as her ancestors, it makes sense to set up a home base in the same location.
Strategically, Dragonstone may also be the perfect place to plot an attack on King’s Landing. As an island just off the Eastern coast of Westeros, it’s very close to the capital city. It also gives Dany the opportunity to attack from the water by making her stand at River Gate (aka the Mud Gate), which is known to be the most vulnerable point of entry to Cersei’s castle.
That’s why Stannis Baratheon attacked King’s Landing using the same plan, and the only reason he failed was because of Tyrion’s wildfire strategy and Tywin’s last-minute arrival. This time, Tywin is dead and Tyrion is on Team Daenerys. Cersei has the Golden Company and Euron, but that’s it.
Ok, that’s actually a pretty good defense. Dany clearly has her work cut out for her, and this official screenshot from Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 makes that clear.
Not clear enough? Here’s a zoomed-in version that’s also flipped upside down so the north side of the map is at the top.
As far as we can tell, the red tiles represent Cersei’s forces, including a big naval armada stationed in Blackwater Bay directly in between King’s Landing and Dragonstone. Those brown tiles just below appear to show the Golden Company sigil.
So it looks like even if she’s attacking from Dragonstone, Dany will face a pretty tough battle. Good thing she’s still got those two dragons, right?
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.