The official trailer for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 didn’t reveal much, but a brightened version just spoiled one important detail. We pretty much know where all the human characters will be located when the Great Battle of Winterfell breaks out, but now we may also know exactly what Daenerys Targaryen’s two remaining dragons will be doing when the fighting starts.
This spoiler comes to us courtesy of redditor u/spacelyyy989, who shared a brightened GIF of the Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 preview featuring the Unsullied army preparing for battle. In the top left corner, you can just barely make out Drogon and Rhaegal flying overhead.
The fact that Dany’s two remaining dragons are out and about during the battle isn’t exactly a surprise, though we weren’t expecting to see them so early on. Official images from the upcoming Game of Thrones episode show Jon Snow and Dany positioned off to the northwest of Winterfell, presumably waiting for the Night King to strike so they can chase after him. We assumed the dragons would be with them, but perhaps that isn’t the plan.
Drogon and Rhaegal also appear to be flying out of frame, possibly pursuing something else that we can’t see. Could it be their brother-turned-ice-dragon Viserion? It’s a stretch, but if that’s what’s happening then perhaps Bran Stark’s plan to catch the Night King actually works.
Then again, the fact that the Unsullied are standing still suggests the battle hasn’t started yet. Most likely, we’re seeing one of the first moments from Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 where the two opposing armies line up to attack. So perhaps the dragons are simply there to intimidate the encroaching White Walkers and wights.
As for whether Jon and Dany are riding the dragons in this clip, there’s really no way to tell, but it’s possible they could hop onto the dragons to quickly relocate to that hill where they’re standing in HBO’s official Episode 3 images. (Side note: Why aren’t either of them wearing any armor?!)
Another question worth asking is why HBO obscured this detail in the first place. It doesn’t seem like that much of a surprise that the dragons are flying around before the battle begins, though perhaps this will turn out to be a bigger deal than we think.
Of course, it’s also possible that the latest GoT trailer simply succumbed to Season 8’s dramatically darker palette. Plenty of fans and critics have noted that recent episodes have looked particularly dreary, which is mostly due to a focus on naturalist lighting in a show that now takes place in perpetual winter.
We just hope that when The Great Battle of Winterfell finally arrives, it’s at least bright enough to make out those dragons that gobbled up the show’s CGI budget in the first place. Otherwise, Cersei is going to be really upset about her missing elephants.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 airs Sunday, April 28 at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.