'Game of Thrones' season 7 trailer debuts: Show has influenced industry, inspired passionate fan base

A new clip promoting the upcoming season of 'Game of Thrones' has been released by network HBO. The new season will debut in July.

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming seventh season of the massively popular HBO program “Game of Thrones,” which has become the network’s most-watched show of all time and influenced the TV industry.

According to HBO, the upcoming seventh season, which will debut this July, will have seven episodes, shorter than the series’ usual seasons that are made up of 10 installments. Series co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss estimated in 2016 that there would be 13 episodes total in the seventh and eighth seasons of the show and that the program would then conclude.

The new clip shows characters and rivals Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) all ascending thrones. 

AOL writer Jennifer Kline notes that the trailer is “cryptic” – HBO no longer feels the need to introduce these characters or attempt to draw in new viewers, merely betting that the program’s passionate fan base will understand and be excited. 

“Game of Thrones” has been influential in the TV business and has largely become more popular as the seasons have gone on. The show provided another boost for the fantasy genre when it won the prestigious best drama series prize for the first time at the Emmy Awards in 2015. 

And because it’s based on an already-popular book series, the show had a built-in audience already. “The rise of prestige television had paralleled the rise of cult fandoms,” BBC writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong wrote of the time before the debut of “Game of Thrones” on TV. “The passionate online exchanges among fans of books like [George R.R.] Martin’s made them desirable targets for marketing. Suddenly, HBO had proof that a ‘Game of Thrones’ series would have an intensely engaged audience from the start, and the network’s marketers knew exactly how to reach those fans – right on those websites and message boards where they gathered to discuss the minutiae of the books. If the network got particularly lucky, those fans would become ambassadors to a wider audience.” 

Now that “Game of Thrones” has attracted fans all over the world, what does the series’ popularity say about us? 

Aymar Jean Christian, assistant professor in the department of communication studies at Northwestern University, told the Monitor in 2016 that the moral ambiguity of many of the “Game of Thrones” characters lent suspense to the show for many viewers, keeping them on their toes. Viewers appear to like the cliffhangers and plot twists.

“A lot of the characters on the show right now have done some pretty horrible things,” he said. “There are some characters that you might have been rooting for in season two who after something in season three makes you much more conflicted about rooting for them. I think that the ability for allegiances to shift among fans gets them to talk about the show.” 

And Matt Cecil, a Seattle-based fan of the show, told the Monitor that the dark events of the show cause him to then examine tragic events in the world. “[It] really makes you think about the world and reflect, and [it] kind of gives you this understanding that things aren’t always rosy,” he said.

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