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Game of Thrones’ seventh season promises to be all about shoulder pads

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These looks are A-plus and I mean it

Photo: HBO

HBO has released 15 promotional images for the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones, undoubtedly aware that eager fans are going to spend the rest of the day scouring every pixel of each image for anything resembling a hint at the storyline.

I’m not being judgmental about those weirdos, because I am one myself.

Here’s my biggest takeaway from these photos: everyone did some serious back-to-school shopping (Tyrion picked up some two-for-one striped tees at Old Navy!), and HBO is running out of ways to dramatically upgrade the key characters’ wardrobes from year to year.

[SPOILERS BELOW?]

This time, they’ve gone with an incredible array of shoulder adornments, including a grizzly-looking fox corpse for fan favorite Lyanna Mormont, and a masterwork of leather architecture for Dany’s first official Targaryen ensemble.

Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

As for the coolest girl in Westeros, Sophie Turner is wearing a wig for the first time as Sansa (she was bleach-blonde during the filming), as well as a body chain and a cape that belongs on the cover of Vogue. Her all-grey ensemble is the best one of the bunch. I want to own it, I hope someone puts together a “shop the look” guide for it, and I can’t wait until Sansa kills the person she is standing next to.

Photo: HBO

Unfortunately Cersei Lannister is still on the Iron Throne at the start of this season, modeling the situation stylists are talking about when they say you should always take off the last accessory you put on. The metallic flare-top neckerchief is a little much, is what I’m saying.

Photo: HBO

But it would have been hard to top her look from the end of season six without going crazy. I’ll also give her props for the pointer-finger, above-the-knuckle ring, a nonsensical look that’s somehow also very intimidating — almost like she’s marking which finger she’s going to use to ID you for the executioner.

As far as spoilers, well, Jon Snow is hanging out in the crypts of Winterfell in the same outfit he’s worn since he sprung back to life in the middle of season six (minus the UGG boots). These crypts are not only full of bones, ghosts, and creepy statues, but also, it’s widely believed, secrets. Maybe the not-at-all secret truth about his true parentage? Or if a particularly enthusiastic sect of Reddit theorists are to be believed, another ice monster?

Photo: HBO

More importantly, lovebirds Sam and Gilly are still hanging out in the massive maesters’ library in Oldtown, wearing their coolest study-party pajamas and reading up on the history of their civilization. You’d think that would be a gargantuan, fruitless task, but if you zoom in five or six times, you’ll notice that Gilly already has a pretty key piece of information in her hands: the story of Azor Ahai, aka the “prince that was promised,” whose prophesied return and subsequent actions will save mankind from destruction.

We don’t know for sure yet, but I think we can confidently guess that this prophecy refers to a handsome dude we recently watched rise from the dead. To sum up: absolutely great reporting skills exhibited by Gilly here, Sam is useless, and I can’t believe how excited I’ve gotten about this TV show in the course of the last 10 minutes.

Photo: HBO

The seventh season of Game of Thrones premieres July 16th. Are you going to be okay until then?