With just over a month until the sixth season of Game of Thrones premieres on HBO, the network has released its first trailer for the show's upcoming season.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the current season of The Walking Dead.]
Let's address the elephant in the room. That one elephant that just won't go away, no matter how many times HBO says the elephant doesn't exist in the first place. Jon Snow, the bastard son of the Ned Stark, is dead. Or, at least, he's dead in this trailer. Hands folded over chest, respectful tokens over eyes, people standing around mourning — dead. Look, the trailer even opens with a shot of his dead body.
And it doesn't end there for Snow, either. His dead body is something that HBO throws back to at least three times during the trailer. Now, we know that Kit Harington returned to film a few scenes for the new season, but according to the actor, he was playing his character's corpse in all of them. Does that mean we can put to rest the theory that Jon Snow is actually still alive?
Probably not. If you're a fan of television and this all feels like a terrible case of deja vu, you might recall that this is exactly what The Walking Dead did with Glenn's character. They "killed him" off, swearing to various publications that the character wasn't going to come back. They even went so far as to remove actor Steven Yeun's name from the credits. But in the end, Glenn wasn't actually killed on The Walking Dead, and it kind of feels like Jon Snow's story isn't done yet, either.
Besides Jon Snow, however, there's a lot happening in this new trailer. One of the biggest developments is taking place at King's Landing, where Tommen is now the royal puppet king and Cersei remains his loving mother and puppeteer. Last season ended with Cersei's walk of shame, an event that readers of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series were watching with bated breath. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss decided not to diverge from what Martin had written, and the emotionally high-strung viewing experience was the result I assumed they were going for.
Now Cersei has returned and is looking to find her way back to the the most elite of society while scrubbing away at the commoner title she's been given. This season will also see Tommen finally take over some more power from his family and see himself descend upon the throne he was promised. Although Tommen doesn't have as large of a presence in the novels, Benioff made the decision to increase his appearance in the show, and it looks like he may actually get more screen time than ever before this season.
Despite what the Lannisters think, they aren't the only family in Martin's universe. The trailer doesn't spend nearly as much time on the other storylines, but does give us a glimpse into what's happening with various characters. Characters like Daenerys Targaryen.
At the end of last season, Dany had been stranded by Drogon, her infamous dragon, and left surrounded by a Dothraki khalasar. She wants to get back to fighting her way to the throne, which she is the rightful heir to, but can't do anything in her current situation.
While Dany is trying to figure out how she can escape from her predicament, loyal friends Jorah and Daario have set out to rescue her. From the looks of the trailer, however, that might be easier said than done, as they appear to be quite a ways off from where Dany has ended up. Rumor has it that Daenerys will defeat the Dothraki army and make her way back to Meereen, where she'll collect her army and head to Westeros to finally take on the Lannisters.
None of that has been proven at this point, however.
Speaking of Meereen and Lannisters, however, it's impossible to not dissect the trailer without mentioning everyone's favorite imp, Tyrion. Although Tyrion is only in the trailer for a brief moment, it's shaping up to be a big season for the character.
Tyrion has replaced Ser Barristan — or, to be specific, the late Ser Barristan — as the only form of stability the people of Meereen can look toward. With Dany gone and Jorah out on the mission to find her and bring her back, it'll be up to Tyrion to keep everyone happy. Or at the very least, non-combative. Tyrion is still learning what he can do outside of the Lannister name and family, so this will be a good test to see what he's capable of.
There's one other major family that should not go unnoticed, and that of course, is the Stark family. This season marks the return of Bran Stark, who was benched for all of season five. The last time we saw Bran, during the finale of season four, the young Stark had just met the mystical Three-Eyed Raven (now played by Max von Sydow) in a cave.
Although we still don't know much about what Bran will get up to this season, we do know that he'll have an important part to play, according to Benioff. And now, based on this trailer, we know that he'll come face to face with a couple of White Walkers. Bran's beloved sidekick, and a fan-favorite character, Hodor, is also back this season.
Sansa, the eldest surviving Stark child, won't have to face any White Walkers from the look of it, but she is in fact alive. Fans were left wondering if both her and Theon Greyjoy were joining Jon Snow in the dead camp — because he's probably actually dead ... maybe — after they jumped from the castle wall at Winterfell.
During last season's finale, Sansa used a corkscrew to escape the room her vile husband, Ramsay Bolton, kept her in. She was just about to escape from Winterfell when she ran into Theon Greyjoy and Myranda, the kennel keeper's daughter. Just as Myranda was about to kill Sansa, Theon entered a manic rage and threw the keeper's daughter out the window.
Although it took care of their immediate problem, the two of them realizes that they had to escape Winterfell as fast as they possibly could before Ramsay found out and killed them. So together they jump the wall, and presumably, have made it out without much harm. The trailer doesn't give much of a hint as to where Sansa is at this point in the season, but it looks like she's still somewhere in the North.
Ramsay, on the other hand, looks like he's finally been alerted to the escape of his wife and human pet, if this scene is anything to go by.
Ramsay, one of the most vicious and sadistic villains the series has ever had, isn't someone who likes surprises. Nor does he like losing what he holds dear. The combination of both of these things is going to set him off, so brace yourselves for an even more unbearable Ramsay Bolton. If that's even possible.
Of course, there's another Stark that shouldn't go unmentioned: Arya. Although she's in the trailer for the briefest of seconds, this is going to be a season of monumental changes for the take-charge Stark who has now lost her eyesight. There's a brief moment of Arya's incredibly bright eyes flashing across the screen, but that's just about it.