Premium cable certainly has its advantages, like the ability to show nudity and gore, and the blessed lack of commercials. But one big drawback of their deviation from the traditional network model is that they’re not obligated to follow the normal fall-to-spring schedule — which means the waits in between seasons can be really, really long.

Case in point: It’s been about nine months since the last episode of Game of Thrones aired, and we still have about another month to go until the new season takes off. Fortunately, the fact that we’re inching closer to the premiere date means HBO is ramping up their marketing efforts. After the jump, check out a cool new poster and a trailer teaser (i.e., a teaser for the trailer).

Entertainment Weekly got to unveil the new poster, in case you couldn’t tell from the watermark.

The dragons were still fairly young and small the last time we saw them, but as the poster shows they’re becoming more powerful by the day. Good news for Team Targaryen, not so good news for Team Anyone Else.

Next up, we have the trailer for the trailer. I know, I know — this new trend of mini-promos is totally obnoxious. But it’s a first look at some footage (albeit not terribly exciting footage) and we’re talking about the show anyway, so why not take a peek?

Jimmy Kimmel Live airs tonight at 11:35 PM. Don’t worry about missing it if you already have Friday night plans, though. The 60-second trailer is expected to hit YouTube immediately afterward.

Game of Thrones returns March 31. Here’s a synopsis of George R.R. Martin‘s novel A Storm of Swords, on which the new season will be based; be warned that Season 2 spoilers follow.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world…

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…

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