Game of Thrones Season 5 - Tyrion screengrab

Fans willing to brave the cold and get to the theater last night got to see the very first Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer in IMAX. The rest of us will have to settle for watching it on YouTube today. Which isn’t so bad, all things considered.

The two-minute promo is positively packed with footage from the new season, and just about every fan-favorite character gets a moment. (Well, the ones who survived Season 4, anyway.) Intriguingly, they also suggest the show will continue to stray even further from George R.R. Martin‘s original novels. Watch the first Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer after the jump.

UPDATE: An official version of the Season 5 trailer has just been posted; check it out below.

The official Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer went up on Facebook.

Where to start? We get Littlefinger telling Sansa to “avenge them”; Olenna coldly declaring, “They’ll never even find what’s left of you”; Margaery embarking on her third royal wedding; Arya (and Needle!) at a very important-looking door; Jorah fighting with a sword in an arena; a Harpy statue toppling down a pyramid; and Dany threatening to “break the wheel” with grim determination.

There’s also our first look at the Sand Snakes (Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters), who clearly aren’t to be trifled with. Speaking of the Sand Snakes, there’s Jamie diverging from his book counterpart by traveling to Dorne. There’s what looks like a hint about Cersei’s backstory. Plus, Jon Snow does his best Blue Steel against a cold Northern sky.

And of course, this being Game of Thrones, there are plenty of shots of sex and violence. There are quick cuts of steamy kisses and scantily clad women, wildlings and soldiers and Unsullied charging all over the place, and a few one-on-one battles.

But maybe the most important scenes are the ones between Varys and Tyrion. The latter is hiding behind a hood and a bushy beard, and they’re hanging out somewhere warm enough to sustain palm trees. Here’s the conversation they have over the course of the trailer:

Varys: “I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.”
Tyrion: “I will never sit upon a throne.”
Varys: “You could help another climb those steps and take that seat.”
Varys, later: “The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”
Tyrion: “Good luck finding him.”
Varys: “Who said anything about him?”

Cut to: a shot of Dany looking fierce.

So there you have it, folks, the next big shift in the fight for the Iron Throne. And what’s especially thrilling about this season is that the show is continuing to move away from the source material. Even book readers should be in for a few surprises.

Moreover, it shouldn’t be long now before we get into entirely uncharted territory. Game of Thrones Season 5 pulls from both Book 4, A Feast for Crows, and Book 5, A Dance With Dragons, which take place simultaneously. Book 6, a.k.a. The Winds of Winter, hasn’t yet been published, and Martin’s publisher admits it’s not coming this year, either.

“I have no information on likely delivery,” publisher Jane Johnson told The Guardian. “These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers.”

So while we wait for that, Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres April 12.

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