'Game Of Thrones' Season 6 Trailer Breakdown: This Footage Is Dark And Full Of Things Worth Having A Conversation About

Just when you thought HBO was done preaching to the choir, they went and released another new Game of Thrones season 6 trailer. And it was a good one. A really good one. A trailer so stuffed with tantalizing images that it deserved a frame-by-frame examination. So that's what I did. Book spoilers, rampant speculation, and theories of both the level-headed and inane follow.

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The trailer opens with this very interesting shot of crossbows trained on the room where Jon Snow's dead body is behind held at Castle Black. As we've seen from other clips and previews, there is going to be a certain amount of mayhem surrounding the corpse of the former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.

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And then we see what's going on inside that room: Davos, Ghost and a few loyal Night's Watchmen are preparing for a battle. We can safely assume that they're under siege from the mutineers, but it's not clear what the traitors want with the body or why these gentlemen are prepared to fight for it. Perhaps is has something to do with Melisandre, who is suspiciously absent from the scene?

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Yes, here is Jon Snow. Still dead. And the show isn't lying when it shows us his dead body. Oxygen no longer moves through his lungs. His heart has stopped pumping. And yet, there is plenty of evidence in this very trailer that indicates that something is going to bring him back to life. Plus, you can look to the real world, where Kit Harington still hasn't cut his hair.

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The previous trailer barely gave us any Tyrion Lannister, who has taken up residence in and finds himself in charge of a bloodied and divided city that was just abandoned by her queen when she fled an assassination attempt on the back of a dragon. Those guys at the foot of the throne will presumably underestimate the Imp because of his small stature and he will surely teach them a very important lesson. Lannisters always pay their debts and they never let an enemy get the best of them.

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Jaime Lannister spent most of season five down in Dorne, enduring the worst subplot in the show's history. Now that he's home, he can help clean up the mess that his sister/lover Cersei created. While King Tommen may not want to do anything about the High Sparrow and his Faith Militant, the Kingslayer certain will. If the High Sparrow thinks hiding in a holy place will keep him safe, he's got another think coming. This is a guy who forced himself on his sister right next to the dead body of their son. In a church.

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You just know that everyone involved in this show watched this shot of Drogon flying over a Dothraki horde and just grinned from ear-to-ear. But here's the question: is Drogon just hanging out in Essos, doing his dragon thing, or is he following the horde that captured Daenerys at the end of season five?

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Meanwhile, half a world away, Bran is working under the tutelage of the Three-Eyed Raven and doing his warg thing. Since Bran and Hodor sat out last season entirely, it'll be interesting to catch up with the oft-forgotten member of the Stark family...especially since his psychic abilities will reportedly allow him to see into the show's past and future.

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The trailer doesn't offer much time to Daenerys, who is marched back to Vaes Dothrak and kept among other widows of former Khals. This shot of her being stripped down suggests that her stay will not be a pleasant one.

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So, how do the Faceless Men of Braavos fill out their underground lair filled with countless faces that they can wear for assassination and disguise purposes? If you look closely, that appears to be Jaqen H'ghar literally, surgically, removing the face from a dead body. There's undoubtedly magic involved, but that's a little more straightforward than I would have expected.

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Speaking of Jaqen and the Faceless Men, Arya Stark is still blind, but that hasn't gotten her expelled from assassin school. However, her mentor seems to be more than a little fed up with her wanton rule-breaking and revenge killing: "A girl has been given a second chance. There will not be a third."

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"It's all I think about. What was taken from me." Sansa Stark's brutal and hugely controversial season five storyline saw her being brought to an all-time low – if there was a way for the show to torment her, the show found it. Now that she's escaped the Boltons, she seems to have other things on her mind. Namely, the many people who betrayed and killed her family members. Book fans have long bemoaned how the character of "Lady Stoneheart" was cut from the show, but it's starting to look like her role in the narrative may be filled by Sansa. After all, if anyone would be motivated to cut down every last person bearing the name "Frey," it would be her.


Speak of the devil. When I first watched this trailer, I assumed these shots of the Frey banquet hall were flashbacks to the Red Wedding. Upon closer inspection, they appear to be from this season. And look at Walder Frey, raising a goblet and having a grand 'ol time. If Sansa is taking up the Lady Stoneheart role this season (and that is pure speculation on my part), he's going to have that smile wiped from his face soon enough.

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Find a single still of Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish where he doesn't look like an untrustworthy little git. Go on. That's a challenge.

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Right now, the only person who knows that Jorah Mormont is infected with greyscale is Jorah himself, but since he's road-tripping with Daario (and because it appears to be spreading), someone else is bound to find out very soon. How long does Jorah have before death, insanity, or yet another exile? In any case, the man now has a ticking clock to race against while in pursuit of Daenerys' affection.

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Cersei managed to get herself out of the Faith Militant's prison by confessing to her sins and embarking on a long and humiliating walk of shame. Unfortunately, poor Loras Tyrell is still a captive, held prisoner simply because he's gay. He gets two shots in this trailer. This one...

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...and this one, where he gets to share a moment with his also-imprisoned sister, Margaery. Since Jaime is on a quest to clear Cersei's name, will he also find time to free his son's wife and her brother?

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Ser Davos is dressed for war, presumably for the massive battle that's teased throughout this trailer. Since the battle appears to be between the Bolton forces and an unidentified northern army, Davos is undoubtedly on team Not-Bolton. So, to whom has Davos pledged his loyalty? The only answer that makes sense is "a newly resurrected Jon Snow whose death freed him of his Night's Watch vows," but hey, I'm just talking here.

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Speaking of the Boltons, this image of flayed men being burnt in the fields outside Winterfell is a horrifying image. Seriously, these guys keep on finding new ways to make us hate them more. Joffrey is downright cuddly next to the leaders of House Bolton.

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Varys is this show's secret weapon, a character who has been mysterious, hilarious, moving, disturbing, and a vital player in the actual Game of Thrones. There is nothing more exciting than the prospect of him offering his assistance to Tyrion as he attempts to keep Meereen from completely falling apart.

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Who is this woman that Tyrion and Varys have just met with? Her wardrobe suggests that she is a Red Priestess of the Lord of Light, but their business remains unknown. This show has shown the Red Priests and Red Priestesses to be capable of both amazing and terrible things, so having one of them in your corner isn't necessary a bad thing...especially since Tyrion has no daughters to burn.

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Welcome back to Pyke, the home of House Greyjoy! We haven't been here in some time, but the Greyjoys look to be re-enterting the fray this season. As book fans know, a certain Balon Greyjoy still hasn't met the fate that was laid out for him a long time ago. Remember the leeches?

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As we saw in the first trailer, this season will take us back in time (possibly via Bran powers) to the skirmish at the Tower of Joy in Dorne, where a young Ned Stark and a group of allies fought three legendary members of the Kingsguard to rescue the dying Lyanna Stark. Surely you know the theory by now: Lyanna was pregnant with the son of her kidnapper, Rhaegar Targaryen, hence the armed guards. She then died during childbirth, but only after making Ned promise to keep her son safe from the wrath of Robert Baratheon. Thus, Ned's infant nephew became his "bastard" son, Jon Snow, the secret half Stark, half Targaryen. And why would this information be important at all if Jon was really dead for good? Anyway, this shot seems to feature Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, impaling one of Ned's buddies in the battle. Note his slick Targaryen armor...

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Considering that she got her new haircut by force from religious zealots trying to shame her into submission, Cersei really does wear her new look quite well. Here she is having a moment with King Tommen, the poor, mostly innocent kid whose increasingly complicated life is going to make him go bald early and die young.

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This is Ser Robert Strong, Cersei's hulking and mute new bodyguard introduced near the very end of season five. However, careful viewers and readers know the truth – he's actually Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, revived through Qyburn's nasty science experiments. If you want to know more, I highly recommend Googling "Cleganebowl" if you want to know where this particular plot thread may be going, but beware of serious potential spoilers. Seriously potential spoilers that sound amazing.

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The last time we saw Yara Greyjoy, she was failing to rescue her brother Theon from the clutches of Ramsay Bolton. With the Greyjoys coming back into play this season, Balon's only remaining child should have a much larger role to play. After all, it's through her that we're going to meet her conniving uncle Euron, a fan-favorite from the books who will be played by Pilou Asbæk on the series.

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Here's how seriously Jaime is taking this whole "take down the Faith Militant to avenge his sister thing." He's assembled a small army...

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...and has literally marched on the Great Sept of Baelor. King Tommen found himself unable to pull the trigger on an all-out war with the group, but Jaime is far more ruthless than his innocent young son.

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Man, these White Walkers look good. After hiding in the shadows for so long, season five brought these guys out in full force and they left a lasting impression (and seemingly doubled their army of the dead). There's quite a bit of them in this trailer, which means that after all of these years, winter may finally be coming. For real.

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Here's a close-up of the Night's King (note his icy crown), the leader of the White Walkers who may be an ancient Stark who met the ugly end of some magic. At least that's the popular theory supported by a close reading of author George R.R. Martin's text.

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"The real war is between the living and the dead. And make no mistake...the dead are coming." Davos is obviously trying to talk someone into joining his cause, but which cause is that? Who could earn the support of Stannis Baratheon's former right hand and convince him that war with ice zombies is on the horizon? Oh, you know, probably the resurrected Jon Snow. Just saying.

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More White Walker collection, collected here just because it sure does look cool.

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The last time we saw Samwell Tarly and Gilly, they were leaving the Wall for Oldtown, where Sam was planning to become a maester. Many details of their voyage south (the death of Maester Aemon, the two of them getting it on) were transplanted to season five, so it's not clear what will actually go down with them during these episodes. However, the expression of Sam's face suggests that he's just learned that his one and only friend has kicked the bucket.

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How do you immediately ensure that the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran's supernatural mentor, commands immediate respect? You cast the great Max von Sydow, of course. We haven't seen much of him in the trailers, but this is a major coup. Between this and Star Wars, a new generation of geeks are getting exposed to one of the finest actors who has ever lived.

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As many other stories have taught us, being blind doesn't necessarily mean you can't pursue your dream of being a professional killing machine. Arya may be blind, but she's still capable of getting her ninja assassin on, as we can see right here.

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The final stretch of the trailer is full of glimpses from a major battle between Ramsay Bolton's army and another unnamed army that may or may not be led by a resurrected Jon Snow and Ser Davos. I'm not privy to any inside information, but I will say that watching the two bastard sons of northern lords battle it out for control of Winterfell is just too good to ignore. It may be a little tidy for Game of Thrones, but it just feels right.

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The Sons of the Harpy are still around and still a-murderin', just in case you thought Tyrion's new gig was a little too easy.

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If anyone on this show is allowed to cry in every single scene, it's Theon Greyjoy. Seriously. Let it all out, guy. But who is standing before him and inciting these tears? Maybe Yara?

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We don't get to see much of Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne in this trailer, but this shot does contain one tantalizing detail. Note the banner on the wall and note the sigil. At some point this season, this duo will find themselves hanging out with the Tullys of Riverrun, who have been absent from the narrative since Edmure Tully was captured following the events of the Red Wedding in season three. Maybe they end up here after they track down Sansa? And maybe from here, Sansa finds the resources to embark on her revenge quest? Maybe. Maaaybe.

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Jaime isn't Cersei's only heavy-hitter in her war agains the the High Sparrow. As you can see here, Ser Robert Strong is doing what he does best to a member of the Faith Militant. There probably won't be much left of him when all is said and done.

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Lookin' good, Drogon. Keep on dragon-ing, my man.

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"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." On the list of many things I'm looking forward to seeing this season, watching Tyrion and Varys teach Dany's court a thing or two about Westerosi-style politics is in the top three.

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Of the many quick glimpses we're offered from this season's big battle sequence, this one stands out. Mainly because the hordes on the other side of those shields appear to be Wildlings.

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And this shot confirms it. Yep, at least a portion of the forces who are mustered to march against the Boltons (note the flayed man shields) consist of Wildlings. But who could possibly convince these men and women to fight for them? Oh, you know. Just a newly resurrected Jon Snow, who already has fairly solid relationship with this particular group due to years of getting to know them from the inside out.

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Eventually, Game of Thrones is going to decide that Tormund Giantsbane is expendable. It may be this season. It may be during this gigantic battle with the Boltons, where Tormund and his magnificent beard are present. And it will be a sad day.

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It's extremely hard to make out when reduced to a still, but yes, that is a giant, perhaps "Hardhome" MVP Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, smashing down a gate with his bare hands.

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Finally, the trailer concludes with the smartest man on the show doing a very stupid thing. Surely Tyrion has a good reason to confront Daenerys' dragons, but boy, it sure looks foolish out of context.