game of thrones trailer breakdown

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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