With just over a month and a half to go, we finally have it — our first proper look at Game of Thrones‘ sixth season. Without the books to guide us, we don’t really know what’s going to happen (or, we’re not supposed to). But we can still break down a lot of what we can see in this new trailer. Care to join us?
Of course, we will be speculating and dealing with some majorly spoilery topics here — so this is a warning, going in.
The trailer opens by tackling the hugest question on everyone’s mind: Is Jon Snow really dead?
Well, HBO would love you to believe that’s the case. We pan down into Castle Black, right to the still-bleeding body of poor Jon. “He’s gone,” Davos says, as if to ram the point home. As far as this footage is concerned, Jon Snow is done and dusted — although due to set photos we have a few reasons to believe that that might not be the case.
A ship bearing the sigil of House Martell sails towards King’s Landing. Presumably, this is Jamie Lannister on his way back from Dorne, now with the body of his illegitimate daughter Myrcella on board.
Speaking of which, Jamie and Cersei look pretty distraught (likely over Myrcella’s death), with Jamie telling Cersei, “Everything they have taken from us we’re going to take back, and more.”
Davos sombrely looks over a pyre. Given what else goes on in this trailer, it looks like it’s intended to be for Jon’s body, burned before it can turn into a White Walker.
Speaking of burning! A flayed man, the favourite gruesome image of House Bolton, burns in front of a huge line of soldiers. The Boltons are involved in another big battle, it seems.
Neither Ramsey nor Roose look particularly happy…
And neither does Melisandre, having a crisis of faith. “The great victory I saw in the flames… all of it was a lie.” Could Melisandre abandon her beliefs about Azor Ahai after Stannis’ death, or merely seek another champion for her red god?
Jorah the Explorah and Daario go on their “Find Khaleesi” road trip — and Jorah finds the ring that Daenerys dropped with she was picked up by the Khalasar at the end of the last season.
Speaking of which, here’s Daenerys looking rather glum as she walks alongside thousands of Dothraki (the show had a lot of extras for this scene, around 1200, when it was shot in Spain). She looks up and sees a giant statue of a horse, indicating they’re in major Dothraki territory — and most probably Vaes Dothrak, the hub of Dothraki civilisation.
The High Sparrow tells someone in Kingsguard armour (maybe Jamie?) “Every one of us is poor and powerless, and yet, we can overthrow an empire.” The Sparrows might have freed Cersei, but they still mean business.
Ironborn gather. There’s a good chance this is the show’s take on the Kingsmoot, an epic-length event for the Ironborn, that sees them try to find a replacement king of the Iron Islands in the wake of Balon Greyjoy’s death.
Sansa dons some decidedly Northern furs, while Tyrion carries a torch around. This is made to cut like Tyrion is telling Sansa that she is “part of the Great Game” now, but he’s presumably talking to someone else, all the way on the other side of the world in Meereen.
Your prerequisite shot of a dragon in a Game of Thrones trailer! Drogon’s gonna Drogon.
Lancel Lannister tells Cersei to order her “man” to step aside, or there’ll be violence from the Sparrows…
Which seems like a really bad idea considering her “man” is Ser Robert Strong, the resurrected frankenform of Gregor Clegane. Sinister head turn! Cersei grabs the best retort of the trailer with “I choose violence.” Good one, Cersei.
Next though, we get what might be the most important shot of the whole trailer — that confirms a major long-running rumour about season six. These six men draw their swords on a sandy plain… but take a good look at that guy on the left leading them. The hair, the beard, the leather armour. Remind you of someone?
Say… Ned Stark?
There have been a ton of reports about location filming at the Castillo de Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain, which is believed to be standing in as the Tower of Joy in a flashback sequence back to Robert’s Rebellion. Long story short, the Tower is where Ned engages in a bloody duel and finds his captive sister Lyanna, dead — and many fans believe that he finds with her the son she died giving birth to, Jon Snow, the bastard child of Rhaegar Targaryen. That’s still one of the biggest Game of Thrones theories around, but this shot is definite confirmation that that the show is doing that long-awaited flashback.
Tommen and his Kingsguard march out of the throne room… and Cersei and Robert Strong seemingly march towards him. Might be a bit of bad blood between mother and son after her captivity.
Horses charge — but before you assume Dothraki, the environment as well as the fact these cavalrymen have lances indicates this is a Westerosi force. There have been plenty of rumours about a grand clash between the Northerners and the Boltons brewing in the next season, and this might be it. We’ll see more of this battle later on.
A fleet of ships caught in a stormy sea — but it’s impossible to tell whose. Is it the Ironborn?
Arya takes a pretty rough smack to the face from her fellow House of Black and White acolyte, the Waif. Or is that Jaqen now? So many faces, so little time.
Our only shot of Littlefinger walking around what looks like the forest around Winterfell.
Cersei might be free, but poor Margaery is still in really rough shape in the Faith Militant’s captivity.
A wildling gets cut down by a twirling flame weapon from a mysterious rider. We have no idea what’s going on here, but it looks bloody insane.
More from that earlier big battle, as archers fire off a volley of arrows. Notice their armour, which is very much in the Stark/Northern style.
A totally-out-there cut to a shot of a big explosion — in what appears to be Meerenese architecture. Still trouble in the city in the wake of Dany’s flight, it seems.
A brief glimpse of Theon in the forests outside Winterfell, surrounded by (presumably Bolton) soldiers after he and Sansa escaped during the climax of the last season.
And then there’s someone undergoing an Iron Island baptism. The cut from one shot to the next is quick enough that you’re meant to assume it’s Theon — which would be weird, as Theon has already been baptised under the drowned god. Instead, it seems like this might actually be Danish actor Pilou Asbæk, who has been cast as Euron Greyjoy. Euron, one of Balon’s brothers, plays a huge part in the Kingsmoot storyline.
After a quick interlude of some Cersei/Jamie kissing, we’re back in the forests around Winterfell, and it looks like Brienne is killing the soldiers who surrounded Theon earlier. Brienne and Theon roadtrip? We can but dream.
And this looks like it could be a shot of that Kingsmoot happening.
Someone suitably mysterious puts their hand next to an open flame. There’s been rumours of another Red Priestess appearing in the show this year, who shows up to speak to Tyrion and Varys in Meereen about Daenerys. Could this be her? Or maybe even Daenerys, who we know is immune to burns.
The House of Black and White, looking all mysterious as it did in the teaser trailer.
Melisandre starts undressing (this is a red band trailer after all), and then puts her hand on Jon Snow’s head. These are cut together to make it look like they’re directly one after the other, which may not be the case. But it does look like Melisandre plans to do something with Jon’s body — maybe resurrect him, like everyone expects her to?
Arya goes flying out of a window in Braavos. We’ve seen pictures of this chase sequence being filmed, and she was being hunted down by the waif.
House Bolton spearmen surround what look like Wildlings, presumably in that battle from earlier. Are the Wildlings a third party or on the side of the other Northerners?
It’s Game of Thrones, so here’s some ladies kissing each other. Hard to tell who it is. The one on the right almost looks a lot like Yara Greyjoy.
Another shot of a bearded Ironborn that’s meant to make you think it’s Theon, but once again, it’s Pilou Asbæk’s Euron. He’s on a bridge of some kind — in the books, Balon Greyjoy dies after mysteriously falling off a bridge on Pyke, prompting the Kingsmoot. Is this that sequence?
And we’re back to what appears to be the Tower of Joy flashback once more, as young Ned dodges an attack from an armoured warrior. Notice, in fact, said two-sword-wielding soldier bears the Targaryen sigil of a three-headed dragon on his chestplate. This is definitely a Tower of Joy flashback.
Tormund Gianstbane looks shocked by an incoming charge of horses — but notice once again those Bolton shields in the background, confirming that earlier shot was of Boltons battling Wildlings. But, if you pause at just the right moment:
That guy on the white horse on the white certainly looks a lot like Kit Harington. And Harington was spotted at filming for this huge battle in Saintfield, Northern Island, wearing similar gear. It seems that, despite what the trailer really wants you to think, Jon Snow lives after all. Or should that be Jon Stark?
The High Sparrow offers Margaery a helping hand. There’s been rumours that she joins the Faith Militant in this season, in order to get herself released.
A brief shot of Arya looking creepy and blind.
Before we’re back to the Faith Militant being surrounded by soldiers on the steps of the Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing. Pictures of this scene being filmed have been out for a while, and it’s apparently an army of Tyrell soldiers — led by Jamie Lannister in an attempt to free Margaery from the Faith Militant. This is where Margaery apparently reveals her conversion, which would explain the helping hand we just saw!
Sansa running through the forest, presumably from those same soldiers who’ve surrounded Theon.
“Oh, this doesn’t look goo-OH GOD!” Bran — who’s apparently found a pretty decent barber up beyond the wall — is standing upright, so this is probably a vision, not an actual encounter with the sinister Night King.
We fade back in for one sequence, which has Davos delivering the best line of the whole trailer (sorry, Cersei!): “I’ve never been much of a fighter. Apologies for what you’re about to see.” As he draws Longclaw, Jon’s sword, ready to fight. The implication is meant to be that he’s somehow lunging to stab Jon’s body, which can be seen in the foreground… but he’s not. He’s protecting Jon’s body from the Nights Watch — who, presumably, want to burn it before Jon becomes a White Walker. But why — if not for the fact that he hopes Melisandre will revive him. As much as this trailer really doesn’t want you to think it, Jon Snow isn’t going to be cold and horizontal for long.
There’s also this shot, from earlier in the trailer, where the Night’s Watch are trying to break down a door with an axe — see Ser Alliser Thorne in the background.
Anything else you’ve spotted in this trailer? As always, lets us know in the comments.
Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders.