Grim fantasy. Now there’s a term most nerds never expected to make it into the mainstream. By the early 00’s, if you ever told a fantasy nerd that the dark and pessimistic Song Of Ice And Fire would become a mega-hit series and make mainstream incest jokes a thing, you’d have been laughed off every convention but now, with Game Of Thrones ready to break new ground (what with the Song Of Winter‘s irrevocable delay) everyone is waiting for Season 6 to take the biggest narrative leap of faith yet! At least, if the recently released teaser is anything to go by…
The teaser unfolds in the Hall of Faces of Braavos, where last we had left fantasy’s youngest vigilante, Arya Stark, undergoing what we can only assume to be the first stage of getting her assassin-themed superpowers. During the teaser’s sequence, we get to see the peeled faces of some of the series’ most tragically killed characters, starting with everyone’s favorite grimdark paladin Ned Stark, moving on to Rob Stark and his mother, Catelyn Stark. The characters seem to be lamenting their involvement in the disaster which pretty much led their house to its ruin, but the old wolf-mother spares a few seconds to vow bitter revenge on her enemies.
Joffrey Baratheon enjoys a split-second of remembering his old, horrible self and Jon Snow makes an appearance. His death (or more specifically, his return) have been a hotly debated topic among fans of the show. We are assuming that the development team is keeping this in mind, hence the choice of words for the character’s cameo:
“The Long Night Is Coming…”
The teaser then ends with a long, panning shot of the assorted faces, beginning with a close-up of Tyrion Lannister’s peeled face, which we are guessing is nothing but shameless rage-bait for the show’s fans. The illussion is almost immediately broken, as the widening shot reveals a shot of pretty much every major character in the show, from Sansa Stark to Daenerys Targaryen, ending with the second half of Jon‘s warning:
“…and The Dead Come With It”
So, what could the teaser mean? What’s to be expected from Season 6? We’ll try to break it down, based on what we know so far and the show’s tendency to veer away from the source material: so far, we know that one of the book series’ most memorable revenge characters, Lady Stoneheart, was verified not to be included in the show. For those who haven’t read the book, Stoneheart was a resurrected, undead Catelyn, who had risen from the grave after she was slaughtered along with her eldest son and most of her House’s army in the infamous Red Wedding. Her reappearance in the trailer could mean that perhaps the developers of the show have decided to include her in the grand scheme of things, but that is possibly just a nergasm on our part, what with her appearing next to Ned and Rob, characters that we know are not coming back anytime soon.
Jon Snow‘s inclusion is the big teaser here: whether the character returns in the series might make or break this season for a lot of gung-ho fantasy fans and a lot of other viewers, who counted on the young Crow’s re-emergence during the series, by way of a handy Raise Dead spell from the hottest cultist in the series, Melisandre. However, we have not yet seen the character exhibiting this ability, which might cause some plot issues. Yes, we are aware that talking about which spells are available to each character sounds like D&D nerds arguing over class features, but it still raises a good point: if Jon can come back from the dead, then who’s next?
The most important issue is, of course, the one that most tend to gloss over: how far will HBO go to stay in line with the source material? How many more changes in the story are we looking forward to? Will they make the awful error of rising half their viewer base just to kill Tyrion Lannister? Also, where is Arya in all of this? She was not readily seen in the teaser, which raises a heck of a lot of questions.
What do you think? Who’s gonna die this Season?