Despite being based on a dark, dense, and sometimes very depressing series of fantasy books, HBO’s Game of Thrones quickly became the show to watch last season, with excellent acting, writing, and plotting week-in and week-out.

While we’ve already been treated to a number of teasers for season two Game of Thrones, the past weekend saw the release of the second full-fledged trailer, called “Power and Grace.”

If you’re not afraid of a modicum of SPOILERS, feast your eyes on the trailer below:

As the previous trailer did, “Power and Grace” strikes the perfect balance between satiating fans’ thirst for more Game of Thrones while not revealing too much of what’s to come.

Almost every important character makes an appearance and says something sly, as per usual. We hear Princess Daenerys swear to bring dragon fire down upon the heads of all her enemies. We hear about the War of the Five Kings from the lips of Tywin Lannister. We hear Varys the eunuch speaking in metaphors about the abstract nature of power and perception. We see Cersei having major problems – not just with her “people,” but also with her brother, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). We hear Tyrion explicitly refer to the illegitimate King Joffrey as a lost cause. We see Jon Snow come face-to-face with supernatural evil on the other side of The Wall – a White Walker, perhaps?

We see comets, infighting, action, war, direwolves, political intrigue, romance, and so much more. In short, we see everything that made season one so ridiculously effective and consistently worth investing our emotions in, which is very encouraging, indeed.

Hopefully, Game of Thrones can maintain its popularity as well as its quality. It has quite a few seasons to go if it wants to tell the story of A Song of Ice and Fire at the pace of the books, and with its budget, its genre, and the fickle nature of television viewers, that can be a very dangerous prospect. Fortunately or unfortunately, GoT just doesn’t have the luxury to coast on sex and shock value like, for example, True Blood.

Game of Thrones season two premieres April 1st, 2012 on HBO @9pm. Check out season one on Blu-Ray and DVD starting March 6th.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.