Game of Thrones season 6 will pick up right where the last season left off when it debuts on April 24, 2016, though that doesn't mean fans of the HBO series will know what to expect. In fact those watching are facing the new episodes with greater uncertainty than ever before, as the show has (unsurprisingly) outpaced its source material, meaning that the promotional material will, more than ever, provide tantalizing clues as to possible storylines and future events, prior to the season debut.
So far, Twitter users have been encouraged to tweet a series of hashtags to review ‘battle banner’ teaser trailers for House Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen, which consist of audio clips promising a dark and violent continuation of the story. More recently, 20 photos from the epic fantasy were shared online, showcasing a first look at the survivors from the previous seasons. Details surrounding the upcoming season have largely been kept under wraps, but now, finally, an official trailer has been released.
The trailer takes place in the deepest level of the House of Black and White in headquarters that fans of the show will recognize as the Hall of Faces -- a stone structured vault where the figureheads of hundreds who have died are housed. A few familiar faces make an appearance here, including Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Robb Stark (Richard Madden), Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) and... Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Among the whisperings in the room, some of the characters’ most memorable lines are ominously echoed. Robb muses about winning the battles but losing the war, while Catelyn and Joffrey talk about tormenting 'the others' and showing them how it feels to lose what they love. Even though the trailer doesn’t appear to reveal any actual footage from the upcoming season (unless it will surface as an Arya vision) it does confirm that "the long night is coming and the dead come with it."
The final shot is the most eerie and surprising of all as it reveals current living character and beloved fan favourite Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) in the same position, among the ranks of the dead. Last time that we saw Tyrion he was alive in Meereen watching Daario (Michiel Huisman) and Jorah (Iain Glen) leave on their quest to find Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Does this mean that Tyrion has died or -- more likely -- that he is facing imminent danger this season?
Without clues from the books to guide us through this mysterious first trailer, plenty of unanswered questions remain such as: Is Jon Snow really dead or is there still a chance that Lady Melisandre (Carice van Houten) could aid in his resurrection? Will the fallen characters be recruited as members of the army of the dead? And, who else's head will be on the chopping block this year?
Discover the answers when Game of Thrones returns for season 6 on Sunday, April 24 on HBO.