[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Game of Thrones.]
The anticipation surrounding the season 4 premiere of Games of Thrones is perhaps even greater than that of previous seasons, and with good reason. After season 3's absolutely shocking climax, there's a real fear that anything could happen, and that anyone could die. Add to that the news that season 4 is expected to deviate from its source material - more than in prior seasons - and even fans who've read the books are worried!
Looking to capitalize on that tension, HBO has released an agonizingly short Vine teaser for a second Games of Thrones season 4 trailer, which will premiere this Sunday before True Detective.
While the teaser is only six seconds long and there's very little to be gleaned from it, it's interesting that it focuses entirely on Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) as she begins ruling the far east city of Meereen. If you'll recall the first season 4 trailer, it featured very little of Dany and centered primarily on other events in King's Landing and throughout Westeros.
Watch the teaser below:
Season 3 didn't wrap up the plot of book three, A Storm of Swords. At the same time, what remains of book three isn't enough for an entire season...and here's where things get interesting. Books four and five (A Feast for Crows, A Dance With Dragons) take place concurrently. Meaning, half of the characters and their stories are in book four, and the other half are in book five (with everyone coming back into play toward the very end of the fifth book).
Obviously, it would be difficult for a TV show to focus on one group of characters during a certain time frame for a single season and then double back and cover the other characters for the following season, so the timeline from books four and five are going streamlined on the small screen. So what does this mean for Danaerys in season 4? Well, it's very likely a large chunk of her arc this season will come from the fifth book.
What this Vine video teases is Dany beginning her rule in Meereen. And you can tell from the expression on her face she has a bit of a cocky attitude about the whole thing. And that's because, for all the difficulties Dany has faced conquering the cities of Slaver's Bay, she hasn't really met any serious opposition. Her struggles so far have had an easy answer: dragons.
As was alluded to in the extended preview video for season 4, that won't be the case when it comes to ruling over a city. But how much of what remains of Dany's published story will be covered in season 4? And from there, how much longer does the TV series have before they catch up to author George R.R. Martin and his unpublished books?
Better get a move on, George.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 6, 2014.