Game of Thrones season 6 is just over a month away from premiering on HBO (at the time of writing this), so fans of the series will have to tide themselves over in the meantime by combing over (and over) the officially-released season 6 trailer footage for clues and hints about what comes next on the TV show. After all, this will be the first season where Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will have, by and larger, overtaken the published narrative for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire source novels, so even those who have read Martin's source material aren't certain of what to expect next in the saga of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros - including, of course, whether or not Kit Harington is telling the truth when he says that Jon Snow is permanently dead on the show.
As such, it's no surprise that interest in Game of Thrones season 6 is exceptionally high, as evidenced by the sheer number of views that the season trailer has accrued. Benioff and Weiss, for their part, are keeping their lips shut when it comes to specific details for the show's episodes that lie ahead - though, the TV show's co-creators and showrunners feel that season 6 will, in fact, live up to the hype.
Benioff and Weiss, during an interview with EW, explained that although Game of Thrones season 6 was perhaps the most challenging season of the show that they've produced to date, they do in fact fell it will be the best too. Here are Benioff's exact words on the subject:
“The whole season. Dan and I talk about this a lot. This is not us trying to hype it. Usually there’s an episode or two we’re kind of nervous about, that didn’t turn out as well as we hoped. This season there is not a weak episode. We had great directors who knew what they were doing, paired with excellent [directors of photography]. We thought at the script stage it might be our strongest season. Then the episodes came in better than we hoped. We’re always reluctant to say it’s ‘the best season yet’ because so much of that is in the eyes of the beholder. And Dan and I are so close to it that it’s impossible to be unbiased. But that’s my sense – watching them all together now, this is the best one we’ve done. It’s also the one I’m proudest of, because it was the hardest.”
Game of Thrones season 5 was overall well-received critically, though it surprised many by taking home the prize for Outstanding Drama Series at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards - in part because it seemed as though some fans felt that season 5 of the TV show was certainly not its strongest. For example, the Thrones season 5 narrative threads that revolve around Sansa Stark's (Sophie Turner) marriage to the vile Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) and Jaime Lannister's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) journey to Dorne, respectively, received a fair amount of criticism from professional critics and fans alike (especially in the case of the Sansa storyline). Similarly, the biggest positive talking points for season 5 were easily the conclusion to the episode 'Hardhome' and Jon Snow's dramatic death scene at the end of the finale episode, 'Mother's Mercy', yet much of the rest of season 5 didn't appear to leave that strong of an impression on many viewers.
That's not to say the majority of fans were lukewarm about Game of Thrones season 5 (clearly many loved it), but at the same time there does seem to be room for improvement with season 6. Costar Emilia Clarke has already said that season 6 will deliver when it comes to big TV show moments - and with their latest comments, Benioff and Weiss are likewise doubling-down on the idea that this season of Game of Thrones will be one to remember. Fortunately, we don't have to wait too much longer to find out either way, as the 'Game' will recommence sooner rather than later now.
Game of Thrones season 6 will premiere on HBO on April 24th, 2016.