There are few TV shows that generate the buzz that Game of Thrones causes each year, whenever HBO debuts another ten episode season. The battle for the Seven Kingdoms, based on author George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, has taken on a life of its own in the live-action television format.
Ratings for Game of Thrones have likewise been on a steady incline ever since season 1 aired. Those numbers evened out a bit between seasons four and five, but now the newly-released Game of Thrones season 6 red band trailer has broken viewership records for HBO - showing that the series' fans might well turn out to watch the show's latest batch of episodes in record numbers this year.
The HBO trailer for Game of Thrones season 6 had reached 8 million views when EW reported on the numbers yesterday (at the time of writing this), a number that has now exceeded 14 million. The official HBO Game of Thrones Facebook page had racked up 22 million views, a number that has now grown to over 27 million and counting. These numbers shatter all previous records for pre-season Game of Thrones trailer viewership.
This trailer is so unique and likely so widely watched, because Game of Thrones season 6 is so highly anticipated amongst the fans. This will be the very first time that the HBO drama will surpass its source material (in terms of plot progress) and begin to forge new ground into its mythology. It's such a big deal that for the first time, HBO has made the unprecedented move of not sending out any screeners to the press for early reviews of this upcoming season.
There are so many questions that Game of Thrones fans have going into season 6. Naturally, the biggest one is: will Jon Snow (Kit Harington) really stay dead-dead throughout this season? How has Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) changed since last we saw him in the Game of Thrones season 4 finale? Will Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) get some justice? Can Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) maintain control in the absence of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)? The trailer gives hints to some of these questions, but there is so much more to learn.
The Game of Thrones season 6 trailer provides some clues about what to expect from the episodes ahead, but comes far from answering any questions - and even raises some new ones, in the process. Winter is finally here and the Night's Watch will likely have their hands full with the inevitable aggression from the white walkers, while also dealing with the aftermath of Jon Snow's untimely demise. The red priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) has figured out that the great victory she saw in flames was a false vision. Meanwhile, the wicked zealots of the church are still casting a shadow over King's Landing. Cersei has finally been released and now has her trusty bodyguard in toe to pull the limbs off of any religious types that get in her way. Her revenge is going to be oh, so sweet.
There are so many characters facing path-changing circumstances this season of Game of Thrones, too many to name. Hopefully the action will continue to hit a fever pitch and those dragons will be able to stretch their wings and get in on the fun, too.
Game of Thrones returns with its season 6 premiere on April 24th, 2016 on HBO.