Essays · TV

The Real War is Here: A Game of Thrones Season 6 Trailer Spoiler Breakdown

A shot by shot breakdown of the second Game of Thrones season 6 trailer.
By  · Published on April 11th, 2016

As if last night’s big Game of Thrones premiere — and all the online chatter that followed it — weren’t enough, HBO has started off the week with a big trailer debut. A second full trailer for season 6, this time with footage that would appear to go much deeper into the season. Winter is Coming, the North is Remembering, and a few surprise characters have returned in trailer form.

In order to truly suss out what’s going on, we’re going to need to do a shot-by-shot breakdown. Be warned, there’s plenty of speculation as to what’s going on below. Some might consider that spoiler talk, but for many a Game of Thrones fan, this is just a fun part of the process.

Before we dig in, let’s all watch the trailer again:

“I thought he was the man to lead us through the long night. I was wrong.”

The trailer can be most easily broken down into a series of declarative statements made by the denizens of Westeros. The first is Tormund, speaking of Jon Snow. This is all part of the continued assertion by HBO and the production that Jon Snow is dead and never coming back. But our hearts tell us a different story, don’t they, friends? It’s all fine, though. HBO’s marketing has no choice other than to continue to lay in the bed they made for themselves by leaving that cliffhanger at the end of season five. And from the sources I have who were at last night’s premiere, a lot of time is spent in the first episode with a very dead Jon Snow corpse, just to drive things home. Don’t lose hope. I know I haven’t.

“The gods won’t mind.”

Next is a confrontation between Jaime Lannister, recently returned to King’s Landing, and the High Sparrow, who is running things in King’s Landing. This is all part of Jaime being put in charge of bringing order to the Seven Kingdoms by his sister, who is undoubtedly pretty pissed about his failure to return their daughter from Dorne in any state other than dead.

We also get a brilliant shot of Drogon flying above a large army of Dothraki, the same on that is likely holding his mom hostage.

When we see Daenerys, she does not appear to be pleased with her treatment. The widows of Vaes Dothrak, the home base of the Dothraki, appear to be stripping her down. They really should know better than to mess with the Mother of Dragons, but I guess it’s good in the end: because fire.

Elsewhere, the trailer gives brief glimpses of Bran doing some warging (which was far too brief to screenshot) and Arya waking up blind. The youngest Stark children have a lot of eye stuff going on. And Arya continues to say that she’s no one.

“It’s all I think about. What was taken from me.”

One Stark child who seems to be on the rise: Sansa, aka Sansa Fierce, aka The Queen in the North. Her monologuing in the trailer sounds vengeful, as does her icy glare in the following shot. We get shots of her in some new battlefield attire, adorned with the Stark sigil, plus some wide shots of a huge battle at Winterfell, plus a little bit of her boogeyman Ramsay. Oh, and Littlefinger creeping around in the woods.

Bonus! Walder Frey shows up. He appears to be in a celebratory mood. Let’s all hope that doesn’t last long.

“I know what happens.”

Jorah continues to live with greyscale.

And we get a single shot of Ser Loras and Queen Margaery, still looking rather dirty in their prison cells.

“There’s no hiding from this. We have to fight.”

This is the part of the trailer where it gets interesting. Not only is Ser Davos saying that he’s prepared to fight, he also ends up standing in front of a bunch of interesting house banners. The first is this battlefield shot in front of Stark banners. This is likely a shot from a late-season battle in which a Sansa-led coalition goes to war with the Boltons. Maybe Sansa has help. Who am I to say?

We also see Davos standing in a hall that is hanging House Mormont. It’s likely that he’s out in the North building a coalition for Sansa and her Stark revenge. Does this mean that we’ll get to meet young Lyanna Mormont, Lord Commander Mormont’s niece, the 10-year old Lady of Bear Island who sent Stannis that letter of rebuke in season 5? It seems likely.

Brienne and Pod also get in on the “standing in front of banners” action. Behind them we see the fish sigil of House Tully, Catelyn Stark’s family home. It would appear as if they are all the way to Riverrun, which means we get to go galavanting around the Riverlands with Brienne and Pod. (Please try to contain your excitement and your trutherism.)

As my good friend Joanna points out, there’s also a shot of Pod being grabbed by a gloved hand. As ScreenCrush’s Kevin Fitzpatrick pointed out, these gloves are those of Ser Bronn. For book readers, this is all insanely juicy because it puts Brienne, Pod, Bronn and Jaime at Riverrun. It lines up with a very stone-hearted storyline from the novels that fans have been waiting years to see on screen.

Here’s more Jaime Lannister siege-porn. First, in Lannister camps at Riverrun:

And outside the Sept of Baelor, where he leads Tyrell armies in an attempt to get those Tyrell kids back from the High Sparrow.

“Show them what Lannisters are.”

No trailer would be complete without a little Cersei smirk. We hear her instructing someone (probably Jaime) to take his place at the head of the Lannister army and go forth to do some revenge. We see her looking proudly at Tommen.

Then we see her Frankenmountain looking menacing before he kills one of the Faith Militant.

“The real war is between the living and the dead.”

Based on this trailer and the one before it, it’s a safe bet that Liam Cunningham is going to do a lot of monologuing as Ser Davos. This is fantastic news, as he’s always been great at bringing gravitas and humility to every scene. Right as we hear him say this, we get a very “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse” shot of The Night’s King and his lieutenants.

Then not long after, we get this madness:

“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.”

The very end of the trailer is a smattering of imagery. We get some shots of Yara Greyjoy. At first, looking desperate in the Iron Islands. Perhaps the Kingsmoot didn’t go her way.

Later, she’s making out with a slave. We know it’s a slave because of that slave tattoo. Has Yara gone across the Narrow Sea, perhaps in search of some dragons? That’s interesting.

The Three-eyed Raven (a recently recast Max von Sydow) is out on a battlefield. It appears to be outside The Tower of Joy, which will be a scene told in a flashback thanks to Bran’s super-warg training.

Another Tower of Joy shot. Is this Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning? Sure looks like it.

Theon doesn’t look happy. Perhaps he didn’t make it all the way to freedom with Sansa.

We get a shot of the new Red Priestess in Meereen, giving Varys a knowing smile.

And some blood on a wall, for good measure.

Then there’s this final shot. Right after we hear Tyrion talking about how dragons don’t do well in captivity, we see him in the dragon pit, about to set Dany’s two jailed children free. But not before one of them lets loose some fire. Is this the end for Tyrion? Or does he avoid getting burned, either by swiftness of foot or perhaps some Targaryen blood flowing through his veins? We’ll leave that last one for your imagination.

Game of Thrones returns April 24 on HBO.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)