CAUTION: Minor spoilers abound from here, so be wary!
Trailer #1 of season five of HBO's Game of Thrones is quite decent, except for that song that played throughout it. For those of you who might have missed it, here it is:
Trailer #2, however, enhanced the intensity level (if you will) even more, and it showed exactly what I believed the first trailer would: blood, gore, violence, action, and witty dialogue.
In general, the second trailer centered around Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, and how close she might very well be to crossing the Narrow Sea and invading Westeros. But, there is trouble brewing in Meereen, the slave city she liberated last season.
Here is my breakdown of trailer #2:
"[Cersei & Jaime] Lannister...
... [Stannis] Baratheon ...
... [Sansa & Arya] Stark ...
... [Margaery] Tyrell ...
... They're all just spokes on a wheel ...
... I'm not going to stop the wheel, I'm going to break the wheel." These were the chilling words uttered by Queen Dany during the first few seconds of the trailer. It means that she, along with her top advisors, has been paying close attention to what has been transpiring over in Westeros. She knows that Westeros is more fragile than ever, with the Lannisters hanging on to power by a thread, evidently. And now that Tywin Lannister, the ultimate mastermind, is dead, and now that Tyrion Lannister is on his way to Pentos, it will not be long before Cersei Lannister's reign crumples. And when her reign ends, so will the dominance of House Lannister. This would be the opportune moment for Dany to strike.
But, like I said before, she has more pressing matters to deal with at home:
Dany's hold over Meereen may be in serious jeopardy
Remember that Dany executed 163 slave masters, which was one of her first rulings as queen of Meereen. The families of those slave masters will surely want revenge, and it was mentioned last season that Dany has had to use her army of Unsullied to quell the revenge killings going on throughout the city. And not only has she made enemies in Meereen, but in the other two former slave cities she liberated as well - Astapor and Yunkai.
According to Ser Jorah Mormont (Dany's former advisor), in Astapor, a butcher named Cleon has taken over the city and reinstated slavery. And in Yunkai, a group of former slave masters are collectively ruling the city, and secretly plotting to overthrow Dany as well. In season five, all of this will probably lead to war, as it always does. The question will then become: if Dany prevails, how weakened will her army be? And if so, how much longer will she have to wait in order to finally land in Westeros?
Thankfully, she has Daario Naharis (above), who will do anything for her. He is very determined to end Dany's tormentors in Meereen, with the help of his Second Sons (the group of mercenaries he leads), and the Unsullied. Last season, Daario and Dany even slept together, which must mean that she trusts him far more than she cares to admit.
One thing is for certain: Daario knows Slaver's Bay better than most in Dany's company. So, he is a valuable ally to have, one that will know how to deal with Astapor and Yunkai, should they decide to rebel. Also, remember that other very valuable ally she had? The one that she considered her dearest friend at one point? Well, he's back:
Ser Jorah Mormont is clearly not going to give up on Dany any time soon. And if he has to brutally elbow that guy in the face in order to regain her trust, he will do so willingly. My question is: is that a trial by combat he is engaged in? And if so, was that Dany's decision, or his? We all know by now how much he loves her, so it makes sense that he would be willing to risk his life just to win Dany's favor again.
Dany realizes that Ser Jorah was indeed a valuable advisor to her, and that he always gave good advice. She had to exile him after he confessed to have spied on her for King Robert Baratheon a while back, even though she might not have wanted to. Losing him was devastating for her, so will she be able to find it in her to forgive him? We shall see!
Tyrion & Varys in Pentos
Now that Tyrion Lannister is finally free of all the torment and suffering he endured at the hands of his own family, how will he adapt to a life on his own? Right now, the only person he can rely on is Varys, evidently. After all, Varys helped Tyrion escape King's Landing, and has shared with Tyrion some of his deepest, darkest secrets, including how he became a eunuch. And while this particular trailer did not focus too much on Tyrion's current situation, it did hint at the possibility of him confronting the very person who Varys believes is ready to sit the Iron Throne - Queen Daenerys.
Meanwhile, in King's Landing...
Poor Tommen now has to sit the Iron Throne, with his mother by his side. Things cannot possibly get any worse, can they? Well, maybe they can! With Tommen set to marry Margaery Tyrell, Cersei will surely stop at nothing to make the young queen's life a nightmare in King's Landing. Cersei's bitter hatred for Margaery stems from jealousy - Margaery is younger, more beautiful, more intelligent, and more importantly, someone Tommen loves to be around (can you blame him?). Also, just about everyone in King's Landing - from rich to poor - has come to love Margaery as well; the polar opposite can be said about Cersei. Margaery is a deserving queen, in the minds of many. However, those same people want to oust Cersei from power, and rightfully so. In fact, I believe that Cersei's reign will not last long, and it will come to a horrible end for her.
And not only will she have Margaery to deal with, but Cersei will have to confront this new character from the [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) books:
The High Sparrow
The High Sparrow is a man of the people, supposedly. He has been watching how those in power have ignored and abused those below them. He has been watching the brutalities that have been inflicted upon innocent people for quite some time, and he is determined to put an end to it, which is why he has arrived at King's Landing. He knows very well that Cersei has had a hand in that brutality and abuse, and so his coming to the capital of Westeros might very well become the beginning of the end of Cersei's rule as Queen of Westeros.
Oh, and the High Sparrow is not alone in his mission to defend the innocent. He is quickly amassing an army of pious followers:
The tension in King's Landing has always been nearly palpable, but this season, it will most certainly reach the ultimate tipping point (if you will). If the photo above is any indication, the Kingsguard is going to be overwhelmed very quickly, and it might not be long before the rest of King's Landing' defenders are overwhelmed, too.
And on the wall...
If Stannis Baratheon has his way, the north would be his in an instant; at least, that is what he is planning on achieving. During the season four finale, he led a massive army beyond the wall to destroy Mance Rayder's wildling army. Now, Rayder is a hostage, and Stannis has become the de facto leader on the wall. He is there to help the Night's Watch defend the realm against the incoming white walkers and wights. But, he also plans to take the north away from the Boltons.
How does Jon Snow feel about all of this:
It will be very interesting to see how Jon Snow deals with having two kings at Castle Black - Mance Rayder and Stannis Baratheon. There is no doubting that those two kings will be colliding much more, though Rayder's life may be decided by Lady Melisandre, as she loves to extract blood from a king. There is also no doubting that Stannis will look to confront Jon about the current situation. While Stannis may make it his mission to take the north, Jon is disallowed from leaving the wall. His allegiance must be to Castle Black only. We will see how much Stannis decides to change things up a bit, if he does make any changes.
One things's for certain: the battle with the wildlings might not be over just yet. As Jon Snow says in the trailer, "we can learn to live with the wildlings, or we can add them to the army of the dead." Because the Night's Watch is forbidden by oath to meddle in the affairs of the rest of the world, Stannis might have to use the wildlings in his attempt to take the north. And if they were to succeed, hypothetically speaking, then Stannis could very well let Mance Rayder free, if the Red Woman has not dealt with him herself by then. After this, priority must be placed on preparing for a fight against the army of the dead - the white walkers and the wights. Hopefully, Bran Stark and the remaining children of the forest are able to provide some magical help by then.
Last season, Jaime Lannister commanded Brienne to search for Arya and Sansa Stark. The sword that Jaime gave to her as a gift was named Oathkeeper, which serves as a reminder to Brienne that she must not give up on her quest, no matter how perilous the journey may get. Little does she know that Arya is already bound for the free city of Braavos, and that Sansa is in the Eyrie with Lord Petyr Baelish (a.k.a. Littlefinger). And judging by the photo above, Brienne has decided to head north, in the hopes that either one of Stark ladies will have taken refuge there.
The House of Black and White
Arya Stark has been living on the road for almost the entirety of the show's run, thus far. After she fled King's Landing, she joined several groups and stayed at a few places, all while keeping her true identity a secret. Now, she is on a ship traveling to Braavos, where she will hopefully get a chance at a fresh start, as a Faceless Man. To be more specific, she is going to visit the House of Black and White, which is the home of an ancient guild of assassins known as the Faceless Men of Braavos. Arya will be trained to become an assassin, something she has been yearning for ever since her father, Ned Stark, was executed. She wants to avenge her father's death, but does not know how. Now, it sounds like she will learn how.
Could it be possible that she meets Jaqen H'ghar again? If you recall, he is a Faceless Man who helped Arya escape Harrenhal back in season two. In fact, Jaqen H'ghar was not really his true identity; he was posing as a criminal from the free city of Lorath.
Sansa is learning how to play the game
No longer is she a helpless little girl who knows nothing at all. And for Petyr Baelish, the ultimate, most cunning mastermind, to recognize that tells us that Sansa Stark is about to take more control in season five. How exactly she does so remains to be seen, but she is fully aware of Baelish's desires, supposedly. And, she is a lady of House Stark, which grants her more prominence in the Eyrie. Littlefinger may be the Lord Protector of the Vale for now, but look for Sansa to gradually work her way to very top of the chain of command. Something tells me that while Littlefinger admits that Sansa has matured quite a bit, he will continue to underestimate her just enough for her to make her move.
And in Dorne...
Prince Oberyn Martell has been killed by Ser Gregor Clegane (more commonly known as the Mountain) in Tyrion's trial by combat. The tension between Houses Lannister and Martell has always been near fatal, but it looks like war may the only way either of these two Houses finally find some peace. Ellaria Sand, Oberyn's paramour, will return to Dorne, and she will undoubtedly seek vengeance against those dreaded Lannisters. She will confront the prince of Dorne, Doran Martell (Oberyn's brother), about the possibility of striking the Lannisters down once and for all. And, she will have a few allies backing her: the Sand Snakes, Oberyn's daughters. Specifically, Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria Sand will each seek to take the Lannisters down in their own way. In the books, they each have a specific method of doing so, which prompts Doran Martell to take action against his own nieces.
Prince Doran is different from his brother in that he is more pensive, more relaxed, and more mild-mannered. Whereas Oberyn was quick to go to King's Landing to confront Lord Tywin about the deaths of Elia Martell (his sister) and her children, Doran preferred to take a more methodical approach, even though his plan could possibly take years to implement. Doran likes to remain patient and think things through really well before taking action; Oberyn liked to just act, relying more on his instincts. Being Oberyn's daughter, the Sand Snakes are very much like him in that regard, which will force Doran's hand, most likely. The Lannisters, meanwhile, will try to quell the feud.
Jaime Lannister in Dorne
This bit serves as one of those cool deviations from the books. So, readers have no way of knowing exactly why Jaime decides to travel to Dorne. The best guess might be that he does so to try to unite Houses Lannister and Martell into some sort of alliance. Or, according to the books, it could also be to personally bring Doran the head of .... (SPOILER ALERT) Ser Gregor Clegane.
Judging from the photo above, it looks like Jaime is not off to a good start, if that is indeed a Dornish person he is dueling. My guess on this is that it is most probably not a Dornish person, but someone in his company who is helping him learn to fight with his left hand. I am most interested to see how the Sand Snakes receive Jaime.
As for the final moments of the Game of Thrones trailer...
Bronn is coming back! He has always been a favorite character of mine, mainly because he is free-spirited and does whatever he chooses to do, without caring what other people think. Also, he is great with a sword; he has proven that multiple times already. Speaking of such, he appears to be battling someone, and it could be someone commanded by Queen Cersei, if the books come into play.
Things in Meereen may be escalating for the worst, but it appears like there is still some room for romance. The relationship between Grey Worm (leader of the Unsullied) and Missandei (Queen Dany's handmaiden) started to grow last season, especially during the moment in which Missandei was teaching Grey Worm how to speak english. She was a bit hesitant to let him get too close, but even so, we could tell there was something special brewing there.
It looks like that might be Drogon, the largest of Dany's three dragons. The other two - Rhaegal and Viserion - she imprisoned in the catacombs under Meereen, upon learning that Drogon had burned a child to death. The dragons seem to represent a balance that Dany seems to be on herself. On the one hand, they can be vital to her in her quest to take the Iron Throne. Likewise, she has it in her to be a good leader, one that Westeros desperately needs. On the other hand, Dany's dragons could potentially ruin everything for her, just like she herself can if she does not learn how to rule properly. Letting Ser Jorah go, for instance, was one decision I believe was not a good one. Yes, it is perfectly understandable why she did it - she cannot have someone by her side who spied on her and hope that everyone else obeys her. And yes, Jorah did reveal Dany's deepest secrets, including her pregnancy with Drogo's child. However, all of that spying Jorah did on her ended a long time ago; in season one, to be exact. He had a chance to go back to Westeros a liberated man, as King Robert had pardoned him, at the time. By then, though, he had become fully devoted to her, and was willing to do whatever it took to help Dany accomplish her ultimate goal. She found out about all of this three seasons later; throughout this time, Jorah did everything she commanded him to, without question. So, while Dany was clearly devastated and furious with Jorah, she should have let him stay. The time to have banished him was season one, when he was actively spying on her. Presently, she has accumulated plenty of reasons to at least consider forgiving him, which I believe she will do, eventually.