A new Game of Thrones trailer was unleashed by HBO on the weekend, teasing a little bit of everything we can expect when Season 6 begins in April — but it could be that one character's absence is the biggest tease of all.
Take a look below at the 30-second "March Madness" trailer before we take it apart and dissect it.
First up, a brief shot of Daenerys Stormborn (did you know she's the Mother of Dragons?) in the captivity of the Dothraki, who don't appear to hold her Targaryen lineage in particularly high regard. Whether or not Khaleesi can get her bid for the Iron Throne back on target in Season 6, it's good to finally see a bit of movement in her story.
Next we see a brief glimpse of Sansa Stark, seemingly on the run from Ramsey Bolton, who no doubt has truly torturous revenge in mind for his disloyal, dis-membered former servant Reek — are the Bolton hounds giving chase, or will Sansa finally find safety somewhere? (Of course she won't. This is Game Of Thrones.)
The High Sparrow is then seen comforting Tommen, whose sister just got murdered, you may recall, with the dubious words of wisdom: "We are sinful creatures. We deserve death. We all do." Yeah, that'll make the boy feel better.
After being absent from Season 5, Bran is back, and the Night's King seems to have caught up with him. Is yet another member of the House Stark about to meet a hideous demise? The shot of the head White Walker framed against a backdrop of flame is gloriously creepy.
While all of the above looks epic, arguably the most important hint found in this trailer lies in the total absence of the Lady Melisandre. Despite Carice Van Houten's claims that the Red Priestess wouldn't be raising Jon Snow from the dead, we know that she and her new ally, Ser Davos, need the Stark bastard alive.
We also know that Melisandre learned the powers of resurrection from Thoros of Myr, who brought Beric back from the dead on no fewer than five occasions. Will the Lord of Light step in to help? And how long until Ser Davos learns the terrible truth about Shireen's ultimate fate? The Red Woman's disappearing act seems designed to keep us guessing, and I'm okay with that.
Everything will begin to look a bit clearer, possibly, four weeks from now, when Game Of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24.