Game of Thrones Season 6 is finally upon us. The highly hyped and critically acclaimed show has been anticipated with bated breath by fans of the TV series and legions of George RR Martin groupies all over the world. Less than a day remains for episode 1 to air on HBO. Let’s have a look again at the 2-min long trailer, all awash in gorgeous set pieces and breathtaking imagery-
In the new footage, we can see the return of the despicable Red Wedding villain Walder Frey, a blind Arya Stark being given a second chance by Jaqen H’ghar, The Night’s King and his army, Tyrion Lannister’s wit, a harried Daenerys and the magnificent Drogon.
Before you dive into the premier episode, here is a brief lowdown of EVERYTHING that you should be knowing about Game of Thrones Season 6. For your reading pleasure:
A special screening of Episode 1 has already been shown
And we at Nerd’s Magazine are insanely jealous. On April 10, the first episode of Season 6 was screened at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. A bevy of reactions such as ‘wow’, ‘incredible’, ‘spectacular’ ensued. This time, HBO has refrained from releasing any screeners to the press (after last year’s fiasco, when the first four episodes were leaked on various torrent sites) and only President Barack Obama has been allowed access to all episodes of the new season (yeah, no kidding). Here are the takeaways from the special screening-
- A staggeringly huge amount of footage has been shot for Season 6. In the words of co-showrunner David Benioff: ‘We shot 680 hours of dailies, which translates to 3.7 million feet of film. We shot in five different countries — Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and Canada. We employed 900 crew members in Belfast; 400 in Spain. We issued 140 script revisions. We two shot units a day for 22 weeks straight, three units a day for 10 weeks straight, four units for two weeks straight. And none of that would be possible without the greatest producing team on the planet.’
- Nearly all cast members from the show were present including Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams. As expected, Kit Harington wasn’t there (they really want us to think that Jon Snow is dead), as well as author George R.R. Martin.
- Episode 1 continues right from where Season 5 episode 10 ended. Yep, there is no time lag. Thus the episode also plays out mostly at Castle Black, the main headquarters of the Night’s Watch.
- The trailer that you watched above? It comprises scenes mainly from episode 1 and 2. So there’s a whole lot of stuff that is still shrouded in mystery (thank goodness for that, because the current trend of Hollywood movie studios is to show the entire story in the trailer itself, thus spoiling the big screen experience). There is also more info on the Khaleesi, Grey Worm and the Boltons.
- According to the Hollywood Reporter, ‘numerous moments throughout the episode elicited gasps of shock, unexpected (and uncomfortable) laughter, and long moments of stunned silence’ among the audience.
Game of Thrones may end sooner than expected
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have stated that their adaptation of GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire is nearing the end. According to the Benioff and Weiss, they are in the process of writing the final act now, which is expected to run for 10-15 hours beyond season 6. That means we could see a shorter version of Season 7 and 8 or a looong Season 7 (which is unlikely to happen).
Is Jon Snow coming back?
IS JON SNOW ALIVE? IS HE? IS HE? WILL HE RETURN? Jon Snow’s stabbing (seemingly fatal) at the end of Season 5 broke the internet and spawned multiple theories about the possible return of the show’s most beloved character (apart from Tyrion and Danaerys).
Now Kit Harington has time and again mentioned that he detests his long hair and would chop them off the moment he gets the opportunity. However, there have been numerous posts of Harington filming in Belfast and other shooting locations with his long hair intact. Members of the crew and cast have gone out of their way to state that Jon Snow is dead or ‘deader than dead’, but evidence points out otherwise.
Reports have suggested that Jon Snow would no longer be part of the Night’s Watch, but would eventually be revived by the Red Priestess Melisandre (that scene has been purportedly shot in absolute secrecy) and prepare for war against the Boltons. Harington has been spotted dressed up in the leather armor of House Stark, with hundreds of extras dressed up as Wildlings (puts to rest the flashback theory- that Jon Snow’s apparent scenes in the trailer were merely episode flashbacks). Also, note that after his death, he has fulfilled his oath to the watch- ‘Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.’
The battle in the North is expected to be a turning point in the series, with subsequent ramifications for Sansa, Jon, Littlefinger and Ramsay (hope that evil shit dies a horrible, twisted death!). There are more rumors and update on the same, but we would rather watch it for ourselves than speculate now.
Bran Stark returns
Brandon Stark and his enormously (pun intended) popular sidekick Hodor are going to be back. The promotional photos for Season 6 showed Bran standing upright with his new mentor- the Three-Eyed Raven (played by Max von Sydow). Another scene shows him standing against the Night King oooerrrr. So what is this new development? Has Bran regained his walking abilities? Well, probably yes. Something on that lines, because at the end of Season 4, the Three-Eyed Raven tells him, ‘You will never walk again, but you will fly’. That seems definitely possible after we saw the magical capabilities that the young Stark was capable of.
What will happen to Arya?
We saw that the spunky Arya Stark became blind at the end of Season 5, after she defied the Many-Faced God and killed Meryn Trant. However, in the trailer we can see that Jaqen H’ghar gives her a second chance (she freaking leaps off a wall- that can’t be done if you are blind as a bat). Her fate is definitely going to be very interesting.
That leaves us with Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy. Man, those guys were quite miserable in the entire season. Hope something better is in store for them.
The Lannisters vs Sparrows
Even the infamous walk of shame was not enough to soften or break Cersei Lannister (whom I admire a lot for her ruthless guts), who is seen all pumping with bellicose vengeance in the trailer, appearing as defiant and haughty as ever. She along with her lover/brother Jaime (who returns from his apparently failed mission in Dorne) are likely to battle the faith militants- the Sparrows- to wrest control of King’s Landing.
Will Daenerys regain her power?
Danaerys Targaryen has been my favorite character from the start (because holy shit mother-of-dragon so friggin cool) and last season was an abrupt fall in power for her. Last we saw that she was surrounded by a Dothraki clan, and stripped naked and paraded before a Dothraki leader. But then she has allies like Ser ‘Forever Friendzoned’ Jorah Mormont (who is becoming a stone-man, by the way), and Varys and Tyrion to hold Meereen together. In the trailer, we saw Tyrion trying to free her two captive dragons from the dungeon. If he succeeds, then we can see a lot of dragon awesomeness in Season 6.
All in all, ten weeks of blissful Game of Thrones watching and analyzing lies ahead. This is going to be the most crazy season and no one knows what lies in store for our titular characters. Enjoy! Valar Morghulis!