The first trailer for the fifth season of Game of Thrones has leaked to the internet, and it promises a truly epic season of the hit HBO fantasy series. If you're sitting down, you may want to stand, take a deep breath, fasten a seatbelt to your couch, and then sit again before watching. [Update: A better quality version of the trailer has hit the internet. Check it out.]
The new trailer appears to come by way of some blessed soul that attended a screening of the final two episodes of Game of Thrones' fourth season in IMAX. Thrice blessed art thou, and may the Seven smile upon you, YouTube user adelaido Rahl. The video copy is wonky as all get out, of course, but the main gist of it gets across. [h/t: Watchers On The Wall.]
Clocking in at just over two minutes, the trailer touches on just about every thread that was left dangling from Game of Thrones' fourth season, with glimpses of Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Littlefinger, Sansa, and all of your favorites that didn't stomach a sword over the last four years. There's a ton to unpack, so let's get to it.
"Nothing's more hateful than failing to protect what you love."
We start out with a couple of glimpses of Cersei and Jaime Lannister in close proximity to what appears to be a stately funeral. Those who watched the last season of Game of Thrones should remember that Tywin Lannister was killed by his son Tyrion in the season's final episode. Those who haven't watched it yet have just learned a valuable lesson about reading articles that common sense would decree might have spoilers in them.
It goes without saying that the fallout from Tywin's murder – one of last year's "YouTube reaction video" moments, indeed – will loom large over the early portion of Season 5. Given the recent death of love-to-hate-him Joffrey Lannister, it looks like Lannisters are dropping like flies, and Tyrion - a suspect in both killings – is still at large. Cersei, meanwhile, is discovering that she can't protect the people she loves; not her son, not her father, not her brotherlover Jaime. This is all going to figure greatly into her character arc for this season.
"There's no justice in this world, not unless we make it."
That's Littlefinger speaking to Sansa Stark, and we've got to assume that he's tutoring her in the ways of righteousness as he says it. Littlefinger has had to scrape and scheme for everything he's gotten in the world of Game of Thrones, and he's trying to tell the erstwhile Princess Sansa that she's going to have to do the same.
The big takeaway from Littlefinger's speech to Sansa, though, is that last bit: "Avenge them." It looks like we might see Petyr taking this season to teach Sansa how to truly play the game and exact slow vengeance on those that wronged her family. Just how well she'll take to the game of thrones, though, remains to be seen. As Cersei once said, when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. So Sansa is going to have to learn quickly.
"I will never sit on the Iron Throne."
That's fan-favorite Tyrion Lannister giving the sober view that we've all come to know and love. Not to jump too far ahead in the trailer, but we're thinking that this quote ties into another, later quote.
"The Seven Kingdoms need a ruler that is loved by millions, with a powerful army and the right family name."
That, of course, is Varys speaking to Tyrion. As we've seen from previous leaks, Tyrion manages to make his way to the court of Daenerys Targaryen, and he somehow manages to keep his head in the process. We're betting Varys has a good deal to do with both of those, and we're betting the goal is to get Tyrion – acknowledged among some circles as the one who really saved King's Landing – to throw his weight behind Daenerys.
And just what sort of ruler would the Mother of Dragons be, were she to sit the Iron Throne?
"I'm not going to stop the wheel; I'm going to break the wheel."
That's Daenerys talking with someone. It could be Tyrion; it could be Varys. It could be someone who made the mistake of quoting a Journey song at the Queen of Meereen. The target of the dialogue doesn't matter, because it gives us a sense of just what Daenerys is thinking.The Mother of Dragons has been royal-born, as well as a slave. She's been a vagrant, a guest, and a supplicant. Now she's a queen, with a formidable army and allies positioned to help her take the Iron Throne. We don't know just what she plans to do with her dragons and her Unsullied, but it looks like she's not going to settle for the status quo.
"Strip away the gold, knock down the statues, and this is what remains."
The speaker of this line isn't identified, but this will likely be one of the most important lines of the next season of Game of Thrones. That's because it's likely uttered by the High Sparrow, the humble leader of the Faith, who comes to Cersei and makes a bargain that winds up drastically upsetting the status quo. Not to give too much away, but Cersei's Walk of Shame is an outgrowth of the belief expressed in that quote. What remains after the gold and statues are gone? The Faith, of course.
And what else remains of the trailer? A ton. Too much to go into here. We haven't even gotten to the marauding wildlings or the particulars of Tyrion's journey to meet Daenerys – spoiler alert: it probably involves wine and wine casks. There's also a shot of erstwhile Daenerys ally Jorah Mormont fighting for his life in the pits, as well as a shot of Cersei receiving a strange, automatically opening gift.
What else? We haven't touched on your new favorite characters for this season, the Sand Snakes, whom we catch a glimpse of once or twice in the trailer. There's also a shot of little Arya Stark, well on her way to becoming what you should have guessed she'd become once you saw a certain coin placed in her hand.
And more? Yes, more. There are those guys in gold masks. Who are those guys in gold masks? And the statues toppling from pyramids. And then, the most important bit of information: Game of Thrones Season 5 hits your television, computer, smartphone, tablet, or torrent feed – don't deny it – on April 12.