This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 5 and Season 6.
It’s been nearly three months since production began on Game of Thrones Season 6. The finale of Season 5 marked the end of most plot lines covered in the source material, but that hasn’t stopped speculation by eager Game of Thrones fans. Thanks to a combination of casting notices, leaked photographs, and fan sightings, a clear picture of Game of Thrones Season 6 has emerged.
Return of the Khaleesi: When viewers last saw Daenerys Targaryen, she was surrounded by a khalasar of presumably angry Dothraki. After the death of her husband, Khal Drogo, Daenerys refused to follow Dothraki tradition, which dictated that she join the dosh khaleen. A Reddit user found audition footage that implies Daenerys may go to the dosh khaleen after all. In the footage, Palestinian actress Leem Lubany, auditions for the role of a young widow who identifies herself as one of the dosh khaleen. In the second segment, the dialogue suggests that the young widow speaks with Daenerys about her dragons. Near the end of the scene, an unidentified man sneaks up behind her. Fan site Watchers on the Wall also found a picture that appears to show Daenerys leading a khalasar, with Daario Naharis riding at her side.
Of course, Game of Thrones frequently auditions actors with scenes that never appear in the show. For now, take this spoiler with a grain of salt.
House Tully Returns: The Red Wedding in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones Season 3 left the North in shambles and House Tully and House Stark on the verge of extinction. Subsequent seasons of Game of Thrones have focused on Kings Landing, Dorne, and Essos, leaving the Riverlands virtually ignored. Both Edumure and Blackfish Tully survived the Red Wedding, but so far their fates haven’t been explored on Game of Thrones. It looks like Season 6 will change that. Sources captured photos that fan site Winter is Coming believes depict Lannister forces camped outside Riverrun.
If the photos are of a Lannister garrison, that would mean Game of Thrones Season 6 will cover the siege of Riverrun. In A Feast for Crows, Blackfish returns to Riverrun after the Red Wedding and prevents the Freys from claiming the lordship Tywin Lannister promised them. The siege is later broken by Jaime Lannister. So far, there have been no reported sightings of actor Clive Russell, who portrayed Blackfish in Season 3, but that could be because all eyes have been focused on one of the few surviving members of House Stark.
Jon Snow is Absolutely Dead: Without question, Game of Thrones’ biggest moment in Season 5 was the betrayal of Jon Snow to his death. Speculation that Jon Snow somehow survived his brush with death began almost as soon as the episode ended. But the show’s creators, several actors, and the head of HBO insisted that Jon Snow is dead. But two months into production, a different story emerged.
Several fans reported sightings of Kit Harington in Belfast, the base of Game of Thrones production. In an interview, Harington said he’d be in his 30s before he finished work on Game of Thrones, an estimate in line with rumors of the series’ Season 8 series finale. In a blog written after Game of Thrones’ Emmy win, author Geroge R.R. Martin thanked actors whose characters had died during previous seasons, but Kit Harrington wasn’t listed. Does this confirm that Jon Snow lives? Not exactly. Tara Fitzgerald wasn’t listed either, but Selyse Baratheon is certainly dead.
Yet, Watchers on the Wall released photos which seem to show Harington on set during a battle scene. On close inspection, the photo actually proves that Jon Snow is dead, but it also proves that Jon Stark lives. In the photograph, Jon clothing more appropriate to his northern heritage, instead of the black typical of the Night’s Watch.
As an official Stark, Jon can reclaim Winterfell and reignite the war of northern secession. But this time, with Tywin Lannister dead, their alliance with the Tyrell’s seemingly destroyed, and their forces dealing with the siege of Riverrun, the Lannisters aren’t in the position to win as easily.
So, buckle up Game of Thrones fans, because it looks like Season 6 will finally see the rise of the heroes!
[Images via HBO]