Game of Thrones teasers are known for playing things extremely close to the chest, but the new teaser that dropped this week does quite the opposite. Or does it?
Game of Thrones promos are also known for trolling fans who can sometimes be a little too ravenous for details or confirmations of fan theories. But just for fun, let’s break the teaser down piece by piece and see what it might be telling us.
Warning: Spoilers for those not current on the show.
First, watch it (again):
What’s the Hall of Faces, exactly?
The teaser is set in the Hall of Faces, a secret room inside the House of Black and White. To refresh your memory on what this place is, or what we think it is, think back to Arya’s time with Jaquen H’ghar and her horrifyingly awesome discovery that the faces of the dead are the weapon of the faceless.
Simply put, you must be dead for your face to appear in the Hall of Faces. That doesn’t mean that what’s shown here is actual footage from the show – it’s a teaser, not a trailer. Remember that. Also remember that in this universe, coming back from the dead is a real, factual, actual thing that people can do (the most memorable example is Lady Stonehart in the books, but Beric Dondarrion has already done it in the series). While we know that many of the faces shown are from characters who are currently living who may die, the trailer reminds us that the reverse can (and probably will) also happen.
Let’s have a look at who’s in the hall. We start with Ned, which is also teasing us about the fact that there’s been rumors about Ned Stark returning in some way during Season 6, either as a younger self in a flashback or a resurrected Sean Bean. Ned’s voiceover says “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” If we’re putting weight on the quotes chosen, that means we’re to be reminded that there’s not a lot of value placed on life and honor in Westeros these days. Whispers can also be heard before he speaks, which obsessive show watchers will remember from the moment when he was executed.
Next up is Robb, who says “I’ve won every battle, but I’m losing this war.” Another reminder that doing things right doesn’t exactly add up to much. This is also a reminder that the enemy that’s on the doorstep won’t be defeated by conventional warfare.
The voiceover chosen to accompany Cat’s face says “Show them how it feels to lose what they love,” which will remind book readers of Lady Stoneheart. Even though the series has digressed from the books in a major way and we may never see Lady Stoneheart manifest in the series, it’s neat that the possibility is being teased. It also reminds us that the Lannisters have indeed lost much of what they love, although Cat didn’t live long enough to see justice served.
As Joffrey’s face is shown, his voiceover says “everyone is mine to torment.” GRRM, is that you?
Jon Snow, who’s hype train is reaching critical levels of marketing mastery, has left people wondering whether he’s actually dead, despite there being little doubt given how many times he was stabbed at the end of Season 5. His voiceover says “The long night is coming, and the dead come with it.” After they show Jon’s face in the hall, they move on to faces of characters who are currently living, hammering home the point that people should have listened to Jon instead of turning him into a pincushion. Ironically, Jon ends up being the only character who knows anything, despite what you may have heard.
Keen fans have also pointed out that if you look carefully, you can also see Tywin Lannister, Stannis Baratheon, and Ygritte.
Currently Living Characters
As various faces of living characters coming into view, we see Sansa Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Arya Stark, Jaime Lannister, and finally Tyrion Lannister, the undisputed favorite character of the series. Does this mean they’ll die? Maybe! But it’s not likely that all of them will, which means that it’s also possible that none of them will.
Possibly Corroborated Fan Theories
Just as producers had hoped, the trailer added a ton of new fuel to the hype engine. Along with that comes our very favorite speculative art – fan theories! A few longstanding fan theories are teased in the trailer, which has basically made fan theorists lose their damn minds.
In the books, Catelyn Stark is resurrected into the vengeful Lady Stoneheart, which seems to be heavily hinted by her inclusion in the voiceovers.
Jaime will kill Cersei
At the beginning of Season 5, Cersei hears a prophesy from a witch that tells of her marriage proposal and the deaths of her children. What’s left out is a line from the book that tells her she’ be killed by her little brother. She assumes this means Tyrion, but couldn’t it also be Jaime, who was born minutes after her? The inclusion of both of their faces suggests that this theory may still pan out.
In short, no one on Game of Thrones is safe
One of the most troubling and thrilling devices of the Game of Thrones series and arguably the whole reason A Song of Ice and Fire even exists is telling stories in a way that we feel no one is safe, no matter how much we love them or how heroic they are. While this may be the most infuriating thing about GoT for some, for many it’s a reason to invest ourselves further. Knowing anyone can die at any time on Game of Thrones is uniquely gripping.