Like winter, more Game of Thrones is coming. HBO today put out the first trailer for the sixth season of the low-fantasy show, an 80-second clip set in the spooky Hall of Faces first seen in the fifth season. The camera hovers ominously around the quiet hall, focusing on the disembodied faces of characters lost in the series so far, before panning across the faces of surviving characters, including Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Arya and Bran Stark, and Jon Snow. All three Stark siblings left left last season in states of limbo — Arya, pledged to an assassins' cult, Bran living in a tree with Max von Sydow — but it's Jon, stabbed and apparently bleeding to death on the snowy ground at Castle Black, who has the most murky future.
We're heading into uncharted territory for Game of Thrones' cast of characters — season six marks the point at which the show will overtake the books, thanks to George R.R. Martin's glacial writing pace, and the rigors of maintaining a successful TV series. That means that any one of Game of Thrones' hundreds of characters could be breathing their last this season, and today's trailer rams that point home, hovering ominously around the Stark siblings, as well as other major characters.
Perhaps more importantly, it also means that book readers lose their last chance to sit smugly by as show watchers take in traumatic events like the Red Wedding for the first time. From April 24th, when season six premieres, we're all in this together.