Following a long and impatient wait, fans of the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones are finally been treated to an official first look at the upcoming sixth season.
HBO launched a red-band trailer last night which provides a grim outlook of the current situation for various characters in the wicked and harsh world of Westeros.
The hugely-anticipated series picks off from the shocking events of the Season 5 finale which saw the heroic Jon Snow (Kit Harington) betrayed and murdered by his fellow Night’s Watchmen over his decision to let the Wildlings gain passage through the Wall.
Speculation has been rife that Snow could be revived at some point in this series but the current footage only shows him as a corpse that has become the topic of interest for Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and the red priestess Melisandre (Carice Van Houten).
Elsewhere, after her humiliating Walk of Shame, Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady) is seeking violent revenge on the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and now has the undead Mountain (Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson) by her side. We also see her reunited again with her brother/lover Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) although the potential news of her daughter Myrcella’s death is likely to fuel more anger into her with the Martells being the next target.
Daenerys “Khaleesi” Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is back in familiar territory for the new series as she finds herself being taken captive by the Dothraki army without her companions or dragons to protect her. However she is being pursued by her loyal guard Jorah Mormont (Ian Glen) and lover Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman).
The trailer footage also focuses on other key characters including a now-blind Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) who is clearly struggling to cope at the House of the Undead while her older sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) appears to be in safer surroundings following her terrible ordeal at the hands of Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) at Winterfell.
On the subject of Stark, we see the return of Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) who sat out the previous series after meeting the Three-Eyed Raven in the Season 4 finale. His main involvement in the footage sees him encounter the Night’s King albeit it looks more likely to be one of his many visions that could play a key role in the battle for the Iron Throne. Bran’s younger brother Rickon (Art Parkinson) is also back along with other characters from that storyline including Osha (Natalia Tena), Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) and of course, Hodor (Kristian Nairn)…..Hodor.
Veteran actor Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will be portraying the Three-Eyed Raven while other newcomers for the series include Pilou Asbæk (The Borgias, Lucy) as Euron Greyjoy, James Faulkner (Bridget Jones trilogy, Da Vinci’s Demons) as Randyll Tarly, Sebastian Croft (Penny Dreadful) as a young Ned Stark, Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont and the experienced Ian McShane (Deadwood, Ray Donovan) in an unspecified role.
Bran and his crew are just some of many characters from pre-Season 5 who are making comebacks for this series which include Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), Balon Grejoy (Patrick Malahide), Brynden “Blackfish” Tully (Clive Russell), Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) and the evil Walder Frey (David Bradley), the latter of whom still hasn’t been punished for his involvement in the Red Wedding.
The rest of the incredible character ensemble returning for this upcoming series include Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Lord Varys (Conleth Hill), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Podrick (Daniel Portman), Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton), Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale), Olly (Brenock O’Connor), Eddison Tollett (Ben Crompton), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Gilly (Hannah Murray), Bron (Jerome Flynn), Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman), Petyr “Baelish” Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover), Margery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones), Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), Mace Tyrell (Roger Ashton-Griffiths), Septa Unella (Hannah Waddingham), Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon), Qyburn (Anton Lesser), Kevan Lannister (Ian Gelder), Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), The Waif (Faye Marsay), Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli), Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), Obara Sand (Keisha Castle-Hughes), Tyene Sand (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers), Nymeria Sand (Jessica Henwick), Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig) and Areo Hotah (Deobia Oparei).
The fate of all these individuals will come into question when Season 6 of Game of Thrones premieres in the UK on April 25th.