Game of Thrones can be a pretty dark show, killing off its apparent “heroes” left and right while allowing absolutely horrible people to prosper (we’re looking at you, Ramsay Bolton).
Hell, in its first season it even decapitated ostensible lead character Ned Stark (Sean Bean) right when it seemed he was about to begin a brand-new adventure, leading his son Robb (Richard Madden) to attempt revenge which – you guessed it – led to the death of more or less the rest of the Starks as well.
Now, with even Jon Snow possibly removed from the fight for good it’s safe to say we’d given up on seeing any good guys triumph in Westeros. Better to accept the darkness, sit back and just hope Tyrion doesn’t get killed this year.
You see, on closer analysis of the latest trailer for Game of Thrones’ sixth season, we noticed something which might bring a little shred of hope that it’s not all doom and gloom this year. Take a look at this screengrab of Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) facing off against what looks like the forces of the nasty Boltons. Can you see the metaphorical smoking gun behind him?
No? How about now?
Damn right – that looks an awful lot like the direwolf banner for House Stark, former lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North for generations until they were defeated by the Lannisters, Boltons and Freys back in series three and sent into exile. Here’s a couple of better looks at the emblem for comparison, noting the open mouth and thick neck (and the fact that the flag has flipped the wrong way).
So what could Davos be doing with a Stark banner? Well, earlier this week an eagle-eyed Thrones fan spotted that scenes from two different trailers seemed to suggest Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Davos were meeting this season, so perhaps this is yet more confirmation that the pair are teaming up.
However, it also seems clear that something bigger is happening here. As far as we knew the Starks were scattered, disgraced and mostly presumed dead, with their armies destroyed and Sansa generally considered to be the last of the line (we know Bran, Rickon and Arya are alive but most people in the show don’t). So how can they be fielding an army under their own banner?
Our guess is that Sansa, having escaped from her forced husband Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) as seen in new preview clips for the series, will attempt to rally her family’s old friends to her cause and banner and take back her home.
The last series hinted that this could be possible when several characters (including noble families) declared their loyalty still lay with the Starks, not new lords the Boltons.
And as for Davos’ involvement, well, perhaps after the death of Stannis last series he’ll be looking for new honourable work, and reinstating the Starks is definitely that (plus, he can get revenge on the Boltons for routing Stannis). And maybe, considering how keen he was to protect Jon Snow’s body from the Night’s Watch in another preview clip we’ve seen, he’s hoping to return Sansa’s half-brother to her side – possibly in a coffin, possibly in a new resurrected-by-magic form.
Yes, we’re calling it – Sansa is teaming up with zombie Jon Snow to try and steal her house back from the Boltons and move her family’s bodies into its crypt before dealing with her own psychological trauma. And in the world of Game of Thrones, that’s about as happy an ending as we can hope for.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO and Sky Atlantic on the 24th April