After months of hints, denials, seconds-long clips and red herrings, it’s finally here – the Game of Thrones trailer for series five has landed after appearing in IMAX screenings of earlier episodes, and it looks like it’s all change for the seven kingdoms.
Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are at odds, Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) hair is even longer, and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) continues to make shockwaves reverberate through the slave cities of the east whilst looking like a stern headmistress.
We also get a better look at Arya’s (Maisie Williams) descent into darkness, entering a mysterious building that almost certainly signals the beginnings of her training as an assassin, and Iain Glen’s disgraced Jorah Mormont locked in some kind of gladiatorial combat. (You can read what Maisie Williams had to say about it all here).
But as ever, it’s Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion we’re really interested in – and it looks like he’s embarking on a surprise alliance that diverges from his storyline in the original novels by George RR Martin. Travelling with Varys (Conleth Hill), Tyrion appears to on a mission to displace his nephew Tommen from the throne of Westeros – and Varys has an idea of who could replace him.
“The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions, with a powerful army and the right family name,” Varys says in the trailer.
“Good luck finding him,” Tyrion replies – only for Varys to clarify “Who said anything about him?” while an image of throne claimee Daenerys appears over him.
Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels see Tyrion travel alone at this point in the storyline, joining up with a band of mercenaries and a wannabe king and with only an idea of taking the throne or meeting up with Daenerys eventually. But in HBO’s version, it looks like Dinklage’s character will seek out the Mother of Dragons much more quickly, and perhaps even join forces within this series.
In other words, Tyrion might get to ride one of Daenery’s dragons and we’re super-excited.
One brief scene in the trailer also suggests a diversion for Waldau’s Jaime Lannister from his plot in the book (which saw him besieging castles in the Riverlands). Dressed in the traditional clothing of arid Westeros region Dorne, he strides into a palace – could he be there to apologise for the death of Dornish Prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), so memorably crushed to death in the last series? Or is he there for another reason?
Also intriguing is what’s not shown in the teaser. Notably, it doesn’t include characters Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn), who are rumoured to be absent this series. And where’s Stephen Dillane’s King Stannis?
Still, it looks like we have a lot to look forward to – and not just because of Tyrion’s masterful new beard…
Game of Thrones season five begins on Sky Atlantic on 13th April.
From 1st March, series one to four will be available to watch on Sky’s on demand and Now TV streaming services.