It’s safe to say the folks at Game of Thrones are trying to keep their future storylines secret. First they swore all their cast to silence and then they announced that they were no longer letting critics watch episodes before broadcast, meaning that all of us are in the dark as we approach the first season not directly based on the books the series has now overtaken.
Now, HBO have released a few more tidbits about what we can expect from the first episode of the upcoming series six – but as you might expect, it has all the detail of a faded smudge in a blur factory.
What we do know is this – the episode will be called The Red Woman, which would imply a major role for Carice van Houten’s priestess Melisandre, and it comes with this description: “Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again.”
The series as a whole also gets this longer description, most of which sounds like it was written by somebody who’s never seen the show but was bluffing with vague things to fake a connection with a girl in the pub:
“Following the shocking developments at the conclusion of season five, including Jon Snow’s bloody fate at the hands of Castle Black mutineers, Daenerys’ near-demise at the fighting pits of Meereen, and Cersei’s public humiliation in the streets of King’s Landing, survivors from all parts of Westeros and Essos regroup to press forward, inexorably, towards their uncertain individual fates. Familiar faces will forge new alliances to bolster their strategic chances at survival, while new characters will emerge to challenge the balance of power in the east, west, north and south.”
So yeah, we’ll ignore that for now and concentrate on the comparative pearls of information coming from the episode description. First things first – Jon’s death. This is a bit of a sticking point with fans, who really don’t believe Kit Harington’s Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch is gone for good despite his corpse appearing in the series trailer and repeated assertions by actor Kit Harington that he’s done with the show for good.
So by including also including this assertion this in the episode synopsis, HBO seem keen to quash any rumours of Jon’s survival. But the episode’s title could also be seen to hint at many fans’ favourite method for his return, namelyMelisandre raising him from the dead as fellow Red Priest Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) has done to other characters in the series. So yeah, he could be definitely dead or he might definitely be coming back from death, and nothing’s cleared up by that bit of the synopsis.
Next: “Daenerys meets a strong man”. Now this is slightly interesting – while this could just be describing a meeting between Emilia Clarke’s Khaleesi and some new Dothraki chieftain, we can’t help but wonder if this “strong man” is a reference to a character from George RR Martin’s novels who was cut from the TV series. You see, in the books one of Dany’s lieutenants was a eunuch gladiator called Strong Belwas, famed for his fighting skills and prodigious appetite.
Unfortunately the TV series didn’t have room for him earlier in Dany’s storyline, but perhaps this synopsis could hint at him finally making a fan-serving appearance as the show begins to chart new ground from the source novels. Or as we said, she just meets a strong man and we’ve still learned nothing about the new series. You may be sensing a theme here.
And so finally we come to the last part of the synopsis: “Cersei sees her daughter again”. That part at least is a bit clearer – because the last time we saw Myrcella Baratheon (above) she was dying in the arms of her father en route back to Westeros, and we’re betting Cersei won’t be best pleased when she finds out. A Lannister always pays their debts, after all – and after everything she went through last season, Cersei’s ledger is dripping with red.
So yes, that’s what we can expect in this year’s Game Of Thrones – characters may or may not be dead, may or may not will meet new people who might be interesting and will probably try to get revenge from time to time. Glad we could clear that all up.
Game of Thrones returns on 24th April on HBO and Sky Atlantic