The trailer for the fifth season of Game of Thrones has landed and you’ve probably watched it and over-analysed each frame about 800 times by now.
While a lot is suggested by the recent teaser there’s also a lot that’s not suggested. That is the point of trailers of course, to titillate and tide over hungry fans who are waiting patiently for the latest instalment.
The following observations are taken mainly from what we’ve seen in the TV show so far and we’ll only draw on book lore to talk about things we’re certain will be explored in the show. In other words, no spoilers, assuming you’re up to date with all four seasons of the show so far.
Here’s five things that either shouldn’t be revelations to us – or haven’t been shown in the trailer.
Varys and Illyrio are plotting to put Daenerys on the Throne
We knew this already. Anyone who has been paying attention will remember that Arya Stark overheard court spymaster Varys muttering conspiratorially with the Pentoshi entrepreneur in the first season.
In the very first episode we see Illyrio Mopatis brokering a marriage between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo. The rampaging Dothraki hordes were supposed to cross the sea and lay waste to the Seven Kingdoms.
That didn’t happen of course. This is Game of Thrones and even the best laid plans have a habit of going awry. But from the moment we see Varys and Illyrio rabbiting away in the depths of King’s Landing, it should be obvious where the bald eunuch’s loyalties really lie.
Are we bailing on Balon?
In season three, we saw sorceress Melisandre recreating scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey with Gendry. There is power in king’s blood apparently, hence the use of leeches and restrains to forcibly extract it from a hapless royal bastard.
The subsequent ritual may or may not have helped in hastening the deaths of Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon, but what of Balon Greyjoy?
The reaver king was the third name on Stannis’s hit list, but we’ve not seen the prickly Balon since Ramsay Bolton’s ‘present’ turned up at the end of the third season.
Will we get to see how far reaching Melisandre’s powers are or will Balon simply fade into obscurity?
According to this IMDB listing, it doesn’t look like Patrick Malahide is appearing in the fifth run of Thrones. With the exception of Theon (who we see above for a split second), we might not get any Greyjoy action this season.
Screwed Roose: Is House Bolton’s grip on the North slipping?
While the North now seems to be firmly in the grip of the Boltons, it’s suggested by those X-shaped map markers (1:26) than Roose’s men will soon be on the move.
Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The last episode of the fourth season saw a huge Baratheon host appearing north of the Wall. While the Boltons can move into the ruins of Winterfell unopposed, will they be able to hold it?
We’re not sure which way Stannis will turn next – he could stay at the Wall to aid in the fight against the white walkers or he could point those lances south.
Given that the Bolton’s only insider was taken out of action by Bran and Hodor last season, Roose and Ramsay can’t predict what Stannis will do next. They’d be unwise to kick back and relax with such a large enemy force parked on their doorstep.
The High Sparrow squawks off-screen
We get to hear a little of one-time Bond villain Jonathan Pryce towards the middle of the trailer. Pryce is already confirmed to play the High Sparrow, a hardline religious ascetic who arrives in King’s Landing.
“You strip away the gold, knock down the statues… and this is what remains,” squawks the Sparrow at the 1:08 mark.
This suggests that the decadence of the court could be somewhat subdued as austerity comes to Westeros. We see casks of booze getting smashed open during this segment.
Does this point towards a Henry VIII-style dissolution of the breweries? The perma-tipsy Cersei won’t be too happy about that.
Plenty of sand snakes, a paucity of princes
We saw a lot of new Dornish faces in this trailer but we didn’t get to see any of Alexander Siddig, who is already confirmed to play Prince Doran Martell.
Prince Doran, if you’ve been paying attention, is a powerful man who has now lost two family members to Gregor Clegane, the musclebound Lannister henchman known as ‘The Mountain’.
Elia of Dorne was raped and killed by Clegane, hence why her brother Oberyn was a little cross with him last season. It looked like Oberyn was all set to avenge Elia, but despite grievously wounding the Mountain with a poisoned blade, it was Clegane who got the upper hand(s).
Last time we saw Clegane, disgraced ex-master Qyburn was desperately trying to stymie the effects of the lethal poison, but it may be too late for him.
Even if the poison works and the House of Dorne gets its revenge, will the Prince be satisfied? We’ve yet to see much of this potentially powerful player, but we have instead seen plenty of fierce female fighters.
Keisha Castle-Hughes will be playing Obara Sand, one of the so-called ‘Sand Snakes’, and she can be seen cracking a whip at 0:15.
There’s also what appears to be a veiled threat to Cersei in the form of a stuffed snake with what could be a Lannister pendant dangling from its mouth. The Dornishmen are ‘hosting’ her daughter Myrcella, whose safety might not be guaranteed.
Despite the distinct Dorish flavour of the trailer, there was no sign of the ruling prince and it doesn’t look like Toby Sebastian, who is playing the younger prince Trystane Martell, put in an appearance either.
What else has HBO missed or cut out from Game of Thrones?
The first episode of season five is due to land on April 12 in the US and will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic and Now TV a day later here in the UK. There’s a lot of time between now and then for a new trailer to arrive which could help fill in the blanks.
While certain moments in the trailer suggest that a few things won’t happen, we’re loathe to second-guess who is or isn’t being cut based on what we might have read.