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This preview will contain spoilers for everything that’s happened on the show so far, as well as a couple of fan theories and some book plot points which are yet to appear on the show.

On the 25th of April “Game of Thrones” returns to our screens. After months of speculation we’ll finally discover the fate of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch who was mercilessly left in a puddle of his own blood in the season five finale, as well as a few other things that fans have basically ignored over the last few months.

Jon Snow

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via mtv.com

I should start with the elephant in the room… will Jon Snow be brought back from the dead? His death has been the focus of multiple fan theories since the season five finale, with many book readers stating that he will be resurrected; this has led to denials from several cast members and indeed Kit Harington himself. Personally, I would love it if Jon Snow didn’t come back this year simply because of the collective outrage that there would be, but it seems very unlikely. In my opinion, it would be quite ridiculous to put so much work into developing the character, placing him at the forefront of the story, just to kill him off.

This has happened before on “Game of Thrones”, but there’s an important difference when it comes to our favourite bastard. The problem with Jon Snow not coming back is that it would significantly weaken the show’s narrative and the work that has been done so far, because not only has the character himself been given a lot of screen time, but other characters have spoken on several occasions about his parentage and the mythical Azor Ahai. There have been references to the fact that Jon Snow could in fact be a Targaryen ever since the show began, and there have also been many mentions of a possible death and resurrection involving the character – remember when Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan) said ‘kill the boy Jon Snow, let the man be born’ last season? These aren’t just throw-away lines of dialogue written for dramatic effect; they have a purpose and they foreshadow what is to come.

We know that Jon Snow’s return is possible in this universe because of Beric Dondarrion’s (Richard Dormer) resurrection at the hands of Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) back in season three, and there’s no coincidence in the fact that Melisandre (Carice van Houten) – who spoke to Thoros directly during season three about such things – finds herself at The Wall at the start of season six. She’s lost her reason for existence now that Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is dead, and she will be looking for a new person to lead the realms of men against the White Walkers, with the obvious choice being Jon.

It’s been too easy in the build up to this season for the actors to say things like ‘Jon Snow isn’t coming back’, ‘Jon Snow is dead’, and ‘Kit Harington has been seen on set because he’ll be playing a corpse’, because all of these things are true. Nobody has to lie to say any of those things because Jon really was killed at the end of season five, he will be a corpse at the start of this one, and he may not come back as the exact same character.

In any case, I don’t think that Jon Snow will come back straight away. Pacing will be of the upmost importance when it comes to this storyline because the writers will want to keep people guessing for as long as possible, so we may have to sit back and theorise a little while longer.

As a side-note, I’d like to mention the fact that the Night’s Watch mutineers didn’t burn the body immediately after killing Jon Snow, which is something that you would’ve expected them to do when they had the chance. For me, this is a significant plot hole which speaks to the possibility that he will be resurrected, because it really doesn’t make sense that men of the Night’s Watch would leave a dead body out in the open when they know that it could be reanimated as a wight, unless this would somehow serve the story. Of course, I can’t be 100% sure that they don’t intend to burn the body before something stops them (maybe Ghost, the wildlings, or Davos (Liam Cunningham)), but the marketing team has edited the trailer in such a way that it does seem as though the body has simply been left to decay.

The Boltons vs. Sansa, Theon, Davos, Tormund, and the Northern Lords

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via screenrant.com

Sticking to the North; Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) ended last season on a high, defeating Stannis’ army and partaking in his favourite pastime (murder). However, he isn’t going to be quite so happy when he returns from the battlefield at the start of this season to find that his prized asset has escaped from Winterfell. Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Theon (Alfie Allen) took the long dive down into the snow from the castle walls in the season finale last year to get away from Ramsay, so it’s likely that his first priority will be to get them back when we see him again.

There’s also the small matter of the fact that his lover died at the hands of those same escapees, so I dread to think what torture he will have in store for them if he actually finds them.

Despite the fact that Ramsay has lost his toys, this season wouldn’t be the same if he wasn’t playing the role of the show’s most hateable villain. With that in mind, I think the most obvious course of action for him would be to kill his future half-brother and mother-in-law so that Roose (Michael McElhatton) doesn’t have a legitimate heir – this would be suitably evil because Roose’s wife seems pretty harmless, and killing an unborn baby is frowned upon even in the “Game of Thrones” universe. I’d also like this moment to be followed up with Roose confronting Ramsay, only for Ramsay to say something along the lines of – ‘I learnt it from you’ – given the fact that Roose killed Robb Stark‘s (Richard Madden) unborn child at the Red Wedding. In a dream scenario this would then be followed by Ramsay killing his father, or vice versa – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

A plot point like this would be shocking and maintain the character’s persona, whilst also giving him something to do whilst Sansa is away. It would also make sense given the nature of Roose as a character, because he’s definitely going to reprimand Ramsay for giving Sansa a reason to run away, and this will frustrate the young Lord to a point where he may feel that he’s left with no option but to take drastic action.

The most interesting aspect of this storyline from my perspective is the reason why Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and the wildlings seem to be fighting against the Boltons in the footage from the trailers. We know from experience that the wildlings don’t like to get involved in power disputes in what they see as the South, so there has to be some outside reason why they are willing to fight, other than the fact that Ramsay is an absolute bastard despite his legitimisation.

One possibility here is that they have been forced away from The Wall after Jon Snow’s death, which would be interesting because Winterfell is the obvious place to go for protection. It’s been said on the show that 50 men could defend Winterfell against 500, so there’s every chance that they could see the castle as their next best option after The Wall.

It looks like the wildlings could rally around Ser Davos, who will most likely try to persuade the Northern Lords to help him in fighting the White Walkers, so there’s a chance that he could seek Roose’s help along the way. Maybe Roose refuses to help, and thus Davos agrees to join the other lords to defeat him in return for their aid against the Walkers? It’s just a thought, but it could be interesting. A simpler explanation would be that Jon Snow is resurrected, finds out what Ramsay did to Sansa, and decides to get some lovely revenge. This would fit with the theme of the season, as many cast members have spoken about how vengeance will be a key aspect of “Game of Thrones” this year.

Bran vs. The White Walkers

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I think we can all agree that Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) is one of the least memorable and least likeable characters on “Game of Thrones”, which is why no one noticed his absence in season five. However, hopefully we can also agree that one of the best moments from the season six trailer is when Bran turns around to see The Night’s King standing behind him.

This scene probably has a lot of people wetting their pants at the exciting possibility of Bran exiting the show for good, but let’s be clear – Bran can’t walk. In that scene he’s clearly standing up, so it’s obvious that this moment is either a vision or a dream. We know that off-screen Bran has been going through a tedious training montage with the Three-Eyed-Raven (Max von Sydow), learning all about greensight and how to make the most out of his powers, so it’s probably a vision. Still, there’s a good chance that Bran will come face to face with the White Walkers for real at some point over the course of this season, because they are clearly seen causing damage on the trailer. They’ve already taken Hardhome, so there’s a high probability that their next stop will be either the lair of the Three-Eyed-Raven, or The Wall.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright has spoken publicly in the build-up to season six about how his character will have visions of the past, present, and future this year, with the past probably being the most documented as it appears extremely likely that Bran will provide our insight into Jon Snow’s true parentage, with the Tower of Joy all but confirmed. For those of you who can’t remember, this is where Rhaegar Targaryen took Lyanna Stark after he (allegedly) kidnapped her. The flashback will show Ned Stark and his men taking on Arthur Dayne and two other members of the Mad King’s Kingsguard, in what is sure to be one of the best moments yet on “Game of Thrones”, answering a question which fans of the books have been asking for twenty years.

Arya

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The last Stark on my to-do-list for this preview is that charming blind assassin known as Arya (Maisie Williams). At the end of last season Arya brutally killed Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie), as revenge for the murder of her ‘dance teacher’ Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou) in season one. This act cost her her eyesight, as Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) punished her for taking a life which was not hers to take. She will be blind at the start of the season and for the foreseeable future, so I expect to see her adapting to this new difficultly whist also trying to serve the Many-Faced God.

Nevertheless, I don’t think that she’ll be blind for the entirety of the season. I’m hoping that she finally moves on from Braavos and becomes the person that she’s meant to be before season six finishes, because I think that the majority of the audience is getting tired of how her story has stagnated recently. She was my favourite character in season four but she’s become something of an afterthought after last season, so I hope that she’ll decide that being No One is someone else’s calling. How this will come about is anyone’s guess, but there’s only so many times that a girl can get slapped and be called No One before she slaps back.

Littlefinger

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via whatculture.com

There’s not a lot to be said about Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) right now, other than that he seems to be losing control. He’s had a plan from the beginning, and it seems like he’s always been one step ahead, but last season he was juggling a lot of powerful people and he made a couple of stupid mistakes. He’s always got a trick up his sleeve, but it’s unlikely that Sansa will be happy about the situation that he left her in last year, and I don’t think that Cersei (Lena Headey) will be very pleased if she finds out that he had a hand in delivering her to The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).

I had a sneaky suspicion that Littlefinger’s time might be up on “Game of Thrones” until very recently, because it doesn’t seem like he has a place in this world if the White Walkers get past The Wall. However, in a recent interview, when asked about what she’d like to see happen on “Game of Thrones”, Sophie Turner said that she wanted to see Littlefinger on the Iron Throne. This would be incredibly difficult if he happened to be dead before the end of season six.

Still, this isn’t proof that he survives the season – far from it – because Turner has also stated that this year she hasn’t read parts of the script which don’t relate to her character so that she can watch the show as a fan. This does suggest that Littlefinger could die in an upcoming episode without her knowing, but I still believe that it would be quite difficult for Sophie Turner to remain ignorant of Littlefinger’s fate when he seems to appear in the North on the trailer. It was my contention that if Littlefinger was to die then Sansa would have to have a hand in it, or that it would at least come to her attention, so maybe we can put thoughts of Littlefinger’s demise on ice for now. On the other hand, if Lady Stoneheart appears and Littlefinger is in the North then it is definitely squeaky-bum-time.

Brienne, Jaime, and Lady Stoneheart

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via variety.com

(SPOILER ALERT) Speaking of Lady Stoneheart… whether or not the resurrected and very angry Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) will make an appearance in season six is another aspect of the story which remains unclear, but it has been reported that Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr will return, which leaves me feeling very suspicious. If Lady Stoneheart does turn up then Brienne’s (Gwendoline Christie) head will be on the chopping block for failing to protect the Stark children, as will Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) for crippling Bran back in episode one.

It seems like Jaime, Pod (Daniel Portman), Bronn (Jerome Flynn), and Brienne will meet up again at some point this season, because it looks like Pod is grabbed in the trailer by Bronn, so they will all be in one place if our least favourite dead Stark comes back from the dead.

There are a lot of theories going around suggesting that Jaime will help Brienne to get revenge on the Freys on behalf of the Stark children, which would be interesting and could save his skin, but I think it’s a tough one to call. If Jaime is going to stand at the head of the Lannister army, which the trailers suggest that he will, then I don’t think it would be a very sensible decision to go after Walder Frey (David Bradley), even if Jaime feels he has an oath to keep.

That’s it for Part One – Part Two will focus on King’s Landing, Meereen, The Greyjoys, and Daenerys’ troubles with the Dothraki. I’ll also go into detail about a fan theory relating to The Hound and the possibility that seasons seven and eight will be shortened to eight episodes each. Thanks for reading!

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