I imagine that meetings about making teaser trailers go something like this: a group of writers and designers pitch an action-packed 30 seconds of drama, mystery, and just a touch of the shows sexiest, hunkiest characters to a table of executives. The executives, rocking in their chairs and twisting their pens, rave… “We love it! Amazing! You have $1,000 to make it.”
And so we end up with teasers like this, the latest from Game of Thrones promoting season 6, which looks like a tour through the wigs and makeup trailer.
Just in case you’re reading from one of the few places left on earth without streaming capability (or an airplane seat) here’s the gist. The 79 second clip takes us into the Hall of Faces, the basement level of the Braavosi House of Black and White where Arya Stark has been living a justifiably angst-filled adolescence. The Hall serves as storage for faces of the people who die in the House of Black and White, which the Faceless Men use for their disguises.
As the camera zooms in on disembodied faces of dead characters – Ned Stark, Robb, Catelyn, Joffrey Baratheon, Jon Snow – we listen to voiceovers of some of their old lines. (Look closely and you’ll also catch some of the minor deceased characters like Ygritte and Tywin.)
On Jon Snow’s line, “The long night is come, and the dead come with it,” the camera pulls back to display six more faces, these of still living characters Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, Arya and Sansa Stark, Danerys Targaryen, and presumably Jamie Lannister (though that one looks more like Jorah Mormont to me.)
Note that Jon Snow appeared between the living and the dead, which could indicate that he is either – or both!
I don’t think anyone has to worry over their favorite character quite yet though. Since the Hall is only supposed to store the faces of those who’ve died at the House of Black and White, yet all our Westerosi dead show up in the promo, it’s pretty obvious the production is just being metaphorical and someone might die next year. But then again it’s Game of Thrones, so a season where we didn’t lose a beloved character would be pretty weird.
The Game of Thrones wiki reveals that the Hall of Faces is one of the few fully built sets, with pillars over 30 feet tall and more than 600 handcrafted masks. Any smart director is going to go looking for the most cost-effective way to make their project, so part of the creepy message of this teaser might be chalked up to convenience.
Then again, valar morghulis.
Game of Thrones returns with season 6 on April 24.