Another week, another HBO trailer for Season Two of Game of Thrones, the network's most hotly anticipated series return this spring.
The newest teaser, titled Price For Our Sins, features new looks at fan favorites like Dany, Melisandre and Tyrion Lannister, as well as several juicy spoilers for what to expect in the second season, which premieres on April 1, 2012.
Based on the bestselling series by George R.R. Martin, Season Two of Game of Thrones has been teasing fans with questions all year. Where will Dany (Daenerys Targaryen) go now that she has the only three dragons in the world at her command? What's happened to Arya Stark, the ill-fated Ned's youngest daughter, and to Joffrey's unlikely betrothed Sansa? Who is the red woman fans have been seeing in the trailers, and do all these battle shots mean viewers will finally get to see more on-screen action?
From Dany's metamorphosis into the Mother of Dragons to Cersei's alarming new tendency to reflect on her actions, here are seven things to know from the new Price For Our Sins teaser trailer, and what to look forward to for Game of Thrones Season Two. Scroll down to watch the full trailer below.
1. Daenerys: Mother of Dragons and Jorah's Romantic Awkwardness
I am Daenerys Stormborn, and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood!
It's a battle-cry those eagerly anticipating the return of Game of Thrones have heard many times over the past few teasers and trailers. This time, however, viewers get to see a little more of who Daenerys Stormborn will soon become: The Mother of Dragons.
The Price For Our Sins teaser features some of the same shots of the city of Qarth, the great trading mecca in the East, that is the focus of the Daenerys chapters in George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings.
But although there has yet to be a character in the trailers that fans can definitely say is Zaro Zhoan Daxos, leader of the traders in Qarth, this teaser does give us the last end of Daenerys' dialogue to someone within the city's walls, and a hint of what's to come for the khaleesi's enemies: We will burn you first.
But the focus of the Daenerys (Dany) sections in HBO's most recent trailer is less on the power she will eventually wield but on a weakness she carries with her: her increasing dependence on Ser Jorah Mormont, who we learned in Season One was utterly (and inappropriately) in love with his queen.
They're too weak to fight, Mormont tells Dany in the first scene of the new trailer. You are their strength.
As you are mine, Dany answers, brushing his cheek with her hand and giving him a far more tender look than we've seen her give him so far.
This attachment can only spell trouble for Dany in the long run, however, since she is (at least in the books) far from in love with Mormont. She sees him more as a mentor and key to Westeros than as a potential romance, and if HBO follows Martin's lead, Mormont's possessiveness will soon begin to wear on her.
One brief shot of legendary knight Ser Barristan Selmy, who fled Westeros in Season One after Joffrey had him axed from the King's Guard, supports this idea. In A Clash of Kings, Selmy travels to the East to aid Daenerys after his banishment, and clashes between him and Mormont come quickly after he appears.
2. Stannis! Renly! Battles!
Power resides where men believe it resides, Varys tells Tyrion in the new trailer, and nowhere is this more true than in the battle between brothers Renly and Stannis for the Iron Throne.
While Joffrey Baratheon holds the seat at King's Landing and Robb Stark gathers forces in the North, the late king Robert's older and younger brother fight for the right to take the throne by force, and it's clear from the outset that they have different ideas about what makes someone worthy of the crown.
The Iron Throne is mine, Stannis tells Renly in one of our first clear shots of him so far, referencing the rumor (which Season One shows viewers was fact) that Joffrey is actually the illegitimate son of Queen Cersei and her twin brother Jaime. Because Stannis is the oldest, the throne should by rights be his.
Renly, however, makes what in Westeros is the far more potent point: No one wants you for their king! Ned Stark's insistence on honor and duty over pragmatism and peace cost him his head last season, and Renly has far greater support on his side than Stannis does so far.
So what does this clash of brother-kings mean for Season Two of Game of Thrones, besides some serious power playing and some not-quite-kosher magic (see below)? A whole lot of battles.
Season One saw barely any action, with two large battles taking place almost entirely off-screen. In Season Two, however, action sequences are unavoidable, and one battle in particular, well-known to those who loved Martin's A Clash of Kings, reportedly almost threatened to capsize HBO's massive budget.
The newest trailer features battle shots interspersed throughout its minute and a half, featuring clashes on land, at sea...and in flames.
3. Melisandre And Her (Literal) Devil Spawn
Which brings us to Melisandre, the Red Priestess. At Stannis' right hand, she is without a doubt the biggest threat to Renly's strategies and his life.
But her worship of R'hllor, the Lord of Light relatively unknown in Westoros, makes her the target of many in Stannis' court, while her brutal and uncompromising methods divide loyalties within and cause terror throughout the Seven Kingdoms.
This woman will lead him into a war he cannot win, Maester Cressen of Dragonstone is seen telling Stannis' right-hand man Davos, another indication that HBO writers are sticking close to the structure and plot of the books.
Those who have read A Clash of Kings know the price Maester Cressen will pay for these words of disloyalty. but Melisandre's powers are what's truly on full display in this Game of Thrones teaser.
Fans will get to see the first shots available of Stannis' flaming sword, part of Melisandre's prophecy that he is the reincarnation of Azor Ahai, a legendary hero and Lighbringer of R'hllor.
But they will also see a glimpse of the true shadow on the wall that Varys has been referencing in HBO teasers for months, as shots of Melisandre giving birth to what may be actual demon spawn flash across the screen. Be afraid, Davos (seen here holding the lantern). Be very afraid.
4. More Wildfire, More Tyrion
Varys' shadow on the wall doesn't just refer to Melisandre's powers, of course. It's also a parable for the war itself, and especially for Tyrion Lannister's place in it.
King Joffrey's uncle is now the Hand of the King, but that doesn't seem to stop him from continuing to heap abuse (glorious, glorious abuse) on his new sovereign: a shot near the end of the teaser appears to show Tyrion slapping Joffrey yet again, giving fans more of what they loved in the early episodes of Season One.
Along with trying to reign in his nephew, however, Tyrion also has three (and soon, four) other would-be rulers to keep back from King's Landing, and fans are treated to a shot of him holding a vial of wildfire, a Greek Fire-like weapon he plans to use against any invading armies.
For all those people who were disappointed that you didn't see the battle last season, they will be pleasantly surprised that I do engage in a serious battle this year, Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion, told EW in a recent interview. I think that was a brilliant way of dealing with my character [last season], 'cause he's not a fighter, He's sort of more of an intellectual...But this season, for all the people who miss battles, we definitely will serve them up.
5. Cersei Gets Reflective, Joffrey Get Unhinged
While Tyrion begins to turn his thoughts to action, his older sister Cersei, recently free of her husband Robert but struggling to maintain her hold on eldest son Joffrey, appears to be turning increasingly reflective, a worrying turn of events if there ever was one.
Sometimes I wonder if this is the price for our sins, she can be heard saying at the beginning, as the camera pans over a very scruffy and very imprisoned Jaime.
Cersei certainly has a lot to pay for. After sleeping with her brother and bearing his children, becoming a somewhat willing accomplice in Bran's near-death fall and killing her husband Robert while he was out hunting, she now has to contend with a son who, along with beheading Ned Stark and essentially starting the rebellion against him, seems to be fighting for a new crown: most horrendous ruler in TV history.
Joffrey has never been the most stable of princes, to say the least. Kingship, however, appears to have made him completely power-mad and sadistic, publically beating and humiliating his one-time betrothed Sansa Stark and ignoring all his mother's attempts to keep him from digging his own grave.
Not that Cersei would go so far as to take action against her son...or that she's completely averse to his methods. This is what ruling is, she tells Tyrion in the teaser before the camera shows her being rescued from a mob. It's unclear just who she's trying to convince.
6. Theon Greyjoy and Robb Stark: Battle of the Angst
Cersei isn't the only exasperated mother in the newest Game of Thrones trailer. Catelyn Stark has some advice to give her son Robb, though his deals more with duty and honor than with basic human kindness.
You have inherited your father's responsibilities, Cat tells Robb as shots of younger sister Arya (now disguised as a boy and on her way to the Wall) and younger brother Bran fill the screen. I am afraid, she continues as Sansa Stark is shown stripped and weeping at King's Landing, [that] they come at a cost.
Robb Stark, however, has more than battles on his mind: he's also become increasingly enamored with Jeyne Westerling, the daughter of a minor house. Since he has already promised Lord Frey, his mercurial ally, that he would marry one of his daughters in Season One, this romance is sure to make the battle for the North far more perilous for him than before.
Theon Greyjoy, however, the Stark's prisoner-turned-ward, also has loyalties to contend with. After years of living with Robb as a brother, Theon is sent before the events in A Clash of Kings to treat with his father Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, bearing a treaty of peace against the Baratheons.
The new HBO trailer, however, shows Theon burning a piece of paper over the candlelight, and the camera soon turns to an infuriated Robb Stark saying, No matter where he walks...we will hunt him down.
The new trailer also features a woman who could be Theon's warrior-like and seductive sister Asha Greyjoy, seen looking dangerous and rather (ahem) revealing in the glimpse we get of her.
7. More Margarey, Less Loras (This Time Around)
The last trailer HBO released for Season Two of Game of Thrones was a character featurette of Renly Baratheon, and dropped a bombshell of its audience.
Not only would the implicit love story between Renly and his loyal knight Ser Loras be brought front and center, sex scenes and all...the trailer also made it clear that Renly's new wife, Loras' sister Margarey, knows all about the affair.
In the newest teaser, however, Loras is nowhere to be seen, and Renly and Margarey, if not romantically attached, at least appear to be politically hot-and-heavy for each other.
Whatever you need to do, Margarey advises her husband before moving in for a very deep kiss. You are a king.
For those who worry this means the Loras storyline may be tweaked to allow Renly to love both siblings, however, there's also a shot of Peter Littlefinger Baelish spying through the door. He may be checking on Margarey and Renly, or he may (more likely) be spying on the King and Margarey. Either way, the wily one's presence on screen casts their romance in doubt...as does Margarey's admonition to Renly in the last trailer that if he's going to lie about who he loves, he had better save them up for their time at court.
Check out the newest trailer for Game of Thrones Season Two below.
Price For Our Sins