"Game of Thrones" fans lost their collective minds when the HBO series released the first poster for the upcoming sixth season featuring none other than Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), seemingly, but not overtly, confirming the murdered character would have at least some sort of continued role when the new episodes begin airing in April. Now a new trailer is also hinting that Jon Snow's fate will be a centerpiece of the new season, while also teasing the return of one fan favorite character who has not been seen since Season 4 -- Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright).
The video features a voice -- a voice that sounds an awful lot like the Raven, the wiseman Bran finally found in the Season 4 finale -- cryptically discussing the state of seven kingdoms and the past.
"The past is already written, the ink is dry," the voice asserts over a shot of a very-much-alive Jon Snow (though the footage is not new), followed by a montage of many of the series' most tragic moments -- the death of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), the Red Wedding, etc.
Watch the video via the tweet from the official "Game of Thrones" Twitter account below:
— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) December 3, 2015
The whole "ink is dry" line would seem to imply that Snow, who lay dying on the ground at the end of the Season 5 finale after a Night's Watch mutiny, is gone for good. However, is the trailer teasing another alternative?
"They have no idea what's going to happen," Bran tells the mysterious voice as his eyes glaze over the way they do when his Warg powers kick into effect. That shot comes immediately after an image of Jon Snow's face dying. Fans already know from Season 4 that Bran can use his Warg abilities to inhabit other people's bodies, as he did with Hodor (Kristian Nairn), so does the juxtaposition imply Bran will save his bastard brother by ... becoming him? That might be a stretch, but if "Game of Thrones" has proved anything it is that anything is possible in this world -- a smoke monster once murdered a king after all! Besides, Bran's line that "they have no idea what's going to happen," while presumably talking about the people of Westeros, is also referring to the audience as well in a very Meta way.
The reason Bran was missing from Season 5 was that the show had caught up to the characters’ storyline in George R.R. Martin's novels on which the series was based. Now the show has caught up -- anxious fans are still waiting the release of Martin's sixth installment, "The Winds of Winter" -- and Bran is coming back into the fold, but there is no source material or rule book for what that will mean.
Either way, one thing seems certain -- Bran is back, with or without his brother. Will that be enough for fans?
"Game of Thrones" will return to HBO for Season 6 in April 2016.