In a continued effort to prove that All Men Must Troll, HBO just released a Game of Thrones Season 6 teaser that dangled each character’s corpselike faces to the backdrop of ominous voiceovers. The teaser simultaneously revealed zero new information and enough juicy tidbits to pounce on and theorize about — which demonstrates that although its going off-book, the show knows exactly what it’s doing. The tease stands as a sly nod to fan theories and a winking commentary on its awareness of itself as an entity that fuels those theories. Here are five prominent speculations it directly addresses.
Lady Stoneheart will make her entrance
Ever since the Red Wedding in Season 3, book fans have speculated wildly about when Lady Stoneheart — aka Catelyn Stark’s vengeful reanimated corpse — will make her appearance on the show. Some have resigned themselves that it’s never going to happen; some think David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are merely bidding their time. Regardless, her presence in this teaser is fueling the speculation anew: could this be the season she’ll finally appear in?
Cleganebowl will happen in Season 6
This theory posits that the Clegane brothers, otherwise known as the Mountain and the Hound, will fight to the death in a trial by combat, standing for Cersei and the Faith, respectively. Forget the Mountain and the Viper, that’s old news. This will be the Hound vs. the Mountain’s reanimated corpse (Qyburn, you creep).
Lest you think that’s impossible, since the Hound is dead and has not been reanimated, as far as we know — much like Jon Snow, he might not be as dead as he looked when we last saw him in Season 4. And as one astute Redditor pointed out, the Hound’s face is suspiciously absent from the death mask pastiche in the teaser’s House of Black and White. A clue?! Probably not, but it’s fun to ponder.
Jon will come back darker
We’ve all accepted by now that although Jon Snow is dead, there’s no way he’s not coming back to Game of Thrones in some form. Some think HBO and Kit Harington are evading the question through technicalities in language: Jon Snow is dead; bring on the reign of Jon Stark or Targaryen. But his voiceover in the teaser is by far the most ominous: “The long night is coming, and the dead come with it.”
Previously, some fans had theorized that Jon will return as a White Walker or his “come at me, bro” moment with the Night’s King in “Hardhome” wasn’t merely for the sake of looking cool but to signify some mysterious connection between them. The long night is coming, and Jon will indeed be among the dead coming with it — but in what capacity?
Jaime will kill Cersei
This long-running theory is based off the flashback scene at the beginning of Season 5, in which we see a young Cersei visit an eyeliner-wearing witchy woman who gleefully tells her about her future marriage prospects and the deaths of her children.
What the show left out, however, was a single line from the book in which the woman tells her, “The valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” Valonquar means “little brother,” which seemingly points to Tyrion as her murderer. But many fan have pointed out that Jaime also fits that description, having been born after her, and it would make for a far more poetic death. Their relationship is already straight out of Greek tragedy; it only makes sense for it to end in the same manner. Their presence in the House of Black and White could indicate the event going down this season.
The dragon has three heads
One popular fan theory speculates that Tyrion is a Targaryean, secretly fathered by the Mad King, which partly explains Tywin’s lifelong contempt for him. To further fuel this theory, in Daenerys’ Season 2 trip to the House of the Undying, a vision tells her, “The dragon has three heads.” Many conclude that implies Daenerys, Jon, and Tyrion are the three most important characters whose fates will intimately tie together in Game of Thrones’ ultimate endgame.
Regardless of your stance on this theory, Tyrion’s prominence at the end of the teaser implies that, while he was sidelined for much of Season 5, Season 6 intends to place his role in the story front and center.
Or perhaps it signifies that the show merely wants us to think that, and is proving once more that All Men Must Troll.
Game of Thrones Season 6 will premiere on April 24th on HBO. Let’s hope the world’s enthusiasm doesn’t crash the HBO Go servers again and make for an awkward moment at your premier party.