December 3 and February 14 are two dates that Game of Thrones fans should have indelibly etched into their collective consciousness: these are the days that HBO dropped the first two teases of the show’s highly anticipated sixth season onto the Sullied and Unsullied world.
We convened an original powwow at the Wall two months ago, after that first sneak peek, to gather some real-time reactions, then we stuffed those scrolls in a time capsule and buried them in the icy depths of the Wall to await future HBO proclamations. Now that the other shoe has dropped – just to mix anachronistic metaphors here – it’s time to dig ‘em up, add on the latest insights and reactions, and package ‘em all together for your reading pleasure.
Look into the past and the future, we shall – just like a certain Brandon Stark, yes?
What in the seven hells did you think of HBO’s first sneak peek at season six and Jon’s bloodied, beautiful face?
The two major takeaways from this teaser: Jon Snow lives and Bran is back.
A friend of mine compared the teaser to the Star Wars: Episode VII trailers in that they both play up the history of the franchises to promote the next installment. The teaser has no interest in hooking new viewers; it’s all about hyping up the viewers the show already has. And, as a thoroughly hooked viewer, that’s fine with me. The smash-cut of all the horrible things happening to beloved characters sums up the macabre love/hate relationship fans have with the show quite succinctly.
Although I’m really interested to see how the showrunners are going to backpedal on their “Jon Snow isn’t coming back” spiel.
The blood on Jon’s face is just a quick “Hey, let’s put blood on Jon Snow’s face” thing. Nothing should be discerned from that. The photo (still) was from season three, I think?
They’re just toying with us!
The Max von Sydow voiceover was nice. I wish they had given us some newer footage, other than Bran there at the end. But it basically means nothing.
I was actually more excited seeing Ramsay on a horse in the HBO preview.
I had two theories about how the show was gonna resurrect Jon before the teaser: that Melisandre was going to do it, or that he would warg. Given how the show has more or less written out Beric and Thoros – and, with them, the reminder that R’hllor can resurrect people (don’t let’s get started on Lady Stoneheart) – I was already leaning towards the latter. Having now seen the trailer and its cutting from Jon to a warging Bran, I’m convinced this is how the show will do it. Whether or not this will be the case in the books, of course, remains to be seen.
It was a nice teaser. It would have been cool to have some more new footage, of course, but the Max von Sydow voiceover was neat. And they might have felt they needed to remind casual viewers who Bran actually is…
Also where was Hodor? Hodor.
Less is more, in my opinion, and HBO knows just how much to use.
The first Jon poster got me beyond excited for season six, and it is even giving me a certain fondness for Jon I didn’t have before. Guess you don’t know what you have until it’s stabbed repeatedly and stolen from you.
The teaser I was a little disappointed in, to be honest, since it didn’t hold any new footage. I enjoyed the voiceover, but it seemed more like a quick catch-up of the last seasons rather than an actual teaser.
What really got me, however, was the three tiny scenes the HBO video held – Cersei with Tommen, especially, because I feel like we can already see this is going to be an emotional season for our Lioness (and that haircut… damn, Lena ?).
On top of that, Nikolaj’s tweet that “the best is yet to come” has me looking ahead more than ever.
Even though Winter Is Coming, I cannot wait for spring.
Admittedly, we haven’t seen much yet, but what we have has been effective, much more than last season’s hit-or-miss – mostly miss – attempts. Trolling the fans with the Jon poster was a good move (though the CGI is shoddy). The voiceover teaser was really well done, if you ask me – I love Max von Sydow and the smart use of his lines that can be interpreted thematically. It’s all a sign of a better promo ramp-up this year, and I’m looking forward to it.
This time last year, I was still plowing through the books, so I avoided the marketing for season five. All I can say is that these promos are effectively getting me pumped for season six, possibly because last season ended on so many cliffhangers that they have more specific plot threads to tease: is Jon coming back? What’s Bran up to? How’s Dany faring? What about Cersei’s hair? Ramsay’s still around!
I mean, I’d love it if their next teaser is just a black screen with the sound of two screaming voices growing louder as they fall, then the sound of bodies hitting snow and muffled groans, and then Sansa’s voice saying, “Well, it worked so well in Frozen…”
All right, gang – now it’s time for the real (tease) deal.
My initial impression as the tease opened with Ned’s face and voice fading in was of utter amazement. The implications of this were beyond anything I had ever expected or seen speculated upon anywhere. However, this soon turned into bitter disappointment as the tease cycled through other deceased characters, before showing a wide shot of the faces of characters still living.
We get it. No one is safe. We get it. Anyone can die. We’ve understood that for years. Thank you. We get it. Valar morghulis.
It’s the same rhetoric they’ve been using ever since Ned’s execution, and, by now, it’s well past its sell-by date – at least, for me. The marketing team has missed the mark quite notably in the last few years, so with this tease, it is especially disappointing to see an overused selling point framed as something it’s not.
Of course, by its very nature, marketing has to appeal to (please excuse this horrible term) the lowest common denominator of viewers, so reinforcing this easily understood and marketable strategy is technically a smart move. But as someone who is part of a greater fan community that looks for a lot more in the show, this concept being pushed time and again completely undersells what makes Game of Thrones great and what made us fall in love with its world in the first place.
What initially seemed to be a lofty-but-promising tease undermined itself with its tired unoriginality of concept. I just hope the actual trailer – whenever it arrives – expels this negativity I’m feeling towards the show after a disappointing fifth season.
I feel a bit more lenient towards the teaser, myself. It was well executed, and while the message may be an old one, as Cian said, the last shot of still-living characters’ faces was powerful. In isolation, it’s a very good promo piece.
However, as most readers seem to agree, it’s something we would’ve appreciated a whole lot a couple of months ago – we simply want more at this point in time. (Then again, we’re rabid fans, and the promotional ramp-up timing has its own laws when it comes to the general public.)
Yeah, I thought the teaser was stylish, atmospheric, and very well-done – probably the best non-footage teaser since the Iron Throne tease from season one. And had it come out a month or two ago, I think it would have been very well-received.
But I think everyone was expecting something meatier and more substantial, something with season six footage, by now, especially after the image dump earlier in the week. Hopefully, the full trailer is only a couple of weeks away, and, if so, we can all just look back at this one as an excellent teaser released way too late in the promotional cycle.
Yes, I think this teaser was a poor choice in terms of timing. Taken in and of itself, it’s well-made and presents striking visuals. For the casual fan, it probably does the job it’s intended to do perfectly well. For people more invested, we’re just expecting more at this point. If we’d gotten this teaser in December, everyone would love it. Releasing this teaser after we’ve just seen a big batch of season six photos is anti-climactic.
I concur with all of the above: this is a well-made teaser trailer that rehashes an old selling point in a new way but was, unfortunately, released at a time when people were expecting a proper trailer that introduced new footage.
However, if I’m really being honest, my disappointment has less to do with the timing or the lack of gif-able footage than with the fact that the teaser didn’t focus on the characters and plots that I care about most. I’ve said this before, but, at present, I’m only really, intensely invested in a handful of characters, and… well, we didn’t see any of them in the Hall of Faces. If, for example, the teaser had just been a pan across the Iron Islands with some Yara/Balon/Theon dialogue from season two on voiceover, I would have been happy.
In other words, I’m disappointed because the studio didn’t tailor their teaser to suit my very specific preferences.
I enjoyed it in terms of a teaser, but I agree with the majority that we’re expecting more at this point. Since it is so late, it’s kind of underwhelming, but I still think it teases victory for the Starks (or, at least, I hope).
I think the worst thing about it for me was that, when the teaser leaked, I wasn’t able to watch it straightaway, but I was able to see everyone’s annoyed reactions to it! When I was finally able to watch it, I was disappointed, but I wasn’t especially surprised. HBO seems to be quite fond of these murky, grey, VO teasers with no new footage, where GOT is concerned. Maybe they think they’ll really whet everyone’s appetite for the new season, but they just irritate. Especially after seeing all the amazing new photos, I was ready for some proper footage. It was nicely done and atmospheric, but this close to the new season, I was hoping for something more.
Besides, we all know the real reason they can’t show any new footage is because Jon Snow is in most of it…
I think it’s obvious that HBO threw a lot of money at it and worked very hard to make it polished and visually stunning. It feels like a placeholder to me, so they don’t have to show more things from season six, including possible plot points that may be original to the show. At any rate, I enjoyed seeing the faces of our dearly departed even if it was the same “nobody is safe,” as was said above.
One sticking point for me: it would have been more fun for them to have shown Jon isolated before the faces of the rest of the still-living cast members to troll the audience further, rather than stick him between Stannis and Ygritte as if to say “this guy’s definitely dead,” because I don’t think the average Unsullied even believes that at this point.