Until the premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones, that is! And to celebrate this realization, here is the latest--and this time, FULL--promotional trailer for the show:
As usual, if you can't get the above video to work, click on this Youtube link as an alternative.
Wow, this just keeps looking better and better! I've been talking about this series based on the popular epic fantasy books by George R. R. Martin for some time now, and it thrills me to no end that in just 6 weeks a lot more people will be introduced to the brilliance of the world the author creates here.
There's a lot to like in this latest trailer, especially for fans of the books who no doubt recognize many of the pivotal scenes from the first novel. Below I'm going to highlight the most important points from the trailer that might go over the heads of those not familiar with the books. After reading this and seeing the trailer, just try and tell me that all this doesn't ooze juicy political intrigue and high drama. You'd be lying!
The scenes of some great excitement to myself are:
King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) asking his long time friend, Eddard "Ned" Stark (Sean Bean) to be his new Hand of the King after the passing of the former man to hold this position, Lord Jon Arryn. Fearing that the man was in fact murdered, and that his old friend might be in danger from scheming factions within his very kingdom, Ned reluctantly accepts in order to investigate. And as fans of the books all know, thus sets off a chain of events that will eventually lead to a great many tragic dealings.
Robert's wife, Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) is seen conspiring with her twin brother, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), over the insult of not being chosen the King's Hand instead of Ned. The House of Lannister is going to be a force to be reckoned with during the course of this first season -- and that's putting it mildly! Queen Cersei is one of the most hated and conniving characters in the series, and the love between her and Jaime becomes more than just a touch uncomfortable when certain truths about their relationship come to light . . .
Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), the silver-haired Targaryen siblings exiled in the East, discuss "going home". As the last surviving heirs of the former "Mad" King Aerys II, and scions to the once great and powerful dynastic family the Targaryens, "home" is a reference to retaking the Iron Throne from King Robert and restoring a "dragon" to rule over all of Westeros once more. Of course, as we fans all know, Viserys is as mad as his father was, and his plans don't actually grow to fruition the way he hopes. But keep an eye on Dany, for her destiny is a whole other matter entirely . . .
"I'll try to keep you alive . . . for her sake." Ah, this is, of course, Lord Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) -- aka "Littlefinger," Master of Coin to the King. In this scene, he assures Ned's wife, Catelyn Stark, that he will keep an eye out for her husband's well-being while he serves as the King's Hand at the castle. What you might not know is that Petyr and Catelyn were childhood friends, and that Littlefinger still carries a torch for her after all these years. He offers his friendship and loyalty to the Starks, but in fact he's quite possibly the most cowardly, yet sinister and ruthless behind-the-scenes manipulator of all the tragedy that is about to unfold in the Seven Kingdoms. He's definitely one to watch out for.
A brief scene of Jaime Lannister, "The Kingslayer" and arguably the most skilled swordsman in all of Westeros, kicking much ass as the ground around him is littered with the bodies of those foolish guards who thought they could arrest him. I so hope they get the choreography right in this scene. I want to *believe* this guy knows how to use a sword! Even though he's just as arrogant and ruthless as his conniving twin sister, Jaime is a character much beloved by readers because of the quite amazing character arc he undergoes during the course of the first 4 books in the series. The actor portraying him, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, you might know from the short-lived "Highlander-lite" tv show, New Amsterdam. I liked him in that show, and definitely think he has the chops to pull this role off. And what a meaty role it shall prove to be!
"I know they did it. In my bones, I know it." Once more, another famous line from the book. This is Catelyn Stark referring to the Lannisters, and a particularly sick and frightening episode that befalls one of her youngest sons in the early pages of the first novel. The ending of that chapter was when readers sat up and realized that the author, Martin, was not bullshitting with this series. If he could allow something so horrible to happen to a child, what the hell else was he going to have in store for us later? What the hell else indeed! Because of this, the animosity between both the House of Stark and the House of Lannister really comes to a boil.
And last but not least, all the references to "winter" peppered throughout this trailer, which is actually part of the Stark family's motto: "Winter is Coming!" The House of Stark, of course, controls the northernmost kingdom in Westeros -- the territory closest to the Wall, which separates the Seven Kingdoms from the hordes of mythical, unseemly beasts that no one has set eyes upon for going on 8,000 years. The most dangerous and mysterious of these creatures are known through legend only simply as "The Others." The last time the ancestors of man fought this powerful force, it created a night that lasted for more than a generation, and a winter that stretched to almost a hundred years! So when you hear old people evoking the threat "Winter is coming . . ." in this world, it's not just a mild observation of the changing seasons (which do, in fact, last for several years on the unnamed planet the novels take place on). No, the saying is really just another way of warning: you better get your house in order, Jack -- because now the real shit's going to hit the fan!
Oh, I so can't WAIT to see all this unfold on the tv screen. This is going to be a marvelous show, just you wait and see!