The first Game of Thrones Season 4 trailer has been released by HBO, and it is already fueling fan speculation on how this adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series will proceed. The trailer (watchable at the bottom of this article) has already been watched millions of times since arriving Sunday.
Five volumes of the projected seven book series have been published, but the TV adaptations’ fourth season is based on just the second half of Martin’s third novel in the series, A Storm of Swords. Many consider this the best book in the series, though it features a number of major character deaths. Some of the cruelest of those deaths, ending the stories of fan-favorite characters, which were shown toward the end of Season 3, in a now infamous episode considered by many to be unprecedented in major series television.
A notable theme in the new trailer is the triumph of Denaerys Stormborn, the popular character played by British actress Emilia Clarke. After three seasons that have seen her widowed, lost in the desert, and forced to beg various people for aid, the new trailer shows her seated on a throne, ruling over a new conquest. Her growing power is symbolized by the trailer’s opening image of a dragon’s shadow flying over the city of Meereen. Soon after, we hear the narration of her most trusted advisor saying “It’s tempting to see your enemies as evil. But there is good and evil on both sides, in every war ever fought.”
Her response, however, is hardly charitable to those enemies. “They can either live in my new world,” she says, “or die in their old one.”
Towards the end, we see Clarke’s Daenaerys standing above a crowd cheering her presence. However, the fortunes of another beloved character, Tyrion Lannister, appear to be falling. Peter Dinklage has won an Emmy and Golden Globe for his portrayal of Tyrion, who won a major battle to save his king, family, and city at the end of Season 2. In Season 3, however, audiences saw that Tyrion received little or no credit for his victory, and first dialogue of the released Game of Thrones Season 4 trailer is the character’s nephew, the boy king, taking credit for winning the entire war, only to be reminded by close relative Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that “The war’s not won.”
Later in the trailer, we see Tyrion in chains being brought into a prison, not unlike the one Ned Stark (Sean Bean) inhabited in Season 1, and the trailer ends with Dinklage desolate as Tyrion, uttering the ominous line, “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place.”
Glimpses of Season 4’s plotlines for other characters are shown as well. Jon Snow prepares the Night’s Watch members at the Wall for a direct assault by the barbaric wildlings. Cersei Lannister is shown crying, and then issues an impassioned warning to her intimidating father. “You’ll fight over him like beasts until you tear him apart,” Cersei says, as the wedding of her son is shown. “I will burn our House to the ground before I let that happen!”
The Stark children– Arya, Bran, Sansa– are shown only in brief, tantalizing shots. New character Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne is featured heavily, however, clad in gold and issuing warnings of his own. “Tell your father I’m here,” he says to Tyrion. “And tell him the Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts.” Martell, also called “the Red Viper,” is then shown acrobatically dodging sword blows in a duel.
The previously mentioned boy king, Joffrey Lannister, is played by actor Jack Gleeson, who also features heavily in the trailer. Gleeson has made comments in the press that may point to his leaving the show. Described by castmates as kind and likable, the opposite of the hated character he plays, Gleeson recently took a trip to help with the non-profit GOAL’s charitable efforts in Haiti, which is still devastated since the massive earthquake four years ago. After the trip, he hinted at leaving the show, noting that life in the spotlight may not be for him. “I haven’t decided yet,” he said. “Acting isn’t my priority at the moment. I really like being a student.”
Sources familiar with the books indicate Gleeson’s departure from the show after this season is almost completely assured.
The first episode of the HBO series’ will premiere Sunday, April 6th at 9pm Eastern Time. Click below to watch the first Game of Thrones Season 4 trailer, just released Sunday, for yourself.
By: Jeremy Forbing