'Game of Thrones' season 3 premieres later this month, but to fans of the popular series, that sounds like an eternity. Whether you've been a longtime follower of the books that inspired the hit HBO show or a relative newbie to the world of Westeros, you can curb your anticipation by watching that new extended trailer...or you can do what we did and go through it frame by frame.
Although the new season of 'Game of Thrones' will have plenty to savor, here are the 10 moments in the trailer that stand out to us. But be warned: there are a few potential spoilers here on which we speculate based on events from George R.R. Martin's books!
The uninitiated may wonder why the trailer opens with such a dramatic shot of mountain climbing, but fans now better: that's not a mountain, that's the Wall...and it's being scaled by Wildlings! That tough bearded fellow is Tormund Giantsbane (played by Kristofer Hivju), a fierce warrior and one of "King Beyond the Wall" Mance Rayder's top men...and yeah, he's pretty bad news for the old men and young boys of the Night's Watch.
This quick shot of a hooded man, suspended by his arms in what looks like a dungeon, may not seem like much upon first glance. This is a show filled with people being held captive in dungeons, so what makes this shot so special? Well, do you remember which major character ended season 2 with a hood over his head? If you do, aren't you wondering where he is and who is holding him captive? And hey...who razed Winterfell, anyway?
Book fans, this one is for you: "Reek rhymes with meek..."
Those Kids Sure Are Growing Up
While the books in the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series generally take place one right after the other, the HBO series doesn't have the luxury of freezing everyone's ages to match that timeframe. So that means we get to see all of those Stark kids grow up! Season 2 saw Sophie Turner (Sansa) and Maisie Williams (Arya) have mysterious and instantaneous growth spurts, but now it looks like it's Isaac Hempstead's turn! The end of season 2 saw the paralyzed Bran moved into a cart instead of being strapped to Hodor's back, which now feels less like a creative choice and more like a "we should probably do everything in our power to not give Hodor back problems" choice.
Tyrion, Back in Fine Form
"You're not half as clever as you think you are."
"Still makes me more clever than you."
Despite suffering a traumatizing wound in the Battle of Blackwater and losing his position as Hand of the King at the end of season 2, Tyrion Lannister looks to be as quick-witted and acid-tongued as ever. His verbal duels with Cersei were a highlight of season 2, but his mouth isn't what saved him when she tried and almost succeeded in having him killed. Now that all of his true power has been stripped from him, can everyone's favorite Imp out-think and out-talk his many enemies?
There's already been a lot of discussion about Ciaran Hinds' Mance Rayder and we've already mentioned Tormund Giantsbane, but not nearly enough ink has been spilled about the Orell, who will be another key character in Jon Snow's adventures north of the Wall. Played by the great Mackenzie Crook (who you'll recognize from the BBC version of 'The Office' and the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies), Orell is a "skinchanger," meaning that he can inhabit the minds of animals and make them do his bidding. His weapon of choice is an eagle, which he uses to scout for Mance's army of Wildlings and we can safely assume that's what he's doing during his moment in the trailer. Magic will become more prominent than ever in 'Game of Thrones' season 3 and Orell's abilities should function as a nice introduction to concepts that will become even more important down the road.
The Return of Yara Greyjoy
One of the ongoing challenges in adapting the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' books to television has been keeping the enormous cast in play at all times. On the page, characters will vanish and plotlines won't be touched for entire books, waiting for their due later on (note the sidelining of Jaime Lannister in season 2). So we're relieved to see that Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) will be back for the new season despite her major lack of presence in the third book. The big question now is whether or not they're bringing some of her background adventures to the forefront or if they are creating completely new material to keep her in play. In either case, bring it on! We can't get enough of those terrifying, disgusting and awesomely dysfunctional Greyjoys!
Yep, that's Jaimie Lannister engaged in a swordfight with Brienne of Tarth. What? Did you think Jaime was going to let her escort him to King's Landing in chains after he spent much of season 2 as Robb Stark's prisoner? The man is due for a little action. So place your bets, everyone: who's going to win this fight? Book readers need not apply.
Daenerys Quits Talking and Starts Acting!
After two seasons of talking about raising an army, and talking about using her dragons to create much fire and blood, and talking about being a true Targaryen and not a naive young girl, it looks like Daenerys has learned that talk is cheap and the actions speak louder than words. The trailer showcases her calmly standing before a towering inferno and walking the ranks of her newly bought army. In other words, she means business this time around.
Jon Snow: Making Those Tough Choices
At the end of season 2, Jon Snow found himself with Night's Watch blood on his hands and deep undercover with Mance Rayder's Wildling army. However, if there's one thing we've learned from a hundred other movies and television shows, it's that being a double agent isn't just a difficult job that's bound to get you killed, it's a job that's going to weigh heavy on your soul. Jon's going to have to make a lot of tough decisions if he wants his enemies to think that he's one of them and you know that being an ice-cold killer won't come naturally to the noble Bastard of Winterfell. The moment captured below looks like Jon is learning the hard way that killing a man is nothing like killing a Wight...
All Creatures Great and Small
'Game of Thrones' is a series that has no shortage of deadly animals. Daenerys has her three fire-breathing dragons. The Stark kids have their aggressive and hugely protective Direwolves. Heck, Robert Baratheon was killed by a boar back in season 1!
So of course there's a bear in season three! And it doesn't look like a particularly friendly bear.
What do you think? Did any moments in the 'Game of Thrones' season 3 trailer stand out to you? Give us your theories for the show in the comments, and be sure to check it out 'Game of Thrones' when it returns on March 31.