HBO’s cheeky marketing for the upcoming 6th season of Game of Thrones is almost painfully contemporary in its latest turn. The latest teaser is happily smashing through the show’s odd narrative blockade, waving at George R.R. Martin’s source novels as it zooms by with a smirk.
[Spoiler alert: This teaser is essentially a Game of Thrones death supercut.]
“The past is already written,” says the unmistakable voice of Max Von Sydow. “The ink is dry.” It’s not exactly subtle, but HBO is playfully prodding long-time 'A Song of Ice and Fire' readers just as much as it’s appealing to them.
If you’ve been watching the show after or alongside reading the books, you’ve done so in a position of plot comfort - you’re prepared for the major turning points, the horribly miscalculated showings of nobility (quick GoT tip: doing the right thing is a shortcut to death) and the ever-escalating body count. This season will be an alluring, dangerous surprise, HBO suggests. Otherwise, if you insist on reading the next book first, season 6 is something sharp to be avoided.
From here, the discussion opens up several weird questions: Can HBO’s showrunners tell a good story without the detailed novels to back them up? Can a story spoil itself? Oh, and is this what manga fans feel like when the anime adaptation overtakes the author? Should season 6 just stall and have the characters avoid winter entirely while they go visit a hot-springs resort?
The sixth season of Game of Thrones will debut in April 2016.