Set to the warbling strains of a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” the opening moments of HBO’s new red-band teaser play up viewers’ emotional investment in the multitude of power-hungry social climbers, violent mercenaries, and violently power-hungry social-climbing mercenaries that populate the world of Game Of Thrones. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has fallen from her throne, Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) fate remains uncertain, and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) is having some second thoughts about the whole “sexy blood magic” thing. Even the Boltons don’t look so bad for a second there.

Then Cersei (Lena Headey) kicks off an action montage with the evocation, “I choose violence,” and we’re back to Game Of Thrones doing what it does best: Epic battles, thrilling swordplay, fantastic mysticism, and, of course, gratuitous nudity.


Game Of Thrones returns to HBO for its sixth season on April 24.