On its Facebook page yesterday, HBO put out its first promotional poster for Game of Thrones Season 6 and the ramifications of its content are significant.
In fact, there are two major reveals from this poster, one that is obvious to everyone, but another that only those of us who follow GOT news in the offseason would realize.
But before discussing those revelations, let’s take a look at the poster (stop reading if you absolutely positively want zero spoilers for season six):
Now obviously, observation number one is Jon Freakin Snow!!!! Now is it possible that HBO is pulling a bait and switch here and that is really just the dead body of Jon Snow that will be burned in the first episode. Sure, but would they really want to build anticipation like this for five months only to piss off their fans in the first episode? That would be the ultimate dick move and very bad for business.
I think the safer assumption is Jon Snow will be returning despite his demise being insisted upon by everyone involved with it at the end of last season. But so much evidence has leaked since the end of last season that HBO finally decided to come clean and admit that yes, Jon Snow will be coming back to life for season six.
The next, less obvious reveal here is the likely premiere date for Season Six. For those that haven’t been following, seeing April as the month for the Season 6 premiere is not surprising. After all, only one of the previous five seasons has not premiered in April (and that was Season 3, which premiered on March 31st).
But HBO only runs one centerpiece drama at a time. And a new series, Vinyl, will be holding down GOT’s 9 pm/ 8 pm central time slot until April 17th. And since that only leaves one Sunday left in April, you can tentatively mark your calendars for April 24th has the date Game of Thrones Season 6 will premiere.
Now, that is by far the latest premiere date for a Game of Thrones season so far. I hope it gives George R.R. Martin enough time to (finally) get his 6th book out before the new season (and give me enough time to read it before the new season, which will likely include material from the yet to be printed Winds of Winter).