Over the years, the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas has grown from a multi-night music-only festival into a multi-week multimedia event that attracts guests from President Obama to Bill Murray. HBO has had a large presence at the festival for years, and in the past has featured Iron Throne themed pedi-cabs and rented out entire venues to promote the new season of its ratings blockbuster.
This year was no different, and the throngs of fans that flocked to the Hall of Faces were treated to a plethora of goodies. Along with being able to sit on the Iron Throne, play with Needle, and taste the latest offering from the Ommegang brewery, fans were invited to add themselves to the Hall of Faces alongside such luminaries as Tyrion Lannister, Ned Stark, and of course Jon Snow. But as has become standard operating procedure for HBO, the network saved the best for last.
After temporarily confiscating cell phones, fans were treated to a 30-second clip from Episode 1 of Season 6 ahead of its April 24th premiere. On a private viewing platform, fans could look into the flames and see the future, as everyone’s favorite red woman attempts to do. Although a valiant effort was made to record the clip, it was foiled by an energetic HBO minion. I was there, and will transcribe the (very interesting) scene for you.
And obviously: SPOILER WARNING!
The clip opens with the same shot everyone saw in the recently released trailer, of the camera skimming along The Wall before focusing in on a close up on a dead Jon Snow. The camera gets closer to Jon, and we half for a minute on the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. A wolf who can only be Ghost howls in the background. The howling sounds both sad and angry.
After this is where things get interesting. We cut into the chamber from the trailer, the one where Jon’s body is laying. Melisandre and Ser Davos stand over it. Jon’s face appears to now have blood on it, and he lies motionless on the table.
Melisandre speaks first, saying, “I saw him. In the flames. Fighting at Winterfell.”
Davos replies slowly. “I can’t speak for the flames, but he’s gone.”
Now, at first glance this might appear to be little we don’t already now, but the “fighting at Winterfell” bit is new information. Melisandre believes in the visions she sees in the flames, but acknowledges that she can misinterpret them. So Mel might believe them to be wrong now, but as viewers, we can guess that her vision will come true at some point, even if it doesn’t happen how she expects.