In this article, we're going to keep things entirely book spoiler free. This is all about the promo, the promo, and nothing but the promo, so help up us George R. R. Martin. So if you want a close look at what the preview reveals without worrying about extra info slipping in, you've come to the right place!
First, take a look at the minute and forty-four second long trailer, and then check out the breakdown below.
The dragons. The promo opens with an impressive shot of one of Dany's dragons flying over a city. We don't see the beast itself, but we hear its screech and see its shadow loom large over the houses below. Awesome. We hope this means the dragons are getting bigger.
A rider. At :13 we see Dany and her crew — Barristan, Jorah, and Missandei — staring at something; presumably that something is the rider we see in the next shot, who is rushing forward towards a crowd outside what looks like city walls. Could the rider be Daario? We're kinda bummed we don't see him at all in this promo, since he's been recast and we were hoping to get a peek at Daario 2.0.
Walking with fire? At :20 we see men walking purposefully through what looks to be a series of halls at night, holding torches. We're guessing that this is related to Dany's story, since, based on their clothing and the looks of the building, we don't think these guys are in Westeros. We also wonder if this shot is related to the one at :30, where a group of similarly dressed men rush a single distressed figure.
Jorah's advice. "It's tempting to see your enemies as evil," Jorah tells Dany starting at :24. "But there's good and evil on both sides in every war ever fought." That's basically the thesis of the show, but we're curious about which enemies Jorah's advising Dany to be more nuanced about. Is it some direct foe in Essos, or has she turned her sights towards Westeros once again?
Dany's ultimatum. Dany isn't necessarily one for nuance. At :34 we see her in what appears to be the same scene, and she lays down an ultimatum: "They have a choice. They can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one." As she says this the promo cuts to clips of the Lannisters, which implies she's talking about her opposition in Westeros (though that could be a mislead).
Dany on a throne? At :32 we see Dany sitting in a very impressive building (that definitely looks similar, architecturally, to the buildings mentioned above). She is at the top of a flight of stairs, surrounded by guards, and someone is approaching her. Looks kinda like a throne situation to us...
Joffrey and the Royal Wedding
Joffrey's popularity. The first line in the trailer is, "The people love their king." We've listened to it a lot and can't quite pinpoint who's saying it, but based on the past few seasons, if the king being referenced is Joffrey, that statement isn't entirely accurate (though Joffrey's popularity points did seem to rise thanks to Margaery's help last season.)
At :06, we see Joffrey sitting at some kind of outdoor feast looking generally grumpy and/or bored, as he tends to do. Then at :09 we see him insisting to Jaime that, "They know I saved the city, they know I won the war." Yeah, sure Joffrey, you did those things. Not your uncle, or your grandfather. You. Uh-huh. Plus, as Jaime points out a bit incredulously at :17, "The war's not won yet."
This confluence of scenes makes it seem like Joffrey might not be sitting as comfortably on the throne as he would like. And he certainly seems to be in delusional denial about his own role in, well, anything. But what else is new?
The Royal Wedding. War or no war, it looks like Joff is going forward with his wedding to Margaery Tyrell. We see what we can only assume is the ceremony at 1:13. The most notable thing about this scene? Margaery's hair. It takes the concept of an updo to a whole new level.
Let's talk Tyrion. At :39 we see Tyrion, handcuffed and being led down a hall full of people. Then we hear him voiceover, "Things are a bit tense right now." At :43 he sits down in what appears to be a dark room or even a cell, saying, "I don't think I'm talking my way out of this one." Um. Things do not look good for the most moral Lannister.
Also of note: The promo ends with Tyrion telling someone, "If you want justice, you've come to the wrong place." Is he saying he's the wrong place to look for justice, or is he talking about King's Landing, or maybe even Westeros? Any of these options seem possible.
Jaime back in action? At :37 we see Jaime holding a sword while Tywin looks on, at :55 we see him fitted with a fake hand, and throughout the promo he's totally cleaned up. Seems like Jaime is back to his normal self — minus a sword hand, but hey, you can't have everything.
Oberyn Martell. Throughout the promo we see new character Oberyn Martell. At :45 he stands with Varys and looks at the Iron Throne. At 1:05 he says to Tyrion, "Tell you father I'm here. And tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts." Sounds a bit like a threat to us...
Whatever Oberyn's motivations, we'll definitely see him in action, since he's showing off some sweet moves at 1:09.
Cersei makes a threat. Speaking of threats, at 1:12 Cersei snaps at her father: "You'll fight over him like beasts until you tear him apart. I will burn our house to the ground before I let that happen." Who is the "he" here? We can't really see Cersei standing up to Tywin for anyone other than her children (maybe Jaime?), but who would be fighting over Joffrey? Could she be talking about her other son, Tommen? (Yeah, we kind of forgot he exists, too).
Meanwhile, at 1:17, someone who appears to be Cersei is drawn into what appears to be an embrace. Is the man in this scene Jaime? It's hard to tell...
Littlefinger wants to know which side someone is on. We wonder who he's talking to at 1:01. Could really be anyone. Littlefinger wants to know everything about everyone, after all.
The Mountain is back! The Hound's even scarier older brother is, well, very scary at 1:24.
In the North
Night's Watch vs. Wildlings. "If the Wildlings breach the Wall, they'll roll over everything and everyone," Jon warns the Night's Watch at :50. At :51 we see what appears to be Wildlings running through one of the tunnels through the Wall, which would definitely be bad news for the Night's Watch, though at :52 it looks like there is at least a gate and fire blocking them.
Either way, there's definitely some intense Night's Watch vs. Wildling action, as seen at 1:22 and 1:31.
Alliser Thorne is back! At 1:21 we see that Night's Watch bully Alliser Thorne is back, though at least this time he seems to be leading a charge instead of making fun of new recruits.
And what's up with Bran? Meanwhile, Bran is clearly still in the snowy north. At 1:01 he reaches (or falls?) towards a tree as Hodor watches on.
Stannis and Melisandre. We don't get to see a ton of Stannis and his favorite Red Woman, but the moments we do get certainly stand out. Most notably, at :22 it looks like they take their fiery tendencies to an intense new level. What are they burning on those bonfires? Could it be people? We know Mel is a-OK with human sacrifice if it helps her king, since she wanted to kill Gendry last season...
Meanwhile, at :27 Stannis and Davos are together; it looks like they might be on a boat. And at 1:24 Mel lays down this very encouraging statement: "There is only one hell — the one we live in now." Thanks, Mel.
And the Greyjoys? At :53 Yara Greyjoy and a pack of Iron Islanders are seen canoeing down a river. At 1:24, Theon is up and walking around in armor. He looks a little worse for the wear, but even from that single shot it seems his position has improved since last season. Not that that's saying much.
Arya with a small sword. At :59 we get a brief glimpse of Arya getting into a fighting pose — with a sword her own size. Does she somehow get Needle back? Is that a long knife? Does she get someone else to make her a small weapon? At 1:29 we see her with a larger sword. It looks like she might be fighting. The Hound is definitely punching someone at 1:29.
A barren land. At several points throughout the promo we see a dark, barren wasteland, complete with ravens. Is this the site of a battle? We're thinking yes, since at :26 we see what appears to be two armies meeting in what looks like the same field, and at :46 there is clearly some intense fighting in what, once again, appears to possibly be the same field. Maybe this is all related to the Wildlings battle mentioned above?
A baby sacrifice. Just pointing out this happens at :57.
Where's Sansa? We're pretty sure there's only one shot of Sansa in this trailer, at 1:29. However, her head's covered, so it's hard to tell if it's really her.
What do you get from the promo? Let us know in the comments below!
Catch the Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere on April 6, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!