With five Seasons in the books and the sixth quickly approaching, it is safe to say Game of Thrones reigns supreme in the arena of hype that rules modern television. The critically acclaimed adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has garnered an incredibly dedicated fan base, both readers of the novels and newcomers came in at just over 20 million a week, which doesn’t even account for the show’s absurd piracy rate. While HBO’s golden child has found an unheard of popularity, it has the opportunity to cement itself as one of the greatest shows of all time with its upcoming sixth season. Why? Source material. It is not lost on the hardcore fans this season marks the beginning of an era that is not backed by Martin’s writing. With only five novels in print, the show is proceeding at a pace which Martin can simply not keep up with; while showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have certainly proven themselves capable, Season six will be the real test of their creative prowess. However, having Martin on board as an executive producer and occasional co-writer probably means this season will be just fine.
The convergence of the crazy amount of storylines has been hinted at since the conclusion of the previous season, most notably in the most recent trailer.
The sheer size of Westeros and its incessant warring of families for the Iron Throne has fueled the series to where it is today, but the majority of the characters almost never meet. We left with Daenerys just meeting Tyrion and Varys, Jon and the Wildlings in the North, Arya across the Narrow Sea in Braavos, Sansa and Theon escaping the psychotic Ramsay Bolton, and the Lannisters holding onto to what little power they have left in King’s Landing. The creators have noted the consequences of the heavyweights clashing on the battlefield. Producer Bryan Cogman stated in a March interview, “It’s definitely the biggest [action sequence yet]. We’ve always wanted to get to a place – story-wise and budget-wise and time-wise and resource-wise – where we would be able to do a proper battle, with one army on one side, one army on another side.” HBO has spared no expense, ramping up VFX budgets, sending the cast and crew all across Western Europe on month long shoots, altogether raising the stakes for their sixth installment.
Only time will tell whether or not Season six is going to live up to the hype. Although when you can boast one of the most dedicated fan bases in the entire world, so dedicated that you have to release trailers in 720p because any higher resolution would allow fans to learn the closely guarded secrets of the upcoming season, *cough Jon Snow*, I wouldn’t be too worried.
The first five seasons are available to stream on HBOGO. Season six premieres April 24th at 9 P.M. EST on HBO.