HBO has released a new long form featurette for Game of Thrones, which serves as summary of sorts for the first season.
The video features a number of important clips, along with explanations from the exec producers, writers (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) and several actors, including Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, and Kit Harrington.
So if you are still planning on catching up on your own, be forewarned, this video will spoil the entire season.
Perhaps most interestingly, the clip discusses a numerous themes from the show, and even ties some things together that may not have been quite obvious when watching the show at the pace it’s presented on television.
The video ends with a look at the set-up for the second season, and some of what we'll be able to expect therein.
As noted above, it also includes a short interview with Benioff and Weiss, in which they discuss, in part, their own motivations for creating the show.
"We’re proud of the fact that it’s a fantasy show," Weiss responds when asked about the usual stigma of ‘fantasy’ television.
"It’s set in a world that never existed and never will, there are fabulous buildings, sets, costumes and creatures you won’t see anywhere else – but our aim has always been for the show to speak to universal human themes of power, love, family, betrayal…all the things that have made so many kinds of storytelling so compelling for so many centuries."
Of course it helps that they’re working with a Hollywood sized budget and almost no censorship.
When asked what season two will be about, he says, "This season is largely about how Ned Stark’s death leads to a series of events that ultimately culminate in a war, pulling all the different factions in this world into open-armed conflict with each other. Almost every character is directly affected by the war in some way or another – even Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, who are on far different corners of the world, feel the effects of the events that spring from Ned’s death.
"Ned Stark’s death had a profound effect – he was the moral center of the first season and he lingers on as that moral presence. For his son Robb, especially, Ned’s death is really a driving force. King Joffrey killed his father, and Robb isn’t going to stop until he has avenged his father’s death. This vengeance motive feeds into Robb’s larger desire to see the North rule itself, to see it freed and lifted out from the under the thumb of a person who’s sure to be one of the worst kings in recorded memory. As the second season will make abundantly clear, Joffrey is not the guy you want sitting in the big chair."
And when asked about surprises in season two, "I think fans of the show can expect to be surprised by some of what happens. Fans of the books will obviously have more of a line into events, but we’re taking approaches that might surprise them as well. A lot of the characters that George created are so rich and so wonderful that you often find yourself wondering what would happen if this one met that one: When Robb finds himself alone with Jaime, for instance, what do they say?
"And we’ve been blessed with such fabulous, talented actors that you really find yourself just wanting to write more and more for them, to explore the characters that they’re making their own. So there will definitely be some nice surprises. I think there’ll be excitement for both longtime readers and newcomers to the material.”
Finally, Benioff clarified how he feels about the way the books divide the story. "We’re not looking at our series as a book-by-book adaptation so much as an adaptation of George’s entire saga. In other words, in our minds season two is not 'A Clash of Kings.' It is the second season of our adaptation of 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'"
The new season of Game of Thrones begins on HBO April 1st, 2012, and will continue for ten episodes on Sunday evenings.