In "Game of Thrones," the flamboyant Braavos swordsman Syrio Forel taught his young protégé Arya Stark to "see with your eyes" and "hear with your ears." In the case of the brand new "Game of Thrones" season two preview, I'd echo Syrio's wisdom and encourage you to listen very closely.
Though there are plenty of beautiful visuals on display worth gawking at, it's the words you're hearing that make this new "Thrones" footage so captivating. Specifically, they're the words of Stannis Baratheon: younger brother of the late King Robert, older brother of self-anointed renegade King Renly, and the man who would sit upon the Iron Throne.
"My brother left no trueborn heirs," drones the cool voice of Stannis, played by actor Stephen Dillane, as images of the various "Game of Thrones" players still in the mix (see: no Ned Stark) flow across the screen. "By right and birth and blood I do this day lay claim to the Iron Throne of Westeros. Let all true men declare their loyalty. The Iron Throne is mine by right. They will bend the knee or I will destroy them. The cold winds are rising."
Very much a man who will break before he ever bends, Stannis is one of the most important characters in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, and even though we don't see him in this new trailer, his presence hangs heavily. Mark my words: Stannis is not a man you will soon forget.
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO in April 2012.
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