Members of the YouTube social networking community have today leaked an unofficial version of the first full teaser trailer (below) for the long-awaited fifth season of HBO's ongoing fantasy drama Game of Thrones. The video, which premièred at an IMAX screening of the penultimate and final episodes of the show's fourth season ("The Watchers on the Wall" and "The Children" respectively) yesterday evening in the United States, made its way online earlier today, although no officially-endorsed rendition had surfaced on the interwebs in response at the time of writing (if and when one such cut does appear, we'll update this article accordingly).
As the hordes of Thrones fanatics in attendance at last night's screenings would doubtless attest, in bringing about (SPOILER ALERT!) the demise of Tywin Lannister (not to mention Tyrion's prostitute-turned-scornful lover Shae), the union of the Knight's Watch with the forces of one Stannis Baratheon (check out any clip featuring Davos if a recap of the latter construct's significance is required) and the supposed downfall of Arya's adversary-turned-uneasy ally Sandor Clegane, "The Children" appeared to signal an all manner of changes for the status quo come Season Five. Indeed, unless the programme's marketing team have deceptively mashed together a handful of scenes which deviate from the norm (whatever that transient concept really means in the case of a series which comes close to changing its goalposts on a weekly basis), all the evidence displayed here strongly implies that the past twelve months will have dramatically altered the political trajectory of Westeros and its presumably increasingly weary residents to such an extent that the outcome of the long-running War of the Five Kings will undoubtedly continually represent anything but a done deal.
After almost a full year off air, Game of Thrones therefore looks all set to sharpen its pitchfork and light its torch in time for ten further one-hour instalments of high-octane fantasy warfare, the first of which will air on HBO this April 5th and via Sky Atlantic in the UK this April 13th at 9pm.
UPDATE (30-01-2015, 11.32pm) - As if in answer to our pleas, HBO have just released an official, high-definition version of the aforementioned Season Five trailer, so scroll down just a little further if you'd rather view the video in its admittedly visually sumptuous original format.