LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Fans desperate to know the fate of Game Of Thrones hero Jon Snow seem to have their answer in a new trailer released on Tuesday - and it's not looking good for the felled warrior.
Snow, played by British actor Kit Harington, was stabbed by mutinous followers at the end of season five, sparking months of heated debate on social media about whether he had really met his end.
HBO's first full season six trailer opens and closes with what appears to be a lifeless Snow where we left him, his body lying prone in a puddle of his own blood.
"He's gone," says knight Davos Seaworth, as a plaintive cover of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game plays. The 100-second whistle-stop tour through the fictional continent of Westeros offers violence, gore, semi-nudity, glimpses of several future storylines and more violence.
The action swoops down to King's Landing, where an army is moving against ousted royal Cersei Lannister and her companion Gregor Clegane - the brutal warrior otherwise known as The Mountain.
As the trailer ends, Davos says: "I've never been much of a fighter. Apologies for what you're about to see," unsheathing Snow's sword as he stands over the warlord's body.
Reports that Harington was spotted on the set of season six fuelled speculation of Snow's return.
He doesn't look like he has much fight left in him, but the new footage will do little to end speculation among the Emmy-winning show's legion of fans that he will somehow pull through.
The #GameofThrones Twitter hashtag began trending worldwide soon after the trailer's release, with speculation rife that all was not as it seemed.
Some posted pictures of what they claimed showed Snow riding a horse in the background of one shot but a close-up was far from conclusive.
"What a time to be alive," tweeted best-selling fantasy author Victoria Aveyard.