Oftentimes, the Game of Thrones penultimate episodes are the really action-packed ones, as the series finales often set up for the next season. However, during 2015, the body count was high on HBO’s fantasy drama, mostly thanks to the season finale. Now, that we’re gearing up for Season 6, there are so many directions the show is going in, it’s hard to keep up. Which is why we’ve put together this awesome guide looking into everything we know so far about Season 6 of Game of Thrones. Take a look at all the information we’ve put together, below.

Looking for all the details regarding Season 5 of Game of Thrones? No problem, head here.

Game of thrones
What Is Coming Up On Game Of Thrones Season 6?
We'll let you know about Episodes 9 and 10 as soon as we know! The Hound
What Happened During The Most Recent Episode?
Lady Brienne and Pod headed to Riverrun where she struck a bargain with Jaime Lannister. She got inside to convince The Blackfish to abandon his home and meet-up with Sansa, but he wouldn't budge. Pod and Brienne escaped, but Jaime was told The Blackfish was killed. Elsewhere, The Hound sought revenge for the loss of his mentor, The Waif chased after Arya until the Stark girl got the upper hand and The Mountain protected Cersei from some pesky Sparrows. In Meereen, Tyrion made some blunders related to the slave owners, but Dany may have reappeared in just the nick of time.

Game of thrones
What Has Happened during the rest of Season 6?
What didn't happen during Episode 1 of Season 6, really? First and foremost, we finally found out what happened to Sansa and Theon after they escaped. Essentially, they were almost caught by Ramsay's minions, but Brienne saved the day. Over in Dorne, the heroes weren't so lucky. Instead, the Sand Snakes gutted their leaders, killing Martell men. Dany very nearly was raped by a new Khal, but talked her way out of it, while Jorah and Daario searched high and low for her. Ser Davos found out that Jon Snow had been murdered and there was a lot of unrest on The Wall. Most shocking of all, Melisandre finally de-robed and revealed her true age to all those who were watching. It was some unsettling stuff. More on the shocking Melisandre reveal, here.

In "Home," we finally got the return of a few characters from past seasons, including but not limited to Bran and Yara Greyjoy. Elsewhere in the episode, new character Euron Greyjoy appeared in the Iron Islands and Balon Greyjoy was killed off by the newcomer. He was not the only character who died in this episode, either. After Ramsay Bolton found out his father's new wife had a male child, he clearly felt threatened and unexpectedly killed off Roose Bolton. While death came to a few characters, Ser Davos also implored Melisandre to bring Jon Snow back to life. At first, it seemed as if she had failed, but soon we saw Ghost lift his head from under the table and Jon Snow gasped for breath. He's back.

Episode 3 was actually a fairly slow episode. We finally caught up with Samwell Tarly and Gilly, who are headed to the Citadel. In addition, Arya is finally able to fight an attacker even though she is still blind. After waking up, Jon Snow had some philosophical moments before ultimately deciding to execute his attackers via hanging. He then left the Night's Watch. Bran is still training and saw a moment with his father as a young man. His father defeats some foes on the way to find his kidnapped sister Lyanna, but the scene doesn't play out the way Ned Stark used to tell it. Both King's Landing and Meereen are facing major problems. Finally, Rickon Stark and Osha are delivered to Ramsay Bolton, which is the worst.

book of the stranger

Episode 4, "Book of the Stranger," was a strong episode of Game of Thrones, not only because it saw characters Sansa Stark and Jon Snow reunite on the small screen, but also because Dany had her first strong moment in quite a while. Sansa wasted no time when she met up with Jon Snow, attempting to convince him to rally the Wildlings and fight the Boltons. It didn't seem to be working, that is, until Ramsay played his hand and sent a letter stating he had Rickon in his grasp. Meanwhile, in King's Landing, everyone is still scheming to get Margaery out of jail. In the Iron Islands, Yara prepared for the Kingsmoot. The best moment in the episode came near the end, when Dany used her fire resistance to burn a room full of Dothraki Khals alive.

Talk about an emotional episode. While Dany gave Jorah an order to find a cure for his greyscale and Arya wrestled with her feelings regarding her assignments from the House of Black and White, the real big deal during Episode 5 ("The Door") had to do with Bran and Hodor. While training with the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran learned that the Children of the Forest were actually responsible for creating the White Walkers. However, Bran also encountered the Night's King in a vision and was marked. This allowed the White Walkers to find the cave where Bran was training and to attack. In the event that ensued, the Three-Eyed Raven, Leaf, Bran's direwolf Summer and others were slaughtered. Bran was forced to warg into Hodor within his training, causing a connection between the past Hodor and the present. Afterwards, the normal boy could only slur "Hodor," a variation of "hold the door."

During Episode 6, "Blood of my Blood," Arya directly defied the House of Black and White and saved the life of a character she was told to poison. She fetched Needle and ran away. Elsewhere, Dany pulled another sweet trick with her dragon. In King's Landing, Tommen and Margaery have apparently sided with the High Sparrow, causing a shitstorm. I guess teenaged boys do tend to defy their parents, and Tommen defies in a big way when he ships his "uncle" Jaime to Riverrun to defeat the Blackfish. We also met Samwell's family and an unexpected character returned. Uncle Benjen is back and he has a crazy backstory.

The Hound is back. Let me repeat, The Hound is back. He showed up early in the episode during scenes featuring newcomer Ian McShane, as reports from earlier this season anticipated. Unfortunately, things weren't looking all that rosy for Sandor Clegane. Although he joined up with a seemingly peaceful cult, the Brotherhood Without Banners showed up and went on a murder spree late in the episode. Elsewhere, Arya also got stabbed and her fate was left fairly uncertain, which was a nice nod to The Hound's fate being uncertain a few seasons ago. Margaery spent the episode scheming against the High Sparrow, while Jon Snow, Sansa and Ser Davos did some scheming on their own, attempting to unite the north to rise up against the White Walkers. Jaime also met up with The Blackfish and Bronn finally got some good dialogue!

winterfell
When Will Game Of Thrones Season 6 Air?
While one season of Game of Thrones did hit the airwaves at the very end of March,most have premiered in April and recently Game of Thrones announced Season 6 will begin airing on April 24, 2016 at 9 p.m. ET, on HBO.

Luckily, HBO does a great job of keeping up fan interest during the long summer and winter months before the drama returns to the schedule. This typically includes an information-filled Comic-Con panel, although A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin has didn't attend this year. Also different about this summer: the Season 6 panel included a lot of stories from the set, but less casting information than normal!

jon snow stab
What Have We Seen So Far
In addition to a poster featuring a bloodied Jon Snow and a few shots in the HBO end of year promotional video, Game of Thrones has released the first big teaser for Season 6 of the hit drama, which features voiceover from Bran, not to mention another creepy teaser set in the House of Black and White. By the time we got the first footage from the new season, the showrunners were adamant that Jon Snow is dead, and we even get to see him laid out on a slab of brick. But that's not the most interesting thing about the jam-packed footage the network has released so far:
In the second trailer for the hit drama, we hear more about the major war against the dead and get to see Sansa in a warrior costume for the first time. These episodes are looking better and better by the minute
game of thrones cast
Who Is Cast In Season 6 Of Game Of Thrones?
It would take too long to list every single one of the characters still alive and breathing on Game of Thrones. While the pool of characters on the series was thinned considerable during the Season 5 finale, suffice to say, expect to see plenty of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), Cersei (Lena Headey), Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), Theon (Alfie Allen), and Sam (John Bradley-West) next season, not to mention a slew of other characters.

It’s probably easier to mention who we may not be seeing next season. Season 5 saw us saying farewell to Ser Barristan (Ian McElhinney), Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram ), Mance Rayder (Ciarin Hinds), Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter), Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan), Hizdahr zo Loraq (Joel Fry), Selyse Baratheon (Sarah MacKeever), Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), Myranda (Charlotte Hope), Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie), Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free), and of course, Jon Snow (Kit Harington). More on Jon Snow later.

Also, we are definitely going to see the return next season of Bran and Hodor, who were cut out of the plotlines during Season 5 as the story grew bigger and bigger. We will get to see them again in Season 6. Likewise, The Hound has been rumored to make an appearance in Season 6, which is the biggest surprise of them all.Recent reports have also indicated that fan-favorite character Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully will return to the plot for a fun storyline potentially involving holding a fortress for the late Robb Stark (more info).

Several old characters will be returning, but will be played by new actors. Casting reports indicate that Ned Stark will be back in Season 6. Since he's very, very dead, he'll show up in a flashback sequence and will be played by Sebastian Croft. Max Von Sydow will be playing the Three-Eyed Raven, formerly played by Stuan Rodger.
tarly family game of thrones
Will We See Any New Characters In Season 6?
Believe is or not, the veteran series will actually see a few new characters come into play during Season 6. Namely, Greyjoy eldest brother Euron Greyjoy seems as if he will be making an appearance in the upcoming episodes. We haven’t seen much from the Greyjoy family, excepting Theon, recently, but Euron is a force to be reckoned with, a pirate who, in the books, runs the ship “Silence,” run by individuals with their tongues cut out. Pilou Asbæk has reportedly been signed on to play the popular character.

Popular actor Ian McShane has also been added to the cast of Game of Thrones for Season 6. The former Deadwood star is playing a mystery role and he's not the only one. Recently, Richard E. Grant also signed on for a mysterious role in Season 6 of Game of Thrones. Just before Season 6 premiered, actor Liam Cunningham confirmed that Lyanna Mormont will be a character during Season 6, although we don't know which actress will play her.

So far, we only have the plot descriptions to explain a few of the other new characters. Those descriptions include a dad who sounds like Sam’s parent Randyll Tarly, the abusive gent who shipped Sam off to the Wall. Samwell’s mother, sister and brother also seemed to be listed with the initial casting descriptions, and Samwell's brother Dickon Tarly has already been cast. He'll be played by buff actor Freddie Stroma.

freddie stroma

Finally, a character who could either be Septon Meribald or Aeron Greyjoy may be included:
Priest, in his 40’s or 50’s. A gruff ex-soldier who found religion. Now a no-nonsense rural priest who ministers to the poor of the countryside. He’s salt-of-the-earth man who has weathered many battles.

You can check out the full list here.
jon snow stab
What’s The Latest With Jon Snow?
If you watched the Season 5 finale, you probably already know that Jon Snow was stabbed and left to die by members of the Night’s Watch. A slew of other people also (likely) died during the episode, and while characters like Stannis and Myrcella are presumably dead (although if George R.R. Martin has his way, Stannis is still breathing), the rumor mill seems to believe that Kit Harington will return for Sesaon 6 of Game of Thrones, possibly rising from the dead to do so. Game of Thrones seemingly confirmed the characters return in November.

Jon Snow

While the showrunners and Kit Harington have both said that Jon Snow is dead, Harington has been spotted heading to Belfast where the HBO drama shoots. In addition, he hasn’t been listed as a “fallen character” by HBO and his hair is remarkably long for an actor who never loved to maintain his Game of Thrones haircut.

During Episode 2 "Home", the character was finally brought back to life. Jon Snow later apologized to fans for lying to them for months and saying he was permanently dead. While that was really annoying, I guess we have to give him props for sticking to the story through thick and thin.
George r.r. martin out
Who Else Is Involved With Season 6?
D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are still acting as showrunners on the series during Season 6. Jeremy Podeswa will direct the first two episodes and later episodes will be helmed by Daniel Sackheim, Jack Bender, Mark Mylod, and Miguel Sapochnik. We also know that George R.R. Martin is out for Season 6. The A Song of Ice and Fire writer has written an episode of Game of Thrones every season except 5, but Martin revealed that he will not be writing for HBO’s fantasy drama this time around, either. He’s busy attempting to get The Winds of Winter onto bookshelves and is focusing his efforts on the world of fiction. (Although this hasn’t stopped him from developing some more TV shows.)

Cersei Walk of shame
Where Did Season 5 of Game Of Thrones Leave Off?
As aforementioned, Bran and Hodor were nowhere to be seen during Season 5. Elsewhere, however, a lot of the characters on Game of Thrones saw their situations change remarkably, some for the better and some for the worse.

Let’s start with Meereen. Daenerys’ rule in Meereen has been rife with problems from the start. An organization known as the Sons of the Harpy began attacking Dany’s Unsullied warrior and other members of her guard. Early in the season she lost Ser Barristan and later in the season she lost her betrothed Hizdahr zo Loraq. Good thing Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister returned to join (or rejoin) her entourage. During an assasination attempt, Dany flies off on the back of a dragon, where she ends up surrounded by the Dothraki. Tyrion is left in charge of the city when Varys shows up.

In the North, the White Walkers have become more prominent. Unfortunately, a number of the Crows have not let bygones be bygones, and are still peeved about sharing space with the Wildlings. As the Walker army grows, a few Crows stab Jon Snow in a brutal sequence. Elsewhere, Stannis is (likely) killed by Brienne and Melisandre looks to use her powers elsewhere.

In King’s Landing, things are still not going well. Margaery and Loras were imprisoned by the High Sparrow after admitting to immoral acts (or knowledge of them), and Tommen proved useless. Actress Natalie Dormer has already spoken out about attempting to get out of prison. Later, Cersei was also imprisoned over moral concerns. She eventually was released after agreeing to walk naked through King’s Landing, where people threw stuff at her and called her a “brother fucker.”

In Dorne, Myrcella Baratheon was in love. In the nick of time her father/Uncle Jaime showed up with Bronn, saving her from the Sand Snakes, who hoped to start a war with the Lannisters. Eventually, Bronn, Jaime, Myrcella and the Martell boy are given the greenlight to head to King’s Landing. Ellaria Sand gives Myrcella a parting kiss, and poisoned her in the process.

Dany dragons bigger
Are There Any Other Juicy Tidbits?
Of course. Recently, VFX supervisor Joe Bauer explained that Dany’s dragons are going to grow, again. They started out as pint-sized, but by Season 5 had developed a wingspan of 60 feet. For Season 6, the special effects team is going to create dragons that are 120 feet from wingtip to wingtip. I’m guessing the team isn’t using chickens for inspiration, anymore.

In addition to all of the Jon Snow set stuff that has been bandied about, Natalie Dormer has been doing press for a few different movies this fall and winter, and has said that she is going to have a new partner to verbally spar with as she tries to work her way out of prison. We're guessing someone in the Sparrow organization will eventually succumb to the charms of Margaery, but you can read into what she did while shooting Season 6, here.

Finally, at this year's Oscars ceremony, Sophie Turner revealed that her character Sansa Stark will be alive and kicking throughout the season. So, if you're a Sansa fan, you have plenty to look forward to--especially now that we've seen footage of the actress in brand new clothing.

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