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Game of Thrones is always one of the biggest shows to premiere during the TV season, but now that it's here, we are happy to report that anything and everything that will be going on moving forward. Here's our handy guide to everything we know about Game of Thrones Season 5, including details about the cast, information about the episodes, when the show airs and more. Here's what we know about Game of Thrones' big Season 5 premiere.
Please keep in mind that this article features plenty of spoilers from the latest episodes; if you aren't caught up on the series, please head out now and read one of our other wonderful articles!
What happened in the most recent episode?Episode 9 of Game of Thrones' fifth season really hit a whole slew of emotions, from glorious dragons flying to the death of a young child at the hands of her father. It was a devastating episode, with Stannis Baratheon choosing Melisandre, the Lord of Light and the promise of power over the life of the one child his wife had born that had lived. Shireen even eagerly offered to help her father in the moments before he chose to have her burned at the stake.
Elsewhere, Jaime was enjoying the comforts of Dorne and we got to enjoy some comic relief from Bronn. Elsewhere, Arya is busy continuing her training, selling oysters, clams and cockles near the shore and keeping an eye out on the people coming in and those who do business on the docks. In Meereen, Dany decides to reopen the fighting pits. Unfortunately, the Sons of the Harpy see the event as the perfect place to attempt to assassinate her. Fortunately, Drogon shows up in the nick of time. Don't worry, we have gifs.
What Happened During Episode 1?Episode 1, “The Wars to Come” kicked off with Cersei and Jaime mourning their father and squabbling more like siblings than lovers. Pod and Brienne are still journeying, and at the Wall, Jon Snow has to play a part in Mance Rayder’s fate when Stannis asks him to bend the knee. In the meantime, Littlefinger and Sansa are more in cahoots than ever. Across the sea, Tyrion and Varys finally reach land, and the latter convinces the former to head to Meereen to join Daenary’s entourage. In Meereen, the townsfolk want to reopen the fighting pits, to Dany’s disapproval.
If you'd like to check out our full, in-depth Episode 1 reaction, head here.
What Happened During Episode 2?Episode 2, “The House of Black and White,” features Arya attempting to gain entry into the titular Braavos community, and after sitting outside for what seems like days, she runs off to kill a pigeon for food. Eventually, however, her former pal Jaqen H’gar reveals himself to her.
Elsewhere, Brienne and Pod are almost successful at regaining control of Sansa. Unfortunately, she seems pretty cool with chilling with Littlefinger, who obviously doesn’t want to let his prize go. Brienne needs to just cool it with the whole vow thing and move on, now that both Stark girls have rebuffed her.
In Meereen, Danny is still dealing with problems related to the Sons of the Harpy. More excitingly, however, Drogon shows up! While this is going on, far away at the wall Maester Aemon casts the deciding vote to make Jon Snow the leader of the Night’s Watch. Being a leader ain’t easy.
If you would like to take a more in-depth look at Episode 2, you can check out our full recap here.
What Happened During Episode 3?Episode 3, "High Sparrow," features a ton of curveballs. Namely, Littlefinger reveals his plan to Sansa to marry her off to Ramsay Bolten, the former bastard of Roose Bolten. Sansa reluctantly agrees to the match after a rousing speech from Littlefinger, but she doesn't know Ramsay is more of a monster than Joffrey. Meanwhile, Brienne and Pod are still looking for ways to extricate her from Littlefinger's clutches.
Further north, Jon Snow is still dealing with some unrest on the wall. He briefly takes some lip from dissenter Janos Slynt, but pulls a trick from his dad Ned Stark's book by beheading him. Stannis seems to respect the kid and his decisions, but for now, the Night's Watch will remain on the Wall.
Meanwhile, the religious faction known as the Sparrows is causing some havoc in King's Landing. Cersei's sort of engaged with the religious group, but she has bigger fish on her mind. During the episode, Tommen officially weds Margaery and the Tyrell woman now has more power as the queen. Bitchy conversations between the two women ensue. It's great.
If you would like to take a more in-depth look at Episode 3, you can check out our full recap here.
What Happened During Episode 4?A lot happened in Episode 4 of Game of Thrones," titled "The Sons of the Harpy. Obviously, a lot of the focus of the episode surrounded the unrest in Meereen, although we did get a quiet moment between Ser Barristan and Dany when he told her a story about Rhaegar Targaryan. The rest of the episode hopped locations without mercy. In Dorne, the Sand Snakes and their mother plotted to take down the already-weakened Lannisters just as Jaime and Bronn came ashore.
In the North, Jon Snow rebuffed the affections of Melisandre while Sansa contemplated her own marriage to Ramsay Bolten. Poor Tommen had his own share of relationship troubles, getting caught between his conniving mother and equally opportunistic wife. Of course, the biggest moment occurred toward the end of the episode, when the unsullied were forced to take on a slew of Sons of the Harpy in closed quarters. Grey Worm was left wounded, and in a tragic moment, Ser Barristan was stabbed and killed.
If you would like to take a more in-depth look at this week’s episode, you can check out our full recap here.
What Happened During Episode 5?The Meereen-centric episode finally allowed Dany to step out of Ser Barristan's shadow and into the light as a ruler. Dany made some impulsive decisions and later some calculated ones as she took on the heads of the households that were responsible for the Sons of the Harpy killings. Yes, there were dragons, but then there was also an unexpected marriage order from Daenerys to Hizdahr zo Loraq. While Dany was busy coming into her own, Tyrion and Jorah continued to travel near her, running unexpectedly into some rabid men suffering from grayscale along the way. If you think the dragons are terrifying, the grayscale is even more frightening, as it turns sane men into monsters.
In the North, Sansa found Theon and learned more about Ramsay's particular temperament, while Jon Snow made some more enemies. As a leader, Jon decided to ask the Wildlings to bend the knee and take over the land in direct proximity to the Wall. It was an intriguing episode, and if you'd like to learn more, you can check out our full reaction.
What Happened During Episode 6?In King's Landing, Cersei is playing with fire as she tries to take on the Tyrells. I don't know about you, but it seems to be an ill-advised path. Elsewhere, others are making bids for power; in the North the Boltens are about to have a big fight with Stannis Baratheon, and Littlefinger seems determined to be there to pick up the pieces. Unfortunately, Sansa is caught in the middle and she agrees to marry Ramsay Bolten, only to have her new husband force Theon to watch as they have sex.
We don't get anything from Dany this week, but Jaime and Bronn are nearly successful at grabbing Myrcella. They manage to keep her from the Sand Snakes, but then everyone gets caught. Poor Tyrion and Jorah aren't doing so hot, either, as they get picked up by pirates partway through the episode.
Most excitingly, however, Arya proves she can be an asset in the House of Black and White and is moving onto a pretty incredible path.
What Happened During Episode 7?During Episode 7, "The Gift," Jorah and Tyrion finally came face to face with Dany in Meereen. Elsewhere, Myrcella fought for her right to stay in Dorne and Sansa tried to make a bold escape from Winterfell, with unintended consequences.
Most startlingly, the High Sparrow continued his bid for power. Following shackling the Tyrells, he had cousin Lancel confess his sins with Cersei. The queen mother was thrown in jail as well, making threats as the Sparrows closed the door on her. If you'd like to read our full, in-depth recap, head here.
What Happened During Episode 8?In "Hardhome," some characters came together while others were ripped apart. The first half of the episode dropped in on a filthy Cersei in King's Landing, saw Arya taking on a second personality as the oyster cart-lugging orphan Lana, and found Sansa trying to spin Reek's psychological profile back to Theon . As well, viewers got to watch just how successfully the dynamic between Tyrion and Dany is working, as he takes on the role of her advisor.
But the second half of the episode is where the terrifying action happened, as Jon Snow & Co. face off against a seemingly never-ending army of White Walkers. How do you kill something that only seems to get stronger with death? Without any trusty dragonglass, Jon Snow discovers that Valyrian steel does the trick. But it's clearly going to take more than that in the future. If you'd like to check out our full, in-depth Episode 8 reaction, head here.
When Does Game of Thrones Season 5 air?Game of Thrones hit the schedule on April 12, debuting alongside Veep and Silicon Valley during the network's classic Sunday night lineup. Season 5 is expected to deviate from the books in a bigger way as it moves forward, and we now know Game of Thrones will likely speed ahead of George R.R. Martin's books in the seasons to come. Ten episodes will be produced for the new season, and you can catch new episodes on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.
Here's the full trailer for the new season, which features some hints about what is still coming up.
We've also seen a bit about the costumes, including Arya's brand new look during her stay in Braavos, as well as some nipple armor that was accidentally created for the Sand Snakes in Dorne. HBO has also revealed the Season 5 trailer, along with a ton of new photos from the set. Be sure to check out Dany's brand new look!
How did Game of Thrones Season 4 leave off?Not the simplest question when it comes to such a sprawling narrative. The best way to attack is probably by location so let's start in King's Landing and the shocking events of the season finale. With the help of Varys and Jaime, Tyrion made it onto a ship heading out of the capital (with Varys?) but not before murdering Tywin and Shae first. Another two bite the dust. While Cersei won't be pleased with her family's actions, at least her son Tommen still sits atop the Iron Throne. Oh, and the Martells are probably not too pleased that Oberyn got his head smashed during "The Mountain and the Viper." However, the Tyrells, Margaery, Loras and Mace, are healthy though and growing strong while the Lannister's power fades.
Off in the middle of Westeros, that's Casterly Rock to the Eyrie, Littlefinger has made some major moves and is pretty much Lord of the Vale now that Lysa Arryn is out of the moon door. I mean, the picture. Only sickly Lord Robin and an increasingly cunning Sansa stand in Petyr's way. I don't think he has to worry about the boy but the eldest living Stark learned a lot from her time in the capital. Speaking of "The Children" and Starks, Arya almost crossed paths with her older sister before coming across Brienne and Pod instead, a meeting that would prove fatal for the Hound and send the 'she-wolf' off to a nearby ship headed to Braavos.
In the North, Theon (Reek) helped Ramsay Snow (sorry, Bolton) and his father Roose rid the region of the rest of the Iron Islander's including the former's older sister Yara. Farther north, Jon managed to strike up a deal with Mance Rayder but not before "The Watchers on the Wall" and the wildling army had a few epic encounters. After his banking transactions in Braavos, Stannis and his crew, Davos, Melisandre and Shireen, ended up crashing the party at the Wall as well because the White Walkers are the most dangerous threat to the Kingdom. Of course, Bran is also doing his best to help in the North as his spiritual journey, with Hodor and Meera Reed still along for the ride, led him to one of the Children of the Forest. It was the Children who, with the help of the First Men, fought back the Others in the first place.
Finally, across the Narrow Sea, Dany continues to take up residence in Slaver's Bay, refusing to leave Meereen with the area still in turmoil. And that might mean getting closer than she’d like to the noble Hizdahr zo Loraq. Jorah's been banished but she still has Ser Barristan Selmy at her side, not to mention Grey Worm and Missandei. Oh, and Daario, her lover, is still around too. Not around, however, are Daenerys' dragons. In the finale, the Khalessi was forced to try and put them in a cage after her children burned an innocent human child. Drogon couldn't be caught but Viserion and Rhaegal are chained in the catacombs. I think that's everyone? And there are still plenty more characters to be introduced in Season 5. And 6. And 7.
Where are all of the characters?Okay. That was a lot to digest. Jaime, Cersei, Tommen, Margaery, Loras, Mace, Bronn and Maester Pycelle are in King's Landing with Tyrion and Varys leaving on a boat to Pentos. Oh, and Myrcella Lannister, uh, Baratheon is in Dorne. Littlefinger, Sansa and Lord Robin are about to tour the Vale, near where we last left Brienne and Pod while Arya is on a boat to Braavos.
Theon (Reek) is with Ramsay and Roose Bolton at Winterfell while the rest of the Greyjoys are back in the Iron Islands. Jon, Ghost, Sam and Gilly are at the Wall along with all the other Brothers of the Night's Watch (so Edd, Thorne, Slynt and Maester Aemon), the wildling army (Mance, Tormund and the Giants) and Stannis' crew which includes Davos, Melisandre, Shireen and Selyse. Bran, Summer, Hodor and Meera are even further North, under a mystical weirwood with one of the Children of the Forest and the Three-eyed Crow.
And finally, across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys is in Meereen with Missandei, Ser Barristan Selmy, Grey Worm and Hizdahr zo Loraq. Daario is nearby as well while Jorah is headed away from the city after being banished. Two of the dragons, Viserion and Rhaegal, are locked in the pits, while Drogon is free.
Read on to find out where Game of Thrones season 5 will pick up the story...
Where will Season 5 pick up?Obviously, the fifth season of Game of Thrones will pick up where it left off, which, well, is a lot of places. The drama will continue in all the usual locations, with King's Landing perhaps getting a little less screen time after losing so many of it's players over the last few episodes. There's always the Riverlands, the Vale, the North, the Iron Islands and Meereen to pick up the slack. And with the influx of characters at the Wall, it will probably figure heavily into the upcoming season.
There will also be a few new(ish) locations as Tyrion and Arya were both last seen on boats heading across the Narrow Sea. That should mean more time spent in the Free Cities of Pentos and Braavos. The prospect of the latter is especially exciting given how rad the place looks in the title sequence. Finally, there is one never-before-seen region of Westeros that we will definitely see on GoT next year with Spain being scouted as a stand-in for Dorne. A whole kingdom of Oberyns?!
What do we know about the cast for Game of Thrones Season 5?Even with the many, many deaths, Game of Thrones still has a ton of characters roaming Westeros and Essos with Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Lena Headey (Cersei), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Sophie Turner (Sansa), Maisie Williams (Arya), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger), Alfie Allen (Theon), John Bradley (Sam), Stephen Dillane (Stannis), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Liam Cunningham (Davos), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay), Daniel Portman (Pod), Natalie Dormer (Margaery),...
... Iain Glen (Jorah), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Ian McElhinney (Barristan), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Michiel Huisman (Daario), Joel Fry (Hizdahr zo Loraq), Conleth Hill (Varys), Finn Jones (Loras), Diana Rigg (Olenna), Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Mace) and Gemma Whelan (Yara) are all set to return. Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran), Ellie Kendrick (Meera), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Struan Rodger (Three-Eyed Raven) and Octavia Alexandru (Leaf) will reportedly be cut from the season. Early reports indicated that the most-Northern storyline would be taking the season off. Since the man who plays Bran's primary mode of transportation made the comments, they have been (sort of) retracted with the young wolf himself stating, in an interview for the The Boxtrolls, that Game of Thrones is very much on his schedule. But then producers spoke out saying that Bran and co. won't be used. Hodor.
Then there's still Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen), Julian Glover (Pycelle), Clive Russell (Blackfish), Tobias Menzies (Edmure), Michael McElhatton (Roose), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), Anton Lesser (Qyburn), Charlotte Hope (Myranda), Patrick Malahide (Balon), Ben Crompton (Edd), Ciarán Hinds (Mance), Peter Vaughan (Aemon), Owen Teale (Thorne), Dominic Carter (Slynt), Tara Fitzgerald (Selyse), Kerry Ingram (Shireen), Mark Gatiss (Tycho Nestoris), Lucian Msamati (Salladhor Saan), Natalia Tena (Osha) and Lino Facioli (Robin). And possibly Richard Dormer (Beric), Paul Kaye (Thoros) and Philip McGinley (Anguy) if the Brotherhood is back. Seven hells! That's a lot of people left for George R.R. Martin to kill.
And, if there weren't already enough characters, word has it that some of the dead are coming back (no, not that person) with Charles Dance's Tywin Lannister apparently filming some scenes. A funeral perhaps? Visions Hallucinations? Flashbacks? Hm, one of the leaked casting breakdowns did make mention of a few characters that could fulfill more than one of those possibilities.
Speaking of the additions for the Game of Thrones's fifth season, also known as new heads on the chopping block, some roles have already been cast while others from the aforementioned leaked casting breakdowns (from Winter Is Coming) have yet to be filled. Of course, there are probably still more spots to be filled - considering the Krakens have been completely left off the calls - but at least the lists let us know about some of the characters David Benioff and Dan Weiss are looking to add for Season 5.
Almost all of the parts from the first breakdown have been cast, as well as a few additional ones, and the news broke at Comic-Con. And with Dorne now a location, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that several of the new characters have the last name Martell or Sand. Here's the video of all the additions introducing themselves...
Alexander Siddig will play Oberyn's older brother, Prince Doran, with (Oscar nominee) Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers and Jessica Henwick as the three eldest of the Red Viper's eight bastard daughters Obara, Tyene and Nymeria. The passionate women are known as the 'Sand Snakes' and are a lot like their late father. His brother Doran, not so much. The remaining Prince of Dorne may be ten years older and confined to a wheelchair but don't underestimate his cunning. Toby Sebastian is playing his son Trystane, who is engaged to Nell Tiger Free's Princess Myrcella. And the last of the Dorne additions is DeObia Oparei as Areo Hotah, the Martell's family bodyguard. The names don't get any easier.
The most high profile casting announcement has to be Jonathan Pryce as The High Sparrow, a pious religious leader who will be appearing in several episodes. Pryce has done everything, from hapless bureaucrat to Bond villain, and his screen presence is perfect for the part. Finally, joining the action in Essos, Enzo Cilenti will play Yezzan, a Meereenese slave owner and probably a thorn in Dany's side.
Several characters in the first breakdown have still not been cast including; Septa Unella, an 'imposing and unrelenting' presence in a major character's life, Bronn's new wife, Lady Lollys Stokeworth, a fortune-teller named Maggy the Frog (more on her in a moment) and 'The Waif,' a strange child that Arya encounters in Braavos.
As far as the second leaked breakdown, it includes only three characters, but one reinforces the speculation about a possible game-changing event for Game of Thrones. First off, the fantasy is looking to add another warg (like Mackenzie Crook's Orell) with wildling skinchanger Varamyr Sixskins on the casting call. The others, well, I don't think there's much to spoil but here's your warning just in case.
The next character is not in from the books which has many believing that the 'a 12 year old blonde girl' named Imogen is really a place-holder for young Cersei. Yes, Game of Thrones may be having a flashback in Season 5. Speculation first arose because the first leaked casting breakdown included a call for Maggy the Frog and she's part of a Cersei flashback in the books. Then the inclusion of 'Imogen,' as well as another 12 year old girl (this one a brunette) on the second only reinforced that theory. Of course, I have another theory on who that 'Brunette' might be but now's not the time for real spoilers.
Who will be the next to die on Game of Thrones?Killing characters is kind of Game of Thrones thing. There are many pretenders to the crown out there but no other series goes after the major names like HBO's fantasy. Season 4 saw a lot bite the dust (including Joffrey, Dontos, Locke, Lysa, Oberyn, The Mountain, Ygritte, Styr, Pyp, Grenn, Jojen, The Hound, Shae and Tywin), who do you think will eat it in Season 5? I'm not even going to begin to speculate cause, well, I know...
Who do you think will die in Season 5?
Game of Thrones will return for its fifth season in the spring of 2015 (probably Sundays at 9 p.m. ET) on HBO. Based on the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels by George R.R. Martin, the series was adapted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and stars Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.