Game of Thrones is set to premiere in a mere four days, and the long wait for Season Five is almost at an end. As the new season has drawn ever closer, we have been flooded with a flurry of trailers, interviews with actors, writers, and producers of the show, in-depth analyses of the first episode by early viewers and so much more information that sometimes it can be hard to keep it all straight. We know there’s a lot to look forward too—but with complex storylines spanning across an enormous fantastical world, it’s no wonder that it’s hard to remember all the new events, characters, and locations that we have been teased with. With than in mind, let’s go over what we know we can expect (and not expect) from the upcoming season of Game of thrones.
Before we dive into specifics, there are a few over-arching themes we can look forward to in Season Five. As we dive back into Game of Thrones, it is important to remember where we are in the show. Season Five is more than half-way through the seven seasons that the writers of the show have suggested that they will make. Characters are deeply developed at this point and have a lot more at stake than when we started in Season One. At the same time, plotlines are moving towards their climax, as characters’ plotlines merge, winter approaches, and threats that seemed far off in earlier seasons grow to fruition. As the new season starts, we can expect to see characters who have come through a lot dealing with the consequences of events that happened in earlier seasons. By now, everyone has played the game of thrones—now it’s time to see whether they win or die.
As we watch Season Five, one can definitely anticipate a great deal of character development. This is the first season in Game of Thrones history to use flash-backs as a storytelling device, and if used effectively, this can play a major part in enriching our understanding of characters this season. Even as we meet new faces, in areas such as Dorne and Essos, we will learn startling new truths about characters we already know, thanks to the ability to see past events that haven’t happened on the show. Characters are always satisfyingly complex on Game of Thrones, but flashbacks will allow a new depth of understanding of character motivations that we have not had before.
Perhaps the most exciting thing we can anticipate about Season Five is a whole new part of Westeros to learn about. This season will take us to the warm clime of Dorne for the first time, where we will meet the friends and family of last season’s fan favorite, Oberyn Martell. From trailers and released stills, we’ve already gotten a good look at some of the key players in Dorne—Oberyn’s daughters–the Sandsnakes, his brother;Doran Martell, and Doran’s fearsome guard, Areo Hotah. As we meet these new character who are so distinctly different from their counterparts in other areas of Westeros, it will be interesting to see if the other members of Oberyn’s family are as popular as he was with fans.
However, while we can anticipate meeting many new characters this season in the Dornish storyline, trailers have shown that we will also be seeing familiar faces. In a marked change from the plot in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Jaime Lannister and Bronn will be visiting Dorne this season—most likely to retrieve the Myrcella Baratheon from the clutches of the supposedly angry Dornish. With trailers boasting several intense looking combat scenes set in Dorne, one can only wonder if Jaime and Bronn will return from Dorne or if one (or both) will meet their fates in the arid region. As the series diverges from the books, plotlines become uncertain, and there is no guarantee that anyone is safe in Westeros and Dorne is no exception.
In King’s Landing, we can anticipate an intense plot as moral reform upsets Cersei’s control of the court. We will be introduced to a new character this season, the newest High Septon of Westeros, who goes by the name of the High Sparrow. Even as Cersei Lannister and Margaery Tyrell are locked in a battle for control of King Tommen Baratheon, the High Sparrow brings dramatic change to King’s Landing that threatens both women. Cersei will suffer the consequences of her past actions in a humiliating way. Other characters will also be forced to come to terms with alleged crimes, in one way or another.
Moving North, the Boltons are moving into their new home this season. Now that Roose Bolton is Warden of the North, and his sadistic son, Ramsay is legitimized, the Boltons will be taking up residence in Winterfell. As winter approaches, the Boltons will attempt to establish their control of the North through an advantageous marriage. Later, we can anticipate some news at last for poor Theon Greyjoy. At the same times, many fans are wondering if Sansa Stark will be in Winterfell this season after several stills and shots from the trailer that seem to depict her in rooms of Winterfell and in its distinctive crypts. Sansa never revisits Winterfell in A Song of Ice and Fire, and if indeed she does in the show, one cannot help but wonder if she will be there of her own free will or not. Only time will tell.
At the Wall, Jon will face new challenges as he interacts with both the wildlings and Stannis Baratheon. Stannis and Jon will definitely clash, and Melisandre’s presence presents an interesting wild card. Also taking place this season is an event which doesn’t take place in the books—according to what one can glean from trailers and special features, Jon Snow will be visiting Hardhome, a location far north of the Wall. While it is uncertain what brings Jon there, it appears that an altercation takes place, involving Wildlings, Men of the Night’s Watch, and what appear to be weights. It will be interesting to see how this event plays out in the show. Ultimately, however, it is in the last episode or two in which we can anticipate a dramatic change in Jon’s position—one which will probably shock fans.
Farther on from the Wall, we know we cannot expect to see Bran, Meera, or Hodor this season. It has been announced that none of the characters will be in Season Five. Instead, Bran will train in the ways of the Three Eyed Raven off-screen, emerging in later seasons far more powerful than we have ever seen him. For now, fans of Bran will have to find new characters to root for.
Crossing the Narrow Sea, we have a lot to look forward to in Essos and Braavos this year. Arya Stark finds a new calling at the House of Black and White as she becomes iniated into the Faceless Men. She will be challenged, and changed, and in the end, Season Five may leave us with a very different character than the one we know now. In Essos, we will see Tyrion and Varys in a new location, even as Daenarys struggles to control her dragons and the deadly Sons of the Harpy which threaten her peace and security. Eventually, we know, from leaked images, Tyrion and Daenarys will meet, even as chaos ensues at a fighting pit. The two characters have not met in the books yet, and it will be interesting to see their dynamic on-screen. Overall, Essos has a lot of promising storylines to look expect.
With April 12th only a few days away, it’s time to get excited for Season Five. As we return to the world of Westeros, where shocking brutality melds seamlessly with stunning fantasy, we can expect to see thrilling character arcs and epic storylines. Whether you’re excited about seeing new locations, familiar faces, or even bigger dragons, Season Five is looking to be great!
What are you most looking forward to in Season Five? Comment below.