We were lucky enough to be invited to the premiere of Game of Thrones Season Five to watch the first episode. Here’s what you can expect this year from the new season.
If you’ve not watched up to the end of season four, STOP NOW and go do that - for there are spoilers regarding the first four seasons. If you're up to date, you'll be fine - there are no Season Five spoilers...
Season Five picks up days after the events of Season Four. Tywin Lannister is dead, leaving a vacuum of power. It didn’t matter who is/was on the throne, because Tywin was the puppet-master and he controlled King’s Landing.
Now it’s down to his children Cersei and Jaime Lannister to keep the peace, but their incestuous relationship has become rocky. It’s also become a strong rumour, which won’t go down well with the townsfolk.
That leaves young Tommen, too naïve and sweet for the Iron Throne he’s been left with. He will be a pawn, stuck between his mother Cersei and his bride-to-be Margery Tyrell. The Tyrells have been watching the Lannisters like vultures, and now it seems they may make their move.
And what of Tyrion? He’s in hiding, after murdering his father Tywin. He’s one of the few with a good heart in Westeros. Now that he’s abandoned his family, where will he go?
Accompanying him is Lord Varys, who schemes as always. He’s been watching Daenerys Targaryen’s progress for a while now, but now the spider is emerging from the shadows. It’s unlikely that he helped Tyrion escape just to be nice, so we'd hazard the two could join the rebellion brewing across the Narrow Sea.
As for Daenerys, she is having issues. Her dragons have been key to her rise to power, but now she’s not able to control them. And without the dragons, she will struggle to keep control over the people of Meereen, let alone launch a full-scale offensive on King’s Landing.
Then there’s the small matter of The North, which presents its own host of issues. The Starks are all either dead, or scattered. In the Eyrie, Sansa Stark sticks close to Lord Baelish, who is as creepy and unpredictable as ever. Arya, meanwhile, was last seen heading to Braavos. From what we’ve seen of the Braavosi, it’s likely she’s going to train and toughen up some more.
Up at the Wall, Castle Black recovers from the battle with the Wildlings. Stannis Baratheon’s army saved the day at the end of Season Four, but that doesn’t mean the Night’s Watch will receive them gladly – especially when Melisandre the fire priestess is still walking around talking weird.
Whatever they do, they’ll need to work together, because the zombie-like White Walkers beyond the Wall aren’t going away any time soon. Winter is definitely coming.
Anything can happen in Season Five. Don’t think you’re safe just because you’ve read the book, because the TV show is happy to take liberties and go down a different path. More people will die, and some of them may be your favourite characters.
We can’t wait.
Game of Thrones Season Five comes to the UK on Monday 13 April at 9pm.
Catch Episode One on Sky Atlantic, Sky Go, or NOW TV.