It’s been almost a year since Game of Thrones was last on our telly screens. And with hundreds of characters, countless plot-points and a death toll forever on the rise, it wouldn’t be surprising if your memory of events in season four was a little foggy, as if you’d spent one too many nights drinking with Tyrion…
But never fear. Help is at hand. Here are 11 things to bear in mind before the hit HBO series’ fifth season kicks off on Monday:
1. Tommen is King
We’re sure you remember horrid little Joffrey’s horrid demise. You know, the fatal poison, the blood, red eyes and purple veiny face? But it’s only right we have a refresher on who currently sits on the Iron Throne. It is what everyone’s fighting for, after all.
Sweet and malleable Tommen took the crown after the death of his brother, but the power he wields is still up for grabs. Margaery, the rest of the Tyrells and his mother Cersei are all close at hand, but one thing is for sure, we know who won’t be controlling the King, because…
2. Tywin is dead
In the last episode of series four, Jaime freed Tyrion from captivity having arranged for his safe passage out of the capital. But instead of fleeing right away, Tyrion took a little detour to the quarters of his not-so beloved dad, the Lannister patriarch and Kings Hand. Finding his former lover Shae in his dad’s bed, Tyrion strangled her with her necklace and then set about killing his powerful father with horrid Joffrey’s old crossbow. Classic Thrones.
3. Tyrion is on the run
After killing his pa (while he sat on the lav, no less) Tyrion has, rather wisely, scarpered from Kings Landing. (We wouldn’t want to be around when Cersei finds out what her younger brother has done, either.) Westeros’s wittiest gentleman was last seen headed for unknown shores with Varys and a large bottle of wine for company.
4. Sansa is sassy now
Sansa Stark simpers no longer. After Petyr Baelish kissed her and threw her aunt Lysa through the Eyrie’s moon door, she has finally started playing the Game. And, at the end of series five, Ned’s eldest daughter got a new gothic look and provocative walk to prove it.
5. Ayra and The Hound’s murderous trip is over
The final episode saw Brienne and Podrick stumble across the youngest Stark sister and her menacing mentor, and it didn’t end well for The Hound. The last we saw, he was slowly dying on a hillside, while Brienne and Podrick searched in vain for Ayra, who’d skipped off towards the coast and bagged herself a spot on a ship to Braavos.
6. The dragons are in chains
After a farmer came to Daeneyrs telling her that Drogon had killed his 3-year-old daughter, the Mother of Dragons decided the time had come to exert more control over her scaly babies. Unable to locate Drogon, she locked Rhaegal and Viserion in a catacombs, putting iron collars and heavy chains around their necks. As far as we know, the biggest, most powerful dragon is still MIA.
7. Ygritte is no more
Jon Snow might still know nothing, but there’s no one there to tell him. The Wildling perished in the battle at Castle Black at the end of season four, before Jon laid his lover at her final resting place north of The Wall.
8. Stannis is at Castle Black
After the bloody battle which ended in the demise of Ygritte (sniff), Jon Snow ventured to the Wildling camp. While there with Mance, the camp was attacked by an army lead by Stannis, who plans to rebuild his Westeros power base from his new stronghold in the North…
9. Jojen Reed is dead
After what’s felt like seasons of wandering aimlessly around the North, the final episode of season four was quite an eventful one for Jojen and co. Sadly for him, it also ended in his untimely demise via Wight stab wound…
10. Bran has found the three-eyed raven
But it also resulted in Bran finally coming face to face with the three-eyed raven in his dreams. And meeting the mysterious Children of the Forest at the Weirwood tree.
11. We are heading to Dorne
As if the dramas in Westeros weren’t enough, we are set to expand our horizons in season five and venture to Dorne, the land of wine, women and people like Oberyn Martell. Talking of the Red Viper, there are bound to be consequences for his unfortunate death at the hands of The Mountain. Watch this space…
Game of Thrones season five starts on Monday at 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic