There has never been anything on television as cinematic, as expansive, as compelling, and as flat-out entertaining as Game Of Thrones, HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, which begins its fifth season on April 12. This show is so dense with story threads, it’s hard to keep them all straight, and after ten months off it’s hard to remember where things left off. So by way of a refresher, here are seven questions we have going into season five:
1. Where in the world is Tyrion Lannister? After losing his trial by combat when Prince Oberyn’s end-zone celebration led to a graphic kneecapping and head-crushing at the hands of The Mountain, Tyrion was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit: poisoning his nephew, King Joffrey, on his wedding day. Facing execution, Tyrion was released from prison by his brother Jaime, used Joffrey’s crossbow to kill his father, Tywin, in the most undignified of deaths, and escaped King’s Landing with the help of Varys, the scheming bald eunuch. So where has he gone?
2. Who will guide the hand of the king? Joffrey’s death left the Iron Throne vacant, but his younger, much kinder brother Tommen was soon crowned. Joffrey’s intended bride, Margaery, quickly shifted her attention to the boy, who seemed to fall under her spell. But Tommen’s mother Cersei regarded Margaery as an enemy even when she was betrothed to Joffrey, so it’s unlikely she’ll let her become Queen without a fight. And the office of Hand of the King now stands vacant with the death of Tywin; who will succeed him?
3. What’s happening at the Wall? Expecting another attack from the wildling army to the north, erstwhile Night’s Watchman Jon Snow went on a rogue mission to find and kill wildling leader Mance Rayder, but their date with destiny was interrupted by the arrival of Stannis Baratheon and his army. Will Stannis, who has the most legitimate claim to the throne in terms of blood succession, integrate the wildlings into his army? Or the Night’s Watch?
4. What awaits Arya in Braavos? After coming painfully close to finding her last living relative, her sister Sansa (who seems to be warming to the idea of being Littlefinger’s moll) at the Vale and being rescued from the Hound by Brienne, Arya whispered “Valar Morghulis” and set sail for Braavos. Might she reconnect with Jacquen? Might she become a loan officer at the Iron Bank?
5. Will Danerys Stormborn Targaryen let those dragons off the chain already? Rather than continue her march toward Westeros, the former Khaleesi decided to pause in the slave city of Meereen and get a handle on the whole ruling thing. But it soon turned out to be a bit of a drag, with people complaining that they liked slave life better, and objecting to their children being killed by her dragons, and not loving her decorating the road with the corpses of slavemasters. Will she tire of the common people and their complaints and continue West?
6. Can I watch Game of Thrones on Sling TV? This one we already have the answer to: Yes! HBO will be available to Sling TV subscribers as a $15 add-on pack, so you can tune in for the season 5 premiere on Sunday April 12 at 9pm. If you need more of a refresher than what’s above, you can check out any of the 40 previous episodes on demand.
7. Will Bran Stark find what he’s looking for? Who cares? This is the only plot thread that’s never been able to rouse my interest.