Game of Thrones season five premieres on Monday, April 13 and brings with it endless possibilities.
Audiences return to Westeros with a flashback to Cersei's childhood. The flashback reveals why she's been so manipulative, and also hints at an upcoming sinister storyline for the Lannister.
The first episode moves swiftly between storylines to catch up on all the characters across the world of George R. R. Martin's imagination. If the rest of the season is anything like its premiere, it will be dark and tense.
Smuggled inside a crate from King's Landing to Pentos, Tyrion Lannister tumbles out at Lord Varys' feet and they seem to form a partnership out of the need to survive now they've deserted King's Landing. They conversations point out something that is perhaps what will drive season five: those with talent have a role to play in the future of the Seven Kingdoms. This means the Iron Throne can now belong to anyone, as long as they play their role cleverly.
“Any man can find themselves born to power,” says Varys, but to earn it is a different matter.
Indeed, over the past four seasons, the Lannisters have stayed on the top thanks to Tywin Lannister. Now that he's dead, there's no one to make sure everyone obeys their family out of respect, or fear, or both. Cersei and Jaime Lannister know this; so how will they cope?
In fact, everything for everyone is unknown as this point.
In Meereen, Daenerys finds not everyone is happy with her as queen and faces challenges to her rule, while at the wall the Night's Watch finds their order taken over by Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre. Any structure we've known in the previous seasons is changed somehow, and so where Westeros goes from here … who knows!
Based on both books four and five, Game of Thrones promises to be just as exciting and emotional as before. And there are already two deaths one hour into this season. Prepare yourself for many dark and dramatic twists and turns, for the night is dark and full of terrors.
Game of Thrones season five premieres on HBO, Monday April 13 at 9.00am with same day encore at 9.00pm.
Contains adult themes and violence