6:00am PT by Aaron Couch
'Game of Thrones' Refresher: Prepare for Premiere With Help From the Cast
Game of Thrones' massive story is only getting bigger.
New characters, new locations and new threats are all on the table when the HBO series returns at 9 p.m. Sunday. Before heading back to Westeros with the season five premiere, brush up on where the HBO series left its key players at the end of season four.
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is on the run after murdering his father Tywin (Charles Dance) and former lover Shae (Sibel Kekilli). Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) helped his brother escape the cell, where he was being held after being wrongfully convicted of Joffrey's (Jack Gleeson) murder. Varys (Conleth Hill) helped Tyrion escape from King's Landing, and when viewers pick up with them, he will attempt to convince his friend to go seek out Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).
"He's in a miserable state. Physically he escaped, but not mentally and emotionally," Dinklage says. (Read the full interview.)
The Mother of Dragons has learned raising dragons is harder than she initially thought. Drogon killed a child and is now missing. Daenerys deced to lock away her two remaining dragons in order to protect the people of Meereen, the city she is now ruler of. But those dragons can't stay locked away forever.
"It's a dragon season," says Clarke. "I lost one, so we'll just have to see if I can find him again." (Read more from Clarke here.)
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) gallantly defended The Wall against Wildlings and lost his love Ygritte (Rose Leslie) in the battle. He now has to contend with Stannis (Stephen Dillane), who comes to the Wall as a King and whose forces convinced Wilding leader Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) to stand down and give himself up.
Arya (Maisie Williams) rejected Brienne's (Gwendoline Christie) offer of protection, and left The Hound (Rory McCann) for dead. When viewers last saw her, she was on her way to Braavos in a ship, paying her way with the special coin that face-changer Jaqen H'ghar (Patrick O'Kane) gave her in season two.
Williams promises Arya "works with new people this year" in Braavos.
Sansa (Sophie Turner) is allied with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who murdered her aunt Lysa (Kate Dickie) by pushing her through the Moon Door. She remains hidden at The Vail, where her aunt lived, and is hunted by Cersei (Lena Headey), who thinks she helped plot Joffrey's murder.
"She was a pawn in the game but now she is actually a player," says Turner. "She's manipulating alongside Littlefinger."
The lady knight has failed to locate Sansa, and was rejected by Arya. That made viewers assume she was released from her oath to Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) to find and protect the girls. Not so.
"She's not the type of person to give up on her oath, no matter what" Christie says.
Cersei has lost her father Tywin, and her brother/lover Jaime is partially to blame. Jaime freed Tyrion, who went on to murder Tywin with a crossbow. The night after the season four finale aired, director Alex Graves speculated Cersei's reaction would be something to behold in season five.
"What do you think is going to happen when Cersei wakes up?" said Graves. "She is going to be really pissed off. I don’t think I'm giving up anything if you think about what Cersei wakes up to in the morning."
For more from the upcoming episodes, read what George R. R. Martin says about season five deaths and what the showrunners say about changes between the books and the show. Clarke also weighs in on a major Jon Snow rumor, while Hodor himself Kristian Nairn shares his vision for where his character could go in season six.
Stay tuned to The Live Feed following the episode for a full breakdown of the premiere's shocking moments, as well as an interview with Harington.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.