With about 8,293 characters, Game of Thrones can be a hard show to keep track of, especially when it’s been away for months. I’d recommend re-watching the Season 4 finale, “The Children,” but if you can’t be bothered to give some attention to the Bran scenes, this recap should work. It’s a helpful reminder of where some of the show’s important characters are heading into the Season 5 premiere, “The Wars to Come” (which, it’s worth nothing, is excellent; all of David Benioff and D. B. Weiss’ tweaks from George R.R. Martin’s source material are paying off).
Spoilers through Season 4, obviously.
1. After sieging Moat Cailin, thanks to Reek “playing” Theon Greyjoy, Ramsay‘s father told him that he’s no longer a bastard and granted him the last name Bolton. Next stop: Winterfell.
2. Sansa isn’t Sansa anymore. She’s Alayne now (though DARK SANSA also works), and she, Littlefinger, and Robin are touring the Vale.
3. Cersei confidently approached her father (R.I.P.) and told him that not only does she refuse to marry the super-gay Loras Tyrell, but all those rumors about her and Jaime? They’re all true. She then tracked down her brother and had sex with him, as one does.
4. Last season ended with Daenerys crying after locking two of her dragons, Rhaegal and Viserion, in the Meereen catacombs (Drogon hasn’t been seen in days). This season begins with Daenerys, maybe or maybe not crying, visiting two of her dragons, Rhaegal and Viserion, in the Meereen catacombs (Drogon still hasn’t been spotted). Loyal Missandei and Grey Worm remain at her side, while Daario is riding to Yunkai as Dany’s ambassador.
5. Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, & Co. slaughtered a ton of Wildlings soon after the Battle of Castle Black, but rather than murder Mance Rayder, the leader of the Free Folk, they took him prisoner. It’s demanded that he bend his knee to the true King of the Seven Kingdoms, and that his people fight for Stannis in his bid to overthrow the Lannisters. Mance refused.
6. Meanwhile, Jon Snow gave Ygritte a proper Northern burial.
7. Brienne survived a bloody brawl with the Hound, barely, but she still feels like a failure. Why? Because she let Arya get away. Jaime tasked her with finding and protecting Sansa (she was on route to the Eyrie when she ran into the slightly less terrifying Clegane), but one Stark sister might lead to the other. Also, Podrick and his prolific penis is with Brienne.
8. Jaime‘s done a lot of terrible things in his life, but he’s not such a monster that he would let his brother Tyrion die because Oberyn Martell was a revenge-seeking show off. He helped Tyrion slip out of his jail cell in the dark of night, warmly embracing him before saying goodbye. The first time we see Jaime in Season 5, he’s with his sister, who’s none too pleased.
9. Tyrion shot his father with a crossbow, so he can’t exactly show his mug around King’s Landing anymore. With some help from Varys, the two of them catch the next boat out of there and head toward Pentos, where Daenerys temporarily lived before marrying Khal Drogo.
10. After not riding off with Brienne and Pod, and neglecting to kill the Hound, Arya hopped aboard a boat setting sail to Braavos, where the Guild of the Faceless Men preside.