The next installment of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series might be badly delayed, but fortunately, the new season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is arriving right on time this Sunday. From dragon drama to storms of swords, and from zombie threats to twin-cestual intrigue, the sprawling fantasy returns Sunday, April 24, for its sixth season.
But before you go back to Westeros, you might want a refresher on where we left off. Here’s what the various characters were up to in the last moments of season 5. Relive the key scenes in the video above.
The Search Is on for the Mother of Dragons
After a near-massacre by the Sons of the Harpy and a fiery save-the-day by Drogon the dragon, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) escaped from her would-be assassins on the back of her scaly baby — only to fall into the hands of some extremely unfriendly-looking horse lords outside the city walls. And with Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) and a grey scale–afflicted Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) on the hunt for their missing Khaleesi, Mereen is now in the small but capable hands of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who has hopefully not burned the place to the ground since last we checked in on him.
Brienne Avenged Her Beloved Renly
That awkward moment when you murder your only child for the sake of your ambition — except, oops, it doesn’t exactly work. That’s what happened to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), after Melisandre (Carice van Houten) convinced him to burn his daughter alive as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. But instead of a seat on the Iron Throne, Stannis got a faceful of a sword from Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) instead — or, at least, that’s what it looked like. (If a Brienne stabs a Stannis in the forest, and no one’s around, is he definitely dead?)
Sansa and Theon Clasped Hands and Jumped
After enduring unimaginable horrors at the hands of Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) — including, in Sansa’s case, a forced marriage to the sadistic bastard — Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), a.k.a. Reek, ended the season with a daring escape over the wall of Winterfell. Here’s hoping that Sansa fell off the wall and into a nice hot tub full of rose petals and lemon cakes because that girl deserves a break.
A Kiss of Death for the Pretty Princess
We didn’t see much of Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free) last season, and now we’ll never see her again. After Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) traveled to Dorne to rescue the princess (also secretly Jaime’s daughter), they were allowed to bring her home — but not before Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) planted a poisonous smooch on the girl’s lips that resulted in her near-immediate death. Prediction: There’s no avoiding a war between Dorne and King’s Landing now.
Cersei Took a Walk of Shame
With King's Landing overrun by religious fanatics, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) were taken prisoner and forced to repent for their rumored (and in some cases, well-established) sexual deviances. Margaery managed well enough, but Cersei got the full monty of punishments: Head shaved and bare naked, she endured a humiliating walk of shame from the sept to the castle … for which she is almost certainly going to want revenge, right after she washes off all the poo that folks flung at her.
Arya Crossed a Name Off Her Kill List
After finding her way overseas to reunite with Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) at the House of Black and White, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) undertook a mission to become a faceless man. But her bloodlust got the better of her when fate put an old foe in her way. Her punishment? Blindness. Which seems a little excessive, really.
The Stark You Forgot
Hey, remember Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright)? The sort of psychic little boy with the broken back was absent throughout last season, hanging out in an underground tree cave with the mythical Three-Eyed Raven. But take note: He’ll be back this year, looking well-rested and a good deal more pubertal.
And, of Course, Jon Snow Is Dead
Or is he? … No, seriously, he is. (Sorry.) The newly minted commander of the Night’s Watch (Kit Harington) was struck down in the last moments of season 5 by his mutinous fellow Crows. This is going to be a serious bummer for Jon’s BFF, Sam (John Bradley-West), who was having a pretty good day, what with having lost his virginity and embarking on a road trip with his sort of girlfriend, Gilly (Hannah Murray). Plus, it's not a great time for the Night’s Watch to have lost their most fearless leader, considering that an army of zombie wights is on its way south to destroy them. Winter is coming, Game of Thrones fans, and it is peeved.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO Sunday, April 24, at 9 p.m. ET.
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