‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere Primer: Where 7 Pivotal Storylines Left Off

Catch up on all the major characters ahead of Sunday, April 12

Last Updated: April 8, 2015 @ 5:37 PM

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched the first four series of “Game of Thrones”)

It may be April, but winter is coming, at least for “Game of Thrones” fans as the groundbreaking HBO drama returns on Sunday for Season 5.

The show, based on George R.R. Martin‘s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, is a massive undertaking with tens of thousands of pages written by the author and four seasons having already lured millions of viewers.

Filming across multiple countries with dozens of characters (not to mention mystical creatures like dragons, giants and Wargs) and complex interconnected story lines, there’s a lot to catch up on. For those needing a quick refresher on the major storylines, read on:



Arya Stark

The youngest Stark daughter had quite a journey in Season 4. She hit the road (albeit against her will) with Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, who continued her schooling in the art of killing people. The two formed a friendship of sorts, but Arya left him to die after he was mortally wounded by Brienne of Tarth. She then boarded a boat for Braavos with the help of the iron coin she got from Jaqen H’ghar in Season 2.


Sansa Stark

After finally escaping from King’s Landing after King Joffrey’s death, Arya’s older sister, Sansa, found herself under the “protection” of Petyr Baelish, though his true motives remained unclear. He took her to The Vale, home of Sansa’s aunt, and Baelish’s new wife, Lysa Arryn. Unfortunately, Lysa became convinced Sansa was trying to steal Petyr from her — leading to her long and fatal fall from the Moon Door, and Sansa later surprisingly lying to protect Baelish from being charged with her aunt’s death.

Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones HBO

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion spent most of Season 4 in chains after he was falsely accused of murdering his nephew, Joffrey, and was eventually sentenced to death by his father, Tywin Lannister. Luckily, his brother Jaime and Lord Varys set him free before the sentence was carried out but before fleeing the city, Tyrion went to his father’s chamber and found Shae, his former lover. He ended up killing her after she attacked him and then dispatched of Tywin with a crossbow. Tyrion was last seen with Varys on a ship bound for the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea.


Jaime and Cersei Lannister

The brother and sister/incestuous lovers were reunited in Season 4, but Cersei spurned Jaime’s advances. The two were sharply divided after their son Joffrey’s death, as Cersei was convinced Tyrion had killed him while Jaime maintained their brother’s innocence. They were eventually reunited by a mutual desire to protect their younger son and new king, Tommen, and through their mutual hatred of their father.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow (photo Helen Sloan/HBO)

Jon Snow

Jon Snow did all he could to prepare the Night’s Watch for the Wildling army’s ferocious march on The Wall last season even when the battle seemed all but hopeless, as Mance Rayder’s army numbered over 100,000 while the Watch had just 100 men. After a fearsome battle, in which Snow saw his former Wildling lover Ygritte killed with an arrow, the men of the Watch narrowly prevailed. Snow went to Rayder’s tent the next day in an attempt to kill him, but never got the chance because Stannis Baratheon arrived with an army of sellswords and took Rayder’s army captive.

Emilia Clarke - Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen

The Mother of Dragons sought to establish a firm hold over the cities she liberated from slavers, but found ruling much harder than she imagined. She finally learned that her advisor, Ser Jorah Mormont, had previously given information about her to agents of the Seven Kingdoms, forcing her to banish him. Her biggest test, however, came when a shepherd arrived who told her that one of her dragons, Drogon, had eaten his flock and killed one of his small children. Overcome with grief, Daenerys chained her other two dragons in the catacombs beneath Meereen.

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Bran Stark and Hodor

The oldest remaining Stark boy finally made his way north of The Wall, with the help of his monosyllabic friend Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed. The group reaches the giant Heart Tree that Bran has seen in visions, but they are attacked by wights. A child of the forest eventually saves them, but not before Jojen is killed. Bran finally meets the three-eyed raven, who promises to teach him of his true magical potential. Sadly, we learned in September that Bran and Hodor will be sitting out this season.