It’s been almost a year since the end of Season 5 of Game of Thrones. Even though we can remember that knife going into Jon Snow like it was yesterday (ALL OF THE TEARS), the events have started to get a bit fuzzy. After all, there are a *lot* of characters in this jam-packed series and it can be easy to get all their plots mixed up.
In preparation for the Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere this Sunday, it’s understandable that we’ll need a refresher to remember exactly where we left our beloved (and not-so-beloved) characters back in June. Here’s a recap so you can be totally prepared, because winter is coming.
Cersei had a rough time of it during Season 5, to say the least. Remember that time she was stripped naked, her hair was chopped off, and she was forced to walk through the public with someone following her yelling “shame” over and over again? Yeah, it’s hard to forget. The reason for that shaming was her having confessed her incestuous relationship with her cousin, Lancel Lannister — though she didn’t mention the whole being-in-love-with-Jaime-and-having-kids-with-him thing.
It was actually revealed in the Season 5 premiere that Cersei knew about her unfortunate future all along, when a witch predicted she would have three children — all of which would die before her — and that she’d lose her queen-ship to someone younger and prettier (hence, her hatred for Margaery Tyrell). She thought she had got her vengeance on Margaery after having her locked in the dungeon, but little did she know, the devoutly religious “Sparrows” group would lock her up, too. Knowing Cersei, however, she’ll come back even stronger and more resolute than ever this season. . . with the powerful Mountain behind her.
Jaime spent Season 5 doing his fatherly (and uncle-ly) duty: bringing Myrcella back home from Dorne, since Cersei is understandably terrified that the Martells will get vengeance by killing her. (After all, Ellaria Sand is still pretty ticked off after her husband, Oberyn, pretty much had his head crushed by The Mountain.) However, Myrcella didn’t want to be rescued, because she wanted to be married to Trystane Martell.
For a hot second, it looked like everything was going to work out for both Jaime and Myrcella — he was given permission to bring Myrcella back to King’s Landing, provided that Trystane could come and serve on the council. Jaime even got a tender moment with his daughter/niece on the ride back when she told him that she knew he was her father all along. But then, we’re reminded that it’s George R. R. Martin we’re talking about here, because Myrcella promptly died from slow-acting poison sneakily given to her by Ellaria. Darn, sorry, Jaime.
OK, so you’ll likely remember that Season 5 started right after our beloved Tyrion had killed his father and his lover, and Tyrion was taking it hard. Thanks to Jaime and Varys, he managed to escape across the Narrow Sea in Essos (drinking the entire time, obvs). However, Varys stopped his alcoholic stupor by convincing him to help Daenerys Targaryen (leading to the merging of our FAVE CHARACTERS).
Then, Jorah Mormont, who’s deadset on getting back in his queen’s good favors, kidnapped Tyrion from under Varys’ nose. After quite the adventure (like getting attacked by stone men, which gives Jorah greyscale — a sickness that spreads through your body and makes your flesh stiff and stone-like and ultimately KILLS YOU), they finally managed to get to Daenerys. As you remember,she viewed Jorah as the equivalent of her Judas. Tyrion convinced her to spare Jorah’s life by exiling him instead, and she accepted Tyrion into her council, thus fulfilling our wildest dreams. Tyrion was then given a massive responsibility once they’re attacked by the Sons of the Harpy, forcing Daenerys to flee while Tyrion kept the peace in Meereen.
So maybe we’ve learned over the past several seasons that we shouldn’t *totally* trust Varys’s motivations, but it seems as though he revealed his true motives last season — world peace via Daenerys ruling the realm. (So *that’s* why he’s been doing so much spying.) After helping Tyrion escape, then being separated by Tyrion when he’s kidnapped by Jorah, then being reunited again, Season 5 ended with Varys working together with Tyrion to oversee Meereen without its queen.
After Daenerys was attacked by The Sons of the Harpies, she was forced to flee on the back of one of her dragons, Drogon (the other two are currently locked up, and the whole thing is just heartbreaking). However, she was unable to control Drogon to fly her back to where she needed to be, and they ended up landing miles and miles away. Exasperated, she went to find food. . . only to be found by a group of Dothraki. When we last saw her, it appeared she knew she was in danger, as she dropped a ring on the ground, likely as a trail for Jorah and company to find her.
Peter (Littlefinger) Baelish
Baelish lived up to his shady reputation in Season 5 by pretty much using Sansa as his puppet; he convinced her to marry the (repulsive) Ramsay Bolton so that he could tell Cersei that the Boltons and the Starks have united. Why? Because he wanted to spur the Lannisters into sending an army to defeat the Boltons and capture Winterfell. But that doesn’t mean he’s given the Lannisters his full allegiance, because then he wouldn’t be Littlefinger, obvs — he also promised to rescue the Tyrells from the King’s Landing dungeons.
Although no characters have it *easy* on Game of Thrones, Sansa arguably has got it the worst — at least, she did last season. She was forced to hop from one terrifying situation (The Lannisters) to another –marrying RAMSAY FREAKING BOLTON, of the family that killed HER family. She wasn’t only sexually assaulted by Ramsay the night of their wedding (in front of Theon / Reek, no less), but was forced to watch those who tried to help her be tortured. The only twinkle of hope for Sansa was finding out that Bran and Rickon weren’t killed after all; she and Theon managed to escape together. We can only hope she got far, far away from there, ASAP. . . because Ramsay isn’t exactly pretty when he’s angry.
Arya spent last season rubbing elbows with the Faceless Men, which is essentially an assassin cult. The cult is in the House of Black and White, where she’s been being trained by Jaqen H’ghar. And she did a pretty darn good job, too. . . until her temper got the best of her, and she killed Ser Meryn, who was on her hit list for ages after killing Arya’s sword instructor.
Jaqen apparently didn’t think that was a good enough reason to commit a murder not planned by the Faceless Men, so to punish her, he took away her vision. Making Arya blind doesn’t seem like a fair punishment for killing a total jerk, so fingers crossed that she gets her vision back this season.
Did you forget that Bran existed for a second? Yeah, that’s understandable, because he wasn’t in Season 5 *at all*. But he didn’t die or disappear — he’s been off learning how to be a Warg after he finally met the three-eyed raven at the end of Season 4. He’s currently beyond the Wall, and we can’t help but wonder what’s in store for him this season. . .
Brienne of Tarth
Poor Brienne has been trying to protect the Stark girls with all her might after vowing to Catelyn that she would protect them with her life. So far, it hasn’t been working out for her. She got so close to rescuing Sansa when she waited for a signal to storm the castle, but the signal never came, and instead she landed right in the middle of Stannis’s attempt to take over the Bolton castle. At least she was able to kill Stannis, once and for all. . . for her sweet Renly. Don’t feel bad for Stannis, though — remember, he sacrificed his only daughter for his own (obviously fruitless) ambitions.
The collective heart of Game of Thrones fans everywhere shattered by Jon Snow’s at the end of last season. Although there’s been rumor after rumor after rumor that he’ll return, he looked pretty darn dead. But then again, some have said that he made a subtle, quick appearance in the Season 6 trailer. And besides, Melisandre could probably resurrect the dead, and he dies with her *very* close by. In the meantime, though, we can safely say that we know nothing.
Well, Samwell’s at least had a pretty good time compared to everyone else. He’s got a girlfriend, Gilly, and he was given leave by Jon to go with Gilly and her newborn to learn about being a maester in the Citadel (and conquer those White Walkers once and for all). Only negative here? He doesn’t know his bestie is dead. *sob*
WHEW. That about covers it! We’ll be watching the Season 6 this Sunday night on HBO and, let’s be honest, so will you.