Meet the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.
1. New House & New Location
We met our first member of House Martell, Prince Oberyn, last season. (Who can forget his sultry voice, his disdain for Lannisters’, and his way with candles?) Sadly, the Mountain crushed our handsome prince (pun definitely intended) during a battle by combat that resulted in the infamous Oberyn Headsplosion. For those of you that didn’t read the books, House Martell is the head family in the Kingdom of Dorne ruling out of the castle of Sunspear. Dorne, the southernmost point of the Seven Kingdoms, has been mentioned in Game of Thrones before. You may recall that when Tyrion was serving as Hand of the King, he orchestrated a plot to have Marcella Baratheon (Lannister) sent away from King’s Landing. The little lion princess is currently
trapped living in Dorne.
Dorne is different from the rest of the kingdoms of Westeros in that it was never truly conquered by the Targaryen’s. Dorne swore fielty to the Iron Throne by choice centuries after Aegon’s invasion. Like their ancestors that came before House Martell, Dornish noble Houses follow gender-blind equal primogeniture, in which the eldest child is the heir regardless of whether they are male or female. The words of the Martells are “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and bastard children assume the name of “Sand.” The Martells are deeply resentful of the Lannister family and blame Tywin for the death of Elia Martell, wife of Prince Rhaegar Targeryen, and her children.
This season, we will meet even more members of House Martell. Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria Sand, will be returning to report the dreadful news of Oberyn’s death to the reigning Prince of Dorne and Oberyn’s older brother, Prince Doran Martell. We will also be meeting the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria. The Sand Snakes are skilled fighters trained by their father and will most certainly be seeking revenge against the Lannisters.
Rumor has it that Jaime Lannister will be departing King’s Landing and riding south to broker peace in Dorne. Bookreaders know this is a change in Jaime’s story and I’m interested to see how they fit this into Jaime’s character progression. Perhaps the Kingslayer will arrive just in time to save Princess Marcella from the deadly grasp of the Sand Snakes?
2. No Bran, No Hodor.
‘Nough said. This season will not include Bran Stark or his gentle giant companion, Hodor, as the TV series has caught up to his storyline. Who will be around to “Hodor” for us?!
3. Who Crossed the Narrow Sea?
When we left, Arya had set her sights on Braavos. For those of you in need of a refresh, remember Jaqen H’ghar? Jaqen helped Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry escape Harrenhal in season two and then he changed into another person like whoosh. That’s because he was a member of the Faceless Men, a trained group of assassins. Arya used the coin given to her by Jaqen to gain passage to cross the Narrow Sea. Is Arya on her way to become an assassin? Will she soon be just as deadly as Jaqen?
The last we saw of Tyrion, he was being packed into a box by Varys and boarding a ship set sail for freedom. This was all after he killed Tywin on the toilet and strangled Shae with her own necklace. Can we all just have a slow clap for Tyrion?
But, where is he going? Judging by this season 5 poster, we can make one guess:
Also, in recent clips we’ve heard this exchange between Varys and Tyrion:
V: The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.
T: Good luck finding him.
V: Who said anything about ‘him’?”
4. The Wall is Getting Crowded
The Brothers of the Night’s Watch are no longer alone.
At the end of last season, we saw the arrival of Stannis Baratheon at The Wall where he saved Jon Snow from certain imprisonment and possible death at the hands of Mance Rayder. The goal here for Stannis is to protect all of Westeros from the White Walkers and prove himself the One True King.
The Night’s Watch also needs a new leader (RIP Lord Commander Mormont). Who will be chosen to take the lead? Will Stannis insert himself, or will he allow a new Brother to rise to the top?
Bonus, rumor has it Melisandre will set her eyes on Jon Snow. Man, this guy’s got a thing for redheads, I VOLUNTEER!
5. And everyone else?
Sansa has officially made a deal with the devil, as in Littlefinger. (Reminder: Littlefinger revealed at the end of season four that HE was the one who killed Jon Arryn, which instigated King Robert riding North and setting Game of Thrones in motion). Now that she’s dyed her hair and decided to join the “game,” what’s next for these two? I don’t know but I bet it’ll be a little creepy.
Third time’s a charm?
Poor Margaery is set to marry a king, again. Will sweet, innocent Tommen survive the wedding? Only time will tell.
It’s a man’s man’s man’s world
…but all her men are gone! What will Cersei do without Tywin, Tyrion, or Jaime to manipulate and whine to, or about? Will there be anyone to protect her when it’s time for her to pay for her many, many crimes?
This is a real mystery
We already know that Brienne of Tarth’s storyline is deviating pretty dramatically from the books. After taking down The Hound but losing Arya, what’s next for her and Podrick? Will she stay on her mission to find the Stark girls?
Things are still pretty bad for Theon/Reek. Our favorite Ironborn has spent the last two seasons as the tortured servant of Ramsay Bolton. Will he ever escape? Sometimes I watch season one of Game of Thrones just to remind myself of cocky, self-absorbed Theon. Gah, so attractive. Just me? Okay.
Trouble in Paradise
At the conclusion of the season, Daenerys finally learned the truth about Jorah Mormont’s original reason for seeking her out and “protecting” her. (He was a spy for King Robert working to regain his freedom in Westeros.) Dany banished Jorah from her encampment and sent him to the #FriendZone4Life.
Breaker of Chains Used Chains
After Dany learned that the dragons committed the horrific crime of killing a child, she was forced to put them in chains and lock them away. Something tells me this is not going to end well considering Drogon is MIA.
When we last saw Greyworm and Missandei she was teaching him the Common Tongue. As their lessons progressed, they bonded over the loss of their homelands. While swimming, Greyworm noticed Missandei bathing naked. When she notices him watching, she stands up slowly to let him get an eye full before covering herself. Later, he apologizes but she says she wasn’t uncomfortable. Is this the Westeros version of flirting?
Where in the Seven Kingdoms is Gendry?!
6. In Memorandum
To the characters that didn’t survive season four, we remember you fondly (or not so much).