The Season 5 premiere delivered new trajectories for plenty of GoT's main players. Dive into four major character moments with insights from the cast and background on the story. Spoilers follow!
1. Mance abides by his principles.
Mance Rayder's death was not a complete surprise to the actor who played him. "I had an idea that I wasn’t long for that world when Liam Cunningham [Davos] and Stephen Dillane [Stannis] turned up outside my tent," Ciaran Hinds tells Variety. His intuition proved correct: Mance was condemned to burn by King Stannis Baratheon.
Hinds recalls shooting the scene: "There seemed to be a strange silence and a focus that everybody was party to. Sometimes you get that on a set or you fabricate it, but it was a great feeling of everybody committing to this moment, which was going to be a very telling moment," says Hinds. "And also the last words he had to say were given weight by the director Michael Slovis – rather than just a dismissive 'toast him.' He took time, generously, to get the character’s last words there, and I suppose they gave him some dignity in his demise."
2. Cersei's fate is forecast.
For actor Lena Heady, Cersei's mindset is explained by the premiere episode's flashback. "I always think of Cersei as a wayward 15-year-old who's never had any real parenting," Headey told New York magazine. “She presents herself as this image of perfection, when underneath there's deep paranoia. She has no one to trust now."
In the video below, George R.R. Martin explains the implications of the prophecy.
3. Margaery starts scheming.
As for Maggy's mention of a younger, more beautiful threat, "Cersei sees this aspect of the prophecy embodied in Margaery," David Benioff explains in this week's Inside the Episode. The AV Club agrees that the queen-to-be "smirks and slinks her way around the premiere, torturing her mother-in-law," and is not to be underestimated – "She makes Rhaegal and Viserion look like geckos."
4. Lancel is back.
Cersei's former lover is now a "Sparrow," a servant of the Faith of the Seven. Called a "bloody fanatic" by his father Kevan, Lancel is adhering to the traditional look of the Sparrows: barefoot, shaved head and simple robes. Learn more about the religions of Westeros here.
Bonus: Ellaria Sand returns next week.
In Dorne, Oberyn's death still stings. Get a refresher on House Martell to get ready for next week's all new episode.
What are you hoping to see this Season? Share your theories in the comments.