Game of Thrones Season 5 Primer
Where things stand
Tommen Lannister is the new King after the death of his brother Joffrey, with Cersei continuing her role as Queen Regent and Jaime as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Mace Tyrell and his daughter Margaery are there to continue the alliance forged prior to the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys is still here pulling strings behind the scenes. The Mountain is undergoing treatment by Qyburn to see if he can be saved from the venom on Prince Oberyn’s spear. With Tywin’s death and Tyrion’s escape, a new Hand of the King is needed.
Who’s here: Cersei, Jaime, Tommen, Varys, The Mountain, Margaery, Mace, Loras, Qyburn, Pycelle
Far north of The Wall, Bran Stark is living with the Children of the Forest under the giant weirwood where the Three-Eyed Raven lives. Hodor, Meera, and Summer are there with him. Rickon Stark is presumably at Last Hearth, lying low to remain safe. Jon Snow and The Night’s Watch appear to be safe thanks to the last-minute intervention of Stannis Baratheon and his army. We do not yet know the intentions of Stannis, Davos, and Melisandre. The Wildlings have been captured and their fate remains a mystery. The rest of the North is technically under the command of Roose Bolton, but no organized army has been formed since the events of the Red Wedding. Roose and his legitimized son Ramsay are moving into Winterfell with their own troops but no more. Theon Greyjoy, now Ramsay’s pet “Reek”, is with them as well.
Who’s here: Jon, Ghost, Bran, Hodor, Meera, Summer, Rickon, Shaggydog, Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, Mance, Tormund, Roose, Ramsay, Reek
Littlefinger has assumed power in The Eyrie and Sansa Stark has recently revealed her true identity. Nearby, the Hound was left for dead after his fight with Brienne, who is continuing her search for the Stark daughters after Arya’s escape.
Who’s here: Littlefinger, Sansa
Daenerys is stationed in Meereen, but trouble seems to be brewing; Dany’s governance has been more difficult than anticipated, trusted advisor Jorah Mormont has been banished, and two of her three dragons are chained up below the city. Arya Stark is on her way to Braavos after using the coin given to her by Jaqen H’ghar.
Who’s here: Dany, Barristan, Grey Worm, Missandei, Daario, Arya, Jorah
House Power Rankings
- House Tyrell – has suffered very few casualties, has moved partly into King’s Landing, and has solidified an alliance with The Lannisters. The Tyrells do not seem to be up to much of anything, which is probably the way they like it. Without having committed large numbers of their troops in open battle and without having lost much of their family, they have managed to secure an alliance with the Lannisters and move Margaery, Mace, and Loras into King’s Landing. The best schemer of the bunch, Olenna (The Queen of Thorns), departed for Highgarden to avoid suspicion in the wake of Joffrey’s death.
- House Lannister – using the Baratheon banner in King’s Landing (if Tommen were known to be a product of incest, their claim to the throne would be invalid) where they are seemingly more secure than ever. Robb Stark has been slain, Stannis is all the way up at The Wall, and no immediate threat looms. They lost their two best strategists, however, in Tywin and Tyrion.
- House Bolton – poised to claim Winterfell as Wardens of the North, the Boltons appear to have made it out of the events of the Red Wedding with their army intact. They also have legal dominion over The North, granted by Tywin Lannister, and control of Moat Cailin, the very valuable fortress protecting the territory from any southern attack. Roose Bolton is hoping to gain full control of the North with the help of his legitimized bastard son, Ramsay. The degree of support they receive from Stark bannermen is yet to be seen, and they are dependent on House Lannister support for much of their credibility.
- House Targaryen – Although Dany is stuck managing the affairs of Meereen in the aftermath of her sudden liberation of all slaves, she still has three dragons and an army of Unsullied at her disposal when she decides to make a move. In their current state they do not pose a significant threat to anyone or anything in Westeros
- House Greyjoy – The Ironborn have faded somewhat despite suffering no major setbacks. They remain a force to be reckoned with on the seas, and seem to have a very large navy at their disposal. How they will utilize this force (and what their end goal is) remains to be seen. Theon is now in service to Ramsay Bolton as “Reek”, his sister Yara has not been seen since her aborted attempt to free Theon, and Balon hasn’t been heard from in some time.
- House Baratheon – Stannis is commanding a sizable army, but he is at The Wall and far from his own lands. His success likely hinges on his ability to rally the North and draw troops from the Stark bannermen that refuse to follow the Boltons.
- House Stark – The Starks have no castle, no readily apparent heir, and no organized armed force. Sansa is only starting to get involved in affairs surrounding her, Jon is a Brother of the Night’s Watch, Arya is on her way to Braavos, Bran is training for another purpose, and Rickon is very young and presumed dead. I hope they each have a major part to play, but as of now they are irrelevant to the Iron Throne.