The 'Game Of Thrones' Season 5 Photos Prove That There's More Than Just Dragons To Look Forward To

We may only have one more week to go before the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere, but that isn't stopping fans from obsessing over any little piece of intel they can get their hands on — including yours truly. As per usual, the writers remain relatively hush-hush about specific plot points, however, this season should prove to be especially surprising — even for book readers — given that George R.R. Martin himself has warned that "people are going to die who don’t die in the books," which is sure to cast a long, dragon-like shadow over our television screens these next 10 weeks. But before any of you start spiraling into a perpetual state of worry, I thought it would be useful to try and extract as many helpful clues as we can. And what better way to do that than by decoding the Game of Thrones Season 5 photos HBO has released? We may not know what exactly the future holds for the Iron Throne, but these photos could, at the very least, lend us a helping hand.

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Varys & Tyrion Lannister

Now that Tyrion’s on the run (hence the incognito attire) for not just the murder of Joffrey, but now also for the deaths of Tywin and Shae, our beloved Lannister will need to have as many allies as he can get — one of which now seems to include Varys. (I like to think of him as the Gretchen Weiners of Westeros in that he has an uncanny knack for knowing everyone’s secrets.) And boy does he have a doozy to share with Tyrion. I won’t give anything big away for you non-book readers out there, but let’s just say it will set some big wheels in motion and help advance Tyrion’s journey throughout the course of the season. 

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Sansa Stark & Littlefinger

Given that he’s not in any shackles, I think it’s safe to say Littlefinger manages to be found innocent of Lysa’s death. (But really, did we ever have any doubts?) And now that he’s no longer under his (now deceased) wife’s watchful eye, I have a feeling he has very big plans for his newest puppet, Sansa. With a Stark at his side, he just might be able to reclaim the North.

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Cersei Lannister & Meryn Trant

Does seeing these two side-by-side send shivers up anyone else’s spine? We all know just how wicked Cersei can be at times (just look at the way she treats her own brother, Tyrion), so seeing her in cahoots with the likes of someone like Meryn makes me very, very nervous. This guy has no problem carrying out orders, no matter how heinous they are. (Remember when he beat Sansa at Joffrey’s behest?) If I were you, I’d tread lightly around these two.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Missandei & Grey Worm

Call me an optimist, but I feel as though posting an image of these two side by side is a good indicator that a Missandei/Grey Worm romance is not completely out of the question. Sure, they don’t look in a very romantic mood right now, but I mean, you’ve gotta keep up appearances in front of the boss, right? I wouldn’t give up on ‘shipping these two just yet.

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Melisandre

Uh oh… is that snow I see in the background? That can only mean one thing — Melisandre will be officially taking up residence at the Wall moving forward. And from what I hear, she’s going to be taking a particular interest in our beloved Jon Snow. (Though, can ya really blame her?) He may know nothing, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t easy on the eyes. Watch your back, Jon!

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon & Davos Seaworth

The epic war with the Wildings may be over (for now at least), which means some sort of negotiations need to be underway, thus the very sinister-looking meeting that seems to be going on here. Perhaps someone’s looking for a little compensation now that he came to the Night’s Watch’s rescue. Ugh, politics are just the worst in any realm, real or fictional, amirite?

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

The High Sparrow

As far as new characters go, The High Sparrow (whose actual name is unknown) should make for a very compelling addition to our Thrones ensemble. Not only is he a very influential religious leader, but his actions will create quite the stir in King’s Landing, particularly in regards to both Cersei and Margaery, who find themselves in some very hot water.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Margaery Tyrell & Cersei Lannister

Speaking of those two, don’t let their smiles fool you. Margaery and Cersei still hate each other now more than ever — so much so that one of their schemes against the other may or may not lead to some dire ramifications. But that’s all I’m going to say about that…

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Roose Bolton, Ramsay Bolton & Walda Frey

Well, here’s a group of people you should never want to be around. And yes, you’re reading that last name right. Frey. As in Walder Frey. As in the source of all our “Red Wedding” nightmares. Frey married his daughter Walda off to Roose Bolton a while back, which was mentioned back in Season 3. So add Ramsay into the mix here and you’ve got yourself one very psychopathic family. I wonder what they’re waiting for? Perhaps for a certain ceremony to begin?

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Tyene Sand

Remember how Prince Oberyn Martell spoke of his many bastard daughters last season? Well Tyene is one of them, though they sometimes are referred to as the infamous Sand Snakes, which alludes to their father’s nickname “The Red Viper.” My guess is that Tyene is none to happy to learn of her father’s horrific death (still not over it BTW) and hopes to avenge his murder by tracking down his killer. And judging from that impressive sword she’s wielding, I’d say she means business.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Nymeria Sand

You’d be remiss for thinking that Tyene is the only Sand Snake hellbent on avenging their father’s death. Nymeria, also referred to as Lady Nym, will demand that justice be served upon the House of Lannister for the part they played. It’s like Oberyn once said, “Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.”

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Obara Sand

Not to sound like a broken record or anything, but Obara is also one of Oberyn’s daughters. (Hey, what can I say? The dude had some impressive swimmers.) However, it’s worth noting that she is the eldest among all of the Sand Snakes and is known for having a very hot-temper. In other words, be afraid, Lannisters. Be very afraid.

Image: Helen Sloan/HBO

Doran Martell

Though we’ve never seen his face before, the name Doran should sound very familiar. He is the head of House Martell and brother to the late Oberyn. And while you’d assume he’d share in his family’s thirst for revenge against his brother, he goes to great lengths to block their every attempt. Why? Let’s just say he has his own fiery agenda up his sleeve.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Ellaria Sand & Areo Hotah

Given that Ellaria actually witnessed Oberyn’s death herself, I’m sure she’s the one spurring her daughters into taking action against King’s Landing. As for the newcomer, Areo serves as captain of Doran’s guards. And from the look of things, Ellaria isn’t too thrilled with the orders Areo has been sent to carry out. But hey, at least he gets to carry out that cool looking staff.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Myrcella Baratheon

Something tells me Cersei is going to start having some serious regrets about killing Prince Oberyn. Not because she has a guilty conscience or anything (this is Cersei we’re talking about), but rather because she had previously shipped her daughter, Myrcella, off to wed Oberyn’s nephew (and Doran’s son), Trystane. I mean, it’s rare to ever fully get along with your in-laws, but when one of your family members kills one of their family members, that’s kind of a hard thing to get over, ya know? Myrcella’s life could be in serious danger. Not to mention she’s probably in for a lot of awkward family dinners.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Myrcella Baratheon & Trystane Martell

Is it sad that this looks like the healthiest and most loving relationship currently in existence on GoT? (Nevermind, I just answered my own question.) Odds are they won’t make it down the altar.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO