'Game Of Thrones' Season 5 Will Focus On The Female Characters, So Here's What's Next for Arya, Sansa & More

It's almost time, Thrones fans: in just a little over a week, Game of Thrones season 5 will finally have its premiere. After months of waiting, teaser trailers galore, and hints at what's to come from actors, directors, and George R.R. Martin himself, the episodes we've all been waiting for are about to arrive. Fans of the series will finally learn what's next for Arya, Jaime, Littlefinger and the others, and for the first time, even book readers will get to be surprised by whatever the show's genius creators have in store.

While I, like all fans of the series, am excited to catch up with all of Thrones' individuals, I'm particularly looking forward to learning what's next for the women of Westeros. The female characters on the show have often had the most interesting storylines and development arcs, whether it's been Arya's transformation from a kid into a killer or Dany's quiet but fierce struggle for power. This coming season should be the best one yet for the show's women, with old characters being given greater focus and newcomers like Myrcella and the Sand Snakes getting their chance to shine. Here's what to expect from five of Thrones' most important women:

Sansa

Last Season: After escaping King's Landing after Joffrey's death, Sansa ended up in the hands of Littlefinger. He took her to the Eyrie, where she endured the creepiness of her aunt Lysa and her cousin Robin until Lysa was pushed out the Moon Door. Asked to testify, Sansa lied about the events, saving Littlefinger and proving she was savvier than anyone realized.

What's Next: Season 5 Sansa is an entirely different character than that of years past. She's smarter, braver, and darker (literally — that hair!), finally a player in the games instead of a cowardly observer. As Sophie Turner recently told The New York Times , "She’s a powerful young woman now. Rather than being a pawn in everyone else’s game, she’s playing her own.”

So what does that mean? Sansa will certainly be partnering with Littlefinger, but it's unknown what exactly the secretive Petyr has planned. He's shown affection for her, but seems more focused on plotting his Westeros takeover, as shown by a line he tells Sansa in the season 5 trailer: "there’s no justice in this world, not unless we make it. Avenge them.” Thanks to Sansa's newfound courage, this could be one of the new episodes' most interesting plots.

Arya

Last Season: After spending all season traveling with the Hound to get to her aunt, Arya arrived at their destination, only to learn that Lysa was dead. Her shock didn't last long, though, as the duo soon ran into Brienne and Podrick, set on bringing the Stark girl home. Yet while Brienne and the Hound dueled, Arya hid, and eventually, they left, leaving her alone with a dying Hound. Instead of ending his pain, Arya went off on her own, and, thanks to Jaqen's coin, boarded a ship headed for Braavos.

What's Next: Warrior training! In Braavos, Arya is expected to continue her transformation into a deadly soldier. She's also going to sport a brand new, much more feminine look. These two things may seem at odds, but Arya's never been one for predictability, has she? It'll be fascinating to watch her journey this season, especially after so much stagnancy last year. She's going to become the warrior she always wanted to be, and, if she's lucky, perhaps cross a few more names off her list.

Cersei

Last Season: The Queen suffered the loss of her son, was raped by her brother, and put every ounce of energy into having her other brother arrested for murder. Otherwise, though, it was a nice time for her, as she made up with Jaime, found a wife for her other son, and stood up to her cruel father.

What's Next: Cersei will find out that Jaime let Tyrion escape, a fact she undoubtedly won't take well. It'll put yet another strain on their just-repaired relationship, and possibly ruin it for good. She might not have much time to fight, though, as the season is also set to focus on the training of her son, Tommen, as king, as well as flashbacks to her youth; in January, it was announced that the show had cast a teenage actress to portray a young Cersei. Getting to watch Cersei attempt to navigate Margaery's manipulative family, as well as gaining insight into how Cersei became the woman she is, will be hugely entertaining.

Daenerys

Last Season: With the help of her dragons, Dany took over Meereen, freeing its slaves and taking total command. She also slept with Daario, exiled Jorah for betrayal, and was forced to lock up her beloved pets to prevent them from causing harm.

What's Next: Having lost her dragons, Dany will certainly be distraught, but she has bigger things to focus on — namely, taking over Westeros and claiming the title she believes is rightfully hers. Some, like Cersei, doubt her power, but others, like Varys, know not to underestimate what the Mother of Dragons is capable of. In the trailer for season 5, he implies that Dany, with her immense support and legendary last name, might just be the ruler the Seven Kingdoms needs. These episodes should see her increase her rule and start interacting with the other characters, proving her worth and demonstrating her ever-growing power.

Margaery

Last Season: She escaped a marriage to one king, but was immediately tied to another — thankfully, Tommen proved that he was much kinder than his late older brother, and the two bonded quickly.

What's Next: While marriage to Tommen will certainly be easier than with his older brother, being under Cersei's watchful eye will likely provide some major pressure for Margaery. Her power-hungry grandmother will also add to the new queen's problems; although Olenna loves her granddaughter, her main focus seems to be getting their family ahead, regardless of the cost. Margaery, watch your back.

Images: HBO (6)