While Season 5 of "Game of Thrones" is going to deviate from George R.R. Martin's books by a considerable amount, we do have a few ideas for what to expect.
Earlier this month, leaked titles and descriptions for the first three episodes of Season 5 revealed a slew of spoilers to come. We broke down each of those episodes here. Now HBO has released the official details of the first trio of new episodes and the official season synopsis. While this confirms much of what we expected, there is one interesting detail missing from the official press release. First, here's the synopsis:
Jon Snow is struggling to balance the demands of the Night’s Watch with those of the newly arrived Stannis Baratheon, who styles himself the rightful king of Westeros. Meanwhile, Cersei scrambles to hold on to power in King’s Landing amidst the Tyrells and the rise of a religious group led by the enigmatic High Sparrow, while Jaime embarks on a secret mission. Across the Narrow Sea, Arya seeks an old friend and a fugitive Tyrion finds a new cause. And as danger mounts in Meereen, Daenerys finds that her tenuous hold on the city requires hard sacrifices.
(Warning: Spoilers for the show and books follow.)
As far as the episodes go, in the original leaked information, the third episode of Season 5, "High Sparrow," began with the description, "In Braavos, Arya sees the Many-Faced God." This sentence isn't included in HBO's official episode press release, leading us to wonder if the network wants to keep the trajectory of Arya's storyline under wraps, or if this was simply a made-up fan speculation.
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For those who don't read the books, Arya visits The House of Black and White in Braavos, which will officially happen in Season 5's second episode (titled "The House of Black and White"). This is whe she joins the Faceless Men where she must renounce her previous identity to train to become an assassin. In the books, the Many-Faced God is a deity with multiple incarnations who is worshipped by the Faceless Men. While Arya never literally meets the God in Martin's series, this description of her seeing the deity could signify that she's learned the secrets of the guild of assassins and is ready to transition. Maybe this will be the point when she goes blind or marks "the end of Arya," as Maisie Williams has mentioned.
Another leak has also revealed the unconfirmed titles of the next four episodes in the season. Here's what they may be, plus our speculations:
Episode 4: “The Sons of the Harpy"
We briefly saw the Sons of the Harpy in the second "GoT" trailer (they were the ones in the golden masks). This is likely when they will rebel against Dany's rule, hence the plummeting golden harpy statue at the end of the first trailer.
Episode 5: “Kill the Boy”
This title is likely a reference to a quote regarding Jon Snow from the books, "Kill the boy and let the man be born."
Episode 6: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”
This is the motto of House Martell, who we'll finally meet many members of this season.
Episode 7: “The Gift”
Very briefly in the Season 5 trailer we get a glimpse of a gift Cersei receives from the Sand Snakes. It is an open-mouthed snake statue with a medallion in it's mouth. Perhaps this episode involves that gift.
"Game of Thrones" Season 5 premieres on Sunday, April 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.