‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 5 Preview: The Smaller Factions

The wait is just about over.

Next Sunday at 8pm, Season 5 of Game of Thrones kicks off on HBO Canada. The speculation about what will happen can stop and the path our favourite characters and families will travekl slowly start to be revealed, episode by episode.

Having set the stage for Sunday’s premiere in House Lannister, House Stark and House Targaryen over the last few weeks, the final installment of this preview series looks at some of the smaller factions that played a role in Season 4 and one group that will become bigger players in Season 5.

Mance Rayder and The Wildlings

Last season, the storyline for The Wildlings involved approaching and eventually attacking The Wall, with Episode 9 “The Watchers of The Wall” standing as one of the best single episodes in the history of the series. Ygritte was ultimately killed and Tormund Giantsbane was wounded and captured by The Night’s Watch, while Mance and others stayed back in the woods, waiting to see how things played out with the long-planned attack.

After turning back the first assault, Jon Snow headed into the woods to have a parley with Mance, knowing a second attack would eventually come and that The Night’s Watch wouldn’t be able to continually hold off the hoards. But when Snow arrived, their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of…

Stannis Baratheon

The actual rightful heir to the Iron Throne, Stannis’ season started with the Iron Bank of Braavos eventually granting his request for a loan in order to replenish his depleted forces. Stannis’ righthand man, Davos, also tracks down his pirate friend Salladhor Saan to join the effort. Eventually, the group, which includes Stannis’ wife Selyse, his daughter, their daughter Shireen and “The Red Woman,” Melisandre, departs Dragonstone and arrive at The Wall just as Jon Snow and Mance Rayder are about to have a discussion about their differences.

The Boltons

One-time ally of The Starks, Roose Bolton turned on the family at “The Red Wedding,” becoming Warden of the North in the process. House Bolton’s missions in Season 4 were (a) killing the remaining Stark children (Bran and Rickon) and (b) reclaiming territories taken by the Ironborn, including Winterfell. Ramsey Snow, Roose Bolton’s demented bastard son, has brutalized Theon Greyjoy into submission, to the point that he refused to go with his sister Yara when she attacked The Dreadfort to free him.

Ramsey instructs Theon, whom know goes by the name “Reek,” to get the Ironborn to surrender Moat Cailin and they do, only to be flayed by Ramsey and his men. As a result of his conquest, Roose Bolton legitamizes Ramsey as they arrive at Winterfell.

What to Expect This Season

As the Season 5 preview outlines, Stannis means to take the North and Jon Snow knows that they have two options: work with The Wildlings or stay at odds with them and leave them to potentially become members of the White Walkers, because those undead, blue-eyed killers are still out there and still coming.

That means we’re probably going to see a showdown – or at least set up a Season 6 showdown – between Stannis and his collection of armies and Roose Bolton and his group that have taken over the North for the time being.

The new additions to the Game of Thrones world for this season that are briefly seen in the above preview are “The Sand Snakes,” Prince Oberyn Martell’s illegitimate daughters – Obara, Tyene and Nymeria. It will be interesting to see what response comes from Dorne, where “The Sand Snakes” and their uncle, Doran Martell, are expected to respond to the death of Prince Oberyn in some way, shape or form.

While it’s unclear what is going to happen with the Dornish new arrivals, we do know they’re going to have some serious weapons.

Be sure to come back every Monday starting next week as we recap the action from Game of Thrones, Season 5 here on AmongMen.com.

Tags: Game of Thrones, HBO

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