The times they are definitely a changing in Westeros and Essos: Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is getting ready to conquer the world and she has the firepower (pun!) to do it; there's a new King in King's Landing, but who knows how long that will last; and in the north, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) realizes that time is quickly running out, before Winter arrives at long last - and by Winter, we mean the massive army of White Walkers.
Indeed, there are very exciting times ahead on Game of Thrones, as various pieces continue to maneuver around the board. Certain still-living players won't even be making an appearance during the show's story-packed fifth season, while some of the minor ones might not be as safe as even those who've read George R.R. Martin source novels would believe. Some of the main characters will even be crossing paths at last, in the episodes that lie ahead.
David Benioff, who shares showrunner responsibilities on Game of Thrones with Dan Weiss, teased just that when he was interviewed by EW, as he said that "Worlds are colliding" on the fantasy series' fifth season. So much has already been alluded in the marketing for season five (to mention nothing of leaked set photos), but the four seasons of build-up have already done their part to generate excitement among those watching the show. And Benioff says those who make the series are just as thrilled to have reached this point (see his quote below).
“One of the things we’ve been most excited about from the beginning of the series is we’ve had all these far-flung story lines across Westeros and Essos which almost never cross. Now some of these characters start to head on a collision course for each other.”
Certain players are indeed moving on a collision course right now - such as Daenerys and the exile/fugitive Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - while others are striking out on their own; to be exact, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), who's headed off to Braavos to train and become an assassin. Game of Thrones award-winning costume designer Michele Clapton's conceptual art for Arya's season five outfit was released a while back, but now you can an early look at the real thing - along with other key players featured in EW's Thrones-themed magazine covers (including, Clarke, Dinklage, and Harington), seen below.
Williams has already weighed in with her own thoughts on Arya's makeover: from her short-haired and generally unkempt appearance during the past three seasons (much of which she spent with The Hound) to her much cleaner, stylized, and overall cool stealth-assassin look. As she told EW:
“It’s very neutral, very plain, but clean! I have clean hair that actually moves. I came onto the set and nobody recognized me.”
And speaking of stylishly-dressed, deadly young women: a previously-released behind the scenes video - one highlighting the weapon design for Game of Thrones season five - shone a light on the Sand Snakes: the daughters of the late Dorne prince - and fan-favorite - Oberyn "The Red Viper" Martell (Pedro Pascal). There's the bullwhip-wielding Nymeria (Jessica Henwick); spear-fighter Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes); and the youngest of the trio, Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers), whose weapon of choice is a pair of daggers.
As has been noted by Castle-Hughes (again, via EW):
“We haven’t seen women like this on Game of Thrones before. You have lone wolves like Arya and Brienne [played by Gwendoline Christie], and others like Daenerys or Cersei [played by Lena Headey], who are politically strong surrounded by men. But you haven’t seen women who are strong together and who collaborate – which is a dangerous thing. We’re three girls who are violent and manipulative who are thirsty for Lannister blood.”
On that note, we have new pictures of all three Sand Snakes for you to peruse over, below:
Game of Thrones season 5 premieres on HBO on April 12th, 2015.