Tonight on HBO we have the ′Game of Thrones′ Season 5 premiere. Yes, let the bloody, back-stabbing and poisoning continue! Don′t worry about spoilers, I won′t say anything. For those who must know, several episodes, at least four, for Season 5 have been leaked on the Internet. Naturally, there were many, unanswered questions left hanging at the end of Season 4. So let us take a moment to catch up and ready ourselves for what comes next…

The prime story arcs cover the murder of the vicious boy-king, Joffrey, poisoned at his wedding. His uncle, the dwarf Tyrion Lannister, is on the run after being sentenced to death by his father, Tywin, whom Tyrion murdered during his escape in the Season 4 finale. Tyrion didn′t poison Joffrey, though the idea of killing his bratty nephew isn′t so strange. Meanwhile, back at King′s Landing, Joffrey′s younger brother, Tommen has been crowned king, though its his mother, Cersei, who is running the kingdom of Westeros. Joffrey′s widowed wife, Margaery, of the House of Tyrell, is vying for still being queen one day by schmoozing up to Tommen when mommy ain′t around.

Then we have everyone′s favorite Mother of Dragons, Queen Daenerys Targaryen, who has decided to rule over her latest conquest, the city-state of Merreen. How sad she was in the Season 4 finale, forced to lock up two of her three dragons after the third killed a young boy. Meanwhile, chaos is breaking out in Merreen, as well in cities she previously liberated, proving that old axiom, ′you broke it, you own it′. This has caused Daenerys to put her march on Westeros on pause while she sorts out the mess she created. Some people just can′t handle being free!

Back at ′The Wall′ and Castle Black, the Night′s Watch has survived the first major attack of the Wildling army thanks to Jon Stark. They then get some real help from Stannis Baratheon of Dragonstone, who brings his new army, purchased with gold borrowed from the Iron Bank of Braavos, to defeat the Wildling force and capture their leader, Mance Rayder. Stannis has other ambitions, such as conquering the North kingdom and taking the Iron Throne. In this quest, Stannis may get help from Jon Stark since the Boltons were involved in deposing, and slaughtering the House of Stark. However, the bunch, including everyone in Westeros, may be caught in a vise in between the armies of Daenerys from the east and from the White Walker army of the Undead from north of The Wall.

There are plenty of other sub-plots and minor story arcs, but those are the three key ones to watch. Sure, many are interested in the incest relationship between Queen Mother Cersei and her brother, Jamie Lannister. Or the visions of Bran Stark or how Sansa Stark, Tyrion′s wife, will fare in the care of Petyr Baelish, who was the man behind the poisoning of King Joffrey. Petyr appears to be a terrific villain, especially after tossing his wife, Lysa Arryn, out of her castle just days after marrying her. Poor Lysa dropped some 300 meters or so to her death after seeing her new hubby kissing Sansa.

Season 5 of ′Game of Thrones′ will pick up where this all left off. One tiny spoiler I will mention is that we will be introduced to a whole, new House, the Martell′s of the kingdom of Dorne. We got a taste of the Dorne in Season 4 when Oberyn Martell attended the wedding of Joffrey. The House of Martell has a long standing feud with the House of Lannister. Yet, Oberyn volunteered to fight on behalf of Tyrion, namely because he didn′t believe Tyrion was guilty, but also it gave him an opportunity for revenge. In the ′trial by combat′, Oberyn fought against ′The Mountain′, the huge knight, Gregor Clegane, who raped and killed Oberyn′s sister. Unfortunately for Oberyn, while he did deliver a fatal blow to Clegane, Oberyn spent too much gloating and prodding Clegane to confess, giving the giant time to kill Oberyn by squeezing his skull like a pimple.

So, we will see much more of the Dorne, starting with Prince Doran, Oberyn′s eldest brother, and the Sand Snakes, three of Oberyn′s bastard children. The ′Snakes′ are all daughters, and each is quite deadly with either a spear, a whip or a dagger. Some background on the House of Martell is that they were once supporters of the Targaryens. So their loyalty to the rest of the kingdoms of Westeros is questionable at best. How will they react to the dual threats from the east and the north will be worth noting.

Will you be watching HBO tonight for the ′Game of Thrones′ Season 5 premiere? If so, you better start sharping your swords and daggers and start brewing up a vial or two of poison. Don′t forget to pick up a bag of Dragon Chow, too! The fun begins tonight.