Game of Thrones Season 5 is just a few days away — it premieres on April 12 with Season 5, Episode 1 ("The Wars to Come") — and while the showrunners have kept their usual tight lid on the massive spoilers, there is some info out there about what to expect from the new season. And lucky for you, we've gathered all the biggest bits of info right here!

Oh, and for those of you looking to avoid book spoilers, you've come to the right place — we've got all of the biggest spoilers from the cast and crew, but there's no info from the books here!

The overview. HBO released a general synopsis that gives us a general sense of where the characters are at. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is trying to balance the demands of the Night Watch and Stannis (Stephen Dillane). Cersei (Lena Headey) is attempting to hold onto power in King's Landing in the wake of Tywin's (Charles Dance) death, and things are heating up across the narrow sea now that Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), and Arya (Maisie Williams) are no longer in Westeros.

And in the first three episodes... You can also read the synopsis for Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3.

New locations — including Dorne!  The show has added Spain, and Israel, to its filming locations. Spain will be used to represent the land of Dorne, AKA the home of the dearly departed Oberyn Martell, amongst other things.


A lot of new directors. Here are the directors for this year. There are five, and only one has worked on the show before.

New faces. A new year inevitably means new characters, and this year we'll see a lot of them. At Comic-Con, the show announced eight new cast members, including Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell, Oberyn's older brother, and Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow, the head of the Faith of the Seven. Check them all out here. There are a few other rumored new minor characters, plus one Lost alum in a mystery role.

Notable promotions. Michiel Huisman (Daario) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) have both been promoted to series regulars for the season. Does that mean Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) storyline will be getting more attention? It looks like another major character might end up meeting her, and there's a very dramatic scene in her future...

Flashbacks! This season will feature flashbacks, which is not a common device for the show. We know there will definitely be one flashback featuring Cersei herself.

Drama in King's Landing. Season 4 was very King's Landing-focused, and you can expect the political maneuvering to keep going this season. There will be continued tensions between Cersei and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), with something of a coup happening, and apparently Grand Maester Pycelle isn't going anywhere. And for some reason we're going to be seeing Cersei naked in an important scene. Oh, and expect some major shock from Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) over his dad's death. Plus, the High Sparrow will play a big role, and Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) gets intimate with somebody! Also: Littlefinger might be back.

Jaime goes down to Dorne. In a major change from the books, Jaime will head down to Dorne. It looks like Bronn will go with him, which will be a very new kind of story for him.

Watch out for the Boltons in the North. As we saw in Season 4, Episode 8, the Boltons have amassed some serious power in the North, and that should be a very important plot point next year.

A cool story for Arya. It looks like we can expect exciting stuff from Arya (Maisie Williams), whose story could change a lot from the books. Will she run into Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) again? Rumors suggest he might be back... We also know she "becomes no one." Make of that what you will.

Changes for Sansa. Meanwhile, Sansa (Sophie Turner) will will begin to use her sexuality to manipulate people and undergo a "big change."

Jon and Melisandre. We should also keep our eyes out for what goes down between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Melisandre (Carice van Houten). And speaking of the north, we'll definitely be seeing Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), and poor Sam (John Bradley) gets knocked down a peg.

No Bran. One character you won't be seeing is Bran.

Get a look at the new season! All this info not enough? Than perhaps you'd like to feast your eyes on the promo photos for the new season here and here.

What are you looking forward to in Season 5? Let us know in the comments below.

Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres on April 12, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.