Game of Thrones: Seven questions season six will answer

GAME of Thrones' sixth season is out next month '“ and it promises to be bleaker than ever. Here's what we might discover in the HBO show's newest series

1. Is Jon Snow dead?

Despite Kit Harrington’s insistence that his character Jon Snow is dead – he was stabbed at the denouement of the previous season by a mob of his Night’s Watch comrades – the show has teased its fans with sly clues that suggest, at the very least, that Snow will continue to figure in the story. Some have theorised he may be brought back to life by Melisandre.

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2. How will Daenerys deal with the Dorthraki?

At the end of the season, Daenerys Targaryen was rescued by one of three of her dragons, Drogon, as anti-royal insurgents Sons of the Harpy ambushed her during a tournament at the fighting pits of Meereen. After fleeing the scene, they end up in a mountainous region, seemingly deserted. When Daenerys leaves a weakened Drogon, she encounters a huge band of Dorthraki, who take her prisoner. She knows the language, and she’s a smart operator, but the omens don’t look good.

3. How will Tyrion and Varys govern Meereen?

With Daenerys away and Meereen on the brink of civil war, the task of governing Meereen – “a grand old city choking on violence, corruption and deceit” – falls to Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys. They were doing an okay job of that at King’s Landing during Tyrion’s tenure as the Hand of the King between the Battle of the Whispering Wood until after the Battle of the Blackwater. He showed cunning on occasion, but less so than Varys, the seasoned operator.

4. What now for the Lannisters at King’s Landing?

The Lannisters are at their lowest ebb. Tywin is dead, killed by Tyrion on the privvy. Myrcella is also probably dead, thanks to a kiss from Ellaria. Her mother, Cersei, walked naked through the streets of King’s Landing followed by a bell and a cry of “shame!” to atone for her manifold sins. The Iron Throne is occupied by Thommen Baratheon, but the boy king is powerless to prevent the religious fundamentalist High Sparrow accrue power over the citadel. How will Jaime Lannister, returning with the corpse of his daughter, deal with all this?

5. Where will Theon and Sansa go?

Amid the flurry of deaths and sort-of-deaths of the season five finale, we saw Theon and Sanda jump off the exterior wall of Winterfell. Since we never saw them land – when people die in Winterfell, their don’t usually do so off camera – we can assume that didn’t perish. Sansa’s husband, Ramsay Snow, will be after blood once he finds his bride missing and his mistress Myranda murdered. Thrust into the winds of fortune, it’ll be fascinating to see who they bump into – it might even be Brienne of Tarth, who is still trying to rescue Sansa.

6. How much will Bran figure in the story?

Absent for the whole of season five, Bran seems poised to remerge as a major character. He was last seen with Hodor, Meera and Jojen, the last of whom died just before they reached the safety of the weirwood tree. The Three-eyed raven, played by Max von Sydow, will likely figure much more this season, having been peripherally confined to visions and whispered dialogue up until now.

7. What now for Arya?

Just as one Stark girl has managed to escape a horrid period, so another seems set to enter her own. Arya was made blind by Jaqen H’ghar as punishment for killing Meryn Trant using a stolen face from the temple. Arya’s desire for revenge outweighed he devotion to the Many-Faced God, but given her condition she may have no choice but to continue at the temple despite being robbed of her sight.

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New trailer for Game of Thrones season six released