game of thronesAfter a very long wait Game of Thrones is finally back on HBO. Fans have been anxiously awaiting the fifth season of Game of Thrones which promises even more intrigue, bloodshed and carnage this season. Plus, the White Walkers will be attacking the Wall. Some of the fan favorite characters like Hodor and Bran Stark will be taking this season off and will be reappearing in later seasons. That’s because there is so much packed into this season that Bran’s storyline, which is largely caught up to the books the show is based on, will have to wait. Some of the biggest storylines in the epic tale of the fight for the Iron Throne are about to converge and fans can’t wait.

A Song of Ice and Fire No Longer

The show was based on a series of books by George R.R. Martin that started with A Song of Ice and Fire. For the last four seasons the show has kept true to the books in the basic storyline. The deaths have lined up with character deaths in the books and the basic storyline has been the same, although the TV show has embellished some stories and told less of other stories. The upcoming season, Season Five, is the first season where the books and the TV show don’t line up. The show will diverge from the books from here on out. Several of the books haven’t even been written yet so the show really had creative license to take the story and run with it. That makes this season even more exciting for the fans who won’t know what is coming even if they read the original series of books.

Who Will Die

There is no way to know how many beloved characters will be lost this season. Game of Thrones has the same respect for fan favorite characters that The Walking Dead, which is none at all, so anyone could end up being killed. When a show kills off the main character in the first episode of the show you know they aren’t messing around when it comes to character deaths. Anyone could be on the chopping block. However, some characters are more likely than others to live through the season. Arya Stark, who has made it to Braavos and is studying to become a Faceless Man, is one of the few that is probably safe. Tyrion is also probably safe for at least one more season. Jon Snow and Daenerys are also probably safe. What about the other Lannisters? With Tommen on the Iron Throne and Margaery Tyrell at his side it’s a good bet that Tommen will be ok. Jamie has split odds of survival, and Circe’s odds don’t look great either. Every evil queen must face the consequences of her actions at some point and Circe has a lot to answer for.

More Fans Watching Than Ever

This year the premiere of Game of Thrones should have record high numbers thanks to the unveiling of HBO Now, HBO’s standalone streaming got 5service. Right now the service is only available on Apple devices and through iTunes but soon it will be available across the board. For just $15 a month anyone who has Wifi can watch first run episodes of shows like Game of Thrones as well as the entire back catalog of HBO shows and movies as well as popular box office movies. Many people who have cut the cord and no longer have cable are thrilled that they will be able to watch Game of Thrones in real time. HBO Now is just the first of several standalone services that are going to hit the market in the next year that are being offered direct to consumers by channels that usually require a cable service.  Ala carte programming that lets people watch the most popular shows on TV like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead is in high demand and channels are scrambling to fill the demand from consumers.