Game of Thrones returns with less sex, more power plays
IT'S the day Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for.
The fifth season of the hit fantasy drama premiered around the world today.
The show's highly anticipated return follows several key events from the end of season four, including the gruesome death of Prince Oberyn of Dorne and Stannis Baratheon's rescue of the Night's Watch in their battle against the Wildling army.
Scroll down to read about the key moments from the first episode of season five. Warning spoilers below.
The first episode of season five jumped back and forth across the Narrow Sea, giving viewers an update on the events at Castle Black, King's Landing, Pentos and Meereen.
There was surprisingly little sex or even nudity in this episode by Game of Thrones standards and there were only a few scenes involving violent deaths.
Still no vision from Dorne yet, but the preview at the end of the first episode hints that the southern province will feature in episode two.
Here are some of the best quotes from episode one:
"The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted" - Mance Rayder
The leader of the now captured Wildlings remains the defiant after the arrival of Stannis Baratheon. Not even Jon Snow can convince him to bend the knee to avoid a death sentence of being burned alive.
"The good lords are dead and the rest are monsters" - Brienne of Tarth
Female knight of sorts Brienne is feeling dejected after Arya Stark doesn't accept her help, despite her violent battle to free the girl from The Hound. She also doesn't seem keen on having Pod following her as her squire.
"Are you a lord if you kill your father?" - Tyrion Lannister
After spending an unknown but pressumabley lengthy amount of time cooped up in a crate traveling across the Narrow Sea to Pentos, Tyrion is in a severe state of self-loathing. After arguing with Varys he drinks some wine, throws it up and drinks some more.
"You killed him by mistake, with stupidity," - Cersei Lannister
Still reeling from Joffrey's death and now faced with the funeral of her father Tywin, Cersei blames her brother and lover Jamie for aiding their brother Tyrion in his escape and thus allowing him the opportunity to kill their father.
"The lord's fire lives within me Jon Snow," - Melisandre
The Red Priestess sounds like she's hitting on Ned Stark's bastard son, and perhaps she is. Holed up at Castle Black with Stannis and his troops, the mysterious woman doesn't seem to be bothered by the cold.
"Perhaps we have grown so used to horror we assume there's no other way," - Varys
The former Lord and Iron Throne counselor risked his life helping Tyrion escape to Pentos. He tries to convince the royal he still has a part to play in the politics of the realm and asks him to travel to Meereen to meet Daenerys Targaryen.
"(We are going) to a land so far away not even Cersei Lannister can get her hands on you," - Lord Baelish, aka "Littlefinger"
Sansa Stark and Lord Baelish are seen leaving Sansa's young cousin Robin Arryn in the care of Lord Royce. They then start traveling west in a coach but Littlefinger is yet to reveal the location.
"You're not the mother of Unsullied; you're the Mother of Dragons," - Daario Naharis
The soldier and lover of Daenerys gives her some sound advice in the bedroom, warning her she cannot appear weak if she is to continue ruling the cities she has conquered. She goes to visit the two dragons she locked away in the dungeons of Meereen but she admits she is afraid she cannot control them.
Game of Thrones airs Mondays at 11am and 7.30pm on Foxtel's Showcase channel.