The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is one of the most anticipated events in television history. If you're behind on your rewatch or haven't watched the show yet, it might be difficult to binge the entire series before the season premiere. On top of that, there have been a ton of critical events to keep up with every season, and juggling all of that knowledge can be challenging for even the most dedicated fans.
Like most seasons of Game of Thrones, Season 5 is filled with intense encounters, shocking surprises, and political infighting nastier than chamberpot duty at the Citadel. This is the season where Tyrion first meets Daenerys, where the Mountain is resurrected, and where the White Walkers confront the Wildlings at Hardhome. All of these events will be crucial to the finale of the series, so let's take a look at what each of them adds to the whole story of Game of Thrones.
Jon Snow is busy in Season 5. In episode 2, Samwell Tarly nominates Jon to be the next Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He wins the election by one vote and immediately sets to mending the animosity between the Crows and the Wildlings. He begins a friendship with Tormund Giantsbane, who helps convince the Free Folk that Jon Snow can be trusted.
Jon Snow's time as Lord Commander gains him a staunch ally in the Free Folk, but it jeopardizes his standing in the Night's Watch. When the White Walkers charge upon the Wildlings at Hardhome, Jon risks his life and the lives of his men to save as many people as he can. Snow slays a White Walker with Longclaw and exposes one of their primary weaknesses: Valyrian steel. He also comes face to face with the Night King for the first time.
His election ironically culminates in his end by the very men he swore to lead, but he saves the lives of thousands of Wildlings in the process. The Free Folk pledge their loyalty to Snow and eventually fight alongside him against the Boltons, which allows the Stark family to retake Winterfell and reunite in peace.
In the final scene of Season 5, Jon Snow is betrayed and slain by his men. Several members of the Night's Watch knife him, including a young boy named Ollie. Luckily, Melisandre's return to Castle Black gives her the opportunity to revive Jon Snow, and she succeeds.
Jon's passing - and resurrection - allows him to eventually leave the Night's Watch and take up his role as King in the North, as his vows are fulfilled when he perishes in service of the Night's Watch. Given how stubborn Jon Snow can be, it's likely he would still be at the Wall if it wasn't for his passing. Since then, he's been able to recapture Winterfell and ally with Daenerys, convincing her to join him in the fight against the Others.
Though they are two of the most significant characters on the show, Tyrion and Daenerys don't share the screen until Season 5, episode 7. At the start of the season, Varys convinces Tyrion to travel to Essos in search of Daenerys. He is nabbed by Jorah Mormont along the way, who also intends to bring Tyrion to Daenerys. Jorah is successful in his mission and offers Tyrion to Daenerys as a gift. She accepts Tyrion's offer to be her new advisor, but rejects Jorah's pleas for forgiveness and banishes him.
Tyrion and Dany coming together set the stage for her advance on Westeros. He helps her both govern in Essos and later secure alliances with Westerosi families, like Houses Stark, Tyrell, Martell, and Greyjoy, but he struggles in fighting against his brother and sister. Tyrion is also the sole witness to Dany and Jon Snow's intimacy, and he seems to disapprove of the budding relationship heading into Season 8.
Arya's Season 5 arc begins with her arrival in Braavos. She searches for the House of Black and White so she can become a Faceless Man, and her training begins shortly after. She is told to give up her identity as Arya Stark and become No One, and she disposes of all her worldly possessions - except her sword, Needle.
During her training, she learns how to use faces to transform her identity. She steals one of the faces without permission and uses it to cross a name off her list, Ser Meryn Trant. Arya is subsequently blinded as punishment.
This season sets off Arya's journey to becoming a true warrior, while also laying the seeds of her eventual rejection of the Faceless Men to retain her identity as Arya Stark. After her time in Braavos, she returns to Westeros as one of the most dangerous people on the continent. Her training allows her to make it back to Winterfell and reunite with her family.