Game of Thrones returns for its fifth season tonight (Sunday, April 12) at 9pm ET/PT. In this brief preview, I respect producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's wishes, trying not to spoil anything. But I can still tell you cryptic bits of what I have seen in the flames. (Read that previous sentence in Comic Book Guy voice for best effect.)

(Brief aside: This episode packs a ton of characters into its 51-minute run. We see glimpses of almost everybody, and get the real sense that many chess pieces are in place for more big battles, serious personal changes, and new alliances. Get excited.)

Bran

Is presumably still learning to fly under that Heart Tree. Haven't seen him. Hodor?

Arya

Is on a boat, as they say. Stay tuned for the next episode.

Cersei

Photo courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO.

Has apparently always been cruel. But we knew that.

Lancel

Has "found peace." Hmm. (If you don't remember Lancel, you will. His hair is a bit different.)

Tywin

Is still stone-dead.

Jaime

Gets as many lines as he has hands.

Tyrion

Photo courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO.

Finally gets out of that box. Nice beard!

Tommen

Seems like a nice kid. Heck of a job he's got, ruling the Seven Kingdoms.

Varys

Gets to play Odd Couple with Tyrion, a little like last season's Arya/Hound banter, but with more wine. This is adorable.

Daenerys

Continues to struggle with the reality of ruling cities of ex-slaves and ex-slavers.

Jon Snow

Photo courtesy of Helen Sloan/HBO.

Has gained wisdom, but still knows nothing.

Ghost

Is huge, and gnawing bones.

Stannis

Photo courtesy of HBO.

Is a truly hard, cold dude. Do we really want this guy to be king?

Loras Tyrell

Probably ought to take a trip to Dorne.

Robin Arryn

Has been weaned, more or less.

Brienne

Takes good care of her Lannister sword, Oathkeeper...but is still mean to her squire, Pod.

Petyr & Sansa

Are on yet another road trip.

Mance

Photo courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO.

Makes an important decision.

Melisandre

Plays with fire.

Where to Watch

Game of Thrones returns tonight (Sunday, April 12) on HBO at 9pm ET/PT. You can catch it on HBO, HBO GO, or HBO NOW. I'll be using that last one with a little glee—the cord is officially cut, and I couldn't be happier.