As the Game of Thrones universe expands more and more with each season, new characters are introduced at a breakneck rate.
While many shows would struggle with the task of juggling so many unique identities, GoT's writing staff and casting department take the pains necessary to develop the denizens of Westeros into living, breathing, feeling men and women who make the unique struggles of their outlandish world relatable by revealing their humanity to the audience.
Then, of course, they get their heads crushed by eight-foot human killing machines.
Yes, sadly, many of the characters we fall in love with each season won't make it to the finale, but that just makes our connection to them that much stronger.
Most shows wouldn't bother developing a fully-realized character who serves as the story's moral compass only to chop his head off in season one, but George R.R. Martin is a sadistic SOB, and now he's got two equally depraved showrunners to do his bidding.
Here now, are the new characters that will be introduced in Game of Thrones Season 5 (premiering Sunday night) Enjoy them while you can:
We're excited about the introduction of Doran Martell, but then, we were jazzed about Oberyn Martell last season, and look how that turned out.
Of course, we can't complain about the characters' uncertain futures, as it's the writers' willingness to lop off a beloved head at the most unexpected time that makes GoT such white-knuckle viewing.
Even so, we'll never forgive those SOBs for the Red Wedding.
If you still need to get caught up in time for season 5, or if you just want to relive some of GoT's most shocking deaths, watch Game of Thrones online at TV Fanatic.