updated 04/06/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/06/2014 AT 10:05 PM ET
Game of Thrones is back! With some serious vengeance.
Season four of HBO’s mega-hit fantasy series premiered Sunday night, allowing fans to catch up with its many beloved and despised characters – well, at least the ones who aren’t dead yet.
Here’s what we know now about the goings-on in Westeros and beyond:
Obviously, there are huge spoilers below. Proceed at your own risk!
The capital is bustling with anticipation ahead of King Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery, who was previously married to his late uncle Renly. While she consults with her grandmother, House Tyrell’s crafty matriarch Lady Olenna, over details, Brienne of Tarth pays her a visit. Brienne recalls seeing Renly stabbed by a shadow that resembled his brother and Joffrey’s enemy, Stannis Baratheon.
Petulant Joffrey – who erected a silly statue of himself towering over a dead direwolf – is overly pleased with himself for “winning” the war against Stannis and dismissive of his uncle Jaime, who is back in town and fitted with a golden hand to replace the one he lost while held captive by Locke of House Bolton.
Earlier, Jaime was given a sword of Valyrian steel, forged from the late Ned Stark’s weapon, from his father, Tywin Lannister, who asks him to leave and return to rule over the Lannisters’ home in Casterly Rock. Jaime refuses (to leave, not the sword), claiming he wants to stay to protect Joffrey as a member of his Kingsguard. But really, he just wants to be close to his sister and former lover, Cersei. Too bad Cersei, who is drowning her sorrows in red wine, has no time for him anymore.