As has become a beloved annual tradition, HBO has released an advance set of pictures from Game Of Thrones’ upcoming season, and George R.R. Martin has released word that fans should not expect to see a new book in 2015 . This year those items complement each other, as this new gallery of fifth-season images captures its characters just as they were informed of Martin’s announcement, and of the fact that they should probably just stay right there, just like that, for as long as they can hold out. So as always, let’s take a look at the people of Westeros and relish their misery.

Arya Stark stands in wounded disbelief, having lost every member of her family and her closest friend—the large man she was saving to kill later—only for Martin to leave her without the promise of more dead loved ones, whose losses now sustain her.

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Desperate, Arya finds a small beetle. “You’re my sister now, and I love you,” she says, crushing it between her fingers. It only helps a little.

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Far away, Arya’s half-brother Jon Snow delivers the news to his tentative ally, Stannis Baratheon, that Stannis still doesn’t get to be king for a while, and that he should probably just cry about it. Stannis opens his mouth and emits a long, keening whine that lasts the entire season.

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Informed of Martin’s decision, sorceress Melisandre turns on a little mood lighting and suggests everybody pass the time by making some smoke babies. “We could make a whole mess of smoke babies over here,” she says, gesturing to a romantic pile of logs and corpses.

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Meanwhile, Daenerys keeps watch over her dragons, which sure are getting big. Boy are they getting big, and doing exciting, big dragon stuff. You’ll see it someday. It’s going to be so great. You can tell from Daenerys’ face. Just keep looking at her face for a while.

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“Sansa, as long as we have some time, did I ever share you with you my many clever analogies in regard to power and manipulation? Let’s just stand here for a bit, and I’ll tell you why a man is like the various things we see on this hill—beginning with that clump of brush over there….” [continues for a year]

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In a great karmic comeuppance, it’s now Ramsay Bolton who finds himself shackled by a cruel tormentor—George R.R. Martin—and rapidly losing the hope that he may someday be free to tear off more penises. Instead, Ramsay’s trapped here with his dad and his new stepmom, enduring the endless torture of trying to be nice. His dad is even covering his penis. When will it end?!

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“Oh, uh, do you like sticks?” Podrick asks in the awkward silence. “I also like sticks…. I mean, not all sticks.”

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Brienne escapes by daydreaming of that time she was almost killed by a bear.

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As ruler of a people who understand the finer things in life, the newly introduced Prince Doran Martell declares he will take advantage of this forced interim by sitting on a really nice chair. You know what, he’s not even going to bother getting out of his silk robe and into his silk pants today. It’s fine.

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An incensed Ellaria Sand demands to see Doran. His bodyguard, Areo Hotah, informs her that it’s robe time. “Maybe come back when it’s not robe time,” Areo says, like it’s ever not robe time.

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Another new character, Jonathan Pryce’s High Sparrow, learns that he apparently put on his finest burlap sack for nothing. If we’re just gonna stand here, he also may as well slip into something more comfortable, like a pile of brambles.

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Back at King’s Landing, Margaery actually welcomes the news of Martin’s delay, which will give her so many more afternoons for tea parties with her friends and for not having to sleep with little boys. What’s Cersei going to say about it? That’s right, nothing. Have some tea, Cersei.

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Cersei and Jaime decide to pass the time with a game of guessing what’s in this mysterious box.

“Is it… incest?” Jaime says.

The game is over.

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Finally, Lord Varys and Tyrion learn that, while George R.R. Martin is left alone to work, they’ll simply have to spend a little more time than usual on their clever repartee, wending poignant metaphor and intricate riddle into fluid poetry that captures the cunning power plays and intricate brinkmanship they have long navigated so well.

“Um… I like your beard,” Varys says.

It’s going to be a long year.

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[via Watchers On The Wall]