Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 1 (Review)

The Wars to Come

by Ed Blackadder

(Spoiler Warning) It looks like all the build-up that season 5 has had wasn't for nothing. This could very well be the best season thus far, especially after the way the premiere of season 5 ended. A single pull of a bowstring by Jon Snow, could have markedly altered his original arc of the story, based on the books. And the same goes for Tyrion. But let's start at the beginning.

The Wars to Come begins with two teenage, highborn girls, walking in a forest, heading to the hovel of a witch. The unidentified blond girl, demands that the witch tell her what the future holds, otherwise her father will throw her off the land. That's when we realise we're looking at a very young Cersei Lannister. Cersei simply wants to know if she will marry the prince. Instead, Cersei is told of how she'll marry a king, become a queen, but that he will have 20 children, and she will have 3. "But that doesn't make sense" Cersei complains. It does to us. It also tells us that Myrcella is definitely a Lannister and not a Baratheon. "Gold will be their crowns" the witch continues, leaving Cersei smiling, until the witch completes her foretelling: "Gold, their shrouds." She also learns that she'll only be Queen for a time. Until another comes along, younger, more beautiful, to cast her down. Clearly Margaery is being spoken of here. You can watch the entire scene at the bottom of this review.

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Jamie and Cersei have an interesting scene in the Great Sept over the body of their dead father's body. Cersei warns Jamie that the crowd have only come to make sure Tywin is really dead, and then they'll try to take everything away from them. She also knows it was Jamie who set Tyrion free. And free he is, as we see a bleary-eyed Tyrion roll drunk from a packing crate, now that he's safely arrived in Pentos at the home of Magister Illyrio Mopatis. Illyrio was last seen in season 1 (watch here at 3m20secs), where he arranged Daenerys' wedding to Drogo. Varys finally reveals to Tyrion, just what his plan has been all along. It would seem that he's always wanted to see the Targaryens back on the Iron Throne. Tyrion can't sit on the throne himself, thanks to his actions involving a crossbow, a toilet and Tywin. However, Varys thinks that Tyrion can help Daenerys become the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. It looks like Tyrion and Varys are about to travel to Mereen to set things in motion.

Game of Thrones
Created by
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Cast
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release Date
12 April 2015
Ed's Grade: A


There were a couple of scenes involving Cersei and Margaery that I thought were interesting. The first was after Tywin's body was seen lying in state, and everyone is offering their condolences. Cersei has her betrothed, Ser Loras Tyrell, droning on in the background about how great Tywin was, while she watches Margaery Tyrell flirting away with an obviously smitten King Tommen. We already knew of the animosity between these two ladies, and now it's been hammered home thanks to the opening scene with Cersei and the witch. The second scene involves a conversation between Loras and Margaery. Without going into detail, it would appear Margaery has some sort of plan to rid herself of Cersei.

We learn that Lord Robin can't swing a sword to save himself, and it might just come to that given that Littlefinger is in control of the Vale. Petyr and Sansa are making quite a team. Gone is the shy Sansa of old, to be replaced with a young woman who can talk to Littlefinger on his own terms. Like the pairing of the Hound and Arya or Tyrion and Bronn, I think I'm going to like what these two will accomplish together. Will Sansa become as villainous as Lord Baelish? It's not beyond the realm of possibility, and as we stray further from the source material, it may even be desirable to see an evil Sansa emerge. An evil Stark might just be what this show needs to balance things out. Maybe she can take the place of Lady Stoneheart?!

Dany is really feeling the pressure in Mereen. One of her feared Unsullied is murdered in a brothel. Yes, a brothel. And the masked Sons of the Harpy are killing her people, while her two remaining dragons want to kill her. I've always wanted to like Dany's arc far more than I have, and now that Tyrion could play a different role in her part of the story, I think I'll finally get the chance.

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Jon Snow has been sent by Stannis to offer Mance a deal. Bend the knee and follow Stannis into battle, or be burned alive. The look on Mance's face says it all, yet he refuses the offer. Jon Snow has always respected Mance Rayder, and his act of defiance towards Stannis, as he shoots that arrow at the burning man, demonstrates this more than anything that was spoken between them. Jon may have went against King Stannis, but he's just proven himself to the Wildlings yet again. What does this mean for Jon and Stannis now? Melisandre will surely prevent Stannis from doing anything crazy to Jon. She seems to have a thing for him. "Are you still a virgin?" she quizzes Jon. After he replies in the negative, Melisandre simply says "good." What the eff was that all about?!

Like with every season premiere of the show, it was a slow but steady build up, laying a strong foundation for later episodes. The changes to the books are now very apparent, and as far as I'm concerned it's a good thing. It means everyone can now enjoy the show without fear of spoilers.

3 Week Diet

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