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Game of Thrones Season 5 “The Wars to Come”

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WARNING! SPOILERS!

And welcome back, Game of Thrones! We’re in a fantastic part of the year for television at the moment, with the majority of the major networks shows such as Person of Interest, The Flash and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD beginning to enter their final acts, and with FX’s Justified airing its final episode on Tuesday (The Americans is still ongoing, of course); it’s now that time of year for all of the heavy hitters to come out and play. This weekend not only saw all thirteen episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil go out at once on Netflix, but also the releases of new seasons of HBO’s comedies Silicon Valley and Veep. Soon joining these two will be new seasons of Halt and Catch Fire, Hannibal, Penny Dreadful and, perhaps most importantly of all, Orphan Black. But, perhaps the biggest show of the year will no doubt be Game of Thrones, as it enters its fifth season, where it’s finally started to catch up on the books. It’s already been stated that this season will diverge from the books in different ways, and that makes for a refreshing change for readers who are familiar with the books, as it allows for potentially exciting moments to come that not even veteran fans will see coming.

Welcome back, Game of Thrones!

Welcome back, Game of Thrones!

Opening with a Cersei flashback, The Wars to Come set the ball rolling for what should be another very strong season of Game of Thrones. Whilst the flashback didn’t tell us anything new per se about Cersei that we didn’t already know, it did show us that she was just as cruel when she was a child, and that the witch that told her of her future was actually right (she would become Queen, but her children would not be from the King’s, but coming from Jamie instead, & she would be usurped by a younger woman, who in this case is presumably Margaery Tyrell). It served as an effective way to remind us where Cersei was in terms of power, with it rapidly collapsing underneath her. Her father’s been killed by Tyrion and she believes that her youngest son was killed by Tyrion as well, so it’s safe to say that the screwed up Lannister family drama isn’t coming to an end just yet.

Whilst there was no Arya in this episode, with her introduction presumably saved for next week, there was still a lot of material here as we spent time with pretty much everybody else. Tyrion was brought across the Narrow Sea in a box, which he reacts to in a typically Tyrion-ish way, when he’s freed by Varys. It’s great to have Peter Dinklage back in the fan-favourite role and it was great to see how well he interacted with Varys here, as over the course of the episode Varys believed that whilst Tyrion couldn’t sit on the Iron Throne himself, he could still have a say on who eventually sat on it, which is why he decided that it’s best Tyrion link up with Dany in the near future. It’s incredibly exciting to see the prospect of Dany finally interacting up with a major character from Westeros, and it’ll be very interesting to see how both of their storylines develop this season.

Speaking of Dany though, we got some good scenes with her this week. Yes, she’s still in Meereen, taking over the slave states of Esso, and tearing down statues on top of pyramids. It’s an effective way to throw her back into the show and of course it pits her against a resistance movement from the Sons of Harpy. How this develops over the course of the season (whether Tyrion even gets to link up with Dany or not remains to be seen) will be very interesting to watch and there are again, loads of ways that they can take it. Whilst I have read A Dance with Dragons, it’s been a while and I seem to have forgotten most of the major events, so I’m going into this not as well-versed as I was the previous books. I think a re-read may be in order before the end of the season.

We also picked up where we left off with Jon Snow, at the Wall. He met with Stannis and learnt that he was planning on enlisting the Wildlings to help take Winterfell, and was then told to try to convince Mance Ryder to join up with Stannis. Naturally, Ryder didn’t take this well, but he got spared from being burnt to death by an arrow fired by Jon at the end of the episode. It was a shame that we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Ciaran Hinds’ character with his role limited to only a couple of appearances here and there, but the scenes with Jon were great, and handled incredibly well. So it’s some good stuff all around.

Yes, The Wars to Come may not quite be at the level of previous season openers but it’s still very good in terms of quality television. It’s great to have the best fantasy show (and one of the best TV shows period), back on TV and it’ll be really interesting to see what we have in store for Season 5 going forward. There were some great moments here, with the use of CGI on the Dragons being one of the strongest points of the episode.

Are you happy that Game of Thrones is back? What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below.

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