Last week I visited the Andalusian region in Spain, where parts of Season 5 of “Game of Thrones” was shot.
It was the perfect build up to last night’s season premiere.
Before I begin my recap and thoughts on last night’s episode I would like to restate for those of you who did not read my blogs on the show for Season 4 that I have not read the books. I ask that you please not spoil me on anything. Thank you in advance.
The episode and season opened with two little girls in the woods. At first I was at a total loss over who these two little girls could be. When they entered the home of a witch I was guessing that the blonde little girl was Myrcella Baratheon (Lannister). Although we hadn’t seen that character in several seasons I thought it made most sense since I know Season 5 will feature Dorne where is has been since she left King’s Landing. As the witch licked the little girl’s blood and said she was allowed to ask three questions I continued to search for the right answer to who this little girl might be. As much as I thought it might be Myrcella that hypothesis just didn’t feel right. Then the actress that was playing the blonde little girl exhibited a smug bitch look and I knew instantly who it was. It wasn’t Myrcella Baratheon, oh no it wasn’t, it was her mother Cersei Lannister Baratheon. The scene was a flashback to spoke to her future becoming the queen and the ultimate demise of her three children.
The show then cut to grown up Cersei. Season 4 was not kind of the Queen Regent. She lost her oldest son, her father and she blames it all on her hated little brother.
As she visits her father’s dead body she finds Jamie waiting. Cersei is convinced that everybody is waiting to see Tywin Lannister’s body so they can be sure he is dead before they begin to try to tear down her family. Jamie isn’t so sure and Cersei scoffs at him. She blames him for letting Tyrion go. She believes that Jamie is as responsible for their father’s death as Tyrion is. I think it will be very interesting to see how both Cersei and Jamie move forward now that they have neither their father nor their brother around anymore.
Speaking of their little brother, when last we saw Tyrion he was being hidden away in a box by Vayrs and taken away from King’s Landing. As Tyrion is let out of the box he looks like utter hell. Tyrion instantly takes to feeling sorry for himself while Vayrs tries to convince him that they have work to do. It seems that after years of holding his cards close to his chest Vayrs is starting to play some of them. I was very intrigued to hear that he knew that Robert Baratheon would be a disaster and that he had plotted a Targaryen restoration. I definitely relate to his statement that Westeros needs to be saved from itself (I’ve certainly felt that way about the United States of America at times). Meanwhile Tyrion throws up and then immediately continues to drink. To say that he’s a hot mess could be a big understatement.
In Meereen, Daenerys continues her conquest as a giant statue is pulled off of a pyramid. While I am 100% on team Dany I do feel she’s has begun to make more and more mistakes and like any ruler she has begun to face more and more resistance with each of her conquests. This resistance was shown when one of her unsullied named White Rat was murdered while visiting a brothel. The fact that an unsullied that has no penis would visit a brothel was surprising, but then again it’s not. Sexual contact is only one form of intimacy and it’s understandable why White Rat and other unsullied would seek out the intimacy of just holding and being held. Anyway, I digress. White Rat was killed by a group called Sons of the Harpy who clearly have it out of Dany. Rather than shrink in fear she chooses to have White Rat buried publically to honor him and show her strength.
Moving to the wall we see Jon teaching the young boy who killed Ygritte to fight. We also check in with Sam and Gilly before things start to move forward. At the end of season 4 the world of the wall and beyond began to get linked with everything else when Stannis arrived. When Melisandre (whose hair has officially stopped even trying to be red) tells Jon that Stannis wants to talk to him I knew Stannis was looking to make a play using the people in Jon’s world.
In their meeting Stannis tries to play on Jon’s emotions (if only pretty but flat Kit Harrington could give the camera emotions) by talking about how Rob was killed by Roose Bolton. It turns out Stannis wants to use the Wildlings to take back the north, which is certainly an interesting idea.
The funniest moments of the episode came when we checked in on Sansa, Littlefinger and Robin. Poor Robin is trying to learn how to sword fight and it is downright hilarious to watch him getting his ass handed to him.
In the first two seasons of this show I hated Sansa. I did not find her likeable and I found her very weak. But I sensed a transformation beginning at the end of season 4 into a stronger and darker Sansa.
As much as I hate a weak female character I love a weak female character that becomes strong even more.
After meeting up with Arya at the end of season 4 only to lose her Brienne is upset. The fact that Arya didn’t want her help has defiantly hurt her sense of pride and purpose and she is very short with Pod as result. In yet another series of close calls Brienne and Pod are talking on a hillside only a few feet away from the road when Sansa and Littlefinger go by in a wagon. It seems that no matter how hard she tries poor Brienne just can’t fulfill her quest.
Back at King’s Landing Cersei is eyes Margery’s interactions with Tommen. The prophecy that was given at the start of the episode spoke of younger queen being a threat to Cersei. She’s clearly worried it is Margery but as much as I like Margery I don’t think she’s the ultimate threat to Cersei. An interesting moment occurred when Cersei spoke with her cousin/former lover Lansil. When they speak of Robert’s death I finally put a few pieces together in regards to Cersei’s role in that. I feel like it was so obvious that Cersei had set the stage for Robert’s death and I can’t understand why I hadn’t caught onto that before but I didn’t. Then again this show has so many pieces it’s hard to keep track of them, especially if you haven’t read the books.
When Margery walks in on Loras with the prostitute, Olyvar, it’s some much needed male nudity to help balance out all the naked women. This scene is also important in terms of Margery trying to think of a way where she won’t be stuck at King’s Landing with Cersei.
Checking back in with Tyrion and Vayrs we see that Tyrion continues to be a basket case. He calls himself a coward and he clearly wants to drink himself to death. Vayrs counters that Tyrion isn’t a coward and that they need to work together to help somebody stronger than Tommen but gentler than Stannis.
In my favorite moment of the episode (that was already featured in a preview) Tyrion says “Good luck finding him” to which Vayrs replies “Who said anything about him?” Tyrion is game to go find Dany as long has the can drink himself to death in Meereen. I’m vry excited that these two are off to help Dany take back the Iron throne for the Targaryen’s.
In Meereen, Dany is asked to reopen the fighting pits to which she says no. After a night of passion Daario (giving us some more male nudity) tries to convince Dany that she should reopen them despite her reservations. I don’t necessarily feel strongly one way or the other about Dany reopening the fighting pits but I do think she is sorely lacking the advice of Sir Jorah. Despite Jorah’s early mistakes he did have her best interests at heart after season one and I think she needs him.
Of course, Dany’s biggest weapon has always been her dragons. But they are also a weakness for her. It’s taking them a long time to grow up but as they grow bigger they have become harder to control. This was witnessed in season 4 when Drogon killed first a sheep and then a little boy. Forced to try to keep her dragons from causing more harm Dany locked up the two good dragons, Viserion and Rhaegal, at the end of season 4. The problem when you punish the good children for the bad child’s actions is that they resent you and that certainly the situation that Dany is faced with now. With Drogon missing in action she goes to check in on her two other babies only to find them breathing fire and very angry with her. As good as Dany is a ruling Meereen it is not her ultimate goal and without her big weapon she can’t possibly make a run a King’s Landing. I have absolutely no idea how she is going to win back the trust of Viserion and Rhaegal enough to train them let alone deal with Drogon when he reappears.
The episode wrapped up at the wall. Jon approached Mance Rader with Stannis plan. Jon is clearly the link between life on both sides of the wall and he tries to convince Mance to fight for Stannis. Predictably, Mance refuses to kneel and live. Mance wishes everybody good fortune in the wars to come before Melisandre starts the fire that will burn him to death.
However, Mance isn’t burned to death. Just as his flesh begins to burn Jon shoots him in the heart with an arrow to kill him faster. I was shocked by this. I also fear that it could cause problems between Stannis and Jon moving forward.
I enjoyed the episode but like most season premiers there was a lot of set up. I know there is a lot more drama and action yet to come, including scenes shot in some of the amazing places I visited last week in Spain.
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