The HBO juggernaut series is back for its fifth year and that means its time for bi weekly reviews of the big hit with a new change in format, no recaps. Why? I’m busy and have a lot of things to do and since reviewing the episode by each plot going on seems way easier and frees up a lot of time. So let’s get started with the first two installments.
Game of Thrones: Season 5: Episode 1: The Wars to Come: GRADE: B
We open of course with a flashback to everyone’s favorite…alright its Cersei, she’s no one’s favorite. Compelling character, but no way someone’s absolute favorite. We see her as a young child ask a witch named Maggy (Jodhi May) about her future and its pretty much what Cersei wants to hear, but of course it comes true, but not how she imagined as we’ve seen. It was a nice little opening to get us focused on Cersei, and to confirm she’s a permabitch. That’s where that section peaks.
Its mostly set at the wake of Tywin. We see the return of Lancel who is now a member of the Sparrows who asks Cersei, yeah I regret fucking you. Oh also giving Robert Baratheon wine before the hunt which lead to his death. She denies it and leaves. There wasn’t too much really there. Nice to see where that’s is at least.
Tyrion and Varys finally reach heir destination of Pentos where the best Tryion moment aside from trail by combat happens as he just drinks and drinks then pukes then goes right back to drinking. Yeah I laughed so hard at how insane and cool that was. Just as cool as the setup for what Tyrion will be up to this season as Varys that he and Illyrio Mopatis are secretly working together to install Daenerys Targaryen as the new ruler of Westeros, and that Tyrion should join in on this as a way to get back home. I’m certainly intrigued by this its a fascinating story idea to see arguably the two most brilliant minds of the show bring their powers together and also their the two best characters of the show. The possibilities of this can lead the show to some really great moments.
Speaking of Daenerys, we meet up with her at Slaver’s Bay for a most interesting piece of story as an Unsullied is murdered in a brothel by a member of the Sons of the Harpy resistance group. Grey Worm is of course put in charge of finding those responsible. That’s a story I’m very interested in. Daenerys this season will be one of the characters to watch this season as with the situation she’s in at the beginning of the episode, it’s going to set the stage for her story of the season where she’ll discover what type of ruler she wants to be and ultimately is. Emilia Clarke still plays such a bold, confident character that has a huge vulnerability to her about who she often is. A big source of that of course being her dragons, who in a great scene drive Daenerys out of their new underground setting and the look Clarke conveys as she’s slowly pushed out is slightly heartbreaking to watch.
Elsewhere in the storyline, Hizdahr zo Loraq returns from a successful mission in getting the Wise Masters to turn over power to a council of former slaves and slave owners, if Daenerys reopens the fighting pits. She denies this of course but hears a good argument from Daario Naharis as the fighting pits helped to build up who he is. Its a nice scene that fits well into here as I’m already foaming at the mouth for more of Daenerys.
Ah Lord Baelish and Sansa, MVPs of season 4 return in furthering their existence to the Lannister’s remains hidden as Lord Yohn Royce attempts to take Lord Robin Arryn as his ward. These scenes are of course excellent because of the chemistry and how well Baelish and Sansa work well together in their scenes. Also helps their story is steeped in intrigue and having gotten Jeoffrey killed so they can do anything and I’m cool with them. Elsewhere Brienne and Podrick seemingly comes across Baelish and Sansa’s caravan so on to the next episode. Pretty nice stuff here.
On the to highlight of the episode which happened at the Wall with the Night’s Watch. Word is going around as to who the next Lord Commander will be as Stannis Baratheon asks Jon Snow to persuade Mance Rayder to kneels before Stannis and swear the wildings to him. Mance of course would rather burn at the stake than do so and well that’s what happens. This storyline continued great progression that Jon Snow has had since last season into one of the best characters on the show and someone truly worth watching. Kit Harrington really has come into his own and has a confidence about him now that I believe stems from last season’s battle with the wildlings.
What I also loved is how Stannis is being brought in well here but also, they gave something great for Ciarán Hinds to do again. I love the actor and his character but much hasn’t been done with him, but the scenes in which he talks to Jon in his cell and when he’s burnt are great stuff that remind me why I was so excited to see him on this show in the first place. Where the hell has that been?! Really good stuff that helps bring Game of Thrones back into the TV fold after a year off.
Game of Thrones: Season 5: Episode 2: The House of Black and White: GRADE: A-
We begin again in King’s Landing this week where Cersei and Jaime receive a viper from Dorne with their daughter’s necklace in its fangs. Worried, they plan on having Jaime go to Dorne and try to bring Myrcella home and enlists the help of Bronn and yay Bronn is back. Jerome Flynn is such a great force on this show that Bronn has risen to one of the best people on here. His lovely day with his fiancée but is offered a better deal than he had before with Cersei with a woman of a high standing and a bigger castle if he saves Myrcella since Jaime isn’t gonna be so welcomed in Dorne. So long, Lollys, we truly barely knew you.
Cersei does fill in the new positions in King’s Landing by appointing Mace Tyrell Master of Coin and Qyburn as Master of Whisperers. Kevan however turns down the position of Master of War, say Cersei holds no power and will return to Casterly Rock. That moment was nicely done, especially the line about not wanting to serve on a council of sycophants. Nicely delievered and reacted to. I just absolutely loved how this went and the setup for what’s to come out of this. Hell I can tie into the Dorne stuff right now which boils down to Ellaria Sand asking Oberyn’s brother, Doran, to take revenge, but can’t since he was killed within trail by combat, thus can’t do anything about it as it was legal. Instead she goes all Cersei and says will kill Myrcella. That moment bugged me as to how she just turned like that, not being the same, loving, compassionate and interesting character she was last year. We have one Cersei, we don’t need two!
Meanwhile gossip still roams throughout the camp as to who will become the new Lord Commander. Word is Ser Alliser will be chosen, but Jon considers it, only to be offered by Stannis Winterfell and making him Jon Stark, which he of course refuses due to his vow to the Night’s Watch, thus continuing the strong characterization of Jon Snow. Jon was a character I never quite thought of as important, but now I’m loving his time on screen. Its something I can’t wait to see when they go to The Wall.
The moment that Maester Aemon casted the winning vote for Jon Snow over Ser Alliser was a wonderful little moment for the episode that I found exciting. All hail Lord Commander Jon Snow!
Brienne kicks ass! Why state an obvious statement? Because its good to have a reminder! Brienne and Podrick spot Sansa and Baelish at a pub and Brienne goes to pledge her life to to Sansa but Baelish being him mentions how Brienne has failed to save Renly and Sansa’s own mother. He can trust her with Sansa’s life and he actually seems to have a good point as Brienne is clearly looking for her own redemption and prove her worth and keep her word to Catelyn to protect Sansa. They are of course chased and then Brienne kicks so major fucking ass. The action scenes here are nicely done and man I do highly enjoy when Brienne gets her hands dirty and makes me excited for Gwendoline Christie’s appearance in Star Wars this Christmas. Also her character is very wonderful to follow. She saves her own hide and Podrick’s and vows to save Sansa from Baelish.
Arya is back! Everyone’s favorite Stark daughter makes her season five debut looking for the House of Black and White, hey our episode title, but gets turned away despite showing the iron coin Jaqen H’ghar gave to her. Pissed off after sleeping on the steps all night she says fuck this coin and goes and to town and meets some not so friendly thieves who chase her back and are scared off by the doorman, who then reveals himself to be Jaqen H’ghar who brings Arya in before he tells her to not become anyone before entering the House. Clever. Seeing Arya again certainly gave this episode a boost to me as she’s become the heart of the show in a way thanks to Maisie Williams herself and how she plays her. Her relationship with Jaquen previously also made for some good character interactions and storytelling. I really do love these too together. Wherever Arya goes this season, we’re all gonna be hooked on to it.
Across the Narrow Sea
We again end with the best story of the night which continues the fascinating story arc for Daenerys into what type of leader she shall become this season. She’s still trying to deal with the Sons of the Harpy killing members of the Unsullied and they have captured a suspect, but one Unsullied, Mossador implores Daenerys to execute him, but says he will get a fair trail. Well Mossador just straight up kills him which leads to his public execution. Seeing the way Daenerys went about the situation adds further great development for her and Emilia Clarke plays it very well to show the struggle that Daenerys has. The result of former slave owner and slaves fighting after the execution is great fallout, but the best scene is in the end when Drogon returns. Daenerys is happy and goes to touch him but flies away. I’m heartbroken over a dragon. This is what Game of Thrones has done to me! Well I always loved dragons, but this is just awesome, I do love the dragons. They are excellently designed on here.