Kyle J. Steenblik

Game of Thrones: The Wars to Come is a Fantastic Season Opener

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Game of Thrones
Season 5 Episode 1: “The Wars to Come”
Directed by: Michael Slovis
Script by: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Airdate: April 12 2015
Starring:  Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aiden Gillen, Charles Dance, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham, Carice van Houten, John Bradley, Sophie Turner, Conleth Hill, Gwendoline Christie, Daniel Portman, Ciaran Hinds

11133792_10152877361687734_5822725414018231886_nThis premiere episode for season 5 was a terrific start to the season; it kicks off with a fair amount of momentum from the start.  Given the events of the past season, it would have been difficult not to pick up the inertia of those recently past events.  In a way season 5 is starting as if it were a terrific bolder just waiting for a nudge off the cliff.  For those that may have forgotten—season 4 spoiler warning—the major events leading us into this season were; the wildling siege on The Wall, the coronation of Tommen and his engagement to Margaery Tyrell, the murder of Tywin by Tyrion and his subsequent escape with Varys, Brienne’s encounter with The Hound and Arya, and Sansa teaming up with Littlefinger.

This episode covered a lot of ground, touching base with John Snow, and Stannis at The Wall, Littlefinger, Sansa, and Robyn Arryn in The Vale, and Brienne and Podrick just outside The Vale, Tyrion and Varys now in Pentos, and Daenerys and her dragons in Meeereen.  We also have our first flashback to Cersei Lannister as a young girl before catching up with her in Kings Landing with Jaime at their father’s funeral.  In part, this episode felt packed with information, almost to the detriment of some of the characters, such as Brienne and Podrick, and I’ve felt like much of the time spent with Daenerys is fruitless, as they haven’t flexed her character enough.  My feelings about the Daenerys storyline are conflicted, I find the story intriguing and engrossing, but the pacing feels so much slower than the rest of the intertwined stories.

What this episode did very well was to show Tyrion beginning to come to terms with his new role in the world, and Varys along with him.  Both Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill picked up this new tone marvelously; it is almost as if they have been living with these characters for years now.  The full reveal of Varys long running plan to return a Targaryen to the Iron Throne was satisfying; prior to this, the plot had only been alluded to in the shadows.  With Tyrion now involved, I can only anticipate the forward momentum of this plan to increase dramatically.  Sophie Turner took a dramatic turn with Sansa Stark last season, and here we see her carrying the character with a wholly new demeanor.  She has about her the air of someone that will be untold amounts of trouble for her enemies.  I very much love how Sophie Turner is now portraying this character.  Finally Gwendoline Christie, who had a very minor appearance with less than five minutes of screen time she didn’t have much of a chance to show any new aspects of Brienne’s character.  However, those screen minutes were well used, and enjoyable.

Now here is the point where everyone looks closely at the chessboard and tries to predict the next move, or the next five moves.  With this show knowing they are starting to go off book, the predictions become more and more fun, especially for those that have not read the books, like me.  Now I have to decide if I want to publish my Season 5 predictions and risk looking very silly when I am wrong.  That said I will put a few predictions in print.

  • John Snow has won the loyalty of the wildlings, convinces them to align with Stannis, and in doing so wins wide support and is made high commander of the Night’s Watch.
  • Lancel Lannister is going to out Cersei for killing King Robert, possibly also for conceiving children with Jaime. A good portion of this season will be the fall of the Lannisters.
  • Tyrion is going to help Daenerys regain control of her dragons, somehow, and gain a foothold in Westeros.
  • The White Walkers will once again only make two or three appearances.
  • Littlefinger will find a way to dispose of Robyn Arryn, I don’t think Sansa will be involved, but I doubt she will stop it.

They aren’t much in the way of predictions, hard to really tell where we are going after one episode, but those are the projections I’ve made.  Now tell me what you think, and no cheating.

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