Game Of Thrones S05E01 – The Wars To Come
It all flies by in an instant, ten episodes of Game Of Thrones that is. More so than any other show GOT leaves you absolutely chomping at the bit for more. This week it returns with its fifth season, after a finale last year that left audiences a little divided for a change. How did the return go?
Season 4 found us ending on quite a downer, even for a show like this. Tyrion ran off across the narrow sea, fleeing his execution. Not before killing Tywin of course though. Arya was left alone once more. The Night’s Watch had just about held off the Wildlings in a battle with many lost. It was miserable. All of this means that the Season 5 opener had to spend longer than normal dwelling on loose ends and aftermath. GOT is a series that spends an awful lot of time doing that as it is so no real negative change there, but I will attest that the premiere of Season 5 suffers a little from having to bring everybody up to speed.
Tyrion has been smuggled across the narrow sea by Varys and gets up to very little in the first hour except agreeing to travel to Daenerys and providing some exposition otherwise (though the site of him throwing up the wine he had just gorged only to replace it with more was the first thing remotely resembling levity we have had in some time in Westeros, thanks Tyrion). Cersei and Jamie are preparing themselves for the various power grabs they can now expect with Tywin out of the picture, Arya continues moving while doing nothing and Brienne is still figuring out how to stay loyal to Catelyn Stark. None of it is bad, the show is still of the highest calibre on television but it cannot be denied that this season opener fell a little flat in terms of the wow factor we have come to expect when returning to our favourite fictitious lands.
Still, this is only one of nine and that closing moment of Jon Snow taking charge of the barbaric execution bestowed on Mance Raider sets us up for plenty of conflict moving ahead in the series. Backtracking a little to an earlier point, Tyrion heading for Daenerys is an exciting move for the show when until this point we have followed pods of 1 – 3 characters who rarely if ever intersect each others paths. The notion of Tyrion taking up any sort of permanent residence at her side is potential for a great dynamic shift that will bring a good freshness in this fifth season.
Game Of Thrones airs Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic