Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 Review: The Wars to Come

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How about that ending, Game of Thrones Fanatics?

I'm sure it came as quite a shock to both book and non-book readers alike. The deviations from George R. R. Martin's text continue and boy was that one a doozy.

It's always fascinating to me how almost a year can go by, yet when that familiar theme plays we're all instantly transported back to Westeros.

There were so many great moments on Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1, but let's start at the top with Cersei's flashback.

Jon Snow and Mance Rayder - Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1

Though I wasn't quite sure who the two little girls in the opening scene were, the blonde's attitude was a dead giveaway. Cersei was ballsy and obnoxious even as a child. The witch was right on the money, meaning Cersei has been well aware of her fate since that meeting.

I still can't believe Tywin Lannister is gone. Not that he didn't have it coming, but because Charles Dance was brilliant on this series and he'll be missed. I'll never get used to the creepy eye stones, either.

Cersei rarely holds back. Her dear brother certainly got a piece of her mind.

Cersei: The man who murdered our father, he tore us apart. He's the enemy. I've been telling you for years, you've been defending him for years.
Jaime: This is exactly what they want.
Cersei: And now our father is dead, and that little monster is out there somewhere drawing breath. Did you set him free? Tyrion may be a monster, but at least he killed our father on purpose. You killed him by mistake, a stupidity.

Can you imagine being locked in a box as long as Tyrion was? I was going mad just looking through that peephole for a few seconds. Varys did apologize, but that journey must have been rough. The "shit" comment was hilarious and his response was pure Varys. I love those two in scenes together. We could have done without the puking though... ewww!

In Meereen, the statue came crumbling down but an Unsullied was murdered very unexpectedly. Daenerys has struggles ahead as a ruler, and this week she proved her choices might not always be the wise ones. Daario advised her to stay strong and reopen the pits; was that a mistake? Plus, she's lost control of her dragons, as well.

At Castle Black, John met with Stannis, who made sure to bring up the fact Robb Stark's killer now rules Winterfell. I've never liked Stannis, and he continues to irritate me. The second I heard Stannis mention Mance swearing his loyalty, I knew the King-Beyond-the-Wall was history. Yes, in the books the events went down differently, but changes are inevitable.

John: Your grace, you want the wildlings to march in your army?
Stannis: They swear to follow me, I'll pardon them. We take Winterfell, once the North is won I'll declare them citizens of the realm. I'll give them land to live on.
Davos: It's a fair offer. More than fair.
Stannis: I'll offer them their lives and their freedom if Mance kneels before me and swears his loyalty.
John: I don't think that's likely.

Littlefinger and Sansa are bound to bump into Brienne on the road. I'm curious to see how each person reacts when they finally meet. Will Sansa leave with Brienne or will Littlefinger continue to manipulate and mislead her? He's brilliant at it, isn't he?

Cousin Lancel reappeared; he's been gone for ages. Lancel is part of the Sparrows now, religious fanatics we'll learn more about in time. Yes, that was the same actor from the earlier seasons, Eugene Simon. He looks very different now.

I remember reading complaints that Loras didn't getting enough love in Game of Thrones Season 4. Well, Oliver was back and there were plenty of male butt cheeks to go around. I was surprised Margaery barged in and had the nerve to tell her brother to be more discreet. Loras was right; everyone knows everything about each other. Why bother trying to keep secrets?

Tyrion and Varys' heart-to-heart was interesting, right down to the name calling. It turns out Varys' plan is to get Tyrion to support Daenerys play for the Iron Throne. I can't wait for those two characters to meet. Daenerys' storyline has been disconnected from the others for far too long.

Back at Castle Black, John was unsuccessful convincing Mance to bend the knee.

Mance: When we first met you were my prisoner and now for our last meeting...
John: This doesn't have to be our last meeting.
Mance: No, but it will be.
John: You know what Stannis wants?
Mance: He wants me to bend the knee and he wants the free folk to fight for him. I'll give him this much, he's bold.
John: Shouldn't a king be bold?
Mance: Oh I respect him. If he gets what he wants I expect he'll be a better ruler than the fools sitting on the Iron Throne the last two hundred years... but I'll never serve him.

Mance Rayder's execution was really tough to watch. I liked the character almost instantly when he was first introduced. Besides, Ciarán Hinds is a phenomenal actor. The scene made me hate Stannis more than ever, and I can't wait until he's taken out of play. Melisandre is a great character, but I've never been a fan of hers, either. Her little speeches are like nails on a chalkboard to me.

John put the King-Beyond-the-Wall out of his misery, and I'm sure Stannis is not going to be too pleased about that. I'm glad his suffering wasn't prolonged, though. Death by fire is no joke and Mance didn't seem happy that's the way he was going out.

Overall, the premiere was a very strong start to the season. It set the stage for what we can expect moving forward. Personally, I can't wait until Tyrion and Daenerys meet. It's wonderful that our show is back and I'm excited to see what's coming up.

What did you think of "The Wars to Come"? Will you miss Tywin? Did you expect another major death so soon? Is Daenerys seriously losing control? You're up guys, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Want to check out the premiere again? You can watch Game of Thrones online via TV Fanatic at any time.

NOTE: Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 2 is titled “The House of Black and White” and airs on Sunday, April 19.

The Wars to Come Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (39 Votes)
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Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Cersei: The man who murdered our father, he tore us apart. He's the enemy. I've been telling you for years, you've been defending him for years.
Jaime: This is exactly what they want.
Cersei: And now our father is dead, and that little monster is out there somewhere drawing breath. Did you set him free? Tyrion may be a monster, but at least he killed our father on purpose. You killed him by mistake, a stupidity.

John: Your grace, you want the wildlings to march in your army?
Stannis: They swear to follow me, I'll pardon them. We take Winterfell, once the North is won I'll declare them citizens of the realm. I'll give them land to live on.
Davos: It's a fair offer. More than fair.
Stannis: I'll offer them their lives and their freedom if Mance kneels before me and swears his loyalty.
John: I don't think that's likely.