Review: Game of Thrones (Season 5, Episode 1)

This season of Game of Thrones opens in typical Vince Gilligan fashion with a foreshadowing flashback to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) frolicking through a dank forest before stumbling upon a cabin. Inside the cabin is a sorceress who utters a backhanded omen about Cersei’s short reign as queen of Westeros. Game of Thrones marchesĀ on unencumbered but this fatalistic beginning shows that it will continue to leave bodies in its wake.

The porthole vantage point for Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is a stupendous reintroduction to the diminutive rascal. Disheveled and haggard, we’ve seen Dinklage at his low point but, with his exile from his toxic kingdom, there is also renewed hope for Tyrion to be an expatriate for a new home despite his claim that “the future is shit just like the past”. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it wouldn’t be ‘Game of Thrones’ without some gratuitous concubine nudity after toppling a pyramid shrine.

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is still delusional that her occupancy is not conquest but detractors see it very differently. Her idealism is admirable but misguided. Kit Harrington is still a marvel to me. Jon Snow is the central figure of nobility for me and he remains my favorite character.

The best seedling in Season 5 is the leering relationship between Little Finger (Aidan Gillen) and Sansa (Sophie Turner). The opener is effortlessly nimble at shifting geographically to each major characters’ storyline. Director Michael Slovis lacerates directly to the core of the series’s mystique when Margaery Tyrell’s (Natalie Dormer) homosexual brother bluntly exclaims “what’s the point of keeping a secret in a place like this”.

Finally the brewing collision course with the Lannisters and the Targaryens are about to clash. The proposal to assist the political situation in Meereen is an irresistible tease for what lies ahead. Despite the innumerable plot threads, Season 5 is not an indecipherable potpourri. Rest assured Iron Throne devotees, this year is off to an extraordinary start.

4.5 out of 5

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