‘Game of Thrones’ season 5, episode 1 review: Death by fire; Cersei’s past; Dany’s dragons

Cercei -We have always felt that seasons of “Game of Thrones” start in many ways slow, and it turns out once again that Sunday night’s season 5 premiere was no exception. We cannot really say that “The Wars to Come” was particularly eventful for the most part, save for a few key events that could in time shape the future of the key battles.

Beyond the Wall – We speak here mostly of the decision by Stannis Baratheon to kill off Mance Rayder, the ruler and uniter of the Wildlings who refused to submit his people to a singular cause. He would not bow, and therefore Melisandre set him on fire. A wonderfully disturbing scene to close the story off, and what was interesting about Mance is that while we did not see that much of Ciaran Hinds in the role over the past several seasons, we still felt his sense of power and gravitas.

Also, it was a calculated move by Jon Snow to be the one to fire that bow into his heart. He proved that he was in fact capable of mercy, and that was not an emotion echoed by Stannis or those who served under him.

Meereen – After some strategy sessions, the Mother of Dragons realized yet again that she is not the best ruler of all time. She reigns with an iron fist, and has no interest in democracy. Therefore, why not bring the dragons back out to play? Drogon is somewhere out there, but the other two are still locked up as they have turned on her… and why wouldn’t they after being locked away in the catacombs for who knows how long now.

Little does she realize that Tyrion may be ultimately heading right in her direction. He is a powerful asset who she may be able to use in some surprising ways.

Somewhere with Sansa and Baelish – They are preparing to head so far from King’s Landing that Cercei will not be able to get to her, and then other than watching poor Robin fail at fighting, that is mostly what you need to know.

King’s Landing – Cersei and Jaime are in mourning, while she in particular is pondering an uncertain future based on a prophecy made from her past. Margaery seems to be in perfect position to completely take over if she so chooses. She is already starting to make her moves. We’d say to make note of the sparrow following, and also just marvel at how good Lena Headey is in the role.

Ultimately, a fantastic hour of politics and acting, even if this was not a particularly eventful start to the season. We are much intrigued to see where the rest of the season goes, even if we don’t have a definitive villain anymore to watch out for. Grade: A-.

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