This is my first post in my new Film/TV section. It’s a little experimental and different tonally, but hopefully something you readers will enjoy. Do let me know, we'll see how it goes.
Game of Thrones Recap and Review
‘The Wars To Come’.
Series 5, Episode 1
*Spoilers ahead*, only read on if you’ve seen the episode.
Meanwhile, TYWIN’S EYES.
Dead Tywin’s eye-stones are way creepier than Joffrey’s were for some reason. Cersei and Jaime hang out by a dead body, again. But not in that way. This time they just chat. Cersei, kind of understandably, blames Jaime for their father’s death. And he looks a little self-loathing too. Both Lena and Nikolaj are brilliant in this scene, capturing the tension and conflicting feelings perfectly.
Everything is typically rich and visually stunning, even through a small spyhole in a crate as Tyrion is unloaded like cargo on new shores and as an idol is toppled from atop a Pyramid in Meereen. The camera work and visuals are perfect in this episode. Still, it takes little over 12 minutes for the first appearance of boobs as one of Dany’s unsullied visits a brothel, where he just wants to be held and sung to. Even though the woman knows this is his regular order, she strips completely and redresses because the show-runners often like to cut interesting plots and characters in order to have more nudity.
Up North, Stannis fails to understand anything about Wildlings and thinks he can make them ‘bend the knee’ and fight for him if he gives them a hunk of grass and Brienne fails to understand just how awesome Podrick Payne is. Darth Sansa/Alayne and Littlefinger’s carriage literally drives right past them as they bicker. Argh. So close guys. Still, Sansa’s her own boss these days which is nice.
wonderfully awkward scene Margaery walks in on her brother and his lover. Because she’s hungry. And doesn’t leave. She literally just takes a seat. Girl wants dinner.
Back across the seas, Tyrion switches into Lannister mode and cracks open the wine. Varys give him two options, stay and drink himself to death in paradise, or go save the world and befriend a Khaleesi. Tyrion responds with the quote of the episode: ‘Can I drink myself to death on the road to Meereen?’.
He’s still got it.
Dany also has decisions to make as she is faced with a plea from Hizdahr to reopen the fighting pits, so the civilians who have just endured a brutal oppressive regime can fight each other to the death for sport and entertainment. Seriously guys? She’s a little reluctant but risks alienating herself from the ‘culture’ of her new people. She refuses but it is still food for thought as she goes to visit her dragons. She calls their names as if she’s calling a small domesticated pet, and is kind of surprised when they get a bit mad. Mother of… teenagers? (That one was a little cliché, I apologise. Teenagers get so much stick).
As she faces fire, Jon faces ice. He has the unenviable task of convincing Mance Raider to swear fealty to Stannis, or be publically burnt alive. Mance solidly responds that the freedom to make his own mistakes was all he ever wanted. Out of respect, Jon takes matters into his own hands and makes sure that Mance doesn’t suffer. Much.
This was a very good and balanced first episode. It sets up the key themes for most of the season, though Dorne doesn’t appear yet (or the Iron Islands, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be covered at all this series…), and it draws well on some key book material. It’s very well filmed and produced and gives a good range of characters and diverse storylines to reconnect with, obviously cementing that before introducing the new characters and settings.