Before we start… some back story
As part of my current blog expansion, I’m also adding TV show reviews. I watch a few TV shows that I love and follow, religiously. I am addicted to GoT [Game of Thrones]. In fact, I’ve even gotten my husband addicted along with me. It’s good to share an addiction that doesn’t corrupt one’s body or soul. I cannot vouch for my mind though. 🙂 We are not just addicted to GoT but rather to ASOIAF [A Song of Ice and Fire]. We have discussions about the story and read additional material we find.
I started to read the books before I found out there was a show. Of course, I was already in my adult years. The book, A Game of Thrones, was released in 1996 when I was but a girl of ten.
While reading the first book, I needed someone to discuss things with, and eventually discovered there was a series. I convinced my husband that we had to watch season one, which we bought on DVD. Season Two would air in a few months. My husband and I watched the first season, and then he became hooked as well. I loaned our DVD to a friend who has yet to return it. Alas, you are not a Lannister, after all. 🙂
Afterwards, he got the audiobooks for the next 4 books. We’ve gotten as far as A Dance With Dragons, but we never finished. We stopped listening 2.5 years ago during our first anniversary trip to Cancun, where we gorged ourselves on chapters. I started to read again last year, but I just couldn’t get through it. This year, we are listening again. I want to finish, but at the same time, I don’t want to be officially at the end. The show is catching up though, and I don’t want to spoil the book, which I love much more than the TV series, so we’re listening with intent to finish this time.
Over the years of watching this show, I’ve come to realise that I can no longer view the show as a part of the same world as the books. This show has made me happy and sad, but more often than not, angry. I find that many others who have read the novels often share my sentiments of anger and frustration with the show. I think I am beginning to be more open-minded toward the show. In my opinion, the creators fail to realise, a lot of the changes being made make the story more confusing and harms the story more than it helps. I suppose, some of the changes are made for the added drama effects, to keep certain actresses or actors from becoming unavailable if they are not needed for a season, or simply to have reader-only fans on the edge of their seats as much as viewer-only fans.
Before I get too much ahead of myself, let me get into the first episode of season 5. At this point I want to urge those who have not seen the episode, and those who have no read the books, to go no farther. If you are like most ASOIAF fans, you will probably ignore this warning but remember, you were warned. Spoilers for the book version have been hidden and may be avoided.
Summary and Comparison
Season 4 left us off with Tywin Lannister being dead at the hands of Tyrion, Bran arriving at the Three-eyed crow, Arya getting away on the ship to Braavos and the death of Sandor Clegane, the capture of the “King Beyond the Wall”, Mance Rayder; and Daenerys locking up her dragons after a child is burnt and killed by one of them. It is important to note that seasons 1 and 2 were directly related to A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, respectively. Seasons 3 and 4 were half each of A Storm of Swords and season 5 is the joint story from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons which are vertical halves of one story.
The season opens up with a flash back of a young Cersei Lannister visiting a woman [Maggy the frog] who gives her a confusing prophecy. She asks if she will marry the Prince and is told she will marry the King. She then asks if she and the king will have children and she is told no, the King will have many children and you will have three. All her children will have blonde hair and get stylish golden funeral shrouds. She is also told that she will be queen until and younger more beautiful queen comes along. The thing is, this prophecy seems to be coming true if it weren’t for season one where Cersei tells Catelyn of her only child that looked like Robert [the only one that was theirs], and of how he died as an infant. [Remember that?].
View Spoiler »Cersei’s visit, with Maggy the frog, more or less goes the same as the show except that Maggy is definitely more hideous in the book and she also mentions that Cersei’s life will be ended by “the valonqar” which is high valyrian for “little brother”. In the books Cersei mentions that she was only pregnant for Robert once and that she drank potions to get rid of the baby. « Hide Spoiler
The unsullied soldier, White Rat, is killed by a prostitute while laying in bed with her. Missandei later questions Grey Worm on why an unsullied would have need to visit a prostitute [unsullied soldiers are eunichs]. Daenerys is now in Meeren and holds counsel everyday. Her new subjects are asking to re-open the fighting pits but she does not want. Later, she is in bed with Daario Naharis who tells her that she should re-open the pits. He tells her that, it is his life in the pits that lead him to the life he now has, which lead him to her. She later visits her dragons and realises that they are wild and that even she is afraid of them.
View Spoiler » The unsullied who died did not die inside the Brothel but rather in the vicinty and his name was not White Rat but Wayward Sword. He was attacked by as many as 6 men. It is after this that Daenerys learns of the child being killed by her Dragons. Daario Naharis is not in Meeren was sent to Lhazareen as an ambassador in hopes of reopening the land trade between them and Meereen. It is also Danny who asks Grey Worm why an unsullied would visit a brothel and he replies that even though they do not have their male parts some still long for a woman’s company. Missandei is only a child and there is no weird romance building between her and Grey Worm. « Hide Spoiler
Tyrion is now in Pentos with the Master of Whispers, Varys, who aided his escape from King’s Landing with the help of Jamie in the end of season 4. They are at the house of Illyrio Mopathis [we never see him in the episode] where Tyrion constantly drinks and vomits, while Varys attempts to convince him that they should leave Pentos to reach Daenerys and try to save the seven kingdoms. Tyrion is not convinced that there is anything more for him to do.
View Spoiler » Varys has disappeared. No one seems to know where the Master of Whispers is. Tyrion is instead with Illyrio Mopathis who offers him food and clothes and informs him that he is to stay away from the walls of his estate to avoid anyone, other than those inside, to know of his existence. He tells Tyrion that he will leave eventually to go and join Daenerys and aid her in her cause. « Hide Spoiler
At the wall, Jon tries to convince Mance Rayder to “bend the knee” to Stannis Baratheon for Mercy but he refuses. Afterwards, he is set on fire in the courtyard of the Night’s Watch, after Melisandre gives a speech about false gods and false kings. Jon cannot take the scene, where Mance finally starts to lose him composure as the flames start licking at his skin, and ends Mance with an arrow to the heart.
View Spoiler »Mance has refused to bend the knee but is only kept prison at this time. He is, eventually, put to the fire just beyond the wall. Mance goes cowardly to the pit and denies his kingship and his people. He begs for mercy but none is granted [or offered]. Melisandre gives a similiar speech, then the Horn of Joramun is burned. After that, it’s Mance Rayder turn. After he burns for a while, men of the Night’s Watch shoot 6 arrows at him, ending his life. « Hide Spoiler
Overall, I thought this episode was rather boring. Weird things were added such as a naked Loras Tyrell. We do get a glance at Ser Kevan Lannister. Sansa and Littlefinger leave the Eyrie and pass only a short distance away from Brienne and Podrick. Nothing really happens of any of them. We don’t see Arya nor Bran. I had higher expectations for the start of the season but I suppose the cards are just being set for this session of games.