Game of Thrones Season Five

Season Five just finished. Overall, it was good. It didn’t quite reach the heights of Season Four, but that was to be expected. Overall, it wandered a lot and didn’t really get very far. I’m told that this is also true of the books (although we are now well past the books). Hopefully, Season 6 will start pushing us toward a conclusion.

It just ended as I write this so if you haven’t watched it yet, spoilers ahoy!:

A few random thoughts.

The Dorne part was easily the weakest part of the season. I guess the finale helps it set up the War of Two Kings going back to the being the War of Three Kings. The thing is, the “shocking death” in episode 10 didn’t shock me at all. The minute Ellaria kissed her, I knew what was going to happen. And every second of the talk between Jaime and Myrcella persuaded me more.

The Stannis thread has finally come to a close in the worst way possible. After last week’s awfulness, I was almost glad to see the conclusion of his campaign in the North. And it was nice to see something finally go right for Brienne (sort of).

I’ve said, from the time she walked on screen, that Melisandre was the scariest character in the show. Joffrey was a vicious brat. Ramsey is a vile idiot. Roose Bolton is a traitor and a monster. But Melisandre is a fanatic and always has been. She will do anything and she will persuade others to do anything. The horror she persuades Stannis to commit in Episode 9 wasn’t that much of a surprise.

So — major spoiler here — the big question is this: is Jon Snow dead? Will he stay dead? There are hints that he won’t and the return of Melisandre to the Wall indicates she may try to revive or heal him. But even if that happens, what then? He can’t take command of the Watch again. My speculation — and this is just speculation — is that she saves Jon and the Watch is effectively destroyed. He hides out among the wildlings and the Wall is left undefended.

It tells you something about the series that one of the best parts of the season was two characters talking. The meeting between Tyrion and Daenerys was worth the wait. Tyrion and Varys are going to have their hands full dealing with Slavers Bay. But I think they can hold the fort long enough for Dany to return, probably with another army in tow, her dragons with her and ready to return to Westeros.

I knew Cersei would be a terrible Queen but I didn’t know how bad. I almost felt bad for her during her walk of shame (almost). I suspect next season will see a bloody purge of the citadel followed by renewed war on three fronts — Dorne, the Iron Islands and the North.

I’ve said this on Twitter and I’m starting to mean it: there’s a part of me that’s actually starting to pull for the White Walkers. One of the best characters may be dead. Others are bogged down in Essos. One of my favorites did something horribly vile and is now dead. If this keeps up, there’s going to be no one left to cheer for.

I know Arya is everyone’s favorite character, but her plot didn’t really do much for me.

GRRM has been moving his chess pieces around for two books and an entire season. But I think I can see the shape of what’s to come. Feel free to tell me I’m full of it.

I think we are basically seeing the total collapse of Westeros. The entire plot has moved to prevent anyone from gaining an upper hand or uniting the realm. And now that the Watch have betrayed their Commander, I don’t think they are long for this world. I think we are going to see the White Walkers get through the wall and start sweeping down, driving wildlings, Boltons and Greyjoys before them. I think Dany’s vision of a ruined keep in Season Two is going to happen for real.

What happens after that? Maybe Jon, Dany, Tyrion and the others will drive the Walkers back. But I don’t think we’re headed toward a complete victory. I think we’re headed toward something different. Where, exactly, I don’t know. But it’s nice not to know.

Comments are closed.

  1. repmom

    I’ve read all the books except the last one, never got around to it and at this point won’t bother, I don’t think. Have not watched last night’s episode yet, will tonight, so not reading past your spoiler alert just yet.

    Last week’s episode was the most upsetting, disturbing of all, and until that point I didn’t think anything could be worse than the red wedding. I cried hard afterward. Horrible, horrible.


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  2. CM

    I had pretty similar thoughts to you Hal. We didn’t actually see Stannis dead….although we did see the sword swinging, so I ASSUME he’s definitely dead. What a knob Stannis turned out to be, after a season of trying to show us that he wasn’t.

    I think this is the point where IS set up shop and mop up the hordes of disaffected. Much like the White Walkers do, but with appeals to ideology rather than magic.

    I hope Bran has had fun talking to a tree for a year.

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  3. repmom

    Well, I had no doubt Jon Snow would die, but really? Pathetic. I don’t think I even care anymore.

    Cersei. No pity for her at all. Just got tired of seeing her naked body.

    Hope Stannis is dead. Glad his wife is.

    I’m disillusioned with all of it.

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  4. CM

    Yeah he’s really challenging us to bother coming back for more. But we will. We’re all battered wives now…..

    I immediately googled to see whether that really was Lena Headey doing that naked walk, because having seen her naked in ‘300’ those sure didn’t look like her (for example her breasts aren’t that large), but it certainly looked real…..but sure enough, it was a body double and top-notch CGI. Great scene though, really well done. The length was necessary to underscore how horrible it was.

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  5. repmom

    You’re right, CM, we will be back, including me. As many times while reading as I wanted to toss the books across the room and be done with him, I kept reading.

    I wondered if that was really the actress or a double. Glad you researched it. I did understood the need for the long walk, for the complete, total humiliation. It definitely got the point across.

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    Yeah, I’m sorta having that same feeling I had with Battlestar Galactica, where it was good but just so depressing to watch. I enjoyed last season because some stuff went right — justice delivered to Joffrey and Tywin, Arya escaping to Braavos.  But at some point, the suffering has to turn around or the series will just be one big downer.  I sometimes get the feeling that the long delay in the books is because GRRM can’t bring himself to write about things going right.

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  7. Poosh

    BOO! Herro. Stannis is not dead lol, well more in limbo. At most he is obviously alive seeing as they did a classic soap opera cut away. At the very least they filmed it in such a manner because Martin hasn’t fully figured out what’s going to happen to Stannis. Once he does the show writers will decide what to do. Sad to see Stannis’ character messed around by the writers – there’s no way he would have not bothered to send scouts before a siege… which he’s apparently still doing despite all his siege weapons burnt. If he’s dead that’s sad – he killed his own daughter in order to save the realm from the White Walkers – which is more than any other character has done so far.  He was the only one who actually listened to the Night’s Watch – his story can’t end in such a cheap manner. Jon Snow is blatantly not dead…. Will Shireen’s sacrifice raise Jon from the dead? … or will it actually raise Stannis’ army from the dead as with Robin Hood in Season 2… 

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