Warning: There will be spoilers abound, for both this episode and any episode preceding it. In fact, there will be spoiler immediately after this warning.
However, nothing that hasn’t yet happen in the books will be spoiled, so that’s nice.
The end of season four left with a lot of questions. Where is Tyrion going to go? How will Jaime and Cercei react to their father’s death? Where oh where is Ser Pounce?
The Wars to Come answers roughly two thirds of these questions. The episode starts off with a flashback of Cersei Lannister, played by a girl who looks more like Lena Headey than Lena Headey did at that age. She and an unnamed friend visit a surprisingly attractive witch in a hut, who as it turns out can tell the future, and it is not pretty. A younger, more beautiful woman will take her place as queen, and all three of her children will die terribly. I think. I couldn’t make that last part out.
I like to think that Cersei went her whole life afterwards trying to convince herself that the prophecy was false. But after the events of last season, with Joffrey dead and Margaery continuing to gain power and influence, she’s now stubbornly trying to stop it from coming true. Is it a spoiler to say that there’ll be a bigger focus on Cersei’s storyline this season? Because it totally shouldn’t it be.
Meanwhile, Tyrion is stuck in what is probably the worst period of his entire life, and yet he manages to keep a somewhat good humor about it. Sort of. That whole scene with Tyrion drinking the wine, vomiting, and then pouring himself another glass is exactly the sort of black comedy you’d find on Breaking Bad. Suspiciously so, in fact.
*puts on detective hat*
Aha! The director of this episode also directed thirty episodes of Breaking Bad. Mystery solved.
*takes off detective hat*
Tyrion and Varys talk for a while, and I just need to say, every scene where these two are together is pure gold. I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be an entire season of them talking to each other on a tiny sailboat as they journey to Meereen, just the two of them.
Meanwhile, Jon is given the task to convince Mance Rayder to bend the knee to Stannis, in a scene I loved because it might just be the most meaningful scene Mance Rayder’s had in the entire show. Which isn’t saying much, because I feel like he’s barely been shown since his introduction.
Also, Melisandre not-so-subtly hints that she’d like to have wild, crazy fire sex with Jon on the elevator ride up to the wall. When this happened in the books I found myself thinking, “No Jon, don’t do it! She’s evil!” But here I just shrugged and thought, “Eh, go ahead. I wouldn’t blame you.” Melisandre is one hottie with a body, if I dare say so.
Then there’s the Daenerys storyline, which might actually be my favorite one of the episode. Which is weird because as I recall from the books, her storyline in ADWD feature about seven chapters of mostly dullness followed by three chapters of epic shit happening. It appears that the show is heading towards those last three chapters (and beyond! *ominous music*) as soon as possible.
It helps we got to see Daenerys’ actual emotions, instead of her simply acting queenly, which is all she did in season four. I think Emilia Clarke is a great actress when it comes to personal, vulnerable scenes (like when she’s talking to Daario or visiting her chained up dragons), but when she’s making grand, “badass” proclamations (I’m going to break the wheel, anyone?) I think she falls flat.
Also, her eyebrows do not match her hair, and that’s been bugging me since season one.
Other things of note:
—Margaery gives the most terrifying “perhaps” I’ve ever seen. I bet the moment she said that, Cersei suddenly felt a chill run through her body, though she did not know why.
—Speaking of Tyrells, I’d like to speak to whoever came up with the idea to have an exposition scene on the geography of Dorne via birthmark on Lora’s leg. Not sure I’d call it genius, but it was definitely inspired.
—Also, I find it hilarious how close Brienne and Sansa were to meeting. Poor Brienne. Oh,and poor Podrick.
—I have no idea what Sansa and Littlefinger are up to, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
So all in all, I think this was a good premiere. It was slow, and nothing amazing happened, (Arya unfortunately never got to murder anyone this time.) but it carried a lot of promise for the season ahead.
Rating: 7/10. Points taken off for Daenerys’ eyebrows.
So, what did you think? Did you enjoy the episode? What’s your opinion on Stannis? What wacky hijinks do you think Sam will get up to next? Is the Hound really dead? Is Tywin really dead? Is Jon really alive? Have you ever tried the sweet teas at McDonald’s? Because they’re only a dollar and eight cents and they taste surprisingly good.
Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments below. Or you could just comment on your thoughts of the episode. Or you could do neither of those things. No one’s forcing you to.