Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 1: We’re finally out the cramped crate of hiatus

This was an underwhelming episode, with some editing issues, but very clearly plotted the way the rest of the season is going in.

The Good:

  • Book readers are starved of flashbacks in the adaptation and this is the first time we ever get one and it’s juicy. The little girl playing Cersei was sufficiently scary and strong-minded, dancing across the line of entitled little nightmare and future regent with leonine grace.
  • Varys’ interactions with everyone and especially Tyrion are a delight, because he seems to like him while giving off an air of having no qualms about throwing him under the bus if it suited his needs.
  • The Unsullied seeking intimacy that wasn’t sexual in nature warmed my heart (not that it lasted long).
  • We get the first whispers of political games in the Night’s Watch and the Republican party seem to be strong and unfavorable contenders.
  • Sansa questioning Littlefinger’s trust in his support staff is a nice detail, not so much because it shows an understandable distrust of people, but because Sansa recognizes the value of seemingly unimportant pawns in the game.
  • The return of Kevan and Lancel to the show fold puts even more pressure on Cersei, since one of them knows where her bodies are buried and the other could well try to pick up where Tywin left off, namely ruling instead of her.
  • The Chosen One might finally be a girl, glory glory hallelujah! who still needs talented men to guide her obviously

The Bad:

  • The scene where the sex worker takes off her clothes and then puts only half of them back on when she realizes nudity isn’t a requirement in that transaction was cheap and painfully typical of the show.
  • The Eyrie is as grossly ableist and misogynistic as everywhere else in Westeros, I really needed to know that, thank you.
  • Loras’ purpose on the show seems to be further reduced to a stereotypical exploitation of his sexuality, all while neglecting to address the death of his love.
  • The birthmark that looks like Dorne is just a lazy writer’s attempt at exposition.
  • Daario’s defense of the fighting pits would have been interesting if we had a counter argument from Daenerys instead of a flat refusal, because it makes her seem like someone who won’t listen to any voice but her own.

The Hilarious:

  • Mance is one of the very few people that seem to like Stannis and not even he accepted him as a king, choosing to burn to death instead.
  • Sansa passing right by Brienne and Pod was frustrating but nowhere near as frustrating as a million goshdarn chapters of the endless Brienne and Pod roadtrip into the heart of despair.