Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 1 recap

Well it’s nice to know that Cersei was always a brat. Season five opens with a flashback to Cersei’s childhood when she visited a witch in the woods and made the witch tell her the future. Surprisingly, the witch didn’t say, “You spend all your free time f*cking your relatives and your father will never love you.” Instead she says Cersei’s children will all die and a younger woman will supplant her as queen. I don’t know why that last part is so shocking—if you’re a queen, there’s a real chance your son’s wife will one day supplant you—but present-day Cersei is worried about her children’s fate and also being usurped by Margaery Tyrell. Jaime just wants to make sure his family remains in power, since everyone knows Tywin was the real powerbroker in the family. With him dead, Tommen’s reign is vulnerable and now they’re short two of their best political minds—Tyrion and Varys.

King’s Landing is already messy. Cersei’s a whackjob and it’s only a matter of time until she loses her grip entirely. Her fear and paranoia are escalating, but they’re not entirely unfounded. The Martells are going to have something to say about Oberyn’s brutal death, and Myrcella Lannister is still in Dorne, potentially vulnerable. More immediately, though, Lancel Lannister, Cersei’s Jaime stand-in, is a born again something or other and is making unsubtle references to that time he poisoned Robert Baratheon. Well that’s one way to get yourself killed.

I have no time for anyone named Lannister and I really can’t wait until someone—don’t care who, just SOMEONE—storms King’s Landing and finishes that family off. They’re the engineers of their own disaster and five seasons into Game of Thrones, I can’t get behind anyone whose judgment is so clouded and suspect. Jaime lacks the vision, Cersei lacks the wit—Tyrion got all the good genes in that family. I do support Tyrion, despite his last name, because he’s capable of seeing beyond self-interest to the larger repercussions of actions. He was the one, after all, who realized that executing Ned Stark would bring a whole new level of sh*t down on their heads. Further, he seemed to understand that the Red Wedding would have repercussions for generations. So Tyrion gets my vote, but the rest of the Lannisters can die in a fire. (And hopefully they do.)

Speaking of Tyrion, he’s recuperating after a long trip in a literally sh*tty box crossing the Narrow Sea. Varys is one of my favorite characters—because he’s SMART—and I am so interested to see what he and Tyrion manage to engineer outside Westeros. They’re on their way to see Daenerys and determine if she’s worth supporting. She’s doing her queen thing in Meereen, still trying to settle with the Wise Masters. They want their gladiator fighting pits re-opened and Daenerys is like, “LOL no,” but Daario Naharis thinks she should do it. In fact, is he suggesting she re-open the pits and let people fight her dragons? Because that would be AWESOME.

Can I watch this show but with only the dragon parts? That’s all I really care about anyway (#teamdragon). We learn that Drogon is still in the wind, literally, and Daenerys goes to visit Viserion and Rhaegal, still locked in her basement. They are Not Happy, Mother, and chase her out of their vault. They’re also BIG, like really BIG, which is super awesome. Dragons unchained! But Daenerys is afraid of them, because she can’t control them, and obviously this is a metaphor for her current state. She won’t be able to advance until she is once again the Mother of Dragons.

No Arya this week but we do get to see a little bit of Sansa in Goth Queen mode, leaving the Eyrie with Littlefinger for, presumably, Winterfell. The best part of this scene is that Robin Arryn is in the background getting his ass kicked in training. How long until Littlefinger arranges for that kid to die? I give it till episode 8. On the road their caravan passes Brienne of Tarth and Pod, who is still determined to serve Brienne. She’s moping about not having a lord worth serving, but no one in Westeros deserves the awesomery of Brienne of Tarth.

Meanwhile, at the wall, Mance Rayder is put to death because he won’t kneel for Stannis Baratheon, so Stannis has him burned at the stake but Jon Snow puts an end to it by killing Mance with an arrow before the flames consume him but nobody cares about the Wall or Jon Snow unless there are White Walkers around. As there are no White Walkers, this is all wasted time in which we could have been watching dragon stuff.

Next Week: Dragons!