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Well, that wasn’t expected, was it? It has been teased all hiatus that the fifth season of Game of Thrones will deviate further from the novels, and thus far we’ve seen Sansa take on Jeyne Poole’s storyline and Jaime journey to Dorne. These changes are acceptable. But the apparent butchering of Barristan Selmy and Grey Worm leaves me wondering quite what direction the show, and in particular Dany’s storyline, is going.
As always, our top OMG moments are below, in no particular order (though we’ll start with the big one…).
The Sons of the Harpy
Barristan the Bold has fallen. What. The. Actual. Fuck?
Barristan is a point of view character in the fifth novel, though he doesn’t really come into his own until after Dany’s stunning storyline, so I, and pretty much everyone else, thought it was a given he would survive this season. After all, his chapters pave way to the brutality of Meereen’s descent, and it is through his eyes only which we can physically see this carnage. I’m guessing this will change in the show to Daario and/or Missandei.
Barristan is dead. There is no two-ways about it, for those still hoping otherwise. The trailer for episode 5 shows Dany standing over his corpse, and Ian McElhinney in an interview for Entertainment Weekly confirmed his exit.
In the grand scheme of things I think his death is needed. Dany has been on a high for far too long and everybody surrounding her has lived for quite some time. But remember what happened the last time she lost somebody? She only walked into fire and birthed three dragons! Imagine what’ll happen this time round…
I think Grey Worm will have survived. His growing storyline with Missandei gives some much needed empathy to Dany’s overall storyline, and it is he alone from the Unsullied whom anybody particularly cares about. He’ll help avenge Barristan, I think.
Jaime and Bronn’s journey to Dorne was far from smooth. Their arrival allowed Jaime to flex his golden hand (so to speak) and prove that just because he has lost his sword hand he shouldn’t be disregarded. Admittedly he disarms and kills the guard with pure luck but it is a trick he can, and probably will, repeat.
This is one of the best storylines this season because the Dornish elements are being slowly introduced rather than forced down our throats, but I expect later episodes will capitalise on this wealth of new characters to produce some fine television. Pay particular attention to Myrcella – she is important.
Another change from the books (it’s all change this week) sees Loras incapacitated in a different manner to his novel counterpart, but the overall outcome is the same. In the novels, Cersei has him nearly killed, so at least in Game of Thrones he is merely imprisoned.
This entire sequence was hard to watch. Loras was imprisoned by the faith for braking the laws of Gods and men – i.e., he slept with men. We’ve seen homophobia in Game of Thrones before, but Tywin and Joffrey’s disgust at Loras paled in comparison to the horrors seen this week.
‘There’s a special place in the Seven Hells for your kind,’ he is told. In the historic times of Westeros, homosexuality is aligned with the woman’s place, as both homosexuals and women are regarded of as lesser than heterosexual men. Sound familiar?
That said, Margaery ends the episode by leaving to inform Olenna about the new situation, so at least her and her barbaric tongue will be returning. She has been missed!
This short scene was Stannis’ greatest to date. He was tender and completely out of character but everything he said made sense.
His description of how he did everything within his power to save his daughter Shireen once she was afflicted with greyscale humanised Stannis, and for once he becomes a character I both root for and empathise with. His wife, Selyse, comes across as heartless in comparison.
Sansa has two plans
With Littlefinger leaving Sansa in Winterfell with Ramsay, I fear for Sansa. Ramsay is worse than Joffrey, and it is cruel to have her escape injustice just to be thrown straight back into it. But Sansa is a different person entirely now. She came into her own last season and I think she could give Ramsay the runaround.
I think she’ll know how to play him, how to make it look as though she wants to be with him, all the while hoping that Stannis makes it to Winterfell.
Either that, or Ramsay will make her one of his playthings, and we all know how that ends up. Fingers crossed Ramsay dies soon.
Melisandre gives Jon the come on
Another episode, another excuse for Melisandre to get naked. Melisandre expressed her desire to sleep with Jon, claiming that their joining together would give them the power to make life, make light, and cast shadows.
The last shadow she cast killed Renly, but it is anybody’s guess who this new shadow would kill. I’d say Roose Bolton, but from the looks of it we won’t be finding out anytime soon.
I want to know more about the shadows, and more about Melisandre’s powers, so I am glad that Stannis is bringing her with him with he attacks Winterfell. Four seasons in, Melisandre is still an enigma. We know absolutely nothing about her.
The Sand Snakes
The Sand Snakes of Dorne are formally introduced this week … well, some of them are, anyway. Obara, Tyene and Nymeria are formidable, and they are able to live up to their father – just look at the horrors that befall the captured ship captain.
I cannot wait to see the inevitable fight between the Sand Snakes and Jaime and Bronn. Speaking of Jaime, his plan wasn’t well executed, as Ellaria is able to deduce what he intends to do straight away. His his coming appears to have sparked a war between Ellaria and the Lannister’s. The Lannister’s have had such a fall from grace.