Synopsis of 5×01: The scene is set after Tywin’s assassination and we learn what has been going on in the lives of the remaining players in this game of thrones.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Let’s be honest, this episode was pure exposition.

I haven’t watched any of the leaked episodes but from what I’ve seen through Twitter and other media channels is that the upcoming episodes will be just like this, and after the whirlwind that was last season I’m okay if we slow it down a step or two.

We were able to catch up with a decent amount of characters, Brienne and Pod are still out and about searching for a living Stark, Tyrion is with Varys and on their way to meet Dany, and Sansa is travelling with Littlefinger in the opposite direction of where they said they were going – her hair still dark and ominous.

The episode begins though in a different direction: the past.

We get a glimpse of Cersei as a young teenager, still just as violent and aggressive as she is now visiting the witch who lives on the outskirts of her father’s land. She demands a reading and want to know of her future, but it appears to be very different from the one she imagines. We go back the the present and see her being escorted at her father’s funeral where she exchanges barbs with Jamie about how he was the favorite of their father and was a fool for betraying him and ultimately helping Tyrion escape.

While Cersei drinks her wine, Margaery plans her eventual play for the throne. The girl is stringing the poor Tommen along for the ride while Loras is expected to follow her every command, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends in the death of another Lannister this season. Cersei seems to be avoiding her problems in the drink and who knows what that could mean for the once-most-powerful family in all the land.

Cersei's only desire at this point is Tyrion's head on a stick [HBO/ Found through Forbes]
Cersei’s only desire at this point is Tyrion’s head on a stick [HBO / Found through Forbes]
While funerals are the common practice in Kings Landing at this point, there are numerous other things happening in Westeros that will soon come into play. Sansa is still posing as Alayne with Littlefinger, and he hopes that his spoiled son will soon grow up and become the lord that he is supposed to be. I don’t know what Robin’s fate is to be on this show, but I know that Sansa doesn’t think highly of the boy and that’s alright with me. She’s trying her best to retain a low profile, but she still knows that going home and finding her family is the most important thing of all.

Littlefinger and Co. please leave Sansa alone [HBO/ found through Forbes]
Littlefinger and Co. please leave Sansa alone [HBO /  found through Forbes]
Her brother, on the other hand, is having a hard time relinquishing total control of The Wall to Stannis Baratheon, who is honestly one of the most insane and hard to understand characters on the show. Stannis arrived at the Wall at the end of last season, and while Jon was having disputes with the rest of the Guard, he wasn’t prepared for the level of dedication and devotion Stannis shows to the priestess Melisandre.

While Jon is trying to prepare the others for war and teaching them how to properly fight, Stannis and Melisandre are still out there trying to search for any non believers who may lie in their midst.  Stannis believes that giving the Wildlings the chance to either fight for him or die is the best route while Jon believes there are better ways to go about that, since he has experience with them himself. Does anyone like Melisandre and Stannis? Out of all the characters on the show they are honestly the hardest to understand, to simply get in their heads. The end scene with Jon Snow shooting their latest burning-at-the-stake victim showed incredible growth from the bastard of Ned Stark, but Jon has a lot of growing up to do and competing with the man who will do anything to be king is going to be interesting.

She burns someone at the stake in the first episode I honestly don't get her or Stannis [HBO/ Found through Forbes]
She burns someone at the stake in the first episode I honestly don’t get her or Stannis [HBO/ Found through Forbes]
But on the opposite end of the world is Dany, who to be honest is losing control of her empire. And that’s the problem with Dany, she’s not a politician like the others, or a warrior, she’s a conqueror who’s relied on the advice of others and the power of her dragons – both of which are useless to her at the moment. Dany’s finding that her Unsullied are being killed at alarming rates and the former rulers of Meereen have demands if she wants it to end.

Daario agrees with some of them – such as reopening the fighting pits and allowing them to retain one part of their culture and traditions, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that Dany is nothing more than an imperialist and simply looking to expand an empire. She knows nothing of the culture she took over and while yes, abolishing slavery and these fighting pits is a good thing, the introduction to her chapter starts with the gold figure that has been on the top of the pyramid she’s made her home being torn down and one of her soldiers being assassinated in the arms of a prostitute. The mother of dragons is suffering since she can no longer control them – she has them chained in the dungeon and hasn’t visited them in months.

Dany isn’t the fearless bad ass fans like to think she is, she is a wholly naive and unprepared ruler who has two of the most wanted and therefore powerful men in the world seeking her out in hopes of gaining the Iron Throne.

So what did you all think of the premiere? I feel like so much happened in the first five episodes of Season 4 and the opposite will happen here in Season 5? Are you guys going to miss Bran and Hodor? Or are you too exicted for the introduction of the Sand Snakes? Let us know, and remember, Arya still hasn’t been seen this season.

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