Game of Thrones Recap Season 5 Episode 1: The Wars to Come
Cersei’s childhood: she seeks out a witch in the woods who answers three questions for her after tasting her blood. The information Cersei receives:
- She will never wed the Prince (Rhaegar Targaryen at the time), but she will marry the King and become Queen (true, she married Robert after his coronation)
- In time, a younger, more beautiful queen will arrive to cast Cersei down (safe to say Cersei will not look at Margaery Tyrell kindly)
- The King will have 20 children, and Cersei will have three – gold their crowns, and gold their shrouds (true so far, though only Joffrey has a burial shroud)
Cersei and Jaime watch over the dead body of their father, Tywin. Jaime tries to warn Cersei that Tywin’s death is an opportunity for their enemies to drive them apart, but Cersei is focused on scolding Jaime and cursing Tyrion’s name.
An interesting development – Lancel, Cersei’s cousin/lover, has gone religious and adopted a crew cut and robe look. He confronts Cersei in private and asks for forgiveness; Cersei gives zero fucks and sends him on his way.
Margaery casually busts in on her brother Loras and his lover and asks him to be more discreet with his extracurriculars. She wants Cersei out of King’s Landing, and anything jeopardizing the Cersei/Loras engagement compromises that goal.
Tyrion is reunited with an old friend; Varys pries him out of the crate he’s traveled in since escaping King’s Landing. Some wonderful banter is exchanged, and we learn they’re at the villa of Illyrio Mopatis – the Magister who housed Daenerys and Viserys before they joined Khal Drogo. Tyrion hits the wine, hard, and quickly throws it up.
Tyrion cleans up a bit but continues drinking heavily. Varys tells Tyrion he rescued him for his great talents; the Seven Kingdoms need people like them to achieve peace and stability. Varys is supporting Daenerys, and wants Tyrion to accompany him to an introduction.
The teardown of the old slaving ways continues. An Unsullied meets a prostitute for some cuddling (Unsullied are castrated, in case you forgot) where his throat is slit by an assassin in a Harpy mask. The Harpy is the symbol of Meereen; the old ways won’t die easily. Dany is pissed, but reminded that overnight economic and social restructuring causes problems.
Daario leads Hizdahr to an audience with Dany. Representing the “old ways”, he requests the fighting pits be reopened with free men, rather than slaves, as fighters. She refuses, but discusses the proposition with Daario. He gives her some great advice: use your fucking dragons. Dany goes to visit Rhaegal and Viserion, who are not thrilled with their captivity.
Jon Snow is training new recruits when Melisandre requests his presence on behalf of Stannis. She eyefucks Jon all the way up the elevator before asking if he is a virgin; Jon is decidedly uncomfortable. Stannis asks Jon if the Wildlings would join his army to march on Winterfell and take it back from the Boltons.
Jon pleads with Mance Rayder to surrender and deliver his army to Stannis, but Mance is uninterested. Stannis and Melisandre make a great spectacle of his execution via combustion, where Stannis’s wife looks on creepily as the flames begin to consume Mance. Jon puts an end to his suffering with an arrow to the heart.
Sansa and Littlefinger watch Lord Robyn Arryn practice swordplay…poorly. Robyn will be staying with Lord Royce while the others move on.
A very grumpy Brienne and Pod are still in The Vale, deciding where to search next. Unbeknownst to both, Sansa and Littlefinger ride past on the road right next to them.
We know where Tyrion is heading, and the answer bodes well for Targaryens and poorly for Lannisters. The Lannisters are now without their two best political minds, leaving Cersei as their premier schemer. She fancies herself comparable to Tywin, but in reality she lacks his subtlety and patience. Possibly because she never stops drinking, but I don’t judge people for things like that. We also know that Varys is a Targaryen supporter. We’re given some hope that Dany will embrace the power of her dragons sooner rather than later, but otherwise she’s in much the same position as she was before. The King Beyond the Wall (Mance Rayder) is now dead, and if history is a precedent the Wildlings will revert to disunity and chaos. Stannis has his sights set on Winterfell, but seems to require some degree of Wildling cooperation to succeed.
Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, Jorah Mormont, Theon/Reek Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, Balon Greyjoy, Roose Bolton, Ramsay Bolton.
House Power Rankings:
- House Tyrell – no change
- House Lannister – no change, but tension between Cersei and Jaime does not bode well
- House Bolton – no change, would be in more trouble if Mance pledged himself and the Wildlings to Stannis
- House Greyjoy – no change
- House Baratheon – Stannis was undoubtedly hoping to absorb the Wildling army intact, but he has a clear strategy and is wasting no time pursuing it
- House Targaryen – trouble is bubbling under the surface of Meereen, and until Varys and Tyrion arrive, governance will continue to be a problem
- House Stark – no change. Knucks to Jon Snow for putting Mance out of his misery