Game of Thrones Recap: “The Wars to Come”

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Game of Thrones premiered Sunday night, and boy, what a way to start off the next nine weeks. We were immediately thrust back into a world where blood, backstabbing, and boobs reign—and we can already see the deliciously twisted story arcs that will dominate season 5.

Spoilers ahead.

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King’s Landing

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Property of HBO

The episode begins with a spectacularly creepy flashback, in which a young Cersei and her friend Jeyne visit a fortune teller who lives the Lannister’s woods. After tasting Cersei’s blood, the witch proclaims that Cersei will indeed be queen someday. However, she will be replaced by another (foreshadowing for Margaery, perhaps?), and her children will die.

Fast forward to the present—Queen Cersei and her brother Jaime mourn the death of their father Tywin. She chastises Jaime for letting Tyrion escape, but he appears unapologetic. Later, her cousin Lancel approaches her. He is unrecognizable from the last time we saw him at the end of season two, having joined a strict religious movement called the Sparrows. He is no longer the man who was more than willing to sleep with his cousin and drug his king’s wine (did you forget that he was an accomplice to that murder?), and brings up King Robert’s death. He asks the Queen for forgiveness, but Cersei acts as though she has no idea what he’s talking about. Chances are, she’s already plotting a way to get rid of him, lest he tattle.

Across the Narrow Sea

At the end of last season, we saw Varys escape with Tyrion. The pair have recently arrived in Pentos, where Tyrion was smuggled in via crate. Depressed and angry about his current circumstances, Tyrion is drinking away his sorrows. I guess being falsely accused of murder, being condemned to death, finding out your lover was sleeping with your father, and then killing your father will do that to a guy. Not willing to have thrown away his lScreen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.24.22 PMuxurious life in King’s Landing for nothing, Varys convinces him to travel to Meereen and support the one person who could control the seven kingdoms—the rightful heir, Daenerys Targaryen.

Meanwhile, Dany is having trouble with her temporary reign. A new resistance group called the Sons of the Harpy are killing off the Unsullied, there is rebellion in Yunkai, and, oh yeah, she locked up two of her three dragons because they were wreaking havoc and she couldn’t control them. Daario Naharis (who is luscious eye candy and Dany’s new bedwarmer) urges her to reconsider, saying that a dragon queen is no queen without said dragons. Taking his advice, Dany attempts to visit them. Saying they are pissed at momma is a bit of an understatement. Shaken, she flees.

The Vale

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In the far reaches of the Vale, Sansa and Littlefinger watch Robyn spar. His mother’s ridiculous pampering shows, but Littlefinger comes to his defense saying that the young lord has the gift of a great name. Shortly after, he and Sansa depart somewhere to the west, “to a land so far from here, even Cersei Lannister can’t get her hands on you.”

Because this show is the epitome of missed chances and unending frustration, their caravan passes right by the unknowing Brienne. Still upset that Arya didn’t want her protection, and no doubt feeling as though she has failed, Brienne lashes out at loyal Podrick. She appears to have lost faith, saying that all the good lords are dead, and the ones who remain are monsters.

The North

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This can be summarized in two sentences. Jon Snow is awesome. The red woman is creepy.

Castle Black is still reeling from the arrival of Stannis and his army, but Jon continues with the routine of training the younger brothers of the Night’s Watch. Melisandre interrupts one of his sparring sessions to take him to “the king.” Stannis confides that he wants to use the Wildlings to his advantage, and that in return he will pardon them. He asks Jon to speak to Mance Rayder, who has been imprisoned. Mance refuses to kneel to Stannis, and in return is burned at the stake. He tries not to cry out in pain, but just as he is failing, Jon puts an arrow in his chest, providing a merciful death for the king beyond the wall.

Needless to say, I’m ready to see the end of Melisandre.

What comes next?

A few key characters were missing from the premiere, namely one Arya Stark. The preview for episode 2 shows us that she arrives safely in Braavos. We will also get our first look at Dorne, and see one of Dany’s dragons on the loose. Is it Drogon? We’ll know in a week’s time. (Or less if you choose to sneak a peek at the leaked episodes…)

Winter is coming.

The Collected Mutineer

Enjoy our live tweets? Imagine what we could do at SDCC!

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