Tuesday, 16 June 2015

SPOILERS Review & Discussion - Game Of Thrones: Season 5

Game Of Thrones is my favourite TV show, i love how it mixes fantasy with politics, it has great dialogue, well written characters and shocking twists that surprise the viewers every-time, even though we should be used to them by now. In my opinion the first 4 seasons are some of the best TV ever, thanks to the books they are adapted from by Author, George RR Martin. It was revealed that in season 5, the showrunners; David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.would be deviating from George's books because they were catching up to quickly and unfortunately without the books direction, the quality in the story suffers.

My main problem with this season is that its all shock over substance, the show-runners think that everyone just wants to be shocked all the time, like the red wedding, and doesn't care about the details and if things make sense. The most controversial scene of this season, the Sansa rape, was not in the books and when it happened i was so upset, In season 4, Sansa was developing in a very interesting way and seemed to be following Littlefinger's method and she was for the first few episodes of this season, until her wedding night when that all gets thrown away, also the rape doesn't amount to anything in the aftermath, we already knew how horrible Ramsay was and they could've made Theon finally snap out of his Reek-ness in another more intriguing way than another rape on the show, because there has already been so many.
Everyone loves the story of Game Of Thrones, you never know what is going to happen and it hardly ever disappoints, but there are several plot-lines this season that just didn't work at all; The Dorne plot and the Winterfell plot. I was so hyped for Dorne at the start of the season, Oberyn came off really well last season and i was looking forward to meeting his family this season, annoyingly nothing works in Dorne, Oberyn's paramour from last season Ellaria Sand (Indria Varma) is seeking revenge for Oberyn's death (which doesn't make sense, since it was his own fault) with the help of Oberyn's bastard daughters' the Sand Snakes, and the writers just didn't know how to write for them, they came off as flat and un-charismatic, the complete opposite of Oberyn! and their fight scene between Jaime and Bronn is the worst choreographed fight in the shows history, with no suspense at all and terrible action, and all in all nothing happened in Dorne, the only shining light was Oberyn's brother, Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig), the Prince of Dorne, who acted his ass off in his scenes unlike everyone else and of course the location, they shot in a palace in Spain and it looked beautiful.
Winterfell also was a disappointment this season, with what I've already talked about with Sansa, really left a sour taste after the rape, also Brienne spent half of the season waiting for Sansa to light a candle, it was a shame there was such a lack of Brienne this season and it was very noticeable.
Coincidentally these two story-lines deviated from the books in a big way and that's why i feel like it failed, they didn't have any solid guidelines for what they were doing and it really showed on the screen.

Still Waiting For That Candle...

I don't want to slaughter this season, i enjoyed it, it just really had some things i disliked, but onto the positives!
Arya (Maisie Williams) in Braavos joining the Faceless Men was a really cool story and had a good arc, it was nice to see Jaqen (Tom Wlaschiha) again and Arya's scenes with Ser Meryn Trant (Ian Bettie) were some of the most grusome scenes we've seen on the show and it was nice to see that she got to tick someone off her list. I just wish some of the scenes inside the House of Black and White were brighter, they were very hard to see sometimes and its a shame because the set was so intricate and interesting.
I thought that Kings Landing was going to be a lot less interesting without Tywin and Tyrion, and while not as interesting it was still very appealing, Cersei (Lena Heady) versus the Sparrows was really good, One of the new characters of the season, the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) was a very interesting character that the show hasn't had before, someone with no game plan, someone that just really wants to help the realm, and Pryce shows how dangerous that notion is. Cersei's naivety made her scenes so delightful seeing the hole she was digging for herself and the fact she couldn't see it, that's the fascinating thing about Cersei, she thinks she is as smart as Tyrion and as cunning as Tywin, but she isn't, she's a fool and she shows it this season, The walk of shame she did was amazing, it was shown for the perfect length of time, to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as Cersei did herself.  

Dany's (Emilia Clarke) arc this season was saved near the end thanks to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) coming in and setting Dany straight, my problem with Dany this season is that she seemed really stupid in the way she is trying to rule, with her exiling Jorah and Barristan unfortunately dying she needs someone advising her and Tyrion was the best person for it, their scene together in the last few episodes were great and Tyrion voiced all our reasons why we are annoyed at Dany on screen which was nice to see that the writers know the audience are getting angry at her. The more interesting things about Dany's arc was the supporting characters around her, the fight between the Sons of The Harpy and Barristan Selmy and Greyworm was awesome, it was the first real highlight of the season and the way it ended the episode was so shocking, the choreography was great and it was really suspenseful, i was surprisingly worried about two characters that i didn't think i cared for too much, it was very well done. I thought the development of Daario (Michiel Huisman) was a real improvement to last season in which he was just a pretty face, this season he was made into a real character and had some really great dialogue with Hizdar and Dany. But the best thing about Dany's arc was of course Daznak's Pit, the huge coliseum battle in episode 9, Jorah in the pits was really entertaining but it elevated to the next level when the Sons of the Harpy invaded the coliseum, this lets us have some really cool Jorah and Daario action until Drogon comes in and steals the show, burning Harpies left and right and then letting Dany ride him, which is a scene people have been wanting to see for a long time.
Getting on to my favourite part of the season at the Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in the last two seasons has really come into his own, he has come a long way since Season 1, this season he is dealing with being the Lord Commander, it was a interesting role for him to take, and is a great parallel to Dany trying to rule also,. The most memorable episode this season was Hardhome, Jon, Tormund and a few Nights Watch brothers go beyond the Wall to Hardhome to bring the Wildlings north so that they can be used to man the Wall instead of dying and being resurrected by the White Walkers. This leads to the best action set piece ever on the show, The White Walkers and their Wights come and invade Hardhome, This set piece was incredible, no one saw it coming and it was shot brilliantly. This set piece also introduced us to maybe the best single episode character in Karsi (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) a wildling, settling in Hardhome, she instantly becomes a great character in 20 minutes of screen time and it is unfortuante when she meets her demise. The White Walkers were so intimidating and scary, Jon's fight with one of them was so tense and had me on the edge of my seat, i can't say enough about this scene, it may be my favourite episode of the show ever. Jon Snow's death scene was also a highlight of the season, it was shocking and very well done, i can't imagine him being out of the show completely and am wondering how they will bring him back next season. Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is also at the Wall this season after saving the Nights Watch at the end of last season, he is setting up his plans to take the north from The Boltons and needs Jon Snow's help, but Jon can't help because he cannot leave the Nights Watch, so Stannis has to cope on his own. I loved the amount of Stannis we had this season, he is one of my favourite characters and it was the most of him we have seen in the whole series. We got to see more into Stannis' family life aswell, in my favourite scene of this season between Stannis and his daughter, Shireen (Kerry Ingram), in which Stannis awkwardly tells his daughter that he loves her and explains how she got her greyscale, it was such a beautiful and emotional scene and worked thanks to these two great actors and the brilliant dialogue. In the back half of the season is where my problems start with Stannis, in my opinion its really out of character for him to burn Shireen, i was really disappointed the show went in this direction, i also think they could've made his position even worse because i feel it wasn't too bad in his camp when he decided to kill he daughter, i was also annoyed and disappointed with the Battle of Ice with his army against the Boltons, Stannis is utterly defeated and than confronted by Brienne and possible killed? I'm hoping he is still alive, i will be really disappointed if he dies now, i don't think it makes any sense for him, he just lost his whole family, i think he should have to live with that grief, it would be a lot more compelling.
The One True King
The finale ended with so many cliffhangers i feel like its going to be very hard to address them at the start of next season, audiences will be left wondering what happened after not watching the show for such a long time. 

Season 5 of Game of Thrones was a mixed bag for me but i love this show so much that my enjoyment wasn't affected too much. This season had some of the best scenes of the series but they come after a lot of build up and depressing moments, I feel like the show-runners don't understand what everyone likes about the show and tries to shock us all the time instead, but the worst thing that this season was lacking was hope, this was the most depressing season of the show yet and maybe of any show I've ever seen, in the books they juggle hope and dread but in the show we are just getting dread and i think for some it will be hard to come back to.

What were your favourite scenes of the season?
Comment and let me know!

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