First of all I would like to apologise as I am writing this after having watched the first episode of the now cult Brutal Violent Fantasy Political Thriller that people have people have come to love so much, but then again Weise and Benioff have the knack of playing with with our hope and wishes like a sadistic cat with a mouse. Strong words these but like the millions of others, I was also hoping for HBO to give some sort of hints to Jon Snow’s resurrection. Sadly that was not meant to be, not in this episode atleast.
The season openers so far have tended to, going by GoT status, be a bit passive. Wiese and Benioff have always been true to saving the best for last and the Season openers serve to slowly ease the viewers into the new season after the ensuing chaos of the last. As any GoT fan will tell you that the show has barring a few plots caught up with the books and so now HBO aren’t tied to the source material. Wiese and Benioff would want to continue the GoT legacy that they have created. What does that mean for us viewers and fans. Twists, treachery, debauchery, heartbreaks and blood lots and lots of blood. Going by the first episode, we will probably be seeing more of the latter. Here’s why
Jon : The Wall
Although Jon Snow is STILL DEAD, Ser Alisser Thorne has claimed command and his beliefs are polar opposite to Jon’s. Unlike Janos Slynt whom Jon dispatched easily, Thorne is a warrior and a natural leader and knows how to get his point across. Jon Snow is a polarising figure in the show and Thorne saw to it that any discontent is swiftly suppressed not by the sword but by clear and blunt projection of his reasoning. But one thing Thorne might not have accounted for is the wildlings. And they are on this side of the wall. Jon may have killed their king but he did save their lives, after all the reasoning of uniting for the sake of survival was played by both Mance and Jon.
Sansa: The North Remembers
The dove survived the fall and is now in safe custody of Brienne and Ser Pod. The Bolton’s have winterfell but no Stark and as the saying goes ‘There has always been a Stark at winterfell’. With atleast one Stark still alive and ready to avenge her family and honour, expect the manderleys, karstarks and elk to rally behind Sansa and flay the Boltons. Flaying doesn’t seem that far fetched an idea when you consider the darker theme that Sansa’s character was progressing towards before HBO topedoed it. Maybe that was just the final sacrifice Sansa had to make. And while we are at it, flaying the Boltons the leaked images of Kit Harrington fighting a battle in black armour. Starks Vs Boltons. There goes the wishing part of me again.
Cersei: A Woman Scorned
The walk of shame seemed to have broken Cersei. Old Maggie’s prophecy seemed to be true but did the old woman also forsee a fierce lioness who would be willing to give her own child a painless death telling him the story of the stag and lion rather than seeing him butchered. Maybe she didn’t, for when the sand snakes took away one of her cubs, the lioness will fight back and as the trailer showed, she chose violence. It appears Jaime’s character will deviate away from the book and with the Zombiefied Ser Robert Strong, things are going to get real messy real soon in Kings Landing.
Tyrion: Always the hand never the king
The title might sound a bit crude but it is in fact a testimony to how well Tyrion can manage people. His efficiency possibly only matched by his late father. But he has his work cutout this time. Stuck in a city where anyone can be a foe and where deep glazing eyes behind golden masks pruning his every move and step, it will require all of Tyrion’s wits and Varys’s birds just to stay alive. But you don’t survive 5 seasons of GoT being fan favorite for nothing! Harpy Vs Unsullied with 2 dragons waiting to be unleashed is what every GoT fan would want as Christmas gift. Expect HBO to keep some part of the deal.
Daenereys: The Master, the Slave
The books focused on Quaithe’s prophecies for Dany. Wiese and Benioff for the sake of Television have thankfully focused less on this. As the last season drew to a close, the breaker of chains found herself in chains and episode one didn’t help Dany’s situation much either. She is surrounded by an entire Khalasar and even if either by the help of Daario, Jorah or Drogon she escapes from the Dothraki or makes allies out of them, she still needs to deal with the Harpys in Mereen. Either way blood is going to flow, will it flow on the grasses of the Dothraki sea or the dust plain outside Mereen, we will know soon enough.
This is one story plot we all want to see progress and Arya to become the cool ninja assassin we are so dying to see. Meryvn Trant is out of the way but that wasn’t a clean kill. It was Arya Stark who killed Trant. It wasn’t a faceless one. With Arya blind, expect Arya to spend most of the mid season training but pull off an awesome and gory kill near the Season finally to signal her return to the centre stage. Who this unlucky target might be is indeed another interesting coffee table discussion.
Lastly there are many other minor subplots like Euron Greyjoy and the Kingsmoot which might see some action and Sam and Gilly in Oldtown which HBO would be wise to limit the screentime. But these would pale in the magnitude and sheer impact of the main five plots. The Season is only one episode strong but all the chess pieces have lined up and the pawns have been wiped out. It’s now time for the queens and the knights to play.