by Matthew Thompson
(This blog contains spoilers for the A Song of Ice and Fire book series and what is likely to come in Game of Thrones Season 5. If you have not read all the way through all five books including the most recent one, A Dance with Dragons, you really shouldn’t read this. Be sure to check out my upcoming episode reviews which will be non-book reader friendly.)
Last year I had a giant list of things I couldn’t wait to see in the new season of Game of Thrones. But we are running out of road as far as book material goes and it seems they are changing up a lot of things this season on top of that. So I’ve stayed away from offseason news a lot more and as a result, don’t know as much about what is coming. I don’t think based on the source material this season will have as many standout moments as the past couple either. Still I wanted to talk about some of the things I look forward to seeing on the show, so here they are (once again book spoilers to follow).
Season 5 does look to have one of my absolute favorite moments in the series. While Dany’s overall arcs in the books can be a bit hit or miss, I still love the character and she has so many chapters that rank among my favorites. Her freeing of the slaves in Astapor remains at the top of my list and the show totally nailed that one in the third season. This year we should get another epic scene in Daznak’s Pit. It is such an intense sequence with Dany rushing onto the bloody sands of the arena to tame Drogon and fly off atop him. It should certainly be a tricky one to realize on TV, but I can’t wait to see how they pull it off. Otherwise I’m curious where they will leave Dany’s story at. Will that be her final scene of the season? I expect, unlike the books, they will get Tyrion to her before this happens and seeing them together for the first time should be very entertaining.
I also can’t wait to just see more of the Dornish and get our first look at the kingdom of Dorne itself. The glimpse we got of Westeros’ southernmost kingdom in the trailers was a sight to behold. I’d expect nothing less from Game of Thrones and look forward to seeing it in its full splendor throughout the season. Another aspect I love about the Dornish is how much they differ from the rest of Westeros. Seeing this explored further should be fascinating. I am a little disappointed that they seem to have cut Arianne out of the show though. Her role as heir to Dorne highlights one of the unique traits of the region. There are still some Sand Snakes and they seem to have increased Ellaria’s role in the show, so women’s greater rights there might still be a factor. We’ll have to see how this all comes together.
The final big event I’m curious about is Jon’s “death” at the end of A Dance with Dragons. I don’t believe that is a death that will stick. He will be coming back one way or another in my opinion, so how will the show handle this. If they made it a season-ending cliffhanger, they’d have an impossible task of keeping Kit being on set for Season 6 a secret. So do they end one episode with it (say the ninth this season) and bring him back the following week? Or is this whole development being held off until next season? I’m not sure, but I’m curious to see their approach to this because the reality of TV production gives the writers another hurdle to clear as far as this storyline is concerned.
This barely scratches the surface of what is to come in Season 5. There is Arya’s assassin training. Cersei’s walk of shame. Sansa will likely be diving into new material. The show seems to be taking Jaime in a different direction which could be fun… or not. I’m curious how the show will handle not having certain characters around. Without certain Ironborn characters introduced, it could change the way the Battle of Meereen shapes up for instance. And if Aegon isn’t in (which is a bummer for me), how will they replace his role in Westeros going forward. These are events I haven’t even seen play out fully in the books yet, so it is hard to say if losing them will be a big factor (and that assumes we do lose them, I guess they could always surprise me next season), but it is something I’m curious about.
I find I’m looking forward to Game of Thrones for slightly different reasons than last year, but I’m excited all the same. I love seeing new locations and some of my favorite moments transferred to the TV screen. I’m curious to see where the show writers decide to veer off and how they handle their most difficult adaptation challenge to date in tackling Books 4 and 5. Most of all, there is no show still on TV I enjoy sitting down to watch more than Game of Thones. That is reason enough to be excited for the upcoming season. What are you most looking forward to seeing on Game of Thrones this year? Let me know in the comments. I plan to review episodes again this season, so look out for them hopefully each Monday after they air. Thanks for reading!