STORY WRITTEN BY ANTHONY J. MACHCINSKI
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It’s been 42 weeks, but “Game of Thrones” Season 5 is finally here! Ring the bells of the Red Keep!
Seriously though, with only 10 episodes per season, the wait for each season of “Game of Thrones” feels longer and longer every year, especially when they end on an episode as great as last season’s finale.
Maybe during that long layoff you watched “The Walking Dead” and forgot much of the action going on in Westeros.
Take a look at the major storylines headed into this season.
Lannister family drama
Someone get Jerry Springer, because this family is officially off the rails.
The Lannister family will be the epicenter of the show for this season, and that’s not a bad thing — unless you’re a Lannister.
Tywin’s death sends shockwaves throughout Westeros.
The question isn’t if Cersei will do something crazy, it’s a matter of when. Will there be repercussions for her actions?
And where is Tyrion headed? We know he’s definitely leaving Westeros, but will he head for Braavos with Varys, or is he set to seek out Daenerys?
Daenerys’ crucial mistake
It appears that one angry dragon with a taste for barbecued human can spoil the party for all dragons, asDaenerys Targaryen (she with the incredibly long list of titles) locked two of her dragons in solitude in Meereen.
The decision may have appeared to be for the better – how can she rule Meereen while the city is ablaze – but could that decision backfire?
Those with far more knowledge of dragon-lore than me have said that the more a dragon is confined to a space, the weaker the dragon will get. Why potentially weaken your greatest asset? Apparently she hasn’t seen the “How to Tame Your Dragon” movies enough times.
Daenerys’ big challenge in the upcoming season will be keeping control of her territories (Quarth, Yunkai, Meereen) without the threat of her dragons. The Unsullied are strong, but even the most skilled force can be brought down by sheer numbers.
Speaking of wasting assets, getting rid of her second-most knowledgeable adviser in Jorah Mormont was the wrong decision. Sure, he spied on Danerys in Season 1 for King Robert Baratheon, but he’s defended her several times since.
Shouldn’t several good deeds forgive one bad mistake? (Maybe we shouldn’t ask the same question to Stannis Baratheon, right, Davos Seaworth?)
Everything in the North
There’s just so much action going on in the North that it’s hard to figure out where to begin.
Stannis saved the Night’s Watch from the Wildling army, but what will happen to all those prisoners captured? Are they executed? Will they be held below the wall?
There’s something to be said about Jon Snow’s presence and the possible effect on Stannis. With Ser Allister Thorne’s death in the Battle for the Wall and Janos Slynt’s weakness, Jon Snow has become a proverbial leader for the black brothers. Will that help ease Stannis’ insanity? In case you forgot, that crazy redhead Melisandre is at The Wall, too, and we all know she has a thing for royal blood.
Also in the North, don’t forget about the dastardly Roose Bolton, who along with his creepy “no longer a bastard” son Ramsey are in control of the North after the events of the Red Wedding. The trailer for this season shows Roose Bolton is making plans for the North – plans that include eliminating what Starks are left, mainly Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard son.
The underlying question: Will anyone notice that winter is coming if rivals are bickering with each other for control of the North?
Avenging Oberyn’s death
If Oberyn had just died with a sword through the heart or a plain old decapitation, people wouldn’t have been as heartbroken, but to have his head literally squished like a grape after having the fight in hand just added a truck load of salt into a fresh wound.
While viewers won’t soon forget Oberyn’s death, neither will his family.
In the season trailers, there are a lot of scenes depicting events in Dorne, including Oberyn’s beautiful but bloodthirsty daughters (also known as the “Sand Snakes”). Their arrival in the series has book-readers frothing at the mouth. Let’s just hope the show can live up the expectations.
Dorne has been the one kingdom of the seven Westerosi kingdoms that remained out of the fighting, but with Oberyn’s death seemingly at the hands of the vile Lannisters, expect Dorne to invest itself fully into the fray to get revenge for its beloved prince.
Wedding season again?
Who doesn’t love a good “Game of Thrones” Wedding? They always get these fancy names too! I mean, how beautiful does “The Red Wedding” or “The Purple Wedding” sound?
Wait… The Red Wedding was named for the amount of bloodshed that occurred and The Purple Wedding for the color of Joffery’s face as he choked on poison? Scratch that thought then.
Regardless, it appears that the most beautiful woman in Westeros Margaery Tyrell will finally get married and have her wish to become queen granted as she marries Tommen Baratheon.
I don’t think anyone is going to die at this wedding, it’s not nearly as lavish as The Purple Wedding and without as much of the drama as The Red Wedding, but I’m sure some big plot will blossom.
The wild card of the wedding is Cersei. Like any good mother, she wants to protect her son, but also is fueled by her selfish desires for power. Will she screw something up on purpose?
With the possibility for violence aside, who doesn’t want to see more of Tommen and Margaery? Their marriage will only provide more airtime for the real star of the show, Ser Pounce.
Bits and pieces
Just a few quick hits on some other things you can expect this season:
· Arya is heading to Braavos, but how much of her will we actually see? And hopefully we get some idea of what exactly is behind the coin that Jaqen H’ghar gave her.
· Sansa Stark and Littlefinger is a creepy pairing, but it seems from the trailer that the two have something in the works. Is one Stark alone enough to retake Winterfell?
· Hodor? HODOR!
· Bran is north of the wall with the three-eyed raven, but does his story progress this season or could the show take a season away from him like it has Gendry?
· Now that he’s away from Tyrion, will Bronn still be as funny or as good of a character?
· Will Brianne of Tarth and Podrick Payne do anything relevant this season?
Hopefully you’re as ready for Sunday’s first episode of “Game of Thrones” as I am.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published by our sister publication FlipSidePA