Review: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 ends in death, leaves viewers hopeful

Derrin Coad, Staff Reporter

It has been cruel to be a fan of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for the last five seasons as we watched many of our favorite heroes be killed off in unsuspecting and horrific ways.

Season 5 of “Game of Thrones” ended with such a death, but many fans still hold onto hope that this character’s story isn’t over.

Just like George R.R. Martin’s most recent book in the series, “A Dance with Dragons,” Season 5’s finale “Mother’s Mercy” has many cliffhangers that leave us agonizing over the fates of several important characters, including Jon Snow.

Jon’s maturity accelerated greatly this season, as he was elected to be the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch in the second episode. In the season’s finale, we saw Jon being repeatedly stabbed by his own brothers in the Night’s Watch after labeling Jon as a traitor.

After characters gave warning about the return of the White Walkers and their war on humanity over the last few seasons, we finally got a glimpse into what that pale terror will look like.

A battle occurred in the eighth episode between the wildlings and the Army of the Dead, which results in a majority of the wildlings at Hardhome losing their lives. Jon and several others barely escape with their lives before the Night’s King, who is the leader of the White Walkers, turns the freshly killed wildlings into wights for his army. This moment was likely a major turning point in the end-all storyline that will be decided at the very conclusion of the series.

Despite “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss as well as Martin saying we have seen the last of Jon Snow, several valid theories lead many to believe they will see him in alive again.

Season 5 felt like a new beginning for the series, as so many story lines were forever altered at the end of Season 4.

We last saw Tyrion Lannister killing his cruel father Tywin and being stowed away in a crate on a ship. Tyrion now finds himself essential to the ruling of Meereen after Daenerys Targaryen was saved by her dragon and escapes Meereen in the ninth episode.

Tyrion’s story throughout this season has been a joy to watch. Peter Dinklage continues to deliver an amazing performance, and Tyrion is one of the best-written characters in both the books and the show. I look forward to watching him and Varys reunited to rule Meereen together in Season 6.

With Daenerys being the Queen of Meereen and a now a dragon rider, there is a good chance she will have a new army of Dothraki horsemen when she returns to Meereen. Her storyline has been stagnant at times in previous seasons, but Season 5 offered plenty of good moments.

King’s Landing saw quite the remodeling in Season 5 with the marriage of King Tommen Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell, as well as the Faith Militant coming to power because of a shortsighted move by Cersei Lannister.

In by far the most difficult scene to watch in Season 5, Cersei is paraded in the streets as she has disgusting things thrown at her and the common people scream obscenities at her.

This storyline was fascinating as we witnessed Cersei, who was always rich, proud and flat out mean to everybody who wasn’t a Lannister, reduced to nothing for a brief moment. She will surely be chasing revenge in Season 6 for the embarrassment she endured.

As for one of the storylines that did not do so well in Season 5, Jamie Lannister traveled south to Dorne and met a cast of awkwardly written characters in a pretty boring, yet important, plot development.

As a storyline, this was the most boring one of the season, yet it will surely have major implications to the future of the series, thanks to the poisoning of Myrcella Baratheon. Prince Doran was not developed enough throughout the season and appears to be as weak as everyone says he is.

Despite the horrible things Season 5 led to, the future remains bright for “Game of Thrones.”

Book readers and show viewers are now mostly on the same page, as the show passes the latest events of Martin’s novels into new, uncharted territory in the next season.

The show’s divergence from the books appeared heavily this season, and I support most of the changes.

“Game of Thrones” had to create its own identity separate from the books, and after Season 5 unfolded, the show is on the right track to successfully do that.

Viewers can watch the entire Season 5 with an HBO subscription.

Derrin Coad can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].