‘Game Of Thrones’ Recap:Cersei & Daenerys Fear Losing Their Power; Jon Snow Shows Mercy To Mance Rayder
Game of Thrones returned Sunday following the deaths of Joffrey and Tywin, with Jon Snow in the middle of two kings – Stannis Bartheon and Mance Rayder, Sansa in the Eyrie with Littlefinger, Daenerys in Mereen and Tyrion on the run with Varys.
Game Of Thrones Recap
Game of Thrones’ fifth season premiere opened in the wooded grounds outside of Casterly Rock with a young Cersei, ruthless as ever, and her nervous friend. In a hut in the forest, the girls meet with a witch who can see the future, who tells Cersei that she will one day be queen but will be followed by a younger and prettier queen who will “take everything she holds dear.” While her king will bear 20 children, none of those will be hers. She will bear three children and “gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds.”
In the present, Cersei (Lena Headey) arrives at the High Septon to visit with Tywin’s corpse, which Jamie, as a man of the Kingsguard, is guarding. Cersei knows that Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) let Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) free, therefore making him responsible for their father’s death. “Tyrion may have killed our father, but at least he killed him on purpose. You killed him by mistake,” says Cersei, chastising him for being a man of action with little regard for the possible consequences.
At a banquet, Cersei watches Margaery (Natalie Dormer) flirt with Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), as Loras (Finn Jones) pays his respects to Tywin from behind her. After walking off from him, Cersei encounters her cousin and former lover Lancel (Eugene Simon), who is now a Sparrow, a member of a deeply religious sect. He asks for her forgiveness for their “unnatural relations” and for aggressively feeding King Robert Baratheon wine on his last, fatal hunt. Loras, meanwhile, goes to bed with Olyvar (Will Tudor). Walking in on them, Margaery doesn’t flinch, but notes that they will be late to dinner if he doesn’t get ready soon.
Tyrion, who has been traveling in a crate for an unknown period of time, arrives in Pentos at Illyrio Mopatis’s (Roger Allam) digs, disoriented. Varys (Conleth Hill) once again explains to Tyrion his life’s ambition to restore Westeros to peace. Though Tyrion is cynical about any end to war, Varys insists that it’s possible – with his help. He risked his life and position, not for Tyrion or for Jamie, but for the Seven Kingdoms. He believes that Tyrion is a man of talent, who can help Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) take and hold the throne.
In Mereen with Daenerys, one of the Unsullied pays a visit to a prostitute at one of the local brothels. As the prostitute cuddles him while humming a tune, a Son of the Harpy slits his throat. When a curious Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) asks Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) why an Unsullied would visit a brothel, to her disappointment he says he doesn’t know.
When Daario (Michaiel Huisman) and nobleman Hizdahr zo Loraq (Joel Fry) arrive in Mereen, they’re surprised to find the Unsullied patrolling the streets. Hizdahr encourages Daenerys to compromise with the former slave cities and allow them to have the fighting pits reopened. Despite Hizdahr’s insistence that it will be free men fighting free men and that it will endear her to her subjects, Daenerys refuses. Daario, in bed with her later, encourages her to listen to Hizdahr. He also tells her that her strength is in her dragons, which leads her to pay a visit to the two of them she has chained up, and is surprised at their hostility towards her.
Lord Robin Aaryn (Lino Facioli), otherwise known as Sweet Robin, is getting sword-fighting lessons in the Eyrie, supervised by Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and Sansa (Sophie Turner). Littlefinger hopes that with increased training, he might become a respectable soldier. At 13, he’s of age to go to war, but as the trainer points out, his skills are abysmal.
On the road following their encounter with Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman), are cleaning themselves up. Discouraged by not being able to convince Arya to come with her, Brienne wants Podrick to stop following her, telling him that he is not her squire, as she is not a knight. A carriage and entourage passes them by, which, unbeknownst to them, is carrying Sansa and Littlefinger. They’re on their way to a far off place, where Littlefinger thinks Sansa will be safe from Cersei.
At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is trying to train a young boy in the art of sword fighting, getting on him about holding up his shield. Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) defends his own lack of training to Gilly (Hannah Murray) by pointing out he’s killed both a White Walker and a Thenn. Pulling Jon away, Melisandre (Carice van Houten) brings him to meet with Stannis (Maxwell Laird). During the meeting Davos asks Jon why he buried Ygritte, saying that some of his men think that his affection for Wildlings runs too deep. Unbothered by Jon’s actions, Stannis wants him to convince Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) and the Wildlings to fight by his side. If Mance Rayder bends the knee and the Wildlings fight with him, he’ll give them land and set them up as proper citizens South of the Wall.
When Jon goes to visit Mance Rayder in an effort to convince him to bend the knee, Mance rejects Stannis’ offer. He admits that he respects Stannis and believes that he will rule better than the kings of the last 100 years, but has no desire to serve him or to subject his men to bleeding for his cause. It has nothing to do with pride, according to Mance. The Wildlings will stop respecting him as soon he bends the knee. For a moment, he looks likely to reconsider when he learns he will be burnt at the stake – but he says true to his convictions.
As Mance burns at the stake, Stannis’ wife Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald) watches on with pleasure while his daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram) is horrified. Jon, unable to take it any longer, marches off. From a tower, he shoots an arrow into Mance’s chest, putting him out of his misery. The act of mercy could see Jon meet the same fate as Mance, but without someone willing to do him the same favor.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c.