Spoiler alert I guess, though not a whole hell of a lot happened this week…
Season 5 of HBO’s wildly popular medieval incest and random dwarf murder documentary Game of Thrones continues to roll along, finally catching up with Arya Stark this week, but mostly slooooooooowly moving all it’s pieces forward, as it tends to do early in its seasons.
Here things seem especially sluggish though, and I can’t help but wonder if this is a narrative choice by the show’s writers or an obvious indication that they’ve run out of book material to adapt, or made questionable choices in how to adapt the dwindling book material that remains. Shades of The Walking Dead’s weaker patches, changing the brilliant source material just for the sake of changing it.
We do get a few cool scenes this week though. I had just been wondering if we’d see any more of Tyrion’s scoundrel of a sellsword friend Bron and then POOF, there he was! He and Jamie are embarking on a buddy comedy road trip to rescue Myrcella (another of Jamie and Cersei’s looooooooove children) from Dorne, where the King there is none too pleased about his brother Oberyn’s head getting squished like grape (FATALITY!) last season.
Meanwhile at the Wall, Jon Snow is reluctantly though deservingly elected commander. These scenes continue to be my favorite of the season so far though I’d like to see Stannis doing less ball busting and more ass kicking. You can’t take back Westeros from behind a desk. I’d also like to see more of these restless bands of Wildlings everyone is always grousing about. Is this a narrative choice or a budgetary one?
And finally Mereen is still a hot mess, with Daenerys continuing to fuck things up with both the citizens and her dragons. What happened to you Dany? You used to be cool. Varys and Tyrion can’t get there fast enough.
The less said about the rest of the episode the better, with Brienne and Podrick’s continued pursuit of Littlefinger and Sansa playing out like a particularly annoying episode of Westeros’ Funniest Home Videos and Arya’s story concluding as predictably as possible (at first they don’t let her in the magical shape shifting ninja temple, then they do, the end) though I’m anxious to see where it goes.
As always, we remain cautiously optimistic. There’s a lot of season left and GoT usually gets unbelievably great as they reach their end. Hopefully these current narrative setbacks are just a small bump in the road, like the one Podrick’s horse tripped over…