The much-awaited fifth season of the HBO hit Game of Thrones finally arrived last Sunday night in the US (Monday morning in the Philippines). The show has attracted viewers beyond the circles of fantasy lovers and geeks to become HBO’s most-watched original series ever.
Nielsen says the first broadcast had 8 million viewers. That’s not counting those who saved their episodes, watched a replay and yes—those who got a hold of the leaked first four episodes!
I opted to watch episode one of Season Five with other fans Monday night at the Fort, fans wore costumes and best of all, they generated a happy, excited buzz for the return of the show.
While the first episode made everyone excited and looking for more (nine more episodes and it’s back to withdrawal symptoms and waiting another 10 months for the next season), it probably wasn’t the strongest season opener.
Aside from the pilot episode, I’ll always look to the first episode of Season Four as one of the stronger starts—mainly because of the strong entrance of The Red Viper a.k.a. Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) to King’s Landing. Then again, I could be biased.
Nevertheless, you can count on Game of Thrones to be consistently compelling, well written, well acted and well produced.
In the newest episode, we find out where Tyrion Lannister ends up and whom he ends up with after his escape; how Khaleesi a.k.a. Queen Daenerys is doing as the new ruler of Mereen and what new headaches Jon Snow faces after that incredibly stressful siege on the wall (which took up the entire episode nine of Season Four).
What more do we expect from Season Five? There’s a lot of anticipation to finally see Dorne and the Sand Snakes a.k.a. Oberyn Martell’s badass fighting daughters (there are photos of one with a whip, one with a staff and a third with knives). And just how will that power struggle between Cersei and Margaery pan out?
Expect significant deviations from the book—which should keep fans and readers of the series on their toes.
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New episodes of Game of Thrones air at 9 a.m. Mondays on HBO with a prime time replay at 9 p.m.