So I was all pumped up to be rabidly disappointed by the season five finale of Game of Thrones and, lo and behold, I thought it was pretty good. It’s been such an uneven season but all things considered I thought the wrap-up hit mostly correct notes. (Spoilers ahead.)
1) I always assumed Jon Snow died in the books, even though it is a touch ambiguous. Now though it seems like Melisandre is going to save him. I mean, she has to, right? Why else would you send her back to Castle Black?
2) And connected to one, coming back from the dead is now apparently a theme. And one I don’t really approve of. It’s the equivalent of time-travel in science fiction.
3) Daenarys’ story is actually moving ahead. I’m shocked.
4) Tyrion and Varys deserve their own Odd Couple style spinoff.
5) The Sand Snakes — boring in the books, boring on the show. The line about “bad pussy” was laughably terrible. Although cutting to the chase and offing Myrcella was fine by me — again, anything to advance the story given that in the novels GRRM is basically stuck in the mud. Or, sand. But won’t a Lannister-Dorne war really just be another huge side-track? 5) No idea what happened to Brienne and Stannis. Again, he has to be alive, right? Why complicate the scene if he isn’t?
6) Arya’s blindness is “out of order” from the novels but I don’t mind. It’s becoming clear that she’s going to fulfil her “death list” or die trying. And Cersei is definitely on that list.
7) Speaking of Cersei, her scene was longer than it needed to be because tits and ass. I’ve defended the gratuitous nudity of the show before but at this point it’s getting harder and harder to do so. (Cf. number five.) Lena Headey’s performance was great though, as always. As with a lot of the actors, she breathes life into material that doesn’t always seem to deserve it.
8) GRRM has his work cut out for him. There’s very little “real” story left from the novels. I’m surprised in general at how quickly this season moved through the source material. If that’s what it takes to light a fire under his ass, so be it.