Season: 5 / Episode: 1 / HBO
Spoilers be catching arrows to the torso before they burn to death.
Also, all the recaps won’t be this long (though I promise what Jon Snow knows: nothing), but it’s the premiere, and I was excited and my body was ready. So let’s get into it.
How do we start season five? With our first flashback. Which ain’t really one because adolescent Cersei Lannister is basically adult Cersei Lannister but shorter and with more friends. In other words, one. We never learn the other girl’s name because this is Cersei’s story and it’s not even definite that she knows. But the friend with no twitter handle is scared to go deeper into the woods because Tywin might find out. But friend Cersei is like, nah, b (which might stand for bitch in this situation), you need to fear me. And then, like all really smart and privileged people, Cersei start talkin shit to a witch. Now look, we can go with the folly of youth and all that or the hubris of being the only daughter of the most powerful man in all the land, but basically daring a witch to prove to you that she’s not boring sounds like a bad way to start your afternoon.
The witch hits her with the “everybody wants to know their future until they know their future” which could also be the epigraph for everybody running against Hillary in 2016. Then, in what will become a theme of this episode of adults doing inappropriate shit with minors, the witch asks Cersei what the blood will do, before sucking it from Cersei’s freshly pierced thumb. Bruh. I know witches ain’t got unions or any shit like that, but there ain’t no bare minimum standards of bloodletting like squeezing the thumb above ol girl’s mouth or somethin’?
Though, that visual, admittedly…Not much better. Anyways, the witch hits her with that TMI about her husband fielding his own bastard football team. We’re talking ayebody: kickers, special team players, PR rep, all that.
In the present, friendless Cersei, who’s been rocking the same hairstyle since creepy witches were sucking blood off her thumb, leaves the caravan to pay respects to her father…sure, we’ll call them respects. Though, she might have earned the right to say whatever the hell she wants after climbing 800 stairs to get there. Also, I can’t tell if Margery stays smirking when she sees Cersei or if that’s her bashful, “I’m really sorry that I’m coming for everything you have and are but don’t take it personal” face. Though, they may be one and the same.
In the Sept, Jaime is standing watch over Tywin’s body. And in case you weren’t sure when Tyrion hit him with that crossbow two step last season, Tywin still dead as a muthafucka. Cersei turns her chill down to “Never had any” before she starts in on Jaime. And yo, I ride with Jaime, but Cersei makes a great point: Jaime is THE WORST Kingsguard ever, yo. For those scoring at home, Jaime killed both the Hand (often forgotten fact) and the King the first go-round, assaulted the Hand and then fled the city so he was away when the second king on his watch died. Then watched his son/king/nephew die at his own wedding, then let the murderer of his father, the most recent Hand, out of prison. Perhaps Jaime should do, like, ANYTHING else but this.
Welcome to Pentos, where FedEx only delivers on the weekends and never inspects your packages for human trafficking. Tyrion fell out that crate lookin like Dwarf Jesus of Nazareth.
If he was looking for sympathy for his rough transit, then Varys ain’t the one. He’s like, yo, we across the Narrow Sea and they got UPS out here with a cheaper flat rate, I’ll ship your ass right back bruh. Varys says he was always part of the “Targaryan Restoration” which sounds a lot like a gentrification project in a small Pennsylvania town. He also says Westeros needs to be saved from itself, but you could easily substitute out Westeros for Tyrion in that sentence. Your boy trying to drink himself into the Seven Hells. Bad sign when you vomit from drinking and then don’t skip a beat before pouring another glass. In these streets, we call that “a problem.”
Still across the Narrow Sea, welcome back to Meereen, the no-chill capital of Essos since Daenerys got there. Our first shot is of a statue atop the pyramid being torn down. The thought being that they are tearing down symbols that were built by slaves. Bruh. If they did this shit in North America, we wouldn’t have any structures over two stories and we’d be barely past the hunter-gatherer part of our development.
Heading up the Meereen Urban Development project is White Rat, who is so pleased with the day’s work he goes to the brothel and orders the Number 4 off the menu. Also, we not gonna say anything about this good-lookin’ brotha who looks like he might be an all-pro defensive end being named “White Rat?” Aiight then. Since the Unsullied don’t have, ahem, enough equipment to play Jacks with, all White Rat really wants is to lay down with a beautiful woman and get his scalp rubbed with a little bit of moisturizer.
I mean, yo, in life, that’s all a brotha REALLY wants. But even that wasn’t meant to be before this dude on his way to an Eyes Wide Shut party cuts the White Rat’s throat.
Of course Dany is shocked, shocked to see that there’s gambling in here. I know it’s easy to forget because she just gave an order to nail like 186 men to posts last season, but Dany is naïve as all hell. She may not like the term conqueror, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and then takes over a city and nails almost two hundred other ducks to the cross…
Also, we should mention, WELCOME MOSSADOR. Lookin’ like Grey Worm’s little play cousin. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with more brown folk with speaking roles on Thrones, yo.
While they’re out looking for Sons of the Harpy, Missandei run up on Grey Worm like, “What are these brothels you cats be frequenting.” Grey Worm hit her with “they go there for the Nunya” special.
And now we’re back to The Wall, where even in sword training, Jon Snow’s hair is on fleek. Apparently, Jon isn’t over Ygritte’s death, because he training Ollie on some Stick / Daredevil type shit (whatever, like you didn’t binge watch like ALL of Daredevil in two days so you could be finished with it before Thrones came back). In the middle of Jon getting his Ra’s al Ghul on to Ollie’s Bruce Wayne, the Red Woman just appears behind him.
Jon takes the lift up with Melisandre and immediately wishes that elevator music had been invented already. Melisandre talking about “the Lord’s fire lives within me” which sounds like the same thing a preacher’s daughter once said to me when I was twelve right before suggesting to the group that we play hide and go get it. Then Melisandre “ungloves” your boy and makes Jon “feel her warmth” before Jon puts his glove back on like, “gross.”
And then Melisandre looks him up and down before asking if he’s a virgin. This might be a good time to state that in the books, Jon is like 17 years old at most. Not that that matters to Melisandre since we’re pretty sure Gendry couldn’t legally buy cigarettes when she “leached him up” last season.
Welcome back Stannis, who says “I’ll put Roose Bolton’s head on a spike” with the same tone that he says, “I’ll take a pretzel bagel, sliced and toasted with butter, no sour cream.” Stannis wants the wildlings to fight for him, but first he needs Mance Rayder to convince them. Which means he needs Jon to convince Mance. Yeah…that plan doesn’t have any holes in it.
Well, at Castle Black, when Jon tells Ollie “Shield Up,” its to make Ollie a better fighter. When “Shield Up” is yelled at Lord Robyn Arryn, its so no one can see him crying. Lord Robyn — 99 problems and being a pampered punk with no survival instincts is definitely one of them. All the Lords of the Vale watching Robyn get the training brakes beat off him, while Black Sansa looks on in disgust.
She lookin’ like, so my options are marry either this 13-year-old who was breastfeeding up until the point his mother went spelunking or the pederast who had to go around to all the great houses in the north and let them know he moved into the neighborhood as part of his parole.
Quick shot to Brienne, who like Jaime is a great character I want to root for, but has kind of failed her way up the ladder as well. She’s lost about all her religion since giving the Hound the 300 treatment off a cliff but losing Arya in the process. We don’t spend much time her and Podrick except she offered up the gem of the episode.
— Black Nerd Problems (@blknrdproblems) April 13, 2015
And of course, she’s saying she’s done with all this while Black Sansa’s caravan goes rolling past. Story of Brienne’s life yo.
Back in Miserable Landing, Loras Tyrell is trying to console Cersei with kind words about Tywin, but Cersei is a) bored with this conversation already, b) aware that kind words about Tywin don’t’ really exist, and c) too preoccupied watching Margery pass notes to Tommen between 3rd and 4th period. Nah b, Margery gotta press the B button more and work on her stealth ratings. She wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the caves of Skyrim.
When she leaves that conversation, Friendless Cersei and her wine glass run into Cousin Lancel, looking humble and…to Cersei, probably ripe. Your boy has had a lifestyle change since he left Cersei’s bed, which might make her the Thrones equivalent of Erykah Badu. He comes and finds her later, talkin’ about, “I led you to darkness.” Homie, Cersei was born in the darkness. Molded by it. She didn’t see the light until her brother…you know what, nevermind.
Oh, but let’s not let that brother and sister joke die on arrival because Ser Loras is consoling a former conquest of Oberyn when Margery walks in. Now look, Margery could’ve been like, “Ooh, sorry (face shielded), brother, we’re expected elsewhere, let’s go.” But instead, Margery saddled up to her brother’s bed like she’s just here to read the articles. WAY too comfortable fam. Though, when they start on the politics of marriage and Cersei that “perhaps” from Margery suggest she might be playing the long game.
Back to Pentos, where Tyrion is carrying around a goblet of wine the size of “Not here for any of this.” Varys wants to talk about the future and how they could challenge Westeros, while Tyrion is trying to find eternity at the bottom of that glass.
In Meereen, the messenger of Yunkai stands before Dany trying to work out some terms and Dany on some, “When did this become a negotiation” shit. They still sore about Dany ending slavery, but as a compromise, they want the fighting pits re-opened…ya know, those exhibitions they used to have the slaves do. In other words, the Yunkai were kind of the worst people in existence. Or the Romans. Whichever.
But Dany needs a little more council on the subject, particularly with Daario and his ass. Here’s the plain and simple truth, there’s a few beautiful muthafuckas on this show, folks. And for those that were concerned with the unbalanced amount of nudity on Thrones, the writers basically shoved three of the most impossible looking dudes on the show in front of you like, here, ya bastards.
Daario thinks she should re-open the fighting pits and tells a story about being a slave and winning his freedom in the fighting pits, eventually bringing him to this moment. Which would be sweet if Grey Worm didn’t say the same gotdamn thing to Missandei last season. Stop appropriating our stuff gorgeous white people!
Afterwards, Dany is missing her babies, so she goes down into the Passover vault to check on her dragons. Yeah, the dragons basically hit her with that Big Sean, like “Bitch, I don’t, fuck with you!” Not even that Daario afterglow was enough to keep Dany from thinking about her failures as a mother. Cold word, b.
We conclude at The Wall and Jon is talking to Mance about his pride and bending the knee to Stannis. Mance is like, I got too much cash for this shit and got no interest in submitting to King Monotone like that. Then Jon mentions he’ll be burned alive and Mance looks like he immediately regrets this decision.
In the courtyard, Stannis gives Mance one more chance to kneel before he makes the King Beyond the Wall the biggest fire the North has ever seen. Mance Rayder basically looked at Stannis like Snoop from the Wire before turning to Melisandre. “How my hair look, Red.” Melisandre was like, “It looks good girl,” before giving him that Joan of Arc work.
Jon might have come to The Wall to be apart of a lot of things, but human sacrifice probably wasn’t one of them. Before the screams get too crazy, Jon gives him that Hawkeye mercy and puts one in his chest. So ends the king’s reign over the wildlings and Ciaran Hinds’ fine work on the show. Caesar, we barely knew you, man. Hate it had to be you.