The Wars to Come
Season 5 Episode 1
The Wars to Come, or Mance Can’t Dance
I’m reading very little love for the premiere of Game of Thrones’ Fifth Season. I get it. I don’t agree, but I get it.
Game of Thrones does not have the luxury of spending half a decade perfecting a story, intricately weaving the various courses undertaken by a veritable phone book of characters.
That the show has become a bit unwieldy due to its mammoth cast should come as no surprise, especially when the author of the books saw fit to spread them from one corner of his fictional globe to the other.
What the book readers love, it seems, the show watchers find seizure inducing.
If history’s any indication, episode two will be much the same, as they focus on another set of characters while adding a little weight to the ones already introduced in the premiere.
I’ve long felt this all could be corrected, this “premiere dissatisfaction” by airing episodes one and two as a single two hour launch, giving us an eleven hour season instead of ten, but what the hell do I know?
The other gripe, beyond the machine gun, scatter spray storytelling is how far the books and show are diverging. I happen to like both. Here’s how I rationalize it. I view it as one story told by separate bards. Each has their own style, their own way of looking at things. The gist of the tale is the same, but they tell things in a different order, combine this, edit that, but in the end, it’s the same tale… Like one more than the other if you like. Me? I sort of have a fondness for Mel Gibson’s Hamlet.
I realize I haven’t had much to say about the first episode. I will discuss things more fully as the season progresses. I’m just damned happy to have Game of Thrones back, especially with only two episodes remaining in the Vikings third season.
The Wars to Come was a solid outing for me, the highlight being Cersei’s flashback to her run in with Maggy the Frog, played maliciously by Alice Munro from Last of the Mohicans, if memory serves.
Haters are gonna hate. As for now, I’m loving it… The story’s being sung by a different bard, but the song is still of Ice and Fire, and, I suspect, it will still end with dragon’s breath and white walkers before it’s all said and done.
More next week.