Season 5 Episode 1: The Wars to Come Recap
The premiere of Season 5 brings something new to Game of Thrones – The Wars to Come opens with a flashback. We see young Cersei seek out a witch to hear what her future holds. The woman tells Cersei many things that we have already seen come true. She is told she will wed the king but no legitimate children will come of their union. There is one part of this prophecy that haunts Cersei to this day. The witch tells her that queen she will be, until one younger and more beautiful than her comes to replace her.
After this, we cut to Tywin’s funeral. Cersei displays her inability to be polite, ignoring the many people who try to wish her condolences. We remeet Lancel Lannister, Cersei’s cousin and former lover. He has become a Sparrow, a religious order that believes in chastity and poverty. He reminds Cersei that he was the one to aid her in murdering Robert Baratheon.
Margaery finds her brother with his lover and chastises him for making the King wait. Loras is unimpressed by her annoyance and reminds her that he will have to marry Cersei or else Margaery will have to spend her time with her mother-in-law. Margaery reminds us that she is one of the most cunning characters on the show with the cryptic response of ‘Perhaps.’
Tyrion arrives in Pentos in a crate, where Varys awaits him. Varys is disgusted by Tyrion’s descent into alcoholism and pushes him to journey to Meereen to meet and aid Daenerys. Meanwhile, Daenerys is struggling in her role as ruler of Meereen. Her Unsullied are being killed by the ‘Sons of the Harpy,’ a group who are unhappy to have lost the spoils of slavery. She is approached to reopen the fighting pits but refuses. However, Daario Naharis later argues for the reopening, framing the pits as a way for freedmen to make money and achieve a better life. Daenerys goes to visit her dragons, but they have become uncontrollable.
Sansa and Petyr bring young Robin to a man-at-arms to help him learn how to act more like a proper knight and lord. As they leave, Petyr tells Sansa that they are going somewhere that Cersei Lannister can never find her. Their carriage passes Brienne and Podrick Payne. Brienne has given up on finding Sansa and tries to get Podrick to leave her. She is no knight, she says, and therefore does not need a squire.
In the North, Jon Snow tries to convince Mance Rayder to bend the knee to Stannis Baratheon. Mance explains to Jon that giving his allegiance to Stannis would be giving up on all of his beliefs. Jon tries to argue that bending the knee will save the other wildlings, but he is not successful. Melisandre and Stannis sentence Mance to burning alive for his crime. Jon cannot watch this, so he shoots Mance through the heart before the flames reach him.
Episode 1 of Season 5 reminds us that there are many conflicts coming. The Wars to Come can refer to Cersei and Margaery’s battle for control, Daenerys’ attempt to keep power in Meereen, Jon and Stannis’ fight against the White Walker and the wildlings and more. The first episode of season 5 checks in with most of our favorite characters to prepare us for what is sure to be a dramatic season.