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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Was that anti-climatic for anyone else? It wasn’t a bad episode, it was more of an “okay here’s where everyone was at the end of last season,┬áremember?” That’s fine for a premiere, although I remember last year’s premiere where we were introduced to Oberyn and it did feel like things were happening. But first, previously on Game of Thrones. A lot of people died. Listen if you don’t know what happened seasons 1-4 you need to go watch them. But Tyrion killed his girlfriend Shae after finding her in his father’s bed, and then killed his father on the toilet before fleeing with Varys. Jaime let him out, so that’s going to go great for his conscience. Brienne and the Hound fought over Arya, and Brienne won, but Arya escaped from them both. She refused to kill the Hound when she found him beaten, which would have been a mercy. Now she’s headed over to Braavos because her assassin friend Jaqen told her to go there if she needed to be safe. Sansa decided to go all Dark Phoenix and accept herself as a player in the game with Littlefinger. Jon Snow lost Ygritte and they fought off the wildlings, but then Stannis came crashing in to protect the Wall. Dany took over a slave city but realized her dragons were eating children, and she used to be proud that dragons couldn’t be tamed. Less proud now. She had to lock two of them up, and one is free. That’s the only important ones from last season that matter for this episode.

The episode opens up with a flashback for Cersei. I knew instantly what was happening, and they did a good job of picking a girl who does look like Lena Headey. It helps they had her dress herself and wear her hair the exact same too. She and a friend go to a witch to get their fortunes read. Fans of the book would remember this is Maggy the Frog, and she tells Cersei that she will be Queen, that she will be replaced by a queen who younger and prettier, and that she’ll have three children but none by the King. And the King will have twenty, all of Robert’s bastard kids. This is all true, so it’s on her mind since she may be replaced by Margaery. Little does she know that Dany may well be that queen instead. In King’s Landing, Cersei grieves for her dead father, and she is furious that Jaime let their brother out. She knows instantly he did, although with Varys gone it’s surprising everyone just didn’t blame him for it. Cersei knows better. She is increasingly paranoid about what’s coming, and it doesn’t help when her cousin Lancel shows up and he is now a religious nut. He reminds her that he knows about what happened to Robert and that she seduced him in an incestuous way. You better watch that mouth, Lancel. She might just take your head off. The religious cult he’s in is called the Sparrows, and they’ll likely come up again soon. Margaery hangs out in her brother’s room while he’s naked with his lover, and she’s like dude, you probably shouldn’t be so open about it. And he’s like sis, everyone knows, and Cersei is so not marrying me now. True facts.

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Varys finally lets Tyrion out of a box he’d been staying in for the journey, and reveals they’re in Pentos. He’s always been playing a few sides, and now he’s on Dany’s side. He wants Tyrion to be too. He believes that everyone will get behind a ruler that they actually love. Tyrion seems slightly intrigued, but obviously he’s still tortured by what happened to him last season. Dany meanwhile is irritated that one of her Unsullied got murdered by this band the Sons of the Harpy. They’re not so happy with her actions. One of the diplomats in the city asks for her to allow the fighting pits to start again, and she’s not too happy with it since the slaves used to have to fight in it. She listens to her new beau Daario, who admits he was a slave too and became a gladiator. He won his freedom and fame from the fights, so he thinks she should open them up. He taunts her a little that she isn’t mother of dragons currently since her dragons have run amuck. She tries to go down to see the two trapped ones, and they are not very happy at all to see her. They will burn her if she gets too close. She runs and looks upset over what’s happened with them. I get why this is hard, it’s sad to see. Dany’s still young and she really needs an advisor like Jorah to give her solid thoughts on everything. But with his betrayal it looks like she’s getting quite haughty. Maybe if Varys and Tyrion get there, they can focus her. Or maybe she’ll want them both dead. Hard to say.

Stannis tells Jon that he has to persuade Mance Rayder to tell the wildlings to fight for him. Stannis will make peace with the wildlings, a big deal since no one’s ever done that, if they’ll help him defeat the others. He’ll let them live on this side of the wall too. It’s a very reasonable deal, and since Stannis believes strongly in honor, he’ll stick to it. Mance however refuses to sell out his people like that even if he knows he has to die for it. So he does get burned to death, and Jon kills him with an arrow to spare him from a slow death in burning. The wildlings will probably work it out with Stannis though. Melisandre is a full out creep with how she’s staring at Jon and asked if he was a virgin. Warning, warning, stay away from her Jon. Speaking of creepy people, Littlefinger is hanging out with Sansa. He says they’re going to a land that Cersei won’t find them, which is interesting, where are they headed? Unfortunately they pass right by Brienne and Podrick, and Brienne’s given up on finding Sansa and regaining her honor. Sad. Sansa really could use your help, Brienne, Littlefinger’s so creepy.

That’s about it for this episode. No Arya, but no doubt that’s coming soon. I really hope she finds Jaqen. I can’t wait to see Tyrion interacting with Dany. Overall this was a good solid episode. It reminded everyone of the characters and their storylines, but it didn’t really introduce anything new or particularly interesting to the show. I think it’s just set up for what’s coming ahead. First episodes are allowed to do that, but it makes me excited to look forward to next week instead.

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