‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 5 Review: Saluting Those Who Passed, Looking Ahead To What May Come

For the previous 10 weeks, this space was used to recap what happened the previous night on Game of Thrones, but last week was the series finale and even though yesterday brought the return of True Detective and a couple solid HBO premieres (Ballers, The Brink), there are still plenty of people experiencing a GOT hangover.

Having had some time to digest ‘Mother’s Mercy’ and reflect on what transpired in Season 5, here’s a quick look back at everything that happened and some thoughts on what Season 6 might hold.

Their Watch Has Ended

Last week, we covered the biggest deaths on GOT and a few of them came from this past season, where these 12 characters – some major, some minor – met their end:

Mance Rayder
Janos Slynt
Barristan Selmy
Maester Aemon
Karsi – resurrected as a wight by the Night’s King at Hardhome
Princess Shireen
Hizdahr zo Loraq
Queen Selyse
Stannis Baratheon*
Meryn Trant
Jon Snow

What’s With The Asterisk?

Why is there an asterisk next to Stannis Baratheon’s name? Because this is Game of Thrones and since no one actually saw Brienne lop his head off when she broke out Oathkeeper and took a swing.

The screen cut to black, not a bloody image of Stannis’ head laying on the ground or blood spraying up and coating Brienne’s armour. As such, there is a possibility that she swung high, hacked into the tree and let Stannis live. We could very well see her marching him back to Castle Black or taking him with her as she tries to track down Sansa yet again.

The Jon Snow Speculation

So pretty much no one wanted to see Jon Snow die and as soon as the final episode ended, the theories about how the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch can be brought back to life and resume being an integral part of this series. For those that want to believe, there are two theories you can follow: one with Lady Melisandre and another based on his potential parentage.

Early in the season, Lady Melisandre made overtures towards Jon and she doesn’t throw herself at anyone that can’t help her cause. He turned her down, but following Stannis’ bad decision to march to Winterfell, she booked it back to Castle Black and was in the building when Aliser Thorne & Co. put their daggers into Jon “for the Watch.” She’s around and she’s essentially a witch, so it’s not too hard to imagine her doing some hocus pocus and bringing him back to life. Remember – Thoros of Myr resurrected Lord Beric Dondarrion several times using the same magic Lady Melisandre uses.

Theory No. 2 ties into the “Jon isn’t really Ned’s bastard” idea that got discussed in these recaps several weeks ago. The theory posits that Jon is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned simply took him in to keep watch over his sister’s son. If that’s the case, setting him on fire – as the Night’s Watch does to slain members – could potential lead to a resurrection of Jon Snow. After all, Dany survived a night in Khal Drogo’s funeral pire, so what’s to say that being set ablaze can’t have some kind of restorative effect on Jon?

What To Expect In Season 6?

There is a lot that is still open-ended after Season 5, so obviously, those stories will need to be continued and/or concluded.

We don’t know what happened to Dany with the Dothraki, Sansa and Theon/Reek when they jumped off the wall at Winterfell or Arya’s vision problems. Jaime is on his way back to King’s Landing with Myrcella, who may or may not be dead, and Cersei is going to be all kinds of fired up after being forced to make the walk of shame. Add in the Jon Snow situation and there are a ton of “can’t wait to see what happens” elements from Season 5 to look forward to in Season 6.

But we should also get the return of Bran Stark. You remember him – the young crippled Stark who was saved from the attacking wights by the Children of the Forest at the end of Season 4. We didn’t see any of Bran and his travelling companions (Meera Reed and Hodor) last season, but given that he’s a surviving member of the Stark family and his last appearance ended with the three-eyed raven telling him that he won’t walk, but he’ll fly, expect him to return and have another major arc next season.

Heading into Season 5, it was clear that this was going to be the season where some of the major characters started encountering each other – Stannis and Jon Snow, Dany and Tyrion – and Season 6 should bring us closer to knowing who is going to end up sitting on the Iron Throne when all of this is done.

The good thing is we only have 10 more months to wait until we can start finding out how all of this will play out.

Tags: Game of Thrones, HBO

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