After almost a year long wait, Game of Thrones finally returned to our screens last night for its fifth season, and fair to say, it didn't disappoint. Things went out on a rather dramatic note in season four with the death of Tywin Lannister whilst sitting on the throne no less (and not the Iron one), and while the opening episode wasn't quite as drama filled, it did set things up nicely for what's to come.
The episode kicked off with what was the series' first ever flashback, a concept we knew to expect from this upcoming season. It featured a young Cersei heading off with her mate to find some wicked witch of the woods, and we quickly learned that mini Cersei was just as obnoxious as regular Cersei. Wicked witch lady was well able to handle her though, informing her she would one day have three children, ominously adding; "Gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds", as well as telling her that a younger and more beautiful Queen would one day take her place.
Naturally the assumption here is that this new Queen will be Margaery Tyrell... or could she be referring to a certain Queen of Dragons? Anyways, we're getting ahead of ourselves. (This is just general speculation, not a book readers insight or the likes.)
Back in present day King's Landing, the Lannisters are grieving the loss of their father, with Cersei out for Tyrion's head. She'll be a long time waiting though as we soon see that Tyrion and Varys have landed on a distant shore in a place that looked like it was straight out of a Bold and the Beautiful set. Tyrion did manage to bag himself some nice sunkissed highlights in that boat box though....
Back in Meereen then we catch up with Daenerys and the gang (you'd miss Lord Friendzone all the same), where the Queen seems to be struggling with maintaining her power. But we think bloke-we-always-knew-she-was-bangin' has a point, the Queen of Dragons.... needs dragons!
However, when Daeny takes herself off to visit these former pets of hers, they are none to happy to see her. Someone's been a bad ma' of the dragons...
Over at The Wall then, Jon Snow is maintaining his status of being a gigantic legend by training in that younger lad, who we're pretty sure is the same fella who killed Ygritte, but Jon Snow doesn't bear a grudge. Jon Snow is so sound, even red witch lady wants to be his friend.
Bit of awkward lift banter there going up the wall though, ey'?
'Are you a virgin?'
Sure that's grand! What does she have in store for him??
Jon Snow soon realised he had a task at hand from Stannis though, and that was to have Mance Rayder surrender, so he could use his army of wildlings to reclaim Winterfell and the like. We all knew how unlikely that was, but sure no better man than that bastard Jon Snow to give it a bash.
Meanwhile, Littlefinger and new-hair/badass Sansa are still hanging around together over at The Eyrie but they soon set on the road to somewhere not even Cersei could find Sansa, Littlefinger says. Dorne per chance? Would be great for and the little sis to have a catch up, given that they don't know each other are alive and whatnot.
Back at King's Landing then, the Lannisters were meeting and greeting the mourners, including that weird cousin of theirs with the dress and no shoes that Cersei was doing the dirty with back in season one. He's called a Sparrow folks, and this lot are supposed to play a big role in this season.
It was Castle Black that was given the final moments of this opening episode however, where Mance Raydar was facing his gruesome death at the stake. It was all getting pretty difficult to watch, until Jon Snow comes along and shoots an arrow straight into Mance's heart, sparing him the humiliation of a painful death.
Telling you, some man, wha'?
So that's it for episode one, all in all, the wheels have been set in motion for some pretty juicy action in season five. We know that Varys and Tyrion are setting out to find Daenerys, Littlefinger and Sansa are going to a land far, far away, that may or may not include Arya (who we are set to check in on in episode two), we know that Stannis is pulling together an army for one hell of a rising in Westeros, but can he really go up against Daenarys if she gets those dragons of hers back on board?
And c'mere, the most important question of all from last night, just what are the unsullied doing in a brothel?
Game of Thrones continues on Mondays at 10pm on Sky Atlantic.