That's right, Game of Thrones Season 5 certainly had its ups and downs. Below we discuss the finer points in our TV Fanatic Report Card.
This year there was another royal wedding at King's Landing, we visited Dorne (barely), and Tyrion made his way to Meereen. Later, Cersei was imprisoned and took a walk of atonement. Jon fought the White Walker army, Arya trained to be an assassin and Sansa married that evil bastard. There were deaths and shocking moments to spare. Let's not forget dragons, yeah we got plenty of dragon action too!
Feel free to sound off in the comments and let us know if you agree or disagree with us. And relive a few season highlights courtesy of our animated GIFs.
The Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale was easily one of the best in the series' history. Not only did many story arcs reach their conclusion, but we were left with a few cliffhangers as well. After her walk of atonement, Cersei met the new and improved Mountain. No doubt the monster will wreak havoc on the sparrows next season. Daenerys couldn't get poor Drogon to move, and wandered off only to be captured by the Dothraki. Stannis got what he deserved... or did he? The camera cuts away several times, leaving us wondering if a character truly met their maker. Would Brienne ever spare him? Did Sansa and Theon survive that jump? And what about Jon Snow? Is there any chance he'll be back for Season 6? The slower epiosdes set the ground work that allowed this finale to really pay off.
It's tough to pick a "worst" episode because each installment this year advanced the story nicely. The first half of the season was basically setting up those last three incredibly solid episodes. That said, we're going to go with Arya's Season 5 storyline as the "slowest burn" (mostly because we hate to call Thrones boring).
Arya's journey was interesting, but Jaqen H'ghar's cryptic dialog and the events inside the House of Black and White were hard to follow. Of course, we later learned the Faceless Men washed the dead bodies to acquire their face for the Hall of Faces. Sure, it all worked just fine, but watching Arya kill Ser Meryn Trant proving she was not "No One" was the moment we had been waiting for.
Season 5 MVP
We all love to hate Cersei Lannister, but we wouldn't wish the hell she went through this season on our worst enemy. At first, it was humbling to see her in that grimy cell lapping up water from the floor. Cersei has made so many people miserable through the years – including Queen Margaery this season – but the High Sparrow nearly broke her with the walk of atonement.
Once she suffered that humiliation and reached The Red Keep, she had survived. Chances are there will be no trial for her in Season 6, the Frankenmountain will see to that you'll see. Lena Headey's performance was brilliant. We felt for Cersei, regardless of whether or not we like the character.
Most Disappointing Character(s)
There was such excitement surrounding Oberyn Martell's eight illegitimate daughters and their vengeance this season. However, the Sand Snakes were not only poorly fleshed out but felt like something out of Xena: Warrior Princess. How much time did we spend in Dorne this season, half an hour?
Aside from the scene above, the Sand Snakes were never a true threat. The actual ring leader was always Ellaria Sand, who with one kiss in the finale rendered the existence of the Sand Snakes pointless. If we do see these "warriors" again, hopefully we'll be given a chance to spend time with them. Show us why they're a threat rather than trying to convince us via silly monologues.
Epic Character Meeting
Tyrion and Daenerys' face-to-face was one we've all been awaiting for years. When it finally happened, most fans agreed their discussion was well worth it. From Tyrion introducing himself as "the Gift," to bonding with Dany as "two terrible children of two terrible fathers," their time together was priceless.
While he was definitely impressed with Daenerys early on, the moment she rode Drogon was the true game changer. Tyrion realized then he must help her reclaim the Iron Throne. These two make a formidable team. Once they are reunited next season, the journey to Westeros begins. We can't wait!
Jon Snow (as well as fans of the books) had no idea what was coming when they arrived at Hardhome. The massacre that followed ranks right up there with some of Thrones best battle sequences, including Blackwater and The Wall. Did you know HBO increased the budget specifically for this battle sequence? Interesting that Dany's flight aboard Drogon looked slightly cheesy, yet the battle of Hardhome was flawless.
Plus, we won't soon forget the Night's King raising his arms and bringing the dead back to life. Will the mysterious leader of the White Walkers save Jon, and make him a lieutenant in his army of the dead? It's a stretch, but we really want Jon Snow to return, even as a walker.