Die, Stannis, Die! I knew Stannis Baratheon was a pretender to the throne (‘Game of Thrones’ pays off, sometimes despite itself). Granted, I was hoping Davos would off both him and the Red Witch, but I’ll take an embarrassing, historic military loss instead of betrayal by his ally. Stannis was the face of religious zealotry, and like all such fools, was burned … unfortunately, not literally, like his poor, trusting daughter.
Cersei gets hers. Speaking of religious zealotry, how’d that little game you were running with the dirty priest work out for you, Cersei? Did Ms. Lannister learn nothing from her dad? You can’t empower those thirsting for power unless you have something to hold over them, or you will get fucked. Period. Interesting that Olenna Tyrell figured out immediately what the holy man was, while Cersei had to end up in the dungeon before she realized who she was messing with. I found this to be the most interesting storyline of the season and am interested to see where it leads. My suspicion is that, while Round One went to the holy man, Cersei will even up the balance sheet at some point.
Only one trustworthy Stark. Well, I’d hoped for more from Sansa (Long game starting to come together on ‘Game of Thrones’), as it seemed like at the end of Season 4 she was finally ready to be proactive. But she just went along with Baelish, not really thinking ahead, and that did not work out so well for her. When Theon Greyjoy is your knight in shining armor, you have seriously gone off the rails. Thankfully, Arya keeps getting smarter, the only Stark worth her weight in something other than cow dung. I continue to think, at some point, the north is going to rally behind her, but her time with “the man” could spin her in other directions.
Speaking of Stark-like behavior. John Snow, rest in peace (unless, as every headline on the Internet suggests, he is not dead, which would just be stupid). Snow’s problem was he tried two strategies that couldn’t work together. On the one hand, making Alliser Thorne his second-in-command was a stroke of brilliance. Single handedly, Snow brought his biggest enemy into the fold and honored his abilities, very publicly. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” On the other hand, Snow also tried to take a huge leap that was never, at least in the early stages, going to have broad support among the Crows. To pull off something as crazy as bringing years-long enemies such as the Wildings in as allies, you need a second-in-command that is completely loyal and is going to back your play. Snow took a huge risk that he knew probably wasn’t going to work and sabotaged himself in the process. It could have come together as he envisioned, but he didn’t quite have the chops to pull it off. Still, Snow, so far, has accomplished more than any other spawn of Ned Stark.
Daenerys’s dynasty. It was frustrating to watch Daenerys spin her wheels on the other side of the sea throughout Season 5. That said, the lessons she’s learned and the allies she now has position her better than anyone still living in Westeros to take the reins of the kingdom. The wild cards are the dragons … they could be very useful, even just as intimidating symbols. But how much control does Daenerys have of those flaming-breathing beasts? Guess we’ll find out …