‘Game of Thrones’ Season Five: 10 Things We Want (And Hope) to See
Game of Thrones season five arrives this weekend and fans couldn’t be more excited and nervous and prematurely frustrated. This is the season that promises to go beyond George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, spoiling future events and inventing storylines that don’t exist in the novels. Unlike the past four seasons, book-readers will be just as in the dark as everyone else ... which means that making predictions about what will happen on the show has gotten a lot more difficult.
In the past, you could whip up a list of things you were excited to see on Game of Thrones that were almost guaranteed to happen. But now, when we make a list of the 10 things we want to see on the new season, we have to meld events from the books, extrapolations from what little we do know about the new season, and wild fan theories that we love (and may not even be true in the books). A lot of this is spitballing, a shot in the dark, etc. We want to see these things happen, but who knows what the show has in store for us this time around?
This list is written from the point of view of someone who has read all of the books but hasn’t seen anything from the new season yet. Spoilers from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons follow.
1. Jaime Gets Up in Everyone’s Dornish Business
One of the biggest changes from the book this season will be the presence of Jaime Lannister in Dorne, where he will get to brush shoulders with Oberyn Martell’s vengeful bastard daughters (known as the “Sand Snakes”) and his calmer, cooler older brother, Doran (played by Alexander Siddig). It makes sense. Rather than simply introduce all of these new characters out of context, we will get to meet them through the eyes of a character we already know. Since Jaime has essentially nothing to do for the entirety of A Feast For Crows, why not let him take the trip? However, the mere presence of another Lannister on Martell turf will get a lot of temperatures rising and we hope the show takes advantage of this. Since the books deal with a Martell scheme to place Myrcella Lannister on the throne in place of Tommen, we hope Jaime gets fully involved in the plot. Whether he takes on the role played by Ser Aerys Oakhart in the books and participates in her abduction or he joins the forces that help hunt her down, directly injecting Jaime into the action will drive book purists crazy while creating great drama.
2. Tyrion Meets Jorah (and Daenerys!)
When A Dance With Dragons concludes, Tyrion has spent nearly a 1,000 pages in Essos and plenty of time with the exiled Jorah Mormont, creating another one of those wacky road trips duos we love so much. In its final chapter, he is prepping his return to Westeros and, despite a few close encounters, he never meets Daenerys. Since the show is going its own way at this point, this needs to change. If Game of Thrones puts two of the most popular characters within spitting distance of one another and doesn’t give them a chance to match wits, it will feel like a huge missed opportunity. As much as we’re looking forward to the contentious Jorah/Tyrion duo, we’re looking forward to a book-breaking conversation between the Imp and the Mother of Dragons more.
3. The Return of the Tullys
The events of the Red Wedding destroyed the Stark family and crippled their allies, especially the Tully family. Catelyn Stark’s brethren were absent throughout all of season four, but surely season five can give us a sliver of an update on what they’re doing. The newlywed and newly-hostaged Edmure Tully plays a minor role in the most recent books, but we’re most intrigued by Martin’s references to Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully’s ongoing, underground war with Lannister forces. It would be a shame for these promising characters to completely vanish. Surely the Blackfish has teamed up with the Brotherhood Without Banners by now, which would mean the return of the fantastic Berric Dondarrion. And maybe, just maybe, that means Lady Stoneheart coming into the fold. Maybe.
4. Arya Reunites A Man
Those who carefully read A Song of Ice and Fire know exactly where Jaqen H’ghar is right now in the books. That place is not Braavos, where Arya is currently undergoing training to become a merciless assassin. But the books are the books and the show is the show, so the reveal that Jaqen’s TV actor, Tom Wlaschiha, would be returning to Game of Thrones got the fans chattering. Could Jaqen take the place of “the Kindly Man,” the mysterious teacher training Arya in the art of death? We hope so. Since the show has dropped so many of the subplots that would require Jaqen’s presence elsewhere, the thought of our favorite Stark reuniting with one of our favorite supporting characters is too exciting for words. After all, there is no reason to introduce a new face when someone we already know and like is available.
5. Jon Snow Executes the Crap Out of Janos Slynt
We already know that season five will see Jon Snow elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, a decision that somehow puts his life in more danger than usual. What we don’t know is whether or not his most memorable and dramatic decision as the leader of the Wall will make it to screen. When Janos Slynt, who betrayed Ned Stark back in season one, refuses to follow his new leader’s orders, Jon personally executes him. It’s an incredible moment for several reasons. First, it’s a great death for a guy who’s had it coming for five books (and five seasons of TV). Second, Jon’s decision to swing the sword himself shows him taking the lessons of Ned Stark to heart (“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword”). Third, it’s the closest Ned himself will ever get to personal vengeance, since it’s his moral code taking Slynt’s head off his shoulders. And finally, Stannis Baratheon witnesses the whole thing and gives Jon a nod of approval, establishing an incredible bond between the series’ two most rigid characters. It would be foolish to lose this scene.
6. The Wacky/Horrible Misadventures of Littlefinger and Sansa
While some characters and subplots are still very much in line with their book counterparts, the increasingly uncomfortable journeys of Sansa Stark and Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish jumped past the novels in season four. It’s bold new territory for these two and everything they do from this point onward will either be spoilers for future books or completely invented for the show. That’s both frightening and exciting and we hope the show refuses to tread water and allows this manipulative duo to really get involved in everyone else’s business. One popular fan theory that is as exciting as it is repulsive suggests that Littlefinger will arrange for Sansa to marry Ramsay Bolton (taking the place of Jeyne Poole, who doesn’t exist on the show), which means that she’s in for a relationship that will make her time with Joffrey look healthy and sane. Imagine the bittersweetness: Sansa finally gets to return to Winterfell, only to find herself wed to the psychopath who burnt it down.
7. The Boltons Eat Some “Frey Pie”
It’s probably too late for Game of Thrones to introduce Wyman Manderly, the Stark ally stationed at White Harbor who plays a minor role in the first four books. However, his stealthy revenge scheme against House Frey and House Bolton in A Dance With Dragons needs to make it into the show in some way, especially since he’s one of the few guys actively making life difficult for the perpetrators of the Red Wedding. Although the events are seen only through the eyes of Theon Greyjoy (and therefore cannot be proven), is is heavily implied that Wyman murders a handful of Frey soldiers, bakes them into a pie, and serves them to Roose and Ramsay Bolton at a feast. He does this while quietly employing his forces to seek out Rickon Stark and stir up a northern rebellion. As one of the few characters standing in the way of the seemingly unstoppable Bolton clan, Game of Thrones would be wise to borrow his machinations, even if Wyman himself isn’t present.
8. A Martell Gets Roasted by a Dragon
We already know that the ill-fated Quentyn Martell has been cut from Game of Thrones, which means the horrifying sequence where he is roasted by Daenerys’ dragons won’t make it onto the show. But maybe, uh, someone else cold get roasted to death by Dany’s dragons? We genuinely have no clue how the show will handle Daenerys’ complicated (and let’s face it, convoluted) A Dance With Dragons storyline, but the total removal of Quentyn suggests that we’re in for something very different than the printed page. But let’s assume that the season ends as the book does, with all of Dany’s dragons on the loose. Surely that means another major character makes the foolish mistake of thinking he can tame and steal them. Surely the show won’t deny us a roasted Martell! Would the show have the nerve to put Trystane Martell (who is in the show) in Quentyn’s place, giving the character a fate that couldn’t be more different than his book counterpart?
9. The Death of Balon Greyjoy
Mortal words really cannot convey how bummed we are about the extended Greyjoy clan not making it into season five. By this point in the books, Yara Greyjoy and her uncles, Euron and Victarion, are battling for control of their House and engaging in one of the books’ most entertaining plot lines. It would be a genuine shame to lose them. So that’s why we hope season five kills Balon Greyjoy. It can even happen offscreen, for all we care. This will also finally fulfill Melisandre’s leech-burning sorcery from season three, which called for the deaths of Robb, Joffrey, and Balon (and the show needs to go three-for-three on this). Balon’s death not only confirms that power of the Red Witch, it promises that we may get future Greyjoy machinations in season six. Without Balon, someone needs to step up to lead the Iron Islanders. If the show won’t give us any Victarion or Euron greatness now, it can at least humor us and suggest that they may be coming later.
10. The Hound is Alive and Living in Peace
It’s one of the great unsolved mysteries of A Song of Ice and Fire: is Sandor “The Hound” Clegane alive and sort of well and living a life of relative peace as a mute, hooded monk on the Quiet Isle? A careful reading of select chapters in A Feast For Crows suggest that the answer to that question is yes (especially since the popular/awesome/nutty “Clegane Bowl” fan theory implies that both bothers will rise from their “deaths” to do battle one last time). We’re not sure what Brienne and Podrick will be up to this season since they’ve already used most of their book material, but if they find time to stop by the monastery on the Quiet Isle and chat with the Elder Brother about the late Sandor Clegane, it would certainly be nice to catch a glimpse of one of the show’s greatest characters attempting to atone for a life of sin.