Why do we love Game of Thrones? What keeps us on the edge of our seats during every episode? Is it the depth of the characters or the gripping plot twists? Perhaps its the settings, the costumes, the realistic battles, and the hope your favorite character will survive (they won’t).
It’s all that and more. We love Game of Thrones because it’s so real. Everything down to the ailments and food were researched by George R. R. Martin before he began writing. You connect because so much of it is real (not the dragons).
As an avid, book-throwing, Jon-Snow-loving, reader of The Song of Ice and Fire, I have been thrilled with the television adaptation. Sure, we lose some of the depth, but we also see things not detailed in the books. Some parts are adapted for viewer appreciation—like Littlefinger’s brothel—but some give deeper views into our beloved characters. The development of Tyrion’s conscience after he weds Sansa is a beautiful example- he would rather get drunk than defile her. The manipulation of the Red Woman is palpable as she torments Gendry to get his blood. Varys’ revenge on the man who cut him was a nice addition left out in the books.
Last season left us begging for more and investing in Tissue stock. Tyrion murders his father in the privy- giving us sweet, sweet justice. Arya escapes the Hound and makes her way to Bravos. The Three Eyed Raven teaches Bran how to see through the eyes of living things. Eddard Stark is still dead. Daenerys locks her dragons away because they find children delicious. Jon Snow is saved by Stannis. Cersei and Jamie are their usual obnoxious selves. (Get a room—no, separate ones!) Joffrey eats it!
Sansa flees King’s Landing with Petyr (great idea) and ends up trapped in the Eyrie. Catelyn, Rob, and his bride are murdered. And no one has heard from that little Rickon Stark kid in a while….
What are we looking forward to in Season 5? Judging by the new cast, the Sand Snakes, The Viper’s bastard girls from Dorne will be retaliating in revenge of their father Oberon’s death. (This is why we wear helmets!)
Princess Myrcella has been recast with an age-appropriate actress. One would imagine she and the bastards have something to do with each other, since she’s been in Dorne for a while (no spoilers, calm down people). The Martells, rulers of Dorne, have also been cast so we will definitely be spending time there.
Of course, we want to know what will happen to the dragons, since the black one avoided capture. We hope Theon Greyjoy’s sister Asha will save him. (She was Asha in the books! The show renamed her Yara! Don’t blame me. I’m a purist.) Tyrion hopped on a boat and abandoned King’s Landing, bent for where? The Seven only know. Of course we want to follow Jon Snow. (Is it the hair? It’s the hair.)
Judging by the fact that, despite the incest and murder, we still watch the show, I’m going to warrant we’re looking forward to a bit of that as well. (Yes, we. I’m including you.)
Season 5 should follow the plot of book 4, which is a book we readers like to rename as Wait, What Happened to My Favorite Characters? This book takes place at the same time as book 3, just in different locations, so it follows new characters in exotic lands. In order to tempt us to keep watching, the producers will have to twine these plots with our current favorite characters, or abandon them altogether.
With Joffrey moldering, Tywin crapped out, and Jamie short a hand, it seems those we love to hate finally got their comeuppance. Wait! What about Cersei or the Bastard of Bolton? Well, we can only hope for more vengeance. Did I forget anyone? Yes, most of the characters. There are too many names to remember. Shut up.
Hold on to your favorite character as we get started on Season 5. Chances are, if they’ve survived this far, they are either too important to die, or the probability they will die is pretty high. Either way, George R. R. Martin messes with our affection and heart strings, and that’s why we love him. For now, all we can do is wait and see if Winter finally comes this season. (It won’t.)