Game of Thrones, the massively popular period drama series by HBO, is coming back with its 5th season this April to enthrall audiences once again (and of course also to kill off some more of our favorite characters). The anticipation with the upcoming season is extremely high, particularly because of the success of the previous which helped GoT top as HBO’s most popular TV show of all time. Season 4, arguably the best so far, peaked on entertainment through major shockers, prudent character development, some top notch CGI and of course outstanding dialogues. Too much talk on Season 4? Well, that explains how brilliant it was and also the pressure surmounting the season that is to come. The trailer is already out along with lots of set pictures; with these the fandom is abuzz with what to expect from the show and the ubiquitous debate on its differences from the book. Here is what we can count on from the 5th installment:
Dorne and House Martell
Oberyn Martell has set the bar up extremely high for the House Martell. The Dornish Prince with his unique accent, uncanny looks and utter disregard for Kings Landing norms made up for one of the best characters of the series so far; the sexiest, too. However, in the wake of his not-so-graceful death, we will have the show navigating towards Dorne, home to the unbowed royal clan of the Martells. House Martell, clearly not very happy about Oberyn’s bloody demise is likely to be after the Lannisters seeking vengeance. Remember, Cersei speaking to Oberyn about ensuring her daughter’s safety, whom she sailed off to Dorne? Think the Martells won’t hurt little girls anymore?
Of what we know so far Dorne and Martells will feature heavily in the impending season. Infact among all the new entries five are Dornish characters including Oberyn Martell’s three daughters and his brother, Prince Doran Martell. It remains to be seen whether the royal sibling can match the allure of Oberyn.
Sansa Stark’s take on power dressing in a fierce black outfit left audiences anticipating the reverse turn her character is deemed to take ahead. Having suffered enough it would be very interesting to see whether or not she takes heed of little finger’s advice- “There’s no justice in this world. Not unless we make it. Avenge them.” Sophie Turner mentioned Sansa undergoes some more traumatic experience in the new season. Given her familiarity with trauma, it is only more reasonable to expect Sansa to turn the table against her family’s offenders. (A fan’s wish: Please don’t kill off any more Lannister; torture them maybe.)
For whom the wedding bells toll
Weddings are always a fancy affair at Martin’s fictional space, not to mention bloody as well. With the notorious Joffrey Baratheon/Lannister dead, Margaery Tyrell is all set to marry the dead king’s younger brother Tommen Baratheon. C’mon- all she wants is a Kingdom. Given Margaery’s shady nature, it will be interesting to see how the ascent to power reshapes her character and resets her equation with Cersei. Also in this season, we find Daenerys walking down the aisle for the wedlock with Daario Naharis.
Considering GoT’s history, a wedding in itself is bound to get us to the edge of our seats. While Margaery and Tommen’s wedding does not hint at any tragedy but the one featuring the most dynamic claimant to the iron throne is surely going to be an exceptional one. Random thought: Am I the only one who ships Daenerys and Jorah Mormont?
Fret not. It is time for non-book readers like ourselves to celebrate, as finally we will be even with them book readers in the game of spoilers. With the upcoming season the show is slated to surpass the trajectory of the books. This means the show will feature stories that are yet to happen on paper. Fans of GoT’s textual counterpart have mostly been rather snobby about their knowledge of every living soul residing in Westeros. Sadly for them, George R R Martin confirmed at the San Diego Comi-con that the books will be slow in pacing up with the show. As we will be on the same page from now on, the informational disparity can be expected to be put to rest, finally.
Now the Divergences –
Diverging from the books is not new in this show. Previous seasons have already deviated from the developments in the books’ due to the tight 10 episode season format. Since the show is now moving ahead of the books more deviations are inevitable between the two forms’ narrative.
There is a possible reunion for Sansa, one that is yet to happen in the book. More over the scene between Petyr and Sansa from the trailer is not even featured there. Jamie’s arrival at Dorne is also something yet to take place in the published novels, who is somewhere in Riverlands. The show has also sped up Dany and Tyrion’s plots as set pictures already show Tyrion with Dany at her wedding. In the novel, Tyrion is still on his way to Mereen. Furthermore, it has been suggested that several characters still breathing and functioning in the novel will kick the bucket in motion (pun unintended).
This season will sideline two major characters, Hodor and Bran. The other motive is to drop the storyline of Iron Islands for the time being. Since book 4 of ASOIAF does not feature the fan favorite story arcs of Dany, Tyrion or Jon Snow, Season 5 had to incorporate elements from the fifth novel, A Dance with Dragons. As far as character developments go, major changes will be brought in that respect as well, especially relating to Jamie and the Martells. The show makers have often fused one’s storyline with that of another. This is necessary since it is not possible to introduce all the different characters from the novels in the series.
Regardless of the divergences, G R R Martin refuses to acknowledge either of the formats as the true or superior storyline. Perhaps, this is an attempt to calm the ongoing fan debates. However, one thing is for certain- with major deviations and advanced timeline from the books, the upcoming season promises more excitement for fans of both the versions. Be it Margaery and Cersei’s entertaining animosity, the rustic appeal of Dorne, weddings gone wrong or some kickass CGI featuring the magnificent Drogon- Season 5 is unlikely to run short of amusements. On a rather unpleasant note, with the promise of advanced deaths do not be surprised if the latest season gets Martin hate clubs spawned.
Game of Thrones premiers on April 12, 2015.