*Warning: contains spoilers*
After many months of painful waiting, “Game of Thrones” has finally returned, but only with a build-up of future action.
The show’s complex and intricate storylines are like a seismometer; every individual vibration contributes to all of its characters from the slums of Meereen to the ashes of Winterfell.
This season continues this tradition of HBO’s epic fantasy series.
Perhaps the most thrilling part of the episode was not a brutal fight stained with geysers of blood nor a character finding out a profound secret, but a simple conversation between Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill).
In the finale of last season, Tyrion escapes his imprisonment with the help his brother, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldeu) and friend, Varys. Finding his ex-lover, Shae (Sibel Kekilli) in his father’s room, his anger finally courses through as he strangles her to death for her betrayal. Along with that, he finds his father, Tywin (Charles Dance), in a privy and fatally shoots him with a crossbow.
With all of this in mind, Tyrion and Varys escape to Pentos and plan their futures. Varys, however, has a desire to help the future of their war torn country.
“You could help another climb the steps and claim that seat,” Varys tells to Tyrion, who is surprised to find out that the future king he is talking about is actually a woman.
“You could ride with me to Meereen, meet with Daenerys Targaryen and see if the world is worth fighting for,” Varys further explains.
Tyrion agrees, but Meereen is struggling to Daenerys’ dismay.
Despite freeing the enslaved humans of Meereen, there has been much resistance from a soldier group who calls themselves the Sons of Harpie, who managed to murder an Unsullied soldier during his visit to a local brothel.
Upon hearing of this murder, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) decides to allow the Unsullied to patrol the cloudy streets of her new city.
However, her new sexual partner, Daario Naharis of the Second Sons (Michiel Huisman), warns her that she has made thousands of enemies all across the world and that as soon as they see a sliver of weakness in her, they will come.
“You are not the mother of the Unsullied,” he tells her. “You are the mother of Dragons. Show them your strength. Here. Now.”
Daenerys tries but fails miserably. Drogon, her strongest dragon, has not been seen for weeks and her two remaining dragons, Viserion and Rhaegol, have grown substantially. Their anger towards their mother has also grown as they roared waves of fire towards her.
During all of this, Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) gives an ultimatum to the now captured leader of the Wildings, Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds); march and fight to reclaim the North in his name or burn at the stake. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has the burden of trying to convince the King beyond the Wall to kneel instead of burn, but Rayder decides that burning alive is better than bending his knee towards somebody he does not believe in.
Disappointed that a man he has respected has chosen death over submission, Jon Snow leaves and later watches on in horror as Stannis’ priestess, Melisandre (Carice van Houten), lights several torches around the Wilding leader’s feet as he is bound to a stake. The flames lick at Rayder’s legs and feet, slowly scorching his flesh and bone as he bites his tongue as to not to scream in front of the onlooking Wildings. Jon Snow, disgusted at watching him suffer, takes a bow and arrow and shoots him in the heart.
There were countless storylines supplying the stellar premiere of “Game of Thrones,” such as Robin Arryn’s (Lino Facioli) miserable training to be a formidable solder on the battlefield, Tywin’s funeral where Cersei (Lena Headey) blames Jaime for his death just as equally as “the little monster” and the Tyrell siblings talking of their potential futures now that Tywin is dead.
Despite the episode’s substantial lack of blood, heavy conflict and incestual sex scenes, it has showed massive potential for the rest of the season, just as premieres usually work. Even though some parts may have seemed to be unimportant or mundane, “Game of Thrones” never wastes a word and every scene will contribute to future episodes.