Watch The Throne: The Wars To Come

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Michael Slovis


Hey everyone, welcome to “Watch The Throne”, a weekly feature in which we talk about Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones from the season premiere to the finale.

Before we begin, one bit of housekeeping: You are probably aware at this point that the first four episodes of the season have leaked into dark corners of the web. If you’ve seen them all, hey, great, we can’t wait to catch up with you. For the purposes of this feature, we will continue to recap episodes as they air. We offer a heartfelt thanks in advance for not sharing any spoilers in the discussion section.

“The Wars To Come” is, as with all season premieres of Game of Thrones, something of a marathon catch-up session with the major characters.

It never drags, but by episode’s end, very little has happened. There’s a time and a place for that kind of episode though, and after last season’s events, this is that time, as well as that place.

So we start with a flashback — Cersei contemplates how different her future is from what she expected it to be. The last season was a rough one for Cersei, and she’s beginning to show it. When she accuses Jamie of being indirectly responsible for their father’s death, she sounds more defeated than venomous. Her acid tongue, which we’ve all grown accustomed to, is beginning to flag as life wears on and things continue to turn out differently than she hopes they will. She’s starting to seem dangerously human, is she not?

Meanwhile Tyrion’s ship has landed in Pentos, and the episode kind of rushes him through his post-patricide blues. He looks pretty rough coming out of that box, but you would be too after that long at sea. By episode’s end, Varys manages to illicit a little bit of that signature Tyrion wit (“Can I drink myself to death on the road to Mereen?”), but it’s hard to escape the feeling that the show is fast-forwarding through some of the emotional fallout of his final escapade in King’s Landing.

Daenerys doesn’t get up to much this episode either.

We learn that there’s a subversive element in her current home that hopes to undermine her rule, but otherwise it’s more or less the same-old same-old (being a ruler is hard, dragons be crazy). But between her and Tyrion, who is poised to meet and join forces with the mother of dragons, we’ve at least had our appetites whetted for a season of tag-team adventures between two of the best characters in the show.

At The Wall, it’s a classic catch-22 for Mance Rayder as Stannis Baratheon offers him a sweetheart deal: sell out your army, help win the north, and become citizens of Westeros. Jon Snow gives Mance his best pitch as to why he should take the deal, but Mance points out, aptly, that the only reason he was able to bring his army together in the first place was because he’d never bent the knee, and the support of his followers is predicated, in part, on the notion that he never will.

The common thread that weaves through this episode is that everyone’s plans have turned out differently than they expected so far.

Game of Thrones
by cowcoholic

Daenerys used to have such hopes for how her dragons would grow and become the centerpiece in her conquering force. It’s no wonder that she leaves in tears after visiting them in this episode — two of them are locked away in chains and the third is missing. That makes three more things in the world that our Khaleesi can't control. The distinct lack of action in “The Wars To Come” emphasizes, largely through dialogue, that many of the show’s characters sit upon a precipice. There’s been so much action in the show up to this point that, at least for one week, everyone seems content with being on the verge of doing the next thing. It’s the closest to resting any of the show’s major characters ever seem to get.

The final image of the episode offers a glimpse at what becomes of dreams like the ones Cersei had as a girl. That is, if you set out to be the ruler of the realm, you must make peace with the possibility that when your chips are down, the best fate you can realistically hope for is a quick death after you’ve already been half-burned at the stake.

That’s all for this week! Check back after the next episode for more.

Your Thoughts

  1. Did you feel like it was a solid episode, or were you wanting more fireworks immediately?
  2. What was your favorite scene? What would you have done differently if you were staging the show?
  3. On a scale from 1-10 how disappointed were you that we didn’t get to see Arya?

anonymous's avatar
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freak-weirdo's avatar
10 out of 10 for not seeing arts
freak-weirdo's avatar
It's arya, goddamn type in correction
Word-of-the-Warrior's avatar
Word-of-the-WarriorHobbyist General Artist
I just felt a little bit annoyed there wasn't much dragon action from the wyverns. I love dragons! Please don't slag me off!!!:bird:  :bird: :bird:
Anemone9664's avatar
1) I believe that the first episode of the television series isn't supposed to have as many fireworks than the other episodes. It was pretty solid because it was going to cover what was going to happen throughout the season itself. 

2) I believe my favorite scene of the first episode so far is when Jon Snow gives a mercy killing to Mance Rayder while he was burning alive. As someone he respects, giving him an honorable death would have not made him look like he had completely lost his dignity. 

3) Although Arya did not make an appearance in the season premiere, I know that her debut will make some sort of fireworks go off. So on the scale, I would have to say 5 - half for the potential of her debut, and half for her not appearing. 
D-Archae's avatar
D-ArchaeHobbyist General Artist
Yeah I have seen half this episode in English and half in Spanish as soon as they put the translation. I'm waiting to the translation of the next three episodes, though I've seen a bit of the second one. I'm surprised because in one day, at 6:00 p.m, there were four episodes already. I liked the beggining of the past of Cersei, but it's true that the episode doesn't tell many things at the end. I would have wanted to see more of Daenerys.
Nalusa's avatar
NalusaHobbyist Artist
1) I felt that it was a solid episode, it had reasonable pacing, given it was mostly a recap.

2) I would have left out Missandei meweling at Grey Worm about unsullied visiting brothels. The scenes clearly explain what was going on, and it was a spike of irritation. Just because she's in a vegetarian relationship with him doesn't give her the right to question how others may seek affection and comfort, even paid for.

3) 0, because they will get to her when they get to her. I'm excited, but cramming everyone in would have diminished the whole episode and the arc everyone will be taking.
reddercaws's avatar
Jon was a real bro. Gave mance a mercy killing
Astarsia's avatar
AstarsiaHobbyist General Artist
Every episode plays a part. I think each character shown as vulnerable and ... Human, only seeks to have us empathise with them.
I even found myself caring about cersei... ick!
I think the episode, however, was more subdued than George R R Martin's writing. But having said that, I enjoyed the episode as I like to think it's a stepping stone, or a door .. giving way for what is to come.

Arya is a fave character of mine. I was sad not to see her. But... Ah. I say no more. Reading the books has their advantages :p

I look forward to more, and always feel that waiting a week is too long.
damphyr's avatar
I really enjoyed this episode, it was good for getting back into the world of Westeros. We caught up with a lot of characters... and I will admit that I was happy there was a decent helping of Jon Snow. :la:

I missed Arya so much... and am interested to see how they're going to write Brienne... getting up to what she's going to get up to, since they removed a certain stony character from the show. Oooh, cryptically talking my way around book spoilers. :XD:

I think my personal favorite scene, as odd as this may be, was Margery letting herself in to Loras' room and not even caring or being the least bit uncomfortable with what was going on there. :XD: "I'm here, you're queer, I don't even give a frick." It was so great!

I thin my biggest complaint about the show is their treatment of Loras. He's utterly unrecognizable from the character in the book, and I really loved that the gay guy was an amazing warrior, utterly devoted and just awesome all around. He's a far cry from the character the show gave us, in every respect. :(
bella92's avatar
1. I felt the episode was fine. They're definitely building up to more. I can see why it would disappoint people though, since we've been waiting for what felt like so long for season 5 and nothing super exciting happened.
2. I especially liked watching Tyrion and Varys interact together. They're both very witty and I can't wait to see more of them.
3. 10! I'm dying to see what Arya is up to, especially since season 4 ended with her riding off!
Lintu47's avatar
1. It was solid for me, you can't have fireworks all the time, plus this is a build-up for what's coming.

2. The beginning scene, it has a lot of meaning for Cercei's character. I don't think i'd change anything about it, they delivered the message well enough without my help lol :laughing:

3. Not at all, so probably 1 or 2? You can't cram every character in one episode just to see their face. Her time will come, she is important for the story and she will have her time on screen. Honestly i'm more disappointed i won't see Bran at all this season.
APoorLittleDuck's avatar
1. I honestly think it was perfect.
2. Well the flashback was pretty cool, I really liked that, it makes a little change. And I know I don't hate Cersei as much as before ...
3. A little, but we didn't see Bran as well, I know the reason but that's kinda sad :( I'll miss Hodor x)
sketchditto's avatar
sketchdittoProfessional General Artist
My friend said the premiere was a bit boring but I on the other hand am happy GoT is back! And at least we get to see dragons even if they did make mommy run towards the door! This episode is definitely a good setup episode and my fave scene has to be when Jon Snow shot his arrow into Mance, showing some compassion to the king beyond the wall. Fave dialogue was absolutely between Varys and Tyrion and disappointed not to see Arya in Braavos- 11 as well! I hope they make up for it by giving her more than 10 min debut in the next episode 😝
MidnightExigent's avatar
MidnightExigentHobbyist Digital Artist
1. It felt like a catch up episode. Stuff did happen, sure, but it didn't feel utterly important... yet. I was wishing that they'd start it off with a bang.

2. My favorite part was the one with Tyrion and Varys. They're great together and it got me excited for tyrion going to meet Daenerys.

3. 11!
kozispoon's avatar
kozispoonStudent General Artist
I really feel like we could've used more oomph for the opening season. It felt alot like a bit of catch up and resettling into the groove. Not entirely bad mind you, but once we finally got comfortable and accustomed the episode was over.
TheJokerman95's avatar
...I've clearly missed out ALOT.Sweating a little...

C'est la vie.:D (Big Grin)

Wink/Razz -J
anonymous's avatar
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