This year’s highly anticipated Game of Thrones Season Five launches in the US on 12th April 2015 and the next day for eager UK viewers on Sky Atlantic. The blockbuster television series has been widely followed in the media over the last six months, and now, with less than two weeks to wait before the broadcasting of the first episode, every Game of Thrones fan worldwide is anxious with excitement. Shot in a mere 240 days, Season Five has utilized 151 sets in five countries and – besides their 166 cast members – over 1000 crew members and 5000 extras.
Adapted from George R. R Martin’s fourth and fifth novels in his spectacular ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ Series (Book Four: A Feast for Crows and Book Five: A Dance with Dragons), Season Five is rumoured to be “shocking” and “pushing the boundaries of the way we view television”. With producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ decision to stray from some of the novels’ particulars to keep audiences on their toes, fans have been warned that some characters will die who do not die in the books, amongst many other significant changes from the novels.
Season Four ended in a flood of dramatically extravagant events including the epic full-length episodes of the battle at the Wall between the Wildlings and the Night’s Watch, and the first encounters of the mythical Children of the Forest. More controversially, the distressing fight between Oberyn Martell and The Mountain concluded in one of the most graphic and traumatic deaths seen so far in the 18+ rated television series, causing shock and outrage worldwide. The Seven Kingdoms have been left in ruin. The manipulative and scheming Littlefinger has fled the capital and enveloped the elegant Sansa Stark in his dark plots, exposing his warped romantic attraction to her, and his previous murderous involvements.
The death of the much-hated young King Joffrey at his own infamous Purple Wedding and the almost-total destruction of the Stark family, as well as Tyrion’s harrowing trial and murder of Tywin Lannister, have all left Westeros significantly weakened. Westeros now lies in the clutches of the hate-filled Cersei Lannister, whose feud with Margaery Tyrell will only intensify in Season Five. The beautiful Daenerys Targaryen – though stronger than ever, and with dragons who seem to grow ever powerful – is encountering trouble whilst managing her newly conquered cities, and it is believed that her narrative will now, much to the delight of her fans, take a central role throughout the following season. Neither Bran Stark nor Hodor however will be making appearances, as their part in the story had already reached the end of Book Five in Season Four.
Season Five will be encountering new faces such as the High Sparrow, the Sand Snakes and Slave Trader Yezzan. There will also be the re-visitation of some older familiar faces such as the vulnerable Myrcella Lannister, living as a ward in Dorne amongst the outraged people of the murdered Oberyn (whose death was caused entirely by the Lannister household). Rumour has it that the mysterious face-adapting Jaqen H’ghar will also be making a reappearance of sort. Characters are said to be venturing into strange new lands including Dorne and Braavos. An exciting new set location includes the world-famous Alcazar Palace in Sevilla, Spain, and also the stunning historic town of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, states, “There are some massive moments, perhaps even more shocking than the Red Wedding… There’s a lot of blood, a lot of death.”
It has been widely reported that the usual controversy surrounding Game of Thrones will continue, with Season Five containing its expected dosage of strong sex, nudity and violence. Sexual violence, it has been unofficially informed, will also be a theme that the upcoming season shall be exploring. Kit Harington, however, who plays Jon Snow, says that he likes the controversy attached to the show, declaring, “I think it’s what makes our show our show… I don’t think it’s controversial for the sake of it.”
Jon Snow, one of the principal characters to the plot of Game of Thrones, is said to hold a very important role in the following season. No one could forget the significant ‘look’ given to him by the Red Woman at the end of Season Four, suggesting a dark interest in him that will not be dropped. In November 2014, David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ visit to the Oxford Union, accompanied by Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), implied a strong importance on the currently unknown identity of Jon Snow’s mother – not necessarily for Season Four but for the series as a whole. Only time will tell.
Game of Thrones is certainly at an exhilarating stage of its development, and its millions of fans worldwide hold their breath in anticipation for its release on the 12th April 2015. Soon social networking sites and the media will explode with suitably related Game of Thrones material and with the forewarned dramatic developments. No doubt Game of Thrones Season Five is going to cause every bit of fuss it deserves.
For us, Summer approaches with every day that passes. But in Westeros, for our many beloved characters and equally for those we love to loath, Winter is coming.