Game of Thrones is back, but instead of opening with an iconic death scene, the show did something it never has before.
The first scene in Season 5 was also a first for the show: a flashback, of none other than young Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).
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Hate on me all you want, but Cersei has always been my favorite character. I know, I know. She’s horrible. But every character in Game of Thrones is just as bad. Cersei’s just trying to protect herself and her family, like everyone else. She’s just more brutal in her approach. But we all know by now that to survive in Westeros you have to be ruthless. So Cersei’s a survivor. You can’t really blame her for that.
And the flashback was a key moment for Cersei’s survival instinct to kick in, thanks to a daunting foretelling from a witch in the woods predicting Cersei’s rise to power and her unhappy marriage. It was awesome, especially considering that we then saw Tywin’s lifeless body and the aftermath of his killing, including Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who isn’t taking the death so well either.
He’s deciding to match the amount of betrayal he’s faced with an equal amount of booze. I really wasn’t kidding about that title. Tyrion literally pukes up wine and then immediately begins drinking again. He isn’t messing around about his intoxication levels.
Luckily, and seriously surprisingly, it’s Varys to Tyrion’s rescue. Because Varys — dun, dun, dun — wants to see Daenerys on the throne.
It really is the women who kick butt in this episode. Though we didn’t see Arya at all, we did catch up with Sansa, who’s dyed her hair dark to better fit the look of Littlefinger’s bastard.
Then there’s Margaery, who’s flirting with poor young Tommen, who doesn’t have a clue about the politics of being king. Margaery also showed her prowess when she walked in on her brother and his lover without a care in the world about his nakedness or who he chose to share his bed with. She’s got a plan and it just might involve getting rid of Cersei once and for all. Like grandmother, like granddaughter.
And, finally, even Melisandre was wielding her witchy power. And Stannis thinks he’s in control… it makes me laugh every time. But now that she’s with the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow just might be strong-willed enough to stand up to the Red Woman (even though she’s also gone for a darker dye job this season. It might be that whole “winter is coming” thing… the ladies have to get their fall hair on.).
This season definitely seems to be leading to a lot of new conspiracies, and they all seem to involve the ladies doing some serious plotting. While the Game of Thrones girls have always been a vital and intricate part of the world, it seems like the Season 5 premiere really set up all these gals to take center stage going forward.