The new season of Game of Thrones premieres tonight! (Or, if you’re reading this in the future, it premiered anywhere from 1 – 4,000,000 days ago.) In order to best get in the Westeros mindset, here’s a selection of five solid scenes that have helped elevate the TV iteration of George R.R. Martin’s world into the insatiable phenomenon it is today. To check out the actual scenes be sure to click on the title text or accompanying pictures:
The balance of power in Westeros is seemingly decided on the battlefield, or in times of action and aggression; but the true “game” is often played by those behind the scenes. Varys, Littlefinger, Cersei, and those who wage the war of misinformation and trickery are never to be cast aside. Littlefinger’s thesis, that “chaos is a ladder” (and is perhaps the best way to the throne), may very well prove to be correct.
The multi-season arc of Brienne and Jaime was a rather transformative one. Jaime, easily the most despised character after season 1, is paired up with Brienne of Tarth, who promises Lady Stark she’ll return the captive Kingslayer back to King’s Landing in exchange for Ms. Stark’s daughters. Through their exploits we gradually see Jaime evolve into a caring and compassionate being, a transformation which is cemented during this scene; one that easily should’ve resulted in both their deaths. By the time these two said goodbye, they had arguably formed one of the strongest, most unlikely friendships in Westeros.
Out of all the badass scenes involving Daenerys Targaeryn, this one might take the cake. While taking command of the Unsullied, Khaleesi yet again proved she is not one to be messed with, “will take what is hers,” and that despite her fierce conviction, is a relatively just and moral ruler. Here she seeks retribution for the Unsullied’s enslavement, and ensures that no enemy children are harmed.
There are almost too many Tyrion speeches to choose from, but this is arguably his finest hour; taking the reigns when no one else would or could, leading the admirable charge against Stannis’ men at Blackwater and putting himself at great risk to both the enemy…and from within.
This is our first glimpse of Ned Stark, the initial protagonist and incredibly noble warden of the North. We seem him in a position where duty trumps all; it’s clear he’s not happy to have to behead the deserter, but needs to do what must be done. Furthermore, Robb’s stern words to Bran indicate what’s been a prevailing theme throughout the series; Westeros is brutal and unforgiving, and in order to survive you must never so much as flinch.