Posted May 11, 2015 by Ica Hontiveros-Cheng in Comics

Where do we go from here? Thoughts of a Thronie on the first 4 episodes of Season 5 of Game Of Thrones

I’ve read all the books of George R.R. Martin’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ I felt a strong urge to throw the book out the window as I was reading through The Red Wedding but I still went through the pages, unable to believe what I was reading but desperately wanting to know what happens next. I often find myself explaining to non-book readers who’s who and what’s what in the series. Mondays are always bearable with a new episode of Thrones to look forward to-except when those 10 magical weeks are over and I with the rest of the fandom wail and grit our teeth in anticipation for the next season-or worse wait (in vain, perhaps) for the next book in the series. 

I’m a Thronie, a fan of Game Of Thrones and all of these roller coaster of emotions is an annual thing. You get angry, you cry, you cringe, you fear for your favorite characters. Even those who are very much alive in the books are not safe from the swift swing of the scythe of death in the series.

From an outsiders perspective you might ask yourself why would fans subject themselves to this torture? Sometimes I really think it is . I guess that’s what being a fan is all about, when you endure feelings about a series (maybe books, TV, movies, manga or comics) and no matter how much it drives you crazy you just keep coming back for more. It keeps you awake at night, it makes you troll the internet for the latest news, fan theory, you live for the funniest memes. 

It’s common to see book readers pull their hair out from frustration on changes from the books to the TV series, I would have to admit, I am sometimes guilty of that. But no matter how much we hate on the changes, we’d still be glued on our TV sets, famished for another episode. 

Some people say that HBO is butchering the books with the changes but for me, personally I have always understood that changes are needed especially when you are trying to bring such a dense material to the TV screen. Having experience writing scripts, I know that edits and changes are necessary. It has always helped me to think about the books and series as two different versions of the story. Also even if I have read the book, the changes keep me alert, surprised and still crying foul when things take a sudden turn. It’s one of those complicated feelings that keep me tethered and dependent on the TV series. 


Where are you going Khaleesi? Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo from Entertainment Weekly.

Fans can be rabid and unforgiving but they- we will still be there, biting at our fingernails, feeling our hearts hammer in in our chest at every episode. I had the honor of meeting up with some members of Game Of Thrones Philippines, even during it out in quiz bee games and trust me fan discussions can be get so heated and emotional- it can also last for hours. 

So yes- it is a love and hate relationship when it comes to the TV series, the changes that are necessary to keep the show running and every curve ball that the show runners throw at fans. 

Everything up to this point has been about how I a fan deals with the changes that inevitably happen, it’s complicated but no matter how much we hate it, we still have to have that hit of the series. Now let’s dive into what Season 5 has been so far; (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD) with the four leaked episodes I chose to support HBO and watch each episode during it’s world premiere. I guess this write up will be out in time for Episode 5 which will air tomorrow local time. 


Nell Williams as a young Cersei Lannister.

The first episode opens with a flashback, which had tongues wagging or in this case, the internet on fire since this was the very first flashback in the series. We see a young Cersei (Nell Williams) visit Maggy The Frog (who is actually too pretty) for a very interesting palm reading (so to speak). Williams gave a very impressive performance as Cersei, she had that smug demeanor that the Lannister matriarch is well known for, the smugness was of course reflected on a child’s perspective. Since the show has already used a flashback could they be using more any time soon? It would sure help with a lot of things. I applaud the writers for opening the most watched TV series with an interesting move.

More Screen Time for Sansa: While fans may be crying foul at Sansa’s sudden starring role (she sees less action in the books) I think it is a reasonable move to have her go back to Winterfell and as Littlefinger says it: “Become the key to the North.” In an effort to get on the good side of the Northeners (apparently they don’t like being skinned alive) Baelish has Sansa (the last surviving Stark) engaged to Ramsay Snow -Err Bolton aka the new Joffrey much to the approval of Roose Bolton. This is a big change from the books since the honor or horror rather goes to an impostor posing as Arya Stark. Why agree with the big change? Well Sansa is one of those characters whom viewers have seen grow in the series. They’ve seen her as a naive girl thinking that Joffrey is a dreamboat to acing her father beheaded in front of her. Then of course Joffrey and Cersei taunts and torments the poor girl and when she thinks she’s off the hook with her enagagement with Joffrey, she’s married to Tyrion, which isn’t so bad actually until they become suspects to Joffrey’s sudden demise (on his own wedding feast none the less-karma is a b*tch in Westeros) and is whisked off to her crazy Aunt in the Eyrie. Then Baelish shows up, marries her Aunt, is creepy with Sansa, pushes Said Aunt to her death. Now Baelish has Sansa engaged to Ramsay whose father had a hand in the killing of her brother and mother. Baelish convinces Sansa to agree to the marriage so she can take revenge for her family. Baelish says: “Even the most dangerous men can be outmaneuver end, and you’ve learned to maneuver from the best.” 

The plan is for Sansa to marry Ramsay, and will be rescued by Stannis when he marches to Winterfell. What has readers on the edge of their seats is the fate of Sansa at the hands of the former-Snow. If the books are any indication we all know that Ramsay is a sick b*stard (literally and figuratively), actor Iwan Rheor has said that there are some hard and disturbing scenes to film for this season and this comes from someone who has already cut off Theon’s sausage and has been skinning hard headed subjects alive. 

Even if this a big change from the books I get where the writer are going with this. Audiences will be able to relate more to Sansa since they’ve been with her struggles since season 1. It would make more sense to put her in a situation which -yes could suggest her to more suffering but ultimately she will be in a position to be in an even bigger player in the game. 


Why is Jamie in Dorne? In another upsetting change we find Jamie in Dorne where he isn’t supposed to be. Again I’d like to think that this just puts him where the action is. Last season ended with the surprising death of The Red Viper and fans would definitely want to know what happens next and an effective way of doing that is to place a familiar character in the scene. In the book there is a botched attempt by Princess Arianne Martel et al to place Myrcella Lannister on the throne. In the series Jamie is on a secret mission to rescue his daughter-niece with the help of the ever charming Bronn. 

I think the show runners thought that Dorne would be more interesting than Riverrun but then how are we to know what happened in Riverrun, I do have a soft spot for the Black Fish so I’d really like to know what happens to him. I guess prayer and patience will have to do :(


princess Arriane Martel fan art – becasue she won’t be in the series.


Speaking of Princess Arriane – where is she? Another character missing is the feisty princess of Dorne who is making her own ruckus late in the game. She has a pretty interesting character, intentions and method. So if you are not a book reader you’d definitely want to read up or at least research on Arriane. It’s such a  pity they’re leaving her out really. She’s really badass, I guess it must run in the family. 


A personal I hate this change for me was the sudden death of good old Barristan Selmy, he is still very much alive in the books but his premature death in the series could mean an inevitable demise in the next books. Something I definitely don’t want to think about. Fans love this guy, probably one of the few good Kingsguard out there. 

Farewell Selmy you will be missed. 

I have often posted on my social media sites that the series has finally caught up with the books and you just put your fragile heart in the show’s hands. As readers it seems that you have nothing on the non-readers anymore. It’s like even you who have read the books have no idea where the series is going not just because of the changes but because they’ve already ran out of pages-so to speak. 

I’ve already written here that being a Game Of Thrones fan is like being in a really weird relationship. You only get to spend time with each other for 10 Mondays in a year and when you do you spend it fighting, crying and arguing and after you get separated again for a year you spend your time getting your senses on anything remotely related to the series or books. 

Sometimes it can be tiring to be a Thronie with the emotional and psychological trauma of getting caught up in the deadly Game Of  Thrones but it has it’s exhilarating highs and with the many fandoms out there right now, I’m proud to say that I am a Thronie! I love escaping to the world that George R.R. Martin has created (from behind a book or behind the TV screen definitely). The changes from the books to the series may drive us crazy but they are there for a reason, we may not understand it now but it will all make sense when things come to pass. I’m just happy that one of my favorite series has another venue aside from the books. Love it or hate it I’d definitely be staying in this relationship. 

Ica Hontiveros-Cheng

Half of PCheng Photography. I write about music, events, movies, books and TV shows all on my spare time. My day job in the BPO industry pays the bills, while writing keeps the mind sharp.