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Season five of Game of Thrones premieres Easter Sunday. Buckle up, 'cause it's gonna be a bumpy ride. And my, how those dragons have grown!

TV Review: ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns for a New Season on HBO

Westeros is up for grabs as the fifth season of Game of Thrones gets underway April 12 on HBO, with Brat King Joffrey dead, and now Tywin Lannister assassinated by his son Tyrion.

Drogon makes an appearance
Drogon makes an appearance

Tyrion has fled, freed by his brother Jaime, and under the protection of the eunuch Varys. Varys still holds fast to the idea that Tyrion might just be the only one who might rule the seven kingdoms with a fair hand, but “the imp” disagrees, especially now that he’s committed patricide. But oh, how satisfying that patricide must’ve been–and how well deserved it had been. Tywin had been a cruel, cruel tyrant, and most of all to his youngest offspring Tyrion. Oh, yes, he had it coming.

Stannis Baretheon is at the wall, paying a visit the Night’s Watch and Jon Snow, whose help he seeks in retaking the old, besieged Stark stronghold at Winterfell, now that Tywin is gone. He asks that Jon approach the King from Beyond the Wall Mance Rayder, and ask him to pledge fealty to the last remaining (genuine) Baratheon in taking back the Iron Throne. You can only imagine Mance’s principled reaction (and in return, Jon’s ultimately noble act).

Daenerys continues her rule, trying to be the populist leader, much to the chagrin of the upper classes in her domain. And then there are her children, the three dragons. Oh my, how they’ve grown, and what damage they might do–to everyone and everything, including their dear mother, the Queen.

The table is certainly set for an intriguing fifth season of Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s novel series Song of Fire and Ice. Will Stannis be able to overpower the Lannister rule, now that Tywin is dead? Is Daenerys strong enough with her seemingly invincible army of freed slaves to stop him and take her place? And how Cersei deal with the fact that Jamie has freed their brother? And as for Jaime, does he believe like does Varys that ultimately, Tryion might be the best the kingdoms might do–more politically astute than Daenerys, and more compassionate than Stannis?

Lots of questions, and, I’m sure, more to come as the season progresses. I’ve seen the first episode, and while it is not as action-packed as some Game of Thrones episodes, it sets the stage for the undoubtedly wonderful season to unfurl.

Game of Thrones season five premieres April 12 on HBO.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called “Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton,” The Apothecary’s Curse The Apothecary’s Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books.

Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA’s HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as “The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture,” “The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Hidden History of Science Fiction,” and “Our Passion for Disaster (Movies).”

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