‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere Manages to Underwhelm Even With a Major Death

HBO adaptation gets off to a slow start in Season 5 as it sets the stage for “The Wars to Come”

"Game of Thrones" - "The Wars to Come"

(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen the Season 5 premiere of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” entitled “The Wars to Come.”)

As episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” go, Sunday night’s premiere was pretty tame. Sure, it contained plenty of the show’s trademark sex, nudity, violence and even the death of a king, but it wasn’t the “Red Wedding,” the beheading of Ned Stark or the poisoning of Joffrey Baratheon.

The death was the result of a political move by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). In need of an army to secure his claims on the throne and expand his reach, he decided on the wildlings at Castle Black. The only thing standing in his way was their king.

When Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) refused to kneel to Stannis, he ordered him burned in front of his people. Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) took it upon himself to save the king much suffering by planting an arrow in his heart just before the credits rolled.

Elsewhere in the hour, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) made a failed attempt to try and regain some control over her dragons, while Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) crawled out of his box only to find himself on a collision course with the Mother of Dragons.

Two fan favorites coming together may be more than “GoT” fandom can handle.

The episode was almost all set-up for the conflicts to come, creating a somewhat underwhelming feeling after so much build-up and anticipation. While many fans were happy to have their favorite show back and more than thrilled with the premiere, several still took to social media to voice their feelings about the season’s slow start.

“Game of Thrones” airs new episodes every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.