HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones will pick back up next month, in case you’ve been living under a rock and hadn’t already heard the news. The TV show has been been making daily headlines (or close enough to that) this month, but there are still a few more weeks to go until season five actually gets underway. In the meantime, though, HBO continues to drop new images and clips from the season, teasing the return to the world created by George R.R. Martin (and adapted for the small screen by show-runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss).
The new season premiere, in typical Game of Thrones fashion, will introduce several new characters – which is good, since a number of key players were killed over the course of season four. Easily the most buzzed-about of these newcomers are the Sand Snakes, who have now received their own featurette, courtesy of HBO. You can give said preview a look, above.
For those unfamiliar, the Sand Snakes are the daughters of the deceased Dorne prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), and they’re rather unhappy about what The Mountain did to their father – as is discussed in the above featurette. Those who’ve read Martin’s source novels are no doubt aware that the show will be making some changes, when it comes to Oberyn’s daughters – including, it would seem, how many he actually has.
However, for the series, the focus will be on three Sand Snakes: Nymeria, played by Jessica Henwick (Spirit Warriors); Obara, who is being played by Keisha Castle-Hughes (The Nativity Story), and their younger sister, Tyene, as portrayed by Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Mia and Me). Each of these young women have a weapon of choice that the specialize in using, at that; think of them as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of Game of Thrones, in that sense.
Game of Thrones season five episode one, which is titled “The Wars to Come” and directed by Michael Slovis (the longtime cinematographer on Breaking Bad), premiered at the Tower of London this week. As such, several U.K. critics have already written up their thoughts. EW has rounded up several excerpts from said reviews, but here are some of the most intriguing, SPOILER-FREE, quotes from the lot (click the respective links for the full articles):
The Guardian – A slow-burner of a first episode (in more ways than one) threw in flashbacks, prophesies foretold and sorrows drowned to suggest that this season will be one of new alliances and the settling of old scores with the show’s female characters very much to the fore… [This] was a notably confident series opener, one which mixed humour and pace to demonstrate how secure Benioff and Weiss now are in this world – and how happy they are to take risks.
Forbes – We’ve all just watched episode 1 of season 5 of ‘Game of Thrones’, and it was a spectacle that got applause at the beginning, laughter in the middle and huge applause at the end. I don’t want to spoil the episode for fans, but this is a season opener that will have you gripped from the get-go.
The Evening Standard – This was a measured scene-setter, with breasts and buttocks bared as per, but less of the blood or other bodily fluids that will surely be spilt later on. A palpable sense of weariness pervaded many of its characters without afflicting the show itself… Evangelical faith and guerilla insurgency bubbled under with intent, while long-separate storylines intertwined in tantalising fashion.
Excited yet? Well, if not, there are still a few weeks left for you to change your mind…
Game of Thrones season five begins airing on HBO next month starting Sunday, April 12th.