The Most Awarded Game of Thrones Season was also its Worst



Sunday night was a momentous occasion for Game of Thrones and, in turn, HBO. The network made history by taking home 43 Emmys. That’s the most for a single network in a single year.

Game of Thrones was a big part of that haul with their 12 wins, which is a historical number of trophies for a single show. Peter Dinklage took the title for best supporting actor, and the writers and director took home a pair of trophies for their work in the episode “Mother’s Mercy.” To cap it off, Game of Thrones is the first fantasy show to ever win in the outstanding drama category. Fans had reason to celebrate on Sunday, but the most decorated season of the series was also its weakest.

Season five of Game of Thrones was lacking when compared to its predecessors. It suffered from pacing issues that were glaringly obvious in the first half of the season, but the show is worth more than its shocking deaths and battle scenes. Season five focused on disinteresting storylines, many of which riled up supports of the source material. Jon Snow versus the army of the undead was the most memorable moment and remains one of the show’s greatest scenes, but a season is more than one high-octane scene. Let’s take a look at each major character’s story from this most recent season.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys endgame is still supposed to concern taking the iron throne by force. In season five, she was still halfway around the world dealing with her issues that have nothing to do with King’s Landing. She waged war with the rebel group of Son’s of the Harpy, tested the loyalty and love of Jorah Mormont and plenty of other things that have no impact on the politics of Westeros.

The events that concerned Daenerys garnered some interest at times, but existed within its own alienated bubble. In an ensemble show like Game of Thrones, we want to see events that have an impact on the rest of the show’s storylines. Daenerys and company seem to have taken their eye off the prize. She seems content with setting up shop in Meereen.

Dragons continue to be the most talked about parts of Game of Thrones, but Daenerys needs more to inject some excitement into her storylines. She needs to be connected to the north again.

Jaime Lannister

Jaime has managed to make a full 180 throughout the show’s tenure. He’s gone from pushing boys out of windows to becoming one of the show’s most sympathetic figures. He’s reaching his brother Tyrion’s levels of fandom. But in season five, Jaime was sent on a mission to retrieve Cersei’s daughter. It was a mission that should’ve promised fireworks, but instead came with diplomacy.

Jaime spent season five hanging out in with Ser Bronn in Dorne, trying to convince his niece (but actually his daughter) to return to King’s Landing. We had heard of Cersei’s daughter Marcella, but we hadn’t seen her until that point.

Just like the case with Daenarys, it’s hard to care about a character that has so little bearing on the rest of the Game of Thrones universe.  

Tyrion Lannister

Episode 6 scene 15

Tyrion, like the first four seasons, was one of the best reasons to watch Game of Thrones. Again, he’s the smartest person in every room he’s a part of, even when he’s a part of a room halfway around the world in Meereen.

Seeing Tyrion talk some sense into Daenarys’ influencers was a good change of pace to the usual “yes” men and women that surround her. Tyrion was one of two shining lights in season five (we’ll get to Jon Snow later), but there were whole episodes where he was absent. That’s the problem with having a huge supporting cast. There’s bound to be storylines that drag, but have to be shown. You may have to endure multiple episodes before it gets back to the good stuff.

Cersei Lannister

Poor Cersei. She was given the least amount to do in season five because she really wasn’t able to do anything. She was in prison for the majority of the season. There’s no shortage of Cersei haters out there, so Game of Thrones fans got to see her powerless and knocked down a peg or 10.

Cersei’s most exciting part of season five was its ending. The Mountain has been risen from the dead, and is probably going to go on a warpath once Cersei says the word. Season six could be a great one for Cersei.

Sansa Stark

Sansa’s story in season five was the most incendiary. Nothing got fans of the books more riled up than her treatment at the horrible hands of Ramsay Bolton on their wedding night. Heck, even viewers who didn’t read the books hated that episode.

Sansa was building to greatness in season four. Her maybe/maybe not love story with Littlefinger was building steam. A character who was little more than a doormat for four seasons was finally starting to gain some confidence and power. Season five took everything away, and more!

The second half of the season was episode after episode of showcasing Sansa’s misery in the new and unimproved Winterfell. Season five didn’t have much for Sansa fans.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow was the only exciting thing to happen in season five. He was the show’s lone hero in its darkest time. He was the hero we needed and deserved. He united the Night’s Watch and the wildlings to fight the common enemy: the White Walkers.

Episode eight climaxed with Jon Snow escaping death’s grasp and having the most epic of epic staredowns with the new villain in The Known World. It looked like that was going to be Jon Snow’s new mission in his life. The eventual showdown with The Night’s King was on the horizon. Then, Game of Thrones season five pulled the rug out from under everything.

Jon Snow died in the final scene of season five. It was the perfect end for the subpar season.

This is the season that received 12 Emmy nominations. I don’t have anything against “table setting” episodes, but setting the table needs to prepare for something big – something bold. Season five took the characters we love most and put them in tiresome situations, or horrific scenarios.

I’m glad the show received the recognition from the Emmy Academy for being a high quality fantasy drama that has been so culturally significant in our time, but this wasn’t the season that deserved it. Now that the show has passed its source material, season six is bound to be polarizing.

More from Show Snob