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Game of Thrones, Season 5 - TV premiere review: Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage on top form in the battle for Westeros
There were executions, dragons and bare buttocks aplenty in the first UK screening of the new series of Game of Thrones at the Tower of London last night
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The first UK screening of Game of Thrones series one took place in a Soho basement in the presence of four journalists. Last night, at the world premiere of season five, dragons were projected on to the walls of the Tower of London and over 1,000 attendees drew breath as that theme tune struck up. The future of Westeros is big business these days, on and off-screen. And so is the pressure to please fans now fanatical and numerous enough to make up a formidable force, should White Walkers ever attack Planet Earth.
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.
There were executions both ad hoc and ceremonial, a funeral and a wake. The promised flashbacks kicked in early with a trip to a clairvoyant witch (Jodhi May) whose predictions brought bad tidings for one leading player.
Others began moving into position for what is starting to resemble — brace yourselves — an endgame. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) was drowning his sorrows in relative safety after spearing his dad in the privy (not a euphemism although, this being Game of Thrones, you wouldn’t be surprised); a grieving Jon Snow (Kit Harington) was burying his head in the eponymous white stuff. Both were offered unexpected alliances with potentially far-reaching consequences.
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And then there was Daenerys (Emilia Clarke): in theory the leading contender for the Iron Throne, yet in control of neither her people nor her dragons. “I’m not a politician, I’m a queen,” she warned ominously, in a world where neither position comes with much in the way of inherent integrity or life expectancy. Evangelical faith and guerilla insurgency bubbled under with intent, while long-separate storylines intertwined in tantalising fashion.
The next head to roll could be that of the HBO executive who dares call time on a series that gets better and better.
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