The fifth season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on 12 April 2014 and concluded on 14 June 2015.
It was broadcast on Sunday at 9:00 pm in the US, consisting of 10 episodes, each running approximately 50-60 minutes.
The season primarily adapts the storylines from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, the fourth and fifth novels in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, though it also uses the remaining elements from the third novel, A Storm of Swords, as well as the upcoming sixth novel The Winds of Winter. It also contains original content not found in Martin’s novels. The series is adapted for television by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
HBO ordered the fifth season on 08 April 2014, together with the sixth season, which began filming in July 2014. The season was filmed primarily in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Croatia and Spain.
Game of Thrones features a large ensemble cast, including Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Kit Harington. The season introduced a number of new cast members, including Jonathan Pryce and Alexander Siddig.
Critics praised the show’s production values and cast, giving specific accolades for Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. Viewership yet again rose compared to the previous season. This season set a Guinness World Record for winning the highest number of Emmy Awards for a series in a single season and year, winning 12 out of 24 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series.
Like previous seasons in Game of Thrones, the fifth season continues storylines primarily set within the fictional land of Westeros, while a few storylines are set in another continent, Essos.
After the murders of King Joffrey and his grandfather Tywin Lannister, Tywin’s young, indecisive grandson, Tommen, rules Westeros as king. Tyrion flees to Essos, where he meets Daenerys Targaryen, who struggles to rule Slavers’ Bay and regain control over her growing dragons.
The Lannister family encounters new enemies, including a religious cult that Cersei foolishly empowers; they arrest her and Queen Margaery; Cersei confesses some sins and is released after a walk of atonement.
Jon Snow becomes Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and serves under Stannis Baratheon, who pursues his claim to the Iron Throne by marching on the rebuilt Winterfell.
Littlefinger has left Sansa Stark at Winterfell; she marries Ramsay Bolton, who rapes and imprisons her.
Stannis is defeated and killed, while Sansa makes an escape with Theon.
After Jon loses Night’s Watchmen trying to rescue thousands of Wildlings from the White Walkers, several of his men mutiny and kill him.
In Bravos, Arya Stark receives training as an assassin but disobeys her trainers, who blind her.
Jaime retrieves princess Myrcella from Dorne, but she is murdered.
- Main Cast:
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister.
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister.
- Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister.
- Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen.
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow.
- Aidan Gillen as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.
- Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister.
- Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell.
- Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon.
- Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth.
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre.
- John Bradley as Samwell Tarly.
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark.
- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane.
- Hannah Murray as Gilly.
- Conleth Hill as Varys.
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth.
- Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis.
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei.
- Dean-Charles Chapman as Tommen Baratheon.
- Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand.
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn.
- Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H’ghar.
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy/”Reek”.
- Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton.
- Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton.
- Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont.
- Guest Cast:
- The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 05.
- They are listed by the region in which they first appear.
- At and Beyond the Wall:
- Peter Vaughan as Maester Aemon.
- Owen Teale as Alliser Thorne.
- Brian Fortune as Othell Yarwyck.
- Michael Condron as Bowen Marsh.
- Dominic Carter as Janos Slynt.
- Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett.
- J. J. Murphy as Denys Mallister.
- Will O’Connell as Todder.
- Brenock O’Connor as Olly.
- Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder.
- Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Karsi.
- Zahary Baharov as Loboda.
- Ross O’Hennessy as the Lord of Bones.
- Murray McArthur as Dim Dalba.
- Ian Whyte as Wun Wun.
- Ali Lyons as Johnna.
- Richard Brake as the Night King.
- In the North
- Elizabeth Webster as Walda Bolton.
- Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse Florent.
- Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon.
- Charlotte Hope as Myranda.
- In the Vale
- Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn.
- Rupert Vansittart as Yohn Royce.
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne.
- In Dorne
- Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell.
- Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell.
- Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand.
- Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand.
- Jessica Henwick as Nymeria Sand.
- Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon.
- DeObia Oparei as Areo Hotah.
- In King’s Landing:
- Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle.
- Anton Lesser as Qyburn.
- Ian Gelder as Kevan Lannister.
- Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Mace Tyrell.
- Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell.
- Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell.
- Eugene Simon as Lancel Lannister.
- Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant.
- Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Gregor Clegane.
- Paul Bentley as the High Septon.
- Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow.
- Hannah Waddingham as Septa Unella.
- Will Tudor as Olyvar.
- Josephine Gillan as Marei.
- In Braavos:
- Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris.
- Gary Oliver as Ternesio Terys.
- Oengus MacNamara as the thin man.
- Faye Marsay as the Waif.
- Sarine Sofair as Lhara.
- Hattie Gotobed as Ghita.
- In Slaver’s Bay
- Ian McElhinney as Barristan Selmy.
- Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm.
- Reece Noi as Mossador.
- Joel Fry as Hizdahr zo Loraq.
- Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan zo Qaggaz.
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Malko.
- Meena Rayann as Vala.
The writing staff for the fifth season includes executive producers and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, producer Bryan Cogman, and Dave Hill, who was promoted to staff writer this season after previously working as an assistant to Benioff and Weiss. Author George R.R. Martin, who had written one episode for each of the first four seasons, did not write an episode for the fifth season as he was working to finish writing the sixth novel of the series, The Winds of Winter. The directing staff for the fifth season is Michael Slovis (episodes 01 and 02), Mark Mylod (episodes 03 and 04), Jeremy Podeswa (episodes 05 and 06), Miguel Sapochnik (episodes 07 and 08), and David Nutter (episodes 09 and 10). Nutter is the only returning director with the rest being first-time Game of Thrones directors.
This season features more original material than previous seasons. The deviations from Martin’s novels are in part attributable to the way the television series has covered most of the novel series’ published material and in part to the directors’ opinions of the actors’ abilities. For example, Sansa Stark arrives at Winterfell to marry Ramsay Bolton in “High Sparrow,” a plotline that had been given to a minor character in the novels. In an interview, show writer David Benioff explains that Sophie Turner’s development as an actress was one of the reasons that they decided to give her character more dramatic scenes, saying, “Even if [child actors] come in and do a great audition, it’s so hard to know if they’re going to quite literally grow into the parts. With Sansa and Arya in particular, their storylines have become quite dark. It was such a gamble and the fact that they’ve both become such great wonderful actresses is a bit of a miracle.” Bryan Cogman added that it made more sense to give the Winterfell storyline to a proven actress who was already popular with viewers than to bring in a new character.
Other changes include the portrayal of Tommen as old enough to interact with Margaery and the Faith Militant as an adult, the speeding up or streamlining of several subplots, and the introduction of fewer new characters. According to Benioff and Weiss, “We felt we’d capsize the show if we put in every single character from the books.” Critics particularly liked the decision to have Tyrion actually meet Daenerys at the end of “The Gift,” which has yet to happen as of A Dance with Dragons. David Benioff cited the television adaptation’s faster pace as part of the rationale behind this decision.
Filming for the fifth season began in July 2014 in Belfast and ended in December 2014. Locations in Northern Ireland included Titanic Studios, Belfast and the cliff edge of Binevenagh Mountain. The Winterfell sets were in the village of Moneyglass.
Some of the scenes that take place in the principality of Dorne were filmed in Spain, beginning in October 2014. Locations explored for the production included the Alcázar of Seville and the University of Osuna. On 14 October, some scenes were filmed on the Roman bridge of Córdoba. Benioff and Weiss said that season 5 would include flashbacks, which they had previously avoided, and that Córdoba would represent the city of Volantis.
Cersei’s “walk of atonement” from A Dance with Dragons was filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in the Stradun street between the Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Sponza Palace in early October 2014. The production reportedly employed a body double for Lena Headey for part of the scene in which Cersei appears naked. Meereen scenes were once again shot in Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and on Klis Fortress north of Split.
A town on the coast of the Bay of Kaštela in Croatia, the 16th century Kaštel Gomilica stood in for some parts of Braavos.
A very small portion of one episode was filmed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada: the scenes featuring Jon Snow’s wolf Ghost (played by animal actor Quigly) who also appears in season 06.
The fifth season adds previously recurring actors Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen Baratheon), Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar) and Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) to the series’ main cast.
In the fifth season, the region of Dorne is introduced as a location. Alexander Siddig joins the cast as Doran Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne, and elder brother of Oberyn Martell, while his son Trystane Martell is portrayed by Toby Sebastian. The role of Cersei’s daughter Myrcella Baratheon, who is Doran’s ward and betrothed to Trystane is played by Nell Tiger Free. The role was portrayed by Aimee Richardson in the first two seasons. DeObia Oparei portrays Areo Hotah, the captain of the Dornish palace guard. The three eldest bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell (collectively known as the “Sand Snakes”) are portrayed by Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara Sand), Jessica Henwick (Nymeria Sand), and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Tyene Sand).
In King’s Landing, Jonathan Pryce joins the cast as the High Sparrow, the leader of the militant faithful in King’s Landing, while Hannah Waddingham portrays Septa Unella, one of the “Most Devout”, the ruling council of the Faith of the Seven. Nell Williams was cast as a young Cersei Lannister seen in flashbacks, while Jodhi May was cast as Maggy the Frog, a fortune-teller.
Across the Narrow Sea, Enzo Cilenti joins as Yezzan, a Yunkish nobleman and slave trader, while Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was cast as Malko, a slaver, who does not appear in the novels. At Castle Black and beyond the Wall, new cast members include Michael Condron as Bowen Marsh, First Steward of the Night’s Watch. J.J. Murphy, who was cast as Night’s Watch officer Denys Mallister, died in August 2014 shortly after filming his first scenes; his role was not recast. One role that was recast for season 05 was Ross O’Hennessy as the Lord of Bones. O’Hennessy replaces Edward Dogliani who was last seen in the season 03 premiere “Valar Dohaeris”. Charles Dance, whose character died in the previous season, returned for one episode to portray Tywin Lannister’s corpse. Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed) are absent this season because their part in the story has reached the end of A Dance with Dragons.
The soundtrack for the season was released digitally on 09 June 2015, and on CD on 17 July 2015.
The fifth season was met with mostly positive reviews, though many deemed it to be weaker than its predecessors.
The season was simulcast to 170 countries by HBO and its broadcast partners. In some countries, it aired the day after its first release. Sky Atlantic, the network serving the United Kingdom and Ireland, aired the premiere the day after HBO, but joined the simulcast for the rest of the season.
The gross viewing figure per episode for the show, which include streaming, DVR recordings and repeat showings, averaged at 20 million this season.
For the 5th Critics’ Choice Television Awards, the series was nominated for Best Drama Series. For the 31st TCA Awards, the series was nominated for Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama. For the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series received 24 nominations, the most of any series. It won 12 awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, Peter Dinklage for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for “Mother’s Mercy”, and David Nutter for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for “Mother’s Mercy”. Nominations included Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke both for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Diana Rigg for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, and Jeremy Podeswa for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”.
The season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on 15 March 2016, in region 1 and 14 March 2016, in region 2.
Game of Thrones Series
You can find an overview of the Game of Thrones franchise here.
You can find a full index of the Game of Thrones TV Series here.
- Episode 01: The Wars to Come.
- Epsiode 02: The House of Black and White.
- Episode 03: High Sparrow.
- Episode 04: Sons of the Harpy.
- Episode 05: Kill the Boy.
- Episode 06: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.
- Episode 07: The Gift.
- Episode 08: Hardhome.
- Episode 09: The Dance of Dragons.
- Episode 10: Mother’s Mercy.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Michael Slovis, Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Miguel Sapochnik, and David Nutter.
- Writer(s): David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Dave Hill, and Bryan Cogman.
- Release Date: 12 April 2015 to 14 June 2015.
- Running time: 50-60 minutes (approximate, per episode).
- Rating: 15/18 (depends on season).
- Country: US.
- Language: English.