When Dan Weiss and David Benioff started with Game of Thrones, they had a few rules and the last one of those was broken this season with a flashback. Charles Dance had previously hinted that he would return in season five of the show, despite being killed off in the season four finale. Fans got to see him one last time—and it may not even be the last time since flashbacks could happen throughout the season.
The show runners said that they had three rules when starting out with Game of Thrones. There would be no dreams, no prophecies and no flashbacks. The first two rules were quickly broken. Many will remember the prophecy that Daenerys had during the first season, where she saw the throne room with the Iron Throne covered in ash. Dreams came later and now the flashback rule has been broken.
Both show runners confirmed in January that there would be at least one flashback. Many fans did not expect it to be used so early, considering the knowledge of the later scenes in the season. Book readers already expect Cersei’s downfall to come this season, and that would have been the perfect point for flashbacks. It is still possible that they will be used.
The season five premiere of Game of Thrones was not all about breaking the last rule. As usual in a season premiere, there were deaths—and not just funerals for the already deceased. One of those deaths was partially expected at the end of the episode, but one came earlier on. An unsullied went to a brothel and was killed by one of the Meereen noblemen rallying against Deanerys.
Dany is not having much luck with her dragons, either. One of them is still on the loose, and the other two are very unhappy about being locked away. Like many toddlers, the two drags threw tantrums at their mother by blowing fire at her when she came to check on them.
The flashback was not completely expected by those who have not read the books. Many expected Dance to appear, but it was really all about a young Cersei visiting a fortune teller. She was told things that have already happened, which was a slight anticlimactic use of a flashback. Viewers already knew that Cersei was going to be queen and have three children.
It leads to the question over whether the use of the Game of Thrones flashback was even necessary. In season four, the story telling between Tyrion and Jaime Lannister set up the perfect opportunity for a flashback. In fact, Tyrion has had a number of moments of telling stories when flashbacks would have been excellent. It seems Benioff and Weiss broke their last rule in a pointless way.
The only good thing is to show that season five seems to be more about Cersei, and if the season is all about her downfall that makes sense. There is plenty of time for more flashbacks, the third and last rule that the Game of Thrones show runners have broken.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham