TV Review: Game Of Thrones charts an exciting, fraught path in its bloody fifth season

HBO’s phenomenal epic drama Game Of Thrones mines its best material from regime changes, the power shifts that ripple across the continent of Westeros yielding shocking betrayals, strategic realignments, and reversals of fortune. How appropriate then that, in its fifth season, Game Of Thrones is navigating its own regime change, as control over the massive, meticulous Westerosi ecosystem begins slipping away from George R.R. Martin, the novelist whose A Song Of Ice And Fire series inspired Thrones, and toward intrepid showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Benioff and Weiss have cranked through Martin’s acclaimed door stoppers at a hare’s pace while Martin inches toward completing the final two installments, and the looming inevitability of the show outpacing the books has sparked a level of nerd anxiety not seen since Y2K was a going concern. The first four episodes of Game Of Thrones’ fifth season are …

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