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Game of Thrones (season 5)

The fifth season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 12, and concluded on June 14, 2015.[1] It was broadcast on Sunday at 9:00 pm in the United States, consisting of 10 episodes, each running approximately 50–60 minutes. The season primarily adapts material 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 elements from the third novel, A Storm of Swords, as well as the upcoming sixth novel The Winds of Winter.[2][3][4] It also contains original content not found in Martin's novels.[5] The series is adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

Game of Thrones (season 5)
Game of Thrones Season 5.png
Region 1 DVD artwork
Starring See List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 10
Release
Original network HBO
Original release April 12 (2015-04-12) – June 14, 2015 (2015-06-14)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 4
Next →
Season 6
List of Game of Thrones episodes

HBO ordered the fifth season on April 8, 2014, together with the sixth season, which began filming in July 2014.[6] 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, with specific accolades for Dinklage's portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. Viewership yet again rose compared to the previous season. This season set a Guinness World Records 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.[7][8]

Contents

PlotEdit

In Meereen, the Sons of the Harpy have started to revolt against Daenerys Targaryen's regime. To regain peace and control, Daenerys complies with the request of re-opening the fighting pits while taking Hizdahr zo Loraq as her husband.

Tyrion Lannister and Varys arrive in Pentos and they begin their journey to Meereen. They pass through Volantis, where Tyrion is abducted by Jorah Mormont, who takes him to Meereen as a way to redeem himself to Daenerys, but she instead takes Tyrion as her advisor and exiles Jorah. The Sons of the Harpy mount an attack on Daenerys, Drogon reappears and Daenerys flies away on his back, landing in the Dothraki sea.

At the Wall, newly elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow forms an alliance with the Wildlings. They begin evacuating Wildlings at Hardhome, when the settlement comes under attack from White Walkers and their wight armies. Samwell Tarly and Gilly leave for Oldtown and Maester Aemon passes away. A faction of the Night's Watch become disillusioned with Jon's leadership and see him as a traitor. They lure Jon into a trap and stab him, leaving him to die.

Littlefinger puts Robin Arryn in the care of House Royce and leaves for Winterfell with Sansa Stark. In Winterfell, Sansa marries Ramsay Bolton to form an alliance between the Vale and the Boltons. Ramsay subjects Sansa to physical and psychological abuse. Reek reveals to Sansa that he did not kill Bran and Rickon, the two escape together.

At his camp in the North, Stannis acquiesces to Melisandre's demands to burn Shireen alive as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. This leads to Selyse committing suicide and half of Stannis's forces deserting with all of the horses. Melisandre flees for Castle Black. The remaining Baratheon forces march on Winterfell, but are defeated by the Boltons. After the battle, a wounded Stannis is killed by Brienne of Tarth.

In King's Landing, Lancel Lannister becomes a member of the "Sparrows". Following the wedding of Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon, Cersei Lannister authorizes the revival of the Faith Militant, the military wing of the Faith of the Seven. The Sparrows begin imposing their puritanical views upon King's Landing by ridding it of all "sins". They proceed to imprison Loras Tyrell, as well as Margaery and Cersei herself for committing various sins.

In Dorne, the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, along with Ellaria Sand, seek vengeance for his death. After a message arrives in King's Landing from Dorne, Jaime Lannister and Bronn travel to Dorne to rescue Myrcella Baratheon. Oberyn's brother, Doran Martell, discovers that Ellaria had sent the message and allows Jaime and Myrcella to leave for King's Landing, provided Myrcella's betrothed Trystane Martell goes with them. En route to King's Landing, Myrcella dies, having been poisoned by Ellaria.

Arya Stark arrives in Braavos and begins training with the Faceless Men, guided by Jaqen H'ghar and the Waif. However, after Meryn Trant's arrival in Braavos, Arya steals a face from the House of Black and White and kills him. Upon her return to the temple, Arya is struck blind.

EpisodesEdit

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
41 1 "The Wars to Come" Michael Slovis David Benioff & D. B. Weiss April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12) 8.00[9]
In a flashback, a witch tells a teenage Cersei that someone younger and more beautiful than herself will one day steal her accomplishments. In the present, Tywin is buried and Lancel returns, now a devoutly religious man and a member of the "Sparrows". In Pentos, a despondent Tyrion agrees to accompany Varys to Meereen to support Targaryen's claim on the Iron Throne. In Meereen, the insurgent "Sons of the Harpy" murder an Unsullied, forcing Daenerys to launch more restrictive measures without respecting the old traditions. Missandei gets suspicious when she realizes that the Unsullied visit brothels. Daenerys's locked-away dragons attack her when she checks on them. In the Vale, Baelish puts Arryn in the care of House Royce and leaves with Sansa. At the Wall, Stannis seeks to enlist the Wildlings in his war against Roose. Snow is unable to convince Rayder to accept Stannis's authority. The latter has Mance burned alive, though Snow shoots him with an arrow to kill him quickly.
42 2 "The House of Black and White" Michael Slovis David Benioff & D. B. Weiss April 19, 2015 (2015-04-19) 6.81[10]
Arya arrives in Braavos and is accepted into the "House of Black and White" by H'ghar, who calls himself and his colleagues "no one". Jaime tells Cersei he is going to Dorne to sneak out Myrcella, who is promised to Prince Doran's son, and recruits Bronn to assist him; Podrick recognises Baelish and Sansa in a tavern; Brienne offers Sansa her protection, but is rebuffed. Baelish demands her to stay with them, but she refuses and escapes with Podrick. However, she decides to follow Sansa secretly. Stannis offers Snow legitimacy and lordship of Winterfell if he leaves the Night's Watch to help him, but Snow declines; Tarly nominates him as a candidate for Lord Commander, and he is elected by the casting vote of Aemon. Daenerys faces a riot after she decides to execute a former slave who murdered a captured member of the Sons of the Harpy before he could be tried. Drogon reappears to her, but leaves again.
43 3 "High Sparrow" Mark Mylod David Benioff & D. B. Weiss April 26, 2015 (2015-04-26) 6.71[11]
Margaery, newly wed to Tommen, manipulates him into planning to send Cersei to Casterly Rock. Baelish conducts Sansa to Winterfell to cement an alliance with Roose through her marriage to Ramsay, behind the Lannisters' back. Brienne decides to train Podrick. To adapt in the House of Black and White, Arya throws all her personal effects into the river except for Needle, which she hides in a pile of rocks. At Castle Black, Snow names Thorne First Ranger, but Slynt refuses to follow Snow's orders that he leave to rebuild the Greygard ruin. Snow executes Slynt himself. Lancel finds the High Septon in a compromising situation in a brothel, punishing him by forcing him to walk the streets completely nude. The High Septon complains to Cersei, who imprisons him instead. She meets the High Sparrow, approving the Sparrows' actions. Tyrion and Varys arrive in Volantis and visit a brothel, where the former is abducted by Mormont, intending to take him "to the queen".
44 4 "Sons of the Harpy" Mark Mylod Dave Hill May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03) 6.82[12]
Cersei provides weapons for the Sparrows, who arrest Loras. Margaery is enraged, but Tommen proves too weak to arrange his release. Melisandre tries to seduce Snow in an attempt to convince him to go to Winterfell with Stannis. In Winterfell, Baelish prepares to return to King's Landing. Before leaving, he tries to dispel Sansa's misgivings towards Ramsay, telling her that even if Stannis does not defeat the Boltons and rescue her, she can easily manipulate Ramsay. Bronn and Jaime land secretly in Dorne; they encounter and kill four horsemen. The Sand Snakes learn from a sea captain that Jaime has come to Dorne for Myrcella; Ellaria convinces the Sand Snakes to plan to avenge the death of Oberyn by abducting Myrcella before Jaime can intervene. Mormont plans to redeem himself to Daenerys by giving Tyrion to her as a prisoner. In Meereen, Loraq makes another appeal to her to reopen the fighting pits; the Sons of the Harpy ambush an Unsullied patrol inside the citadel; Grey Worm is critically wounded and Selmy is killed.
45 5 "Kill the Boy" Jeremy Podeswa Bryan Cogman May 10, 2015 (2015-05-10) 6.56[13]
Brienne and Podrick arrive at an inn near Winterfell and send a message to Sansa, stating that they will help her if she needs it. Sansa finds out about Theon's presence. Ramsay forces him to apologize to her for his actions. At the Wall, Giantsbane accepts an alliance with the Night's Watch that will allow the Wildlings to settle south of the Wall. Snow agrees to accompany him to meet the Wildlings in Hardhome. Stannis's army leaves for Winterfell, taking Selyse and Shireen with them. In Meereen, Grey Worm recuperates, developing a romantic relationship with Missandei. Daenerys feeds a Meereenese nobleman to dragons Viserion and Rhaegal and imprisons the others. She later agrees to reopen the fighting pits and decides to marry Loraq to facilitate peace. At sea, Tyrion and Mormont sail through Valyria, seeing Drogon flying by, and are attacked by a group of stone men. They manage to escape, but Mormont is infected with greyscale.
46 6 "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" Jeremy Podeswa Bryan Cogman May 17, 2015 (2015-05-17) 6.24[14]
H'ghar takes Arya to a chamber with the faces of all the people that have died in the House of Black and White. Jaime and Bronn reach the Water Gardens, where they find Myrcella and are attacked by the Sand Snakes. The fight is broken up by Dornish guards, who arrest everyone. Mormont and Tyrion run into slavers, whom Tyrion manages to convince to take them to the fighting pits of Meereen. Baelish informs Cersei of Roose's plan to marry Sansa to Ramsay, and convinces her to allow him to lead the knights of the Vale to Winterfell to defeat the winning party of the conflict between Roose and Stannis, being named Warden of the North in return. Olenna arrives in King's Landing and warns Cersei that the imprisonment of Loras has put their alliance in peril. At Loras' inquest, Loras and Margaery both deny his homosexuality. The male prostitute Olyvar contradicts their testimony, and she is arrested for lying to the gods. In Winterfell, Sansa is married to Ramsay, who rapes her in front of Theon.
47 7 "The Gift" Miguel Sapochnik David Benioff & D. B. Weiss May 24, 2015 (2015-05-24) 5.40[15]
Snow leaves for Hardhome with Giantsbane and some rangers. Aemon dies shortly after. Gilly is attacked by two Watchmen. Tarly intervenes and is overpowered until Ghost arrives and forces the duo to leave. Tarly and Gilly develop a romantic relationship. Sansa asks Theon to help her escape Winterfell, but he instead informs Ramsay, who flays the woman working for Brienne. At Stannis' army's camp, Melisandre suggests sacrificing Shireen, which he refuses. Mormont and Tyrion are sold to slaver Qaggaz. The two are brought to a local fighting pit that Daenerys and her consort happen to be visiting in preparation for the coming games at Daznak's pit. Mormont defeats the other slaves and reveals his identity to her, and that he brought Tyrion as a "gift" for her. In Dorne, Myrcella tells Jaime that she wants to marry Trystane, Doran's son. Olenna's demand for Loras and Margaery's release is declined by the High Sparrow. Later, the High Sparrow arrests Cersei due to her former incestuous relationship with Lancel.
48 8 "Hardhome" Miguel Sapochnik David Benioff & D. B. Weiss May 31, 2015 (2015-05-31) 7.01[16]
Cersei learns that her uncle Kevan is appointed as the Hand. She is left thirsty in order to force her to confess, which she does not. Arya assumes the identity of Lana, an oyster merchant. H'ghar tasks her to study a man who sells marine insurance, but has defrauded benefactors. She is to learn everything about the insurer, and then poison him. Theon tells Sansa that he faked the deaths of Brandon and Rickon. Ramsay suggests to Roose that they move on Stannis and asks for twenty skilled men. In Meereen, Tyrion convinces Daenerys to spare Mormont's life and she exiles him again. Mormont goes back to Yezzan and asks permission to fight in the pits. Daenerys accepts Tyrion into her council. Arriving in Hardhome, Snow and Tormund convince about five thousand wildlings to join them before Hardhome is attacked by an army of wights. Snow kills a White Walker with his Valyrian-steel sword. As he, Tormund and the other survivors sail away, they witness the Night's King reanimating the deceased wildlings as wights.
49 9 "The Dance of Dragons" David Nutter David Benioff & D. B. Weiss June 7, 2015 (2015-06-07) 7.14[17]
During a snowstorm, Stannis' camp is sabotaged when Ramsay's party destroys the camp's siege equipment and food stores, while inflicting heavy losses on the army's horses. Sending Seaworth to the Wall to ask for supplies, Stannis reluctantly decides to sacrifice Shireen, burning her alive at the stake, while she desperately cries out for her parents. Snow and the others return to the Wall, allowing the wildlings to pass South. In Dorne, Doran permits Jaime and Bronn to return to King's Landing with Myrcella, provided Trystane accompany them and serve on the small council in Oberyn's stead. The former also pardons Sand and her daughters. In Braavos, Arya spots Trant accompanying Mace, Margaery's father and the Master of Coin. In Meereen, the fights at Daznak's pit begin, and Daenerys is stunned to see Mormont amongst the combatants. His triumph is interrupted by a fierce attack by the Sons of the Harpy, who quickly surround Daenerys and her supporters, including Mormont. Just as all hope seems lost, Drogon arrives, and she mounts it and flies away from the pit, her followers watching in awe.
50 10 "Mother's Mercy" David Nutter David Benioff & D. B. Weiss June 14, 2015 (2015-06-14) 8.11[18]
Selyse hangs herself and half of Stannis' forces desert him while Melisandre flees to Castle Black; Stannis is defeated by the Boltons and consequently killed by Brienne. Sansa attempts to escape, but is confronted by Myranda, whom Theon kills; and the duo escape Winterfell together. Cersei confesses her former relationship with Lancel and is forced to face atonement by walking the streets fully naked. Upon reaching the Red Keep, Qyburn introduces a new member of the Kingsguard with complete loyalty. Jaime, Myrcella, Bronn and Trystane sail from Dorne. Myrcella dies of poison by Sand on the ship. Arya infiltrates a brothel and kills Trant. She is blinded for violating the terms of the Faceless Men. Varys arrives in Meereen to rule the city with Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei, while Naharis and Mormont leave to search for Daenerys, who, far away, is found by a large group of the Dothraki. Tarly, Gilly and her child leave for Oldtown for the former to become a Maester. Snow is stabbed several times by mutineers, including Thorne and Olly.

CastEdit

Main castEdit

Guest castEdit

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 5. They are listed by the region in which they first appear:

ProductionEdit

CrewEdit

 
The production team during a location scouting at Klis Fortress, Croatia prior to season 5.

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.[19] 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.[20] The directing staff for the fifth season is Michael Slovis (episodes 1 and 2), Mark Mylod (episodes 3 and 4), Jeremy Podeswa (episodes 5 and 6), Miguel Sapochnik (episodes 7 and 8), and David Nutter (episodes 9 and 10). Nutter is the only returning director with the rest being first-time Game of Thrones directors.[21]

WritingEdit

This season features more original material than previous seasons.[22][23] 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.[24][25][26] 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."[27] 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.[27]

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."[28] 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.[29][30] David Benioff cited the television adaptation's faster pace as part of the rationale behind this decision.[31]

FilmingEdit

 
The Alcázar of Seville stands in for the Water Gardens of Dorne.

Filming for the fifth season began in July 2014 in Belfast[32] and ended in December 2014.[33] Locations in Northern Ireland included Titanic Studios, Belfast[34] and the cliff edge of Binevenagh Mountain.[35] The Winterfell sets were in the village of Moneyglass.[36]

Some of the scenes that take place in the principality of Dorne were filmed in Spain,[34] beginning in October 2014.[37] Locations explored for the production included the Alcázar of Seville and the University of Osuna.[38] On October 14, some scenes were filmed on the Roman bridge of Córdoba.[39] Benioff and Weiss said that season 5 would include flashbacks, which they had previously avoided, and that Córdoba would represent the city of Volantis.[40]

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[41] in early October 2014. The production reportedly employed a body double for Lena Headey for part of the scene in which Cersei appears naked.[42] 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.[34]

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 6.[43]

CastingEdit

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.[44]

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,[45] 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.[45] The role was portrayed by Aimee Richardson in the first two seasons.[45] DeObia Oparei portrays Areo Hotah, the captain of the Dornish palace guard.[45] 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).[45]

In King's Landing, Jonathan Pryce joins the cast as the High Sparrow, the leader of the militant faithful in King’s Landing,[45] while Hannah Waddingham portrays Septa Unella, one of the "Most Devout", the ruling council of the Faith of the Seven.[46] Nell Williams was cast as a young Cersei Lannister seen in flashbacks,[47] while Jodhi May was cast as Maggy the Frog, a fortune-teller.[48]

Across the Narrow Sea, Enzo Cilenti joins as Yezzan, a Yunkish nobleman and slave trader,[45] while Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was cast as Malko, a slaver, who does not appear in the novels.[49] At Castle Black and beyond the Wall, new cast members include Michael Condron as Bowen Marsh, First Steward of the Night's Watch.[50] 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.[51] One role that was recast for season 5 was Ross O'Hennessy as the Lord of Bones. O'Hennessy replaces Edward Dogliani who was last seen in the season 3 premiere "Valar Dohaeris".[52] Charles Dance, whose character died in the previous season, returned for one episode to portray Tywin Lannister's corpse.[53] 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.[54][55]

PromotionEdit

A half-hour documentary, Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life, aired on HBO on February 8, 2015. It covered one day of production of season 5 on three sets in Belfast, Dubrovnik and Osuna from the viewpoint of key crew members.[56] The first official trailer for season 5 was released on January 30, 2015,[57] and the season's second trailer was released on March 9, 2015.[58] The world premiere of the first episode of the fifth season was held at the Tower of London on March 18, 2015.[59]

MusicEdit

The soundtrack for the season was released digitally on June 9, 2015, and on CD on July 17, 2015.[60]

LeaksEdit

On April 11, prior to the airing of the season's first episode, screener copies of the first four episodes were leaked to several file sharing sites.[61] According to TorrentFreak, 18 million different IP addresses downloaded the leaked episodes, totaling 32 million downloads during the first week.[62]

ReceptionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

On Metacritic, the season (based on the first four episodes) has a score of 91 out of 100 based on 29 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[63] On Rotten Tomatoes, the fifth season has a 95% approval rating from 52 critics with an average rating of 8.6 out of 10 and the season also received a 93% average episode score.[64] One notable exception is the sixth episode, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", which was heavily criticized due to the showrunners' decision to have a well-liked character suffer a sexual assault.[65] It received a rating of 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, lower than any previous episode of the show.[66] The eighth episode, "Hardhome", received significant praise and was immediately regarded as one of the best episodes in the series.[67] According to Business Insider, "Despite the attacks, Game of Thrones remains a steady hit."[68]

Season 5 featured more significant changes from the novels. Some of the changes were more well-received than others (the sexual assault scene was heavily criticized and caused great controversy).[69] The various plotlines for the season also differed significantly in reception. The Dornish subplot received an overwhelmingly negative reception.[70] In particular, the hyped Sand Snakes were maligned by critics and fans alike, as many found them cheesy and unlikeable.[71] In contrast, Tyrion's storyline was highly praised. Many fans felt that his subplot progressed overly slowly in the novels, and his meeting with Daenerys was particularly lauded.[72]

Game of Thrones (season 5): Critical reception by episode
 

RatingsEdit

The gross viewing figure per episode for the show, which include streaming, DVR recordings and repeat showings, averaged at 20 million this season.[73][74]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Wars to Come" April 12, 2015 4.2 8.00[9] 1.0 2.07 5.2 10.07[75]1
2 "The House of Black and White" April 19, 2015 3.6 6.81[10] 1.2 2.0 4.8 8.81[76]
3 "High Sparrow" April 26, 2015 3.5 6.71[11] 1.2 2.42 4.7 9.14[77]
4 "Sons of the Harpy" May 3, 2015 3.6 6.82[12] 0.9 1.73 4.5 8.55[78]1
5 "Kill the Boy" May 10, 2015 3.5 6.56[13] 1.5 2.79 5.0 9.35[79]
6 "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" May 17, 2015 3.1 6.24[14] 1.4 2.55 4.5 8.79[80]
7 "The Gift" May 24, 2015 2.5 5.40[15] 2.0 3.47 4.5 8.87[81]
8 "Hardhome" May 31, 2015 3.4 7.01[16] 1.7 2.93 5.1 9.94[82]
9 "The Dance of Dragons" June 7, 2015 3.6 7.14[17] 1.6 2.79 5.2 9.92[83]
10 "Mother's Mercy" June 14, 2015 4.1 8.89[18] 1.3 2.31 5.4 10.43[84]

^1 Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

Game of Thrones: U.S. viewers per episode (millions)
 
Season Ep. 1 Ep. 2 Ep. 3 Ep. 4 Ep. 5 Ep. 6 Ep. 7 Ep. 8 Ep. 9 Ep. 10 Average
1 2.22 2.20 2.44 2.45 2.58 2.44 2.40 2.72 2.66 3.04 2.52[85]
2 3.86 3.76 3.77 3.65 3.90 3.88 3.69 3.86 3.38 4.20 3.80[85]
3 4.37 4.27 4.72 4.87 5.35 5.50 4.84 5.13 5.22 5.39 4.97[86]
4 6.64 6.31 6.59 6.95 7.16 6.40 7.20 7.17 6.95 7.09 6.84[87]
5 8.00 6.81 6.71 6.82 6.56 6.24 5.40 7.01 7.14 8.11 6.88[88]
6 7.94 7.29 7.28 7.82 7.89 6.71 7.80 7.60 7.66 8.89 7.69[89]
7 10.11 9.27 9.25 10.17 10.72 TBD TBD N/A TBD
Source: Nielsen Media Research[92]

Business Insider noted a significant difference in the ratings between this season and previous seasons. The typical pattern involves "Solid premiere viewings followed by a slow but steady gain of momentum through to the finale. Historically, the finale episodes of each season have beaten the premiere for total number of viewers". However, this season showed a significant decline from 8 million viewers at the premiere to 5.4 million at the seventh episode, "The Gift". Business Insider cites two likely reasons for the lower ratings: backlash over the rape scene in "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", one of many deviations from the novels throughout the season that "have upset fans," and increased online streaming through HBO Now. It also acknowledged a possible effect of the first four episodes leaking online before the season premiere and the decision to air on Memorial Day weekend in the United States (a weekend that had been skipped in previous seasons). Business Insider reached out to HBO for comment, HBO responded that it is seeing an increase in overall viewer numbers this season taking into account streaming services, which are not included in Nielsen ratings.[65][93] The dip in ratings did not extend to the eighth and ninth episodes, "Hardhome," and "The Dance of Dragons", which were both seen by over 7 million viewers.[68] The season finale, "Mother's Mercy" was seen by 8.11 million people, setting a new record and making it the most watched episode of the series.[18]

AccoladesEdit

For the 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards, the series was nominated for Best Drama Series.[94] For the 31st TCA Awards, the series was nominated for Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama.[95] 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".[7] 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".[96]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2015 AFI Awards AFI TV Award Game of Thrones Won [97]
5th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated [94]
Most Bingeworthy Show Game of Thrones Nominated
31st TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [95]
Program of the Year Game of Thrones Nominated
Gold Derby TV Awards 2015 Best Drama Series Game of Thrones Won [98]
Best Drama Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage Won
Best Drama Supporting Actress Lena Headey Won
Best Drama Guest Actress Diana Rigg Won
Best Drama Episode "Hardhome" Nominated
"Mother's Mercy" Won
Ensemble of the Year The cast of Game of Thrones Won
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Series Drama Nina Gold Won [99]
EWwy Award Best Supporting Actress, Drama Maisie Williams Nominated [100]
Sophie Turner Nominated
67th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series David Nutter for "Mother's Mercy" Won [101]
Jeremy Podeswa for "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "Mother's Mercy" Won
Outstanding Drama Series Game of Thrones Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen Nominated
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister Nominated
67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Nina Gold, Robert Sterne, and Carla Stronge Won [101]
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series Fabian Wagner for "Hardhome" Nominated
Anette Haellmigk for "Sons of the Harpy" Nominated
Rob McLachlan for "The Dance of Dragons" Nominated
Greg Middleton for "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Fantasy Series Michele Clapton, Sheena Wichary, Nina Ayres, Alex Fordham for "The Dance of Dragons" Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series Kevin Alexander, Candice Banks, Rosalia Culora, Gary Machin, Laura Pollock, Nicola Mount for Mother's Mercy Nominated
Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Jane Walker and Nicola Matthews for "Mother's Mercy" Won
Outstanding Production Design for a Fantasy Program Deborah Riley, Paul Ghirardani, Rob Cameron for "High Sparrow", "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", and "Hardhome" Won
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series Jane Walker, Barrie Gower, and Sarah Gower for "Hardhome" Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama series Tim Porter for "Hardhome" Nominated
Katie Weiland for "The Dance of Dragons" Won
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series Tim Kimmel, Paula Fairfield, Bradley C. Katona, Peter Bercovitch, David Klotz, Jeffrey Wilhoit, Dylan T. Wilhoit for "Hardhome" Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Series Ronan Hill, Richard Dyer, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters for "Hardhome" Won
Outstanding Special Visual Effects Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Adam Chazen, Jabbar Raisani, Eric Carney, Stuart Brisdon, Derek Spears, James Kinnings, Matthew Rouleau for "The Dance of Dragons" Won
Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Series Rowley Irlam Won
E! Online Best. Ever. TV. Awards Outstanding Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated [102]
Hollywood Post Alliance Outstanding Sound Tim Kimmel, Paula Fairfield, Bradley Katona, Paul Bercovitch, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters for "Hardhome" Nominated [103]
Outstanding Color Grading Joe Finley for "Hardhome" Nominated
Outstanding Editing Tim Porter for "Hardhome" Nominated
Outstanding Visual Effects Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Derek Spears, Eric Carney, Jabbar Raisani for "The Dance of Dragons" Won
British Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography in a Television Drama Fabian Wagner for "Hardhome" Nominated [104]
ACO/BSC/GBCT Operators TV Drama Award David Morgan, Sean Savage, Ben Wilson, David Worley for "Hardhome" Won [105]
20th Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Peter Dinklage Nominated [106]
Best Television Series – Genre Game of Thrones Nominated
IGN Awards Best TV Series Game of Thrones Nominated [107]
Best TV Episode "Hardhome" Won
Best TV Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated
Best TV Villain Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton Nominated
IGN People's Choice Awards Best TV Series Game of Thrones Nominated
Best TV Episode "Hardhome" Nominated
Best TV Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated
Best TV Villain Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton Nominated
2016 Guinness World Records Largest TV drama simulcast Game of Thrones Won [108]
42nd People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Show Game of Thrones Nominated [109]
Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show Game of Thrones Nominated
Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress Emilia Clarke Nominated
Shorty Awards Favorite TV Show Game of Thrones Nominated [110]
[111]
GIF of the Year Game of Thrones Come At Me Bro Nominated
Empire Awards Best TV Series Game of Thrones Nominated [112]
Art Directors Guild Awards 2015 One-Hour Single Camera Fantasy Television Series Deborah Riley for "High Sparrow", "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" and "Hardhome" Won [113]
Screenwriters Choice Awards Best Television Drama Game of Thrones Won [114]
Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards Best Period and/or Character Makeup – Television Jane Walker Won [115]
Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling – Television Kevin Alexander, Candice Banks Won
Webby Award Best Overall Social Presence Game of Thrones Won [116]
Location Managers Guild Awards Outstanding Locations in Period Television Robert Boake and Tate Araez Won [117]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Television Series – One Hour Ronan Hill, Richard Dyer, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters, Brett Voss for "Hardhome" Won [118]
American Cinema Editors Awards 2016 Best Edited One-Hour Series For Non-Commercial Television Katie Weiland for "The Dance of Dragons" Nominated [119]
Tim Porter for "Hardhome" Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series Michele Clapton for Game of Thrones Won [120]
68th Directors Guild of America Awards Dramatic Series David Nutter for "Mother’s Mercy" Won [121]
American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series Fabian Wagner for "Hardhome" Nominated [122]
73rd Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [123]
13th Irish Film & Television Awards Best Television Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [124]
Actor in a Supporting Role – Television Liam Cunningham Nominated
MTV Millennial Awards Killer Series of the Year Game of Thrones Won [125]
21st National Television Awards Best International Show Game of Thrones Nominated [126]
Producers Guild of America Awards 2015 "Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama" David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, Bryan Cogman, Lisa McAtackney, Chris Newman, Greg Spence Won [127]
42nd Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series Game of Thrones Nominated [128]
Best Supporting Actor on Television Kit Harington Nominated
Best Supporting Actress on Television Lena Headey Nominated
Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Maisie Williams Nominated
Brenock O'Connor Nominated
22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Drama Series Boian Anev, Richard Bradshaw, Jonathan Cohen, Christopher Cox, Jacob Cox, Matt Crook, Rob DeGroot, Levan Doran, Clint Elvy, James Embree, Bradley Farmer, Richard Hansen, Bobby Holland-Hanton, Radoslav Ignatov, Borislav Iliev, Rowley Irlam, Erol Ismail, Milen Kaleychev, Paul Lowe, Jonathan McBride, Sian Milne, David Newton, Radoslav Parvanov, Ian Pead, Jan Petrina, Rashid Phoenix, Andy Pilgrim, Dominic Preece, Marc Redmond, Paul Shapcott, Ryan Stuart, Pablo Verdejo, Calvin Warrington-Heasman, Annabel E. Wood, Danko Yordanov, and Lewis Young Won [129]
Outstanding Performance by An Ensemble in a Drama Series Alfie Allen, Ian Beattie, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Michael Condron, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ben Crompton, Liam Cunningham, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tara Fitzgerald, Jerome Flynn, Brian Fortune, Joel Fry, Aiden Gillen, Ian Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Michiel Huisman, Brenock O'Conner, Daniel Portman, Iwan Rheon, Owen Tealem Sophie Turner, Carcie Van Houten, Maisie Williams and Tom Wlaschiha Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage Nominated
Glamour Awards 2016 Best UK TV Actress Sophie Turner Won [130]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: FX/Foley Tim Kimmel for "Hardhome" Won [131]
Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: Dialogue / ADR Tim Kimmel for "Hardhome" Won
Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: Music David Klotz for "Hardhome" Nominated
USC Scripter Award Best Adapted Screenplay David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "Hardhome" Nominated [132]
Visual Effects Society Awards 2015 Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Eric Carney, Derek Spears, Stuart Brisdon for "The Dance of Dragons" Won [133]
Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project Florian Friedmann, Jonathan Symmonds, Sven Skoczylas, Sebastian Lauer' for "Mother's Mercy" - Wounded Drogon Nominated
James Kinnings, Michael Holzl, Joseph Hoback, Matt Derksen for "Dance of Dragons" - Drogon Arena Rescue Nominated
Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project Dominic Piche, Christine Leclerc, Patrice Poissant, Thomas Montminy-Brodeur for "City of Volantis" Won
Rajeev B R., Loganathan Perumal, Ramesh Shankers, Anders Ericson for "Drogon Arena" Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project David Ramos, Antonio Lado, Piotr Weiss, Félix Bergés for "Hardhome" Won
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode Eduardo Díaz, Guillermo Orbe, Oscar Perea, Inmaculada Nadela for "Hardhome" Won
Dan Breckwoldt, Martin Furman, Sophie Marfleet, Eric Andrusyszyn for "Drogon Arena" Nominated
Travis Nobles, Mark Spindler, Max Riess, Nadja Ding for "Drogon Lair" Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards 2015 Episodic Drama David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "Mother's Mercy" Nominated [134]
Television Drama Series David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, Dave Hill, D. B. Weiss Nominated
Canadian Society of Cinematographers TV Series Cinematography Robert McLachlan for "The Dance of Dragons" Won [135]
TV Series Cinematography Gregory Middleton for "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" Nominated

ReleaseEdit

BroadcastEdit

The season was simulcast to 170 countries by HBO and its broadcast partners. In some countries, it aired the day after its first release.[136][137][138] 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.[139]

Home mediaEdit

The season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 15, 2016, in region 1 and March 14, 2016, in region 2.[140][141]


Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season
Set details Special features
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Castilian, German
  • Subtitles: English, French, Castilian, German, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 5-disc set, 10 episodes
  • "New Characters and Locations": Explores the new societies, cultures and locations of Season.
  • "Anatomy of Episode: Mother's Mercy": Behind the scenes of the season finale. From the early stages of the writer's room to the final visual effects.
  • "The Real History of Game of Thrones Parts 1 and 2": George R. R. Martin, explore the interweaving inspirations of the actual players in the era known as "The Wars of the Roses" and other historical events in this two-part series.
  • "A Day in The Life": Takes you behind-the-scenes of production in three countries, offering an inside look at the production process of Season 5.
  • Deleted Scenes: Four deleted scenes.
  • 12 audio commentaries by, among others, Benioff, Weiss, Dinklage, Headey, Harington, Coster-Waldau, Glen, Williams, Dormer, Christie and more.

Blu-ray exclusive:

  • "The Dance of Dragons": Tells the story of the Greens and the Blacks, the Targaryen civil war that led to the downfall of the dragons, featuring surprise narration from notable characters from past seasons.
  • "In-Episode Guide": In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations and relevant histories.
  • "Histories & Lore": Learn about the mythology of Westeros as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves.[140][142]
DVD release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
March 15, 2016[140] March 14, 2016[141] March 16, 2016[143]

Copyright infringementEdit

The fifth season of Game of Thrones was the most-pirated TV series in 2015.[144]

ReferencesEdit

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