Missing your Sunday night fix of Game of Thrones? Relive the biggest moments from Season 5 with the cast commentary below, and be sure to rewatch your favorite episodes on HBO NOW.
Episode 1: An Act of Mercy
The first episode of Season 5 ended with a bold move by Jon Snow. Mance Rayder was "invited to [his] own BBQ," explained actor Ciaran Hinds, but Jon Snow wasn't having it. "Mance has always been about stopping the killing. That touched Jon Snow somewhere."
See how the production team crafted the scene.
Episode 2: A Face From the Past
In "The House of Black and White" Arya is escorted into the temple to the Many-Faced God by Jaqen H'ghar. The assassin's reappearance was a surprise to the actor who plays him. "The character's not in the books anymore, so far, at least," noted Tom Wlaschiha. "I was hoping to be back, but normally what you hope for on Game of Thrones doesn't happen."
Episode 3: A Powerful Execution
"Although Jon may not know it, beheading Janos Slynt, he's actually avenging his father's death," said Kit Harington of his character's first act as Lord Commander. "There's some justice for the viewer in that." But Jon paid a price too: "It also kills a bit inside of Jon," Harington added. "There's a strength in what he's done, but there's also a desperation."
Episode 4: A Dicey Departure
Audiences were intrigued by Littlefinger's strategizing – specifically his decision to leave Sansa behind and return to King's Landing. "Littlefinger is not entirely sure what kind of situation he’s leaving her in and how dangerous that could be," noted actor Aidan Gillen. "He has a sense that it's not going to be easy, but what's unfolding at the moment with Sansa and the Boltons at Winterfell is probably one of his audacious and risky plays yet."
Episode 5: A Surprise Reunion
Sansa's impromptu meeting with Theon Greyjoy was upsetting to Ramsay, actor Iwan Rheon explained. "[Ramsay] didn't necessarily want Reek to meet Sansa until he was ready. That they've inadvertently met means that he feels he needs to regain the power." The resulting situation was an uncomfortable apology at dinner. Rheon elaborated: "It's just a game to Ramsay. He's got loads of energy and he's a very intelligent person. So he's constantly looking for amusement."
Episode 6: A Haunting Hall
Arya finally graduates to the Hall of Faces, a set space that impressed the actors as much as the viewers. "It was really quite amazing what they built at the studio in Belfast," said Tom Wlaschiha. "When I first read the episodes, I imagined that there would be a lot of CGI and green screen in those scenes, and there was – but the sets had actually been built a lot more than I imagined. In the Hall of Faces, there were hundreds and hundreds of masks on the walls. It was really quite eerie, and of course, that helps playing the scene because you're immediately thrown into that world."
Episode 7: A Surprise Incarceration
Queen Cersei is ambushed with news of Lancel's confession. "It didn't require a great deal of effort for him to reveal his incestuous relationship with Cersei," explained Eugene Simon, who plays Cersei's ex-lover. "The real issue for him is to redeem his sin and to do that, he has to bring Cersei with him. He's totally bound to Cersei. His redemption and her redemption are one and the same."
Episode 8: An Epic Attack
The massacre at Hardhome featured a massive army of wights and White Walkers descending upon the fishing village. Filming the scene involved hundreds of extras. "Shooting it was chaos," said Kristofer Hivju, who plays Tormund. "You can't fake chaos." Kit Harington also praised the actors: "The extras are some of the most hardworking, brilliant background actors I've ever had the pleasure of working with… It's what makes a scene like this work."
Episode 9: A Great Escape
"The Dance of Dragons" proved true to its name when Drogon arrived to save Dany from the Sons of Harpy revolt. "It's probably one of the biggest of those moments," said Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, "They're in such a dire strait, for the dragon to arrive and for her to climb on, it's a moment full of wonder, love, and admiration."
Michiel Huisman believes that his character, Daario Naharis, was similarly awed: "It's almost divine to see her fly away on the dragon," Husiman noted. "I've been telling her to use those dragons! Finally, she's listening."
Episode 10: A Long Farewell
Just when Jaime seemed to have achieved his objective of bringing Myrcella home, the boat ride took a fateful turn. "When she says she's glad he's her father, it breaks his heart in a good way – then a second after, his heart breaks in a very real way," said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. "That's typical Game of Thrones; you just have one second of happiness and then it's snatched away."
As for Ellaria Sand, Coster-Waldau had no sympathy for the Dornishwoman. "The fact that Ellaria blames the Lannisters for the Mountain killing Oberyn is just wrong," he said. "Oberyn only has himself to blame. He had every opportunity to finish the Mountain – he just didn't do it. Ellaria's in such an extreme state of pain that she just wants revenge."