Warning: Spoilers from the first five seasons of Game of Thrones to follow.
Over the course of its first four seasons, Game of Thrones has earned a reputation for penultimate episodes characterized by shocking twists, epic battles and buckets of blood. In the first season, honest Ned Stark lost his head. In the second, Stannis Baratheon unsuccessfully laid siege to King’s Landing. The third season’s second-to-last episode gave us the Red Wedding, and last season’s ninth-hour told the story of the battle at Castle Black between the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. Those four episodes are often counted amongst the show’s best—so it’s little wonder that expectations for Sunday’s season-five penultimate offering, “The Dance of Dragons,” are reaching lofty heights.
Compounding those expectations are the developments of last week’s “Hardhome.” After a couple of lackluster offerings from this season’s fifth and sixth hours, “Hardhome” proved a genuine turning point for…
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