I'm not one to say that a show requires action scenes to be compelling.. if that were the case, "Mad Men" would be my least favorite show of all time. However, I do like "Mad Men" quite a lot, and while I like me some slow-burning drama and tension, I also like the occasional outburst of action. While the first four episodes were preparations for the rest of the season, this fifth episode of "Game of Thrones" was amazing, giving us everything that's great about drama in fifty minutes.
Last week's cliffhanger is quickly resolved, as Catelynn Stark and a slew of men that she picked up along the way prepare to question Tyrion Lannister for his (supposed) attempted murder of Bran. Tyrion denies it, and soon enough, they're attacked by what I believe is Hill People. Tyrion saves Cat's life, and she allows him to walk with them without being tied up... but for some insane reason, Cat still decides to take Tyrion to Jon Aryn's wife and see what she thinks, even though Jon's wife believes the Lannister's are responsible for killing Jon. Tyrion is thrown in prison.
The only reason I'm so precise in describing what happened here is because Catelynn's actions come to effect Ned's. You see, Ned is already feeling a bit hesitant to stay on as Robert's Hand, mostly because Robert wants to assassinate Daenerys since she is now pregnant with a Doth Raki child (we also don't see any of the blonde-haired queen, which I don't have any complaints about). Ned refuses to do so and resigns from the position. We also learn that Jon Aryn was looking into all of Robert's bastard children before he died and that there are people are already plotting to kill Ned. As a result, when Ned is approached by Jaime Lannister about his brother, Ned admits he had his brother captured, and we get an insanely entertaining fight between Ned and Jaime that would've been even better if Jaime's man hadn't stepped in.
In between these two sections, we get a handful of equally entertaining and revealing scenes. There's a great one between Robert and Cersei where Robert remembers his former lover, Ned's sister. We get a great fight between the Mountain and his brother, the man with the burned face. There's also an interesting scene between one of the Grayjoy kids and the red-haired whore that is frequently mentioned by everybody. I think showing us a Grayjoy randomly and never going back to him is a good sign of what to expect in coming episodes. They wouldn't show him unless he were going to somehow have an impact.
Overall, this was just a great episode of television and perhaps the best Game of Thrones episode to date. I'm not sure I agree with "thefanof" in this case (and normally, I respect what he has to say about shows in general) about the episode not having a climatic moment.. I thought that a small amount of action sequences and some more plot development was more than enough to keep me interested. I didn't feel bored like last week, where it felt like we were being told everything.
If the final five episodes are as good as the first five were, we're in for a real treat this year with "Game of Thrones."