The fifth season is very taken up with the theme of "winter is coming." Jon Snow receives more air time than any other character. Numerous scenes are set in the North--either at the Wall or Winterfell--and are literally dark, cold, and gloomy. The overall atmosphere is pretty grim; creators push the violence level even higher than has been the case in past seasons. I didn't enjoy this season quite as much as the previous ones, but I found it to be pretty watchable. Season 5 involves a lot of transitioning: major characters spend a lot of time traveling around or positioning themselves for battle. As someone else commented, the season tends to pick up around episode 8, with the sense that next year will be pretty exciting. A couple of new locations are introduced--one successfully, the other not so much. I would have liked to have seen a lot more of the favorite characters, especially Jaime, Tyrian, and Brienne. Still, this series, even when a bit disappointing, is still way above most others.