Show: Game of Thrones
Watched: Episode 45 – May 10, 2015
Title: Kill the Boy
Summary: Awesome episode
First off, this is one of those medium focus episodes, which are my favorites. By medium I mean that it covers a limited number of threads, but not just one (like Blackwater). I like these episodes that have some different threads to cut between, but enough time to lavish on more detail. Those that cover more than 3-4 threads tend to feel rushed.
NOTE: SERIOUS SPOILER WARNING. This review/discussion contains tons of spoilers about the episode and even ones crossing over from the books. It’s really my free-for-all musing given all the information at my disposal.
Dany – Because we ended with Dany, we might as well start with her as the episode does. Or to be specific, with Missandei watching over an recovering Gray Worm — he breathes, so as we suspected, he is alive. Not so much luck for Barristan who is lying in state in the pyramid with Dany and Dario looking on. Hizdahr zo Loraq approaches. Dario suggests they retreat to the pyramid and lay waste to the rest of the city. Dany is the retreat type and has her men round up the leaders of all the noble families — including Hizdahr.
Down in the basement (of Diocletian’s Palace), she has the unsullied drive the nobles toward the two dragons that wait in the dark. One is push forward, roasted, torn in half, and makes a nice two course reptilian feast. Dany is in her “calm, cold, and pensive” mode, which I quite like, and she lets the others off easier with a bit of incarceration.
Three days later, Gray Worm wakes up, and Missandei is still there. He learns about Barristan and announces to her that he failed his comrade. Of course, being in love with him, and him being totally outnumbered and having survived, she isn’t in the slightest bit mad at him. He admits that he was ashamed that at the last minute he was afraid — of not seeing her again. She kisses him, thinking fondly of the smooth patch between his legs.
But as this is a good day for Missandei, she next visits with Dany who seeks her advice. Dany is open and receptive, and Miss tactfully points out that Dany sometimes takes her advisor’s council, and sometimes has to do it her own way. Which is quite apropos as Dany has another of her unorthodox solutions in mind. She heads down to Hizdahr’s cell and tells him she will reopen the pits and — this is way more exciting — marry him. Of course, in true GOT fashion she makes a nice joke of it. He, for his part, having assumed he was about to die is only concerned with cleaning up his linen tighty whities.
I might as well discuss here the elephant in the room. In the books, Barristan continues on living, has his own POV chapters in fact. And here the producers have decided to snip him out of the story. His thread was pretty boring in ADWD anyway, and this episode’s Dany section is the best she has been in a long long time, so power to them.
Jon and the Wall – Sam is reading about Dany (apropos) to Aemon, and he is bothered by his last living relative being out there alone in Meereen. Jon comes in to speak to the Maester, announcing he needs advice on something crucial. Aemon, ever wise and ever cheeky (he is a 100 year old Targaryen Maester with cold bones) tells him to do what he thinks best. But more poetically, like “kill the boy and let the man be born.”
So Jon has a little chat with Tormund where he asks him to go fetch all the Freefolk and bring them back to be let through the wall to settle. He makes a pretty convincing argument. Hey, who wants to end up as body part art? But even unchained, Tormund wants Jon to go with him to Hardhome. Jon promisses to talk to Stannis about borrowing the fleet.
Now, Jon has the unenviable job of telling his men — who of course think he is crazy. Befriend the enemy? I love how Stannis corrects one mans bad grammar too. The whole “we have to live with them or fight them as part of the army of the dead” makes reasonable sense, but it’s hard for people to give up on their hate. This is personalized in the form of Oly, the kid who killed Ygritte (grrr) and lost his family to the Thenns. Since Oly is Jon’s steward, he get a glimpse into his hatred.
Gilly and Sam talk about the library and we have more nice bonding between the two of them. Sam points out that the Citadel has the largest library, and we are given a hint of its role training Maesters, which might mean that Sam, Gilly, and Aemon are headed that way after-all. Plus Gilly’s insecurity and Sam’s kind handling of it are quite nice. Stannis comes in and asks about the White Walkers and how Sam killed them, concluding that Sam should keep reading. This nicely shows Stannis’ pragmatic side.
Then the king goes to talk to Davos to tell him its time they marched and he’s taking the queen and princess, so we cut to the next morning as they saddle up. Sam and Gilly watch and Davos chats with Shireen while the queen frowns (she doesn’t do much of anything else). Stannis and Jon have a few moments of mutual respect and wish each other well, then Red Lady in tow, a nice big column of CGI forces marches out.
Winterfell – Pod and Brienne spy on the castle from a nearby inn. Pod halfheartedly tries to convince her to turn aside, but Brienne is determined to support Sansa. A servant comes in and she questions him about the Starks, taking the risk of asking him to get Sansa a message. This is characteristic of her, like when she mentioned her mission to Hotpie.
Next, Ramsay admires his whore Myranda by the window. She’s quite thin, pretty, and very naked. The girl has some guts, as she expected to marry Ramsay before the whole Bolton thing and says as much. Ramsay is interestingly honest when he says “I meant it, but then I was a Snow and now I’m a Bolton.” Plus, she’s the Kennel Master’s daughter. He warns her about her jealousy and she has the good sense not to push it so far she ends up minus a few attractive body parts. He takes her by the window.
Sansa is in her room when a servant enters and passes her what might sort of be Brienne’s message — at least she is supposed to light a candle in the broken tower if she needs help. She wanders out into the yard and checks it out, it’s the tower where Bran fell, just with more snow. Myranda approaches. She’s clever and has a pair on her (more than Reek anyway) in that she plays nice, apologizes for Cat’s death, and takes Sansa to see a “surprise” in the kennels. At the end. Sansa, against possible better judgement walks past the snarling beasts to find Reek/Theon at the end. She recognizes him and he only says, “you shouldn’t be here.”
Later, Reek is serving Ramsay when he clearly has something to say. It takes a moment and then he is out with the Sansa bit. Ramsay toys with him for a moment and forgives him.
This brings us to one of the oddest great scenes in GOT history. The Bolton/Stark dinner theater. Ramsay pours Sansa some wine, and his fat Stepmother’s. There is a comment about how it must be strange for Sansa, and she comments back that the place is home, only the people are strange. Reek comes in to serve and Ramsay plays the whole thing off as punishment for his “murder” of Bran and Rickon, even makes Reek apologize. This is one weird dinner. When it can’t get any weirder, he even suggests Reek give away the bride. Ramsay is a brilliant actor, but the character and the actor playing the character. Bolton however isn’t so amused and pulls the rug out from under his son by noting that his fat wife is pregnant — perhaps with another son.
In private, the two Bolton’s spar. Ramsay “wonders” how dad could “find it” on a girl that fat and Bolton is just straight up displeased with him. But he tells a grim Bolton-style story of how he killed the miller and raped the miller’s wife, then she showed up with the baby — only to comment on how he recognized the boy as his son — as he does now. Well, sure is true, Ramsay sure has a lot of the dad in him. Then Bolton, no dummy talks about Stannis and their defense of the north and Ramsay rises to the occasional again to offer his help.
Tyrion and Jorah – sail along in amusing contrast. “Long sullen silences and the occasional punch in the face: the Mormont Way.” Haha. Ty thinks better of it and apologizes — and asks for wine. But Jorah is more concerned looking ahead, and so Ty turns to see the myst (seems appropriate to spell it that way) and… dum dum… the ruins of Old Valyria, which is clearly the fantasy stand in for the Roman Empire. Apparently Jorah thinks this will make an excellent shortcut. It does look pretty, with giant Vietnamese/Cambodian style ruins, aqueducts, jungle, and mist (I meant myst). This is an awesome scene, gorgeous and moody with Ty reciting a poem telling of the Doom and Jorah finishing it. A nice bonding moment for two men who actually have a bit in common. Then Drogon flaps on by overhead taking it up to the next level. The camera lingers on him, and his appearance means different things for the two men. He’s huge, and perhaps reminds Jorah of all he has lost. And for Ty, well, he maybe didn’t even totally believe in dragons.
Then a handful of stonemen hop on into the boat. I knew there was way too much setup about stonemen, grayscale, and them being sent to Old Valyria to be a coincidence. Nice fight really, with the added zombie-style need to avoid touching them. Then Ty goes into the water, bound.
He wakes with Jorah on the beach. They seem to have lost their boat. No matter, too resourceful men like them can surely steal another one. But Jorah secretly checks his wrist and we see he’s sporting a small patch of grayscale. uh oh!
All in all, a fabulous episode. Even without Arya for the second week in a row, all four threads were fabulous. The lackluster Dany storyline got a much needed stab in the gut and the ho hum north a bit of chilly change. But the Winterfell and Tyrion/Jorah threads were as good as it gets for this show — which is pretty darn good. Those whack job family moments in Winterfell, wow, and Old Valyria with Drogon flying overhead. What more could a fantasy junky want?
Official HBO inside the episode: