‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 5, Episode 5 Recap: Kill The Boy

Above: Jon Snow (Courtesy: HBO)
Above: Jon Snow (Courtesy: HBO)

Every Monday, our resident Game of Thrones fanatic E. Spencer Kyte will recap the previous night’s episode. Here’s his take on Season 5, Episode 5 —Kill the Boy.

Warning: what follows is a review and analysis of what happened on Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven’t watched it and don’t want to encounter spoilers, we suggest you go read something else on this site. Consider yourself warned.

Before getting to the episode itself, let’s just all stop and appreciate how awesome this season has been thus far. Four episodes in and beginning to stray from George R.R. Martin’s original text in various ways, Game of Thrones hasn’t waned one bit. If anything, it has gotten better this season and continues to do so with each passing episode, including last night.

Here’s what happened.

Barbecue and Big Doings in Meereen

Last week’s episode ended with Grey Worm and Ser Barristan Selmy laying side-by-side, having seemingly been mortally wounded by the Sons of the Harpy attackers. This week’s episode began with an update on that situation. As it turns out, Ser Barristan’s days did end, but Grey Worm is still amongst the living, with Missandei by his side, caring for him.

Hizdahr Zo Loraq comes to offer his condolences to Queen Dany on Ser Barristan’s passing and Angry Queen Dany decides to round up the heads of the major houses of Meereen and take them on a little field trip. This includes Hizdahr, who is led, with the others, into the catacombs, where Dany gives a speech about how a good mother would never neglect her children. Then she pushes one of the noblemen forward so that Viseron and Rhaegal can barbecue him and eat his charred body. That’ll show you to potentially be involved with the Sons of the Harpy!

Once he finally comes to, Grey Worm says tells Missandrei he’s failed everyone and that he feels shame, but not for the reasons she thinks. He was afraid that he would never see her again and the two finally share a kiss. Up in Dany’s chambers, Missandrei is asked for her thoughts on how to deal with the uprising in the city and she gives it to Dany straight, which prompts “The Mother of Dragons” to head to the dungeon, where she not only apologizes to Hizdahr Zo Loraq, telling him she will re-open the fighting pits – but only for free men! – but also that she’ll marry the head of one of the noble families of Meereen… him.

Kill the Boy and Let the Man Be Born

Things literally go in two different directions at Castle Black this week.

Lord Commander Jon Snow has a chat with Maester Aemon about what he needs to do and the old man doesn’t pull any punches, delivering a little speech from which Sunday’s episode gets its name:

“Half the men hate you already. Do it … You will find little joy in your command but with luck you’ll find the strength to do what needs to be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”

So Jon has a sit down with Tormund Giantsbane, asking him to round up the free folk and bring them to the other side of The Wall, where Jon will give them lands in the North, provided they fight alongside of him when the time comes. Mance Rayder’s former righthand man is willing to oblige, but under one condition: Jon has to go with him so that The Wildlings know he’s not just trying to pull a fast one on them.

Lord Commander Snow breaks the news to the men of the Night’s Watch and, as expected, many of them are unhappy, including Jon’s squire, Olly, who watched his parents be butchered by the free folk.

Meanwhile Stannis is ready to ship out and attack Winterfell, and despite Ser Davos’ thoughts to the contrary, “The One True King” is bringing Queen Selyse and Princes Shireen on the road. Before he leaves, however, Stannis heads into the tiny Castle Black library where he happens upon Samwell Tarly, whose father, it turns out, was the only man to defeat Robert Baratheon in battle.

Stannis has heard that Sam killed a White Walker and wants to know how. Sam explains that he used a dragonstone shank, but has no idea why that felled the undead. He’s been reading up trying to find and answer, but he’s been unsuccessful thus far. Happy with the results of their chat, Stannis tells Sam to keep reading and eventually departs for Winterfell.

Speaking of Winterfell…

Pod and Brienne continue to keep tabs on Sansa from afar, letting word leak out to the townspeople that there is, in fact, a Stark living amongst the murderous Bolton clan in Winterfell.

Though he’s set to wed Sansa, Ramsey is still boning the kennelman’s daughter, Miranda, who is all kinds of jealous of Sansa and the way her psycho lover looks at her. After a feisty naked romp with Ramsey, Miranda introduces herself to Sansa and shows her a surprise down in the kennels – Theon/Reek cowering in the last stall on the left. He knows that Sansa shouldn’t be there, shouldn’t see him.

Theon/Reek informs Ramsey of this and at dinner, the crazy bastard son of Roose Bolton makes a big production about having Theon/Reek apologize to Sansa for murdering her brothers and, you know, all that other awful stuff he’s done to your family after they were so good to him for all those years. Of course, Theon/Reek didn’t murder Bran and Rickon – they got away – but only he knows that for now.

With all the talk of weddings and celebrations, Lord Bolton and Lady Walda have an announcement to make as well – they’re having a baby and it looks like it’s going to be a boy. Hear that Ramsey? There is going to be a legitimate heir to the Bolton throne running around soon. Huzzah!

Naturally concerned by this announcement, Ramsey skulks about for a while, swilling back the wine like he’s Tyrion, pouting. His father reassures him that his place is secure and changes subjects, asking his psycho bastard child if he’s battle Stannis Baratheon for the North by his side. Ramsey, of course, says he is and a battle is a-brewin!

Troubles in Valyria

Out at sea, Tyrion keeps being Tyrion as Jorah keeps being Jorah, leading to a couple pithy comments (“The Mormont Way!”) and another “Oh, I see what you’re doing” expository moment for The Imp. Turns out Jorah is headed to Valyria to pick up some token offering from Dany’s homeland to present to her along with the kidnapped Little Lannister.

As they sail into the city, which was once home of the most self-sufficient people around before it was wiped out by “The Doom,” a volcanic event that created the Smoking Sea Jorah and Tyrion sail in on, Drogon flies over them and they both marvel at the sight of the massive dragon. And then all hell breaks loose.

Stone Men, people afflicted with the Greyscale, attack their small boat. Greyscale is basically like deadly cooties – you can’t let anyone that has it touch you or else you’re going to get it. The only difference is that cooties isn’t real and doesn’t slowly spread out over your whole body, killing you over time. As Jorah tries to fend off the Stone Men, Tyrion, hands still bound, falls overboard, sinking in the Smoking Sea while a Stone Man clutches at him from below as the screen fades to black…

Only to light up again with a blurry Jorah. Tyrion has not drowned; Jorah has saved him and both say they’re safe from the Greyscale… except as Jorah heads off to find firewood, his left forearm gets itchy because he’s got the Greyscale.

Roll credits!

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Some quick thoughts on the episode and where the season is headed:

– Can’t wait for Stannis and The Boltons to clash and there is strong likelihood that Jon and the Wildlings will show up as the battle is raging to get their licks in.

– Maester Aemon’s lamentations about poor Dany being a Targaryen alone in the world can’t just be a throwaway. Either he knows something or it’s just foreshadowing, but either way, last week’s Advance Game Theory about Jon perhaps being the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna seems like it could be legit.

– No Cersei this week, the first time in a while that we haven’t seen the drunken Queen Mum. No Jaime and Bronn in Dorne either.

– Dany re-opening the fighting pits won’t go well, but it’s got to happen. My guess is that all hell breaks loose, a massive brawl between the Sons of the Harpy and Team Dany ensues and Drogon comes back to torch everyone fighting against his mother and probably a few innocent bystanders too because, you know, it’s a dragon and that’s what dragons do.

– Jorah gettin the Greyscale might seem like a death sentence, but remember, Princess Shireen was cured, so there is hope for the two-time outcast.

– Tyrion is still the best, even when he’s a kidnappee on a boat. “I’m a person who drinks and people who drink need to keep drinking.” Classic Tyrion.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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