Still jobbing, and loving it, so there are lots of book reviews that I'm working on but aren't quite ready yet. In the meantime here's another Game of Thrones recap to fill the gap!.
‘Kill the Boy’
Series 5, Episode 5
*Spoilers ahead*, only read on if you’ve seen the episode.
This week’s episode opens with Missandei watching over a wounded Grey Worm. Who actually looks fine. I’m pretty sure he’s just sleeping. Dany, meanwhile, watches over a dead Ser Barristan. I wish he was just sleeping...
She bitterly echoes the cries of those who have read the books by announcing with great distaste – that the immense Barristan Selmy died… in an alley?! I know Dany. He deserved better.
She looks genuinely crushed in this scene and it’s good to see Emilia Clarke back in form. I can kind of understand what the show is doing here – they’ve deliberately isolated Dany to force a definitive development and change her – which suggests a lead towards her Targaryen heritage. I’m intrigued. She sets her resolve and rounds up the leaders of Meereen’s great families and prods them into the dragon chamber. Yep. She actually feeds a few to her dragons. Mojo. It’s a great scene and watching Hizdahr sweat is pretty fun. Dany has had enough and is certainly seeking vengeance for the crimes against her. She is ready to rule with fear.
In a great switch of scenes, Sam is reading to Maester Aemon about Dany’s recent exploits – Aemon poetically utters: ‘a Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing’…
Not done with being profound, Aemon moves on to counsel Jon Snow – instructing him to ‘kill the boy’ and ‘let the man be born’. We’ll see how that works out.
Jon proposes an alliance with the wildlings because ‘winter is coming’ (yeah that phrase is getting old now) and they will need to fight together to beat what’s coming. This proves a little divisive. And by divisive, I mean everyone hates it. You can see parallels in the Jon and Dany storylines – they are doubles – ice and fire – both irrevocably altered by the roles they are cast into – roles that are bigger and more frightening than they ever imagined. I love the duality of it- it’s great craftsmanship on George RR Martin’s part.
Taking away from those literary tropes is the show’s quick-switch into softcore pornography. I’m not going to go into it. But it features Ramsay. And Ramsay asking his lover (Miranda) if she’s going to ‘bore him’. I guess Ramsay was always going to be kinky/disturbing in this area too. Darth Sansa, meanwhile, looks like a ghost wandering through the home she’s lost. She meets one or two friendly faces – one is a woman who keeps saying ‘the North remembers’ – and a girl who seems to deliberately lead Sansa to Theon by essentially poking her into the kennels. Sophie Turner is fantastic in this episode; Sansa looks visibly disturbed but also confused over how she feels when her eyes meet Theon’s.
Later, Theon confesses the encounter to Ramsay – and, instead of being horrific, Ramsay is forgiving – in a way that still oozes creepiness and manipulation. He also tells Theon that he smells ‘particularly ripe this evening’. I’m not sure what that even means. In one of the most awkward dinner scenes of all time, Ramsay makes everyone squirm by playing wind-up merchant and forcing Theon to apologise to Sansa for ‘killing’ her brothers. Roose Bolton’s eyes literally swivel back and forth between the two in a hysterically cartoonish way. The tension is palpable here and it’s actually one of my favourite scenes – there’s so much subtle nuance in everyone’s behaviour throughout. Brilliant performances from all. Ramsay even suggests Reek give Sansa away at the wedding, but is left unamused when Walda announces she is pregnant and expects it to be a boy. Sansa gets a chance to give Ramsay a smug smile.
Continuing his tour of good will, Stannis meets Sam – he literally tells Sam who he is, to which Sam can only answer ‘yes… that’s me’. They kind of bond, even though their families were on opposite sides. Stannis spreading-the-love-Mannis gives him respect and walks on.
Stannis readies his troops to march for Winterfell and Melisandre still flashes Jon creepy glances. He runs away to try and persuade the Wildings to rally to his cause. In Meereen, Grey Worm mistakenly thinks he failed his men – when actually it was a bit of cheeky contrivance by the showrunners, and Dany delivers the most unromantic proposal to Hizdahr ever. He looks a bit
delighted terrified, understandably.
‘Long sullen silences and the occasional punch in the face’ – Tyrion effectively sums up the series so far, as he and Jorah paddle along through Valyria – Dany’s homeland. Tyrion literally becomes a tour guide and explains this and the history to the viewers. Could be one way for him to make money…
He is left speechless, however, when Drogon soars overhead. And less speechless when a stone man literally plops into their boat. ‘Don’t let them touch you!’ – famous last words Jorah. When Tyrion is dragged overboard, Jorah rescues him – but at how great a cost? In the final scene he pulls up his sleeve to reveal the first blemish of grayscale. This is another interesting deviation – it seems Jorah is doomed (and has had his character merged with Jon Connington from the book). It makes me wonder how much of that storyline they are going to keep – as there are certainly twists and mysteries to be had there.
I actually really loved the ‘long sullen silences’ in this episode – there was a lot of subtle character development, action and reaction conveyed through the performances and camera work. The scenery was also incredible, as usual. As always, there were distinct but perhaps necessary instances of un-subtlety – used to convey things that you can’t translate visually from the book. This was one of my favourites so far this series.