Game of Thrones – Season 5 Episode 5
“Kill The Boy”
Season 5 of Game of Thrones reaches its halfway stage and while the pacing has slowed slightly from recent weeks, which is only slightly bad as the stories are taking quite a while to develop. The episode has a few great scenes. Deanerys acts more like a Khallisi than a Queen by having her enemies scorched by her dragons. She will have a lot to deal with now after the death of her closest adviser Selmy in the Harpy slates attack. The new look Deanerys is a lot more bad ass, especially when she speaks in Valerian. Sansa learns the horrible truth of Theon- aka Reeks fate at the hands of her betrothed. Jon has more conflict within his own camp by making an unpopular decision to try to join forces with the wildlings Maester Aemen helps him reach this conclusion by advising he “kills the boy”- an important point in his development as a leader and the title of the episode. We catch up with Tyrian and Mormont and can only wonder the outcome of this situaton aftem Monmont contracts the deadly Greyscale virus.
Deanerys has had a lot of difficulty in trying to find her leadership style and this episode shows us a ruthless streak that we hadn’t yet seen from her. I think the death of Selmy at the hands of The Harpy in the last episode was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her. Having her dragons scorch and eat her enemies really shows us that she means business at this point. This isn’t a part of her we will see very often I don’t think which is highlighted at the end of the episode with her ability to compromise by announcing her intentions to marry the head of one of the families of Meereen and allowing them to keep their violent traditions.
Another leader who is being forced to make tough choices is Jon. In a conversation he has with old Maester Aemen who says to Jon “Kill the boy Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy, and let the man be born.” This I think helps Jon to realise that making tough choices for the greater good is something that will always come with leadership. And logically, his decision to unite with the wildlings is a sound one. He unsuccessfully tries to convince the rest of the Nights Watch that joining forces is the only way to achieve victory. He does however manage to convince Tormund who agrees that working together against the White walkers is the best option for everyone. The alliances and betrayals that have appeared throughout every season of Game of Thrones lead us to believe that a merging of forces like this will be a fragile one. Tensions will be on a knife edge due to thousands of years of the Wildling and the Nights watch slaughtering each other.
Sansa is now back living in Winterfell with the psychopathic Ramsay- potrayed excellently in this episode by Iwan Rheon- and his father Roose Bolton. I think she is playing her game well by not showing any emotion that must be bursting to come out of her. Littlefinger seems to have shaped her well to prepare her for the obstacles that lie ahead, particularly Ramsay who is so unpredictable it’s still unclear as to how he will treat Sansa, such is his disregard for other people. This episode is an enlightening one for Ramsay as he learns that Roose’s wife is now pregnant which os causing him to fear for his position as he was only recently legitimised as a Bolton. Roose goes on to explain to him the brutal way in which he was conceived by raping his mother under the swinging corpse of her husband. He uses this to assure Ramsay that he is his son, and it implies for him not to fear over his position as his eldest son. In the Game of Thrones world ruthlesness is an everyday thing, but I don’t think any pair in the show operate with the type of cold sadism of the Bolton two.
Sansa is led into the kennels by the Myranda where she finds Theon. Obviously at this stage she still thinks that he killed Brann and Rickon in an earlier season, which we now know is not the case. The character Theon has become is such an interesting one. The horrific torture methods of Ramsay left a once strong willed and cocky young man into a quivering wreck. I have to speculate how much of Theon Greyjoy is left in there which is something the show hasn’t really addressed or given any evidence for- yet. I’m wondering if in a future episode we may see Reek tell Sansa that he didn’t actually kill her brothers.
Deanerys gets a bit of soul searching done thought the episode, with the help of her servant who helps her to realise that despite experienced advisers giving her opposing advice, she has her own way of doing things and her own style. By admitting fault and allowing the people who she is ruling to keep their traditions, and even marry into them- shows that she has a more modern and less tyrannical leadership style that most of the people of power in Game of Thrones lack (Particularly Cerci, who is missing from this episode which is something I feel the show lacks when she’s not involved). This I think is a trait she shares with Jon Snow and both characters look to be in a position to become great leaders in time.
We find Tyrian and Mormont take a detour through Valyria and find themselves under attack. Mormont is touched by one of the Stone men and we find at the very end of the episode that he has been infected with Greyscale. He leaves Tyrian ostensible to go and find help; however, my feeling is that as he is now infected with the Game of Thrones equivalent of Leprosy, there is a chance we might not see him return to find Tyrian.
A cracking episode, and although perhaps slightly slower paced than last week and maybe missing Cerci and Arya, it still had a few great scenes where we find out more about the Bolton’s history and Deanerys learns more about herself.
She has had a rebellion on her hands for the entire season and has had difficulty in coming to terms with a consistent leadership style. She went off the rails a bit by having her dragons eat her enemies after the death of her closest adviser, she soon returns to herself by the end of the episode.
The Boltons are a nasty bunch and we have to fear for the safety of Sansa in the coming episodes, hopefully Littlefinger has trained her well…
We find Jon with a few internal issues within the Nights Watch as he tries to convince them that joining fources with the Wildlings is for the best.
Tyrian and Mormont find themselfs sidetracked in Valyria as they are attacked by the Stonemen and Mormont contracts Greyscale. Time will tell if this is the last we have seen of him.