Game of Thrones S5 E5
Kill The Boy
by Nikole Gunn
Heads up everyone. There will be violence and nudity in Episode 5. Just in case you were wondering. But really the pre-show warnings should include ‘this episode contains scenes of emotional torture and dragons'.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The opening minutes reflect on events past. Some occurred in episode 4, others way back in season one. This is something new from the producers and a nice touch. We will all need these little reminders as we notch up season after season.
It’s also a pointer as to what we can expect this week. In this case, it’s Jon Snow, Wildlings, Brienne, Sansa, Tyrion, Theon/Reek and Ser Selmy Barristan.
The episode opens with a still breathing Grey Worm and Dany mourning the death of her champion Ser Selmy Barristan, who was ‘cut down by cowards hiding behind masks’.
She exacts revenge by rounding up the leaders of each of the noble houses of Meereen. The Mother of Dragons takes them to meet her ‘children’. Her dragons barbeque one poor soul. Almost emotionless, she makes it clear any of them could be next on the menu.
In a nice segue, we cut away to Castle Black where Maester Aemon is discussing his great (great) niece with Samwell Tarly and in walks Jon Snow, who is seeking the advice of the ancient Targaryen.
He has a plan that could divide the men of the Night’s Watch, but before Jon can spell it out, Aemon urges him to ‘just do it’. He offers these words of wisdom, telling the Lord Commander to “Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born”.
It’s very much the episode’s theme in a very subtle way. Ramsay Bolton is establishing himself as his father’s son, seeking his approval in his acts of cruelty towards Reek and his Hunt partners.
Sansa, too, is reminded of her position as the last surviving Stark (or so they think). Brienne is holed up in a village near Winterfell and reveals that to one villager that Sansa is alive and well in the castle where the Boltons now reign supreme.
It’s at Winterfell that Sansa finally comes face-to-face with Theon Greyjoy, her father’s ward who she believes killed her baby brothers.
Ramsay takes great pleasure in tormenting Theon/Reek and Sansa, as his father watches on benignly. He forces Reek to apologise to Sansa. He then drops the bombshell that he will give Sansa away at their wedding.
Roose Bolton clearly approves of Theon and Sansa’s humiliation. After revealing he raped Ramsay’s mother as her husband swung in a tree, he announces they’ll stand together against King Stannis as ‘father and son’.
Poor San-San. She’s swapped one psychopath tormentor (Joffrey) for another in Ramsay. She really should have been nicer to Tyrion back at King’s Landing.
Meantime at Castle Black, Jon reveals his plan to lead the Wildlings to the South of the Wall. His reasons are purely practical. If the ‘free folk’ stay where they are, they’ll encounter the army of the dead and will in turn become Wight Walkers.
The Brothers aren’t happy. He’s asking them to forget thousands of years of war to make peace with the enemy, offering them protection of the realm.
Jon is to lead the Wildling mission north with Tormund the giant, while Stannis prepares to march on Winterfell. But first Stannis gives Samwell a job and again the ‘father metaphor’ comes to the fore.
Samwell’s father Randall was the only one to inflict a defeat on Robert Baratheon. Sam doesn’t look like a Knight, yet he killed a Wight Walker. Why is Obsidian so powerful?
In the meantime, Dany decides not to execute the nobles of Meereen. Instead, she follows the advice of Ser Selmy and shows mercy.
She announces she will re-open the fighting pits to free men, not slaves. She then drops a bombshell: she’ll marry one of the nobles. In fact, her husband to be is the one grovelling at her feet.
And now we see Tyrion and Ser Jorah Mormont. They’re slowly making their way towards Dany in Meereen, but first sail through Valyria, where a catastrophic event took place 400 years ago, known as The Doom.
It’s also where the grey scale sufferers, known as Stonemen, are banished. A little bit like a leper’s colony. But these Stonemen are a little like zombies, intent on attacking any living creature.
As Tyrion and Ser Jorah are distracted by the dragon Drogon flying above them, their boat come attack from these Stonemen, whose touch brings infection.
Tyrion falls overboard and struggles with his bound hands as he sinks further into the water, where a stoneman grabs at him.
He regains consciousness on a beach with a concerned Ser Jorah looking down on him. “Were you touched?” “No. Were You?” “No” says Jorah.
But that’s not quite the truth. As he sets off to find firewood, he lifts his sleeve to reveal the first tell-tale signs of grey scale.
And that’s where we end it – an impending sense of doom of what lies ahead for Ser Jorah. And Jon. And Sansa.