TV Review: Game of Thrones Season Five, Episode Five: ‘Kill The Boy’ (USA, 2015)


We’re now at the halfway point of season five, and things are really kicking into high gear. Storylines from all areas of Westeros, and Essos, are being born, nurtured and steered on what is sure, in many cases, to be a disastrous course.

Much of the focus of this episode wasn’t in Westeros, but across the Narrow Sea in Essos, which is certainly a change from previous seasons. For starters, Ser Barristan Selmy didn’t make it through last week’s cliff-hanger of a fight, and is being mourned by Daario and Daenerys back in Dany’s palace. The Khaleesi is not pleased, and lashes out at the Sons of the Harpy by rounding up the head of each great family of Mereen, including her Meerenese advisor Hizdahr Zo Loraq, and takes them for a little tour of her dragon’s den. After feeding one of them to Viserion and Rheagal, she decides that this is enough of a message to send the cowering lords. What she does notice, however is that Hizdahr is the only one that doesn’t cower away; he’s the only one who stands tall, muttering a quick “Valar Morghulis” and waiting for the inevitable. Such bravery isn’t missed by Daenerys, whoquickly devises a plan that’s more of a compromise than her previous one: she will reopen thefighting pits to all free men, and she’ll marry one of Mereen’s high lords, and as it turns out, she hasa suitor in mind: the one who did not cower.

Daenerys sorely needs Tyrion’s help, though. With both Barristan and Jorah gone, she’s somewhat lost with the bloodthirsty Daario sending her one way, and the memory of Barristan’s mercy pulling her in another. At Missandei’s urging, she decides to think for herself, and play the political game. It’s the first decisive political step that Daenerys has taken in some time, but whether it pays off remains to be seen.

Even though Barristan didn’t survive last week’s ambush, our beloved Greyworm did survive, although he’s badly wounded. Luckily, he’s got Missandei to watch over him, and he finally admits the depths of his feelings for her when he tells her that the thing he feared most as he was about to die was that he’d never set eyes on her again. It’s all very cute and romantic, and she repays his confession with a kiss. I hope it works out for these crazy kids, but this is Game of Thrones, and happiness isn’t a common feature here.

We also check back in with Jorah and Tyrion, the latter of which is still a prisoner and is quickly sobering up. The two are on their way to Mereen, and are sailing through the long-deserted city of Valyria. They exchange a tale about the ‘doom’ that encompassed Valyria, sending the prominent city to an early grave and taking all with it. Word is that Valyria is haunted (so much so that even thepirates are afraid of it), so why a smart guy like Jorah is taking this route is anyone’s guess. Tyrion looks up at the sky, and for the first time in his life, he sees a dragon, flying overhead. The look on his face is priceless, and it’s a great way to reinforce that even though we’re used to them, dragons aren’t particularly common in Westeros. It’s all sweeping, epic, and even happy, until we see a figure rise behind Tyrion’s left shoulder, and you just know that something bad is about to happen.

Suddenly, the Stonemen, the mythical creatures that Stannis told young Shireen about in last week’s episode, are raining down upon our unlikely travel buddies, and Jorah starts fending them off whilst Tyrion, unable to fight, falls into the water and is pulled into the murky depths of Valyria. Next thing he knows, Tyrion is waking up on a beach, having been rescued by Jorah. Jorah asks Tyrion if theStonemen touched him, and luckily Tyrion is greyscale free. Jorah on the other hand? He’s been touched on his arm, and the greyscale has already begun to form. Just when it couldn’t get worse for Jorah Mormont, Lord of the Friendzone, it well and truly does.

The rest of the action takes place in the North. Jon releases Tormund Giantsbane from his shackles, and reveals his master plan: in exchange for lands and homes south of the wall for all of the Wildlings, Tormund and the remaining Wildling fighters will pledge themselves to Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch, whenever extra men are needed (and, as this episode constantly reminds us, they will be needed as both winter, and the White Walkers, are coming). Tormund agrees to round up the remaining Wildlings, but only if Jon comes with him. Jon proposes this to the rest of the Night’s Watch, but no one aside from Sam is very supportive. The wildlings have attacked the Men of the Night’s Watch ever since the Wall was built, why should the Watchmen protect them now? Despite the protests, Jon is resolute. He sets off, a lone Night’s Watchman, with Tormund to bring the Wildlings to their new home. Meanwhile, Sam is researching just why Dragon Glass kills White Walkers, and Stannis is very much on board with that research. Stannis has much respect for the Tarly family, as it turns out; Sam’s father Randall was the only man to beat Robert Baratheon in battle, and as we know, Stannis puts much stock in militaristic intelligence. He tells Sam that an army of the dead is coming, and that he better keep reading so that when they arrive at Castle Black, the Night’s Watch won’t be sitting ducks.

Stannis also sets off on the journey for Winterfell, and takes his wife and young daughter with him. Even though there’s not really any safe place in Westeros right now, I wouldn’t think a warzone is any place for Shireen, but Stannis is resolute: he will not leave his ladies with murderers and rapists. Let’s just hope that Ramsay Bolton doesn’t get his hands on the young Princess, or worse: Melisandre.

Speaking of Ramsay, he’s not having a particularly good time of it lately. His mistress, Myranda, isn’t pleased that he’s going to marry Sansa, nor that he thinks Sansa is pretty. At first, I thought Myranda’s presence was going to mean trouble for Sansa, but now I’m not so sure. After an encounter with Ramsay, Myranda finds Sansa outside of Winterfell, near the tower where Bran was crippled. She tells Sansa that it’s good to remember your family (the North is all about remembering…) and to recall them fondly. She takes Sansa to the kennels, and tells her to look inside. Sansa walks to the end of the kennels, and in amongst the barking dogs she finds Theon, still in full-blown Reek mode. Overcome with hatred for Theon – as far as Sansa knows, he killed her two younger brothers – she storms off, and Theon is forced to admit to Ramsay that Sansa knows that he’s in Winterfell. Ramsay, instead of punishing Theon, ‘forgives him’, which is obviously not a blessing. At the most awkward family dinner in history – it’s not often you sit down with the man who stabbed your brother in the back (and in the front), and orchestrated the downfall of your family – Ramsay shows his hand and demonstrates his cruelty in front of Sansa, taunting Theon into apologising for a crime he didn’t really commit. Ramsay also decrees that Theon, as Sansa’s closest thing to a relative, will give her away at their wedding, which Sansa obviously isn’t pleased about.

One positive for Sansa? Brienne and Pod are in a village close by, and send her a message telling her that she’s not alone, and that if she needs help, all she has to do is light a candle in the broken tour, where Bran was crippled.

Roose Bolton, embarrassed by his son’s behaviour, cuts him down to size by announcing that his new wife Walda Frey is pregnant, and that they think it will be a boy. Sansa’s pretty pleased with this, as if it’s a boy, Ramsay loses his place as Roose’s successor. Something tells me that Walda’s baby won’t be living for very long, especially if its sadistic brother has anything to say about it. Roose tells Ramsay that he disgraced himself in front of Sansa, and puts him in his place by taunting him about raping his mother, thus leading to Ramsay’s birth. He tells Ramsay that despite Ramsay’s inferior birth, he still sees him as his true son, and that together they will have to defeat Stannis when he gets to Winterfell.

Each of the storylines set up in this episode are shaping up to be really, really interesting. I love the direction that Daenerys’ and Sansa’s storylines are heading in – nothing like a couple of strong sisters doing it for themselves – and Stannis is, for the first time in a long time, actually interesting. Jon’s story is heading in a direction that I didn’t foresee, but one that looks promising. Even though the balance of power keeps shifting between Sansa and Ramsay, Ramsay did openly show his hand this week, whereas Sansa’s strength is still hidden from view from both Ramsay and his father. Sansa has grown into a really interesting character, and I’m hoping that for once she’ll be the victor, and not the victim.


– Sansa finally seeing Theon
– Jorah and Tyrion in Valyria
– Ramsay’s efforts to rectify potentially the most awkward dinner in Westeros



– Pacing is a bit off – we’re halfway through the series and it still feels like we’re in establishing episodes




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