Game of Thrones 5.5 – Kill The Boy

Guys, thanks for carrying on the conversation last week after I disappeared from our comments/board. I love that everyone has great (spoiler free) chats with each other. I feel like Daenerys watching her dragons growing up… [sniff]

Previously! But this episode opens with the big question: Did Grey Worm live?? Missandei watches over him, wringing her hands with worry as she wonders if he’ll wake. Daenerys watches over Ser Barristan, who won’t. Hasn’t. Will never. *sniff for Ser Barristan the Bold* And she is pissed. Her solution? Round up the heads of every one of the great families and bring them to her. So… sorry Hizdahr, but you gots ta go.

Daenerys Targaryen with her dragons on Mother's Day

Even when her child ignites and eats other children. Maybe especially then. MOTHER OF THE YEAR, NAILED IT.

The Mother of Dragons is awakening, I do believe. Hell. Yes.

And not only that is happening, but she’s also leading them into the dragon chamber!! OH MY GOD, DEATH BY DRAGON SNACK. Dany cooks up the heads of these family like a proper marshmallow at a campfire: instant ignition so it chars quickly, leaving a crunchy exterior and slippery insides. [Did I just ruin S’mores for you?]

Meereen S'Mores! They taste better when they're crispy on the outside, right? Who's got the chocolate bits and graham crackers?

Meereen S’Mores! They taste better when they’re crispy on the outside, right? Who’s got the chocolate bits and graham crackers?

Samwell Magic the Gathering Butt Crack Guy reads a Raven’d message that Maester Aemon has received, so now we know everyone at The Wall is caught up on Slaver’s Bay, dragons, and how Daenerys is soon to be the last Targaryen alive. YEP, NO MORE TARGARYENS AFTER HER, WOE WOE SNIFF. [cough] In unrelated events, Jon Snow smolders in, wanting to speak to the Maester alone.

So raise your hand if like me, you believe that the whole “Dany is going to be the only Targaryen alive” convo is foreshadowing about the whole Jon Snow is a Stark and Targaryen love child thing we talked about last week? Plus, with the whole “kill the boy, let the man be born” talk, that also has me thinking they’re about to spring some rebirth on Jon Snow in the form of learning his true parentage? Just me?

But something happens for which I’ve been waiting five episodes: Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër to come back on my screen.

Jon: Where’re the rest of your men?
GtBF: Doesn’t matter, because they were here for Mance. Way to ruin the party, Snow.
Jon: Uh, I’m not a party ruiner because I have a Grand Idea.
GtBF: Sounds like drunk me before I fuçkëd that bær…
Jon: Let’s make love, not war. Or are you too scared to?
GtBF: Take these chains off and say that again.
Jon: [does just that]
GtBF: …shit. I didn’t think you actually would. Uh, okay. So, how about you come with me to gather up the rest of my people so they’ll actually believe it?
Jon: Um.
Night’s Watch: Uproar! Furor! Let them die! Less enemies!
Stannis: It’s fucking FEWER.
Davos: What was that?
Stannis: Fewer is for things you can count, less is for things you don’t, or have you forgotten season two??
Davos: Ah, right. Little Newt gets her Hooked on Phonics from you. [smiles]
Jon: Brass tacks: either we get them on our side, or they become Predefremen* Ice Zombies.
Me: [Psst, newbs! Predator + Dune’s Fremen = White Walkers. …don’t get into a book argument over wight vs. white PLEASE, and laugh at the babies being the spice, the spice IS the babies! Where the fear has gone there will be nothing, and only I will remain! Basically I’m saying Jon Snow is going to be our Paul Atreides. I… I’m getting a little carried away here.]

Stannis Baratheon, Grammar Nazi

Stannis Baratheon, True King of Westeros and Grammar Nazi

Ollie isn’t too impressed with Lord Commander Snow’s plan, and neither are most of the Watch. But Winter Is Coming and it’s vital to survival, guys. I’m trusting Jon here, ngl.

The great Buddy Cop duo of Pod and Brienne keep watch over Sansa in Winterfell, making nice with the locals by a game of “Who’s More Loyal?” in an attempt to get a message to Sansa safely. Because we all know how freaking awful this situation is for her. And to underscore that, the scene cuts to Ramsay having a little poke and tickle with his lady friend Myranda, she of the dog siccing. And it turns out she’s the kennel master’s daughter! Well that’s convenient for all their dog murder needs. She’s a loose screw (ha) and he’s perfectly happy keeping her as a little taste on the side, but Myranda has shown that she’s not cool with that at all.

Folks? We don’t fuck crazy. Sure, they’re hellcats in the sack, but then there’s the torture, them secretly revealing your plans to the enemy to get back at you, which surely will lead to bloody murder, and of course all the paperwork associated with cleaning up the mess…

That nice old lady from before tells Sansa that she’s not alone, and should she ever be in trouble, light a signal candle. I’m pretty sure Brienne will be the one coming to her rescue. One can only hope.



Sansa checks out that tower—the Jaime-Cersei baddirtywrongbone and push Bran out of the window tower—when Myranda shows up to Mean Girl her.

Myranda: You’re like, really pretty.
Sansa: Thank you!
Myranda: So you agree?
Sansa: Hmm?
Myranda: You think you’re really pretty?
Sansa: Uh. I don’t…
Myranda: Anyhoodle, I literally grew up in a kennel and have all the manners of an intact Chow, including the inappropriate humping and stress biting, but I want to give you a gift.
Sansa: I’d rather…
Myranda: Go right on into the kennel for a blast from the past, byyyyyyyyye!!
Theon: Visitors? Master!? OH. SHIT. Nope, I’m not Theon, name’s Reek. And wow, please infer the appropriate information from this moment, former foster sister
Sansa: [storms out]

Theon tells Ramsay that Sansa knows Theon is there, and as punishment Ramsay decides to forgive Reek. So now Reek is freaking out, which is appropriate, because this is new and most likely a trap. At dinner, Ramsay is all gentility, pouring out for both Sansa and “Mother” (hahaha, forever loving smiling Walda), and offering a toast to their upcoming wedding.

Awesome: Sansa rolling her eyes and not drinking, then correcting Walda on this not being a “strange land,” but her actual home filled with strangers. SANSA IS NOT HERE FOR YOUR BUTCHERED DOORS LYRICS, WALDA.

And when Ramsay calls for more wine, Reek comes out with a decanter. Ah, Ramsay’s going the “he burned your little brothers” route, throwing her off the “my poppa killed your older brother and mom” trail and making it seem like all of the torture and punishment of Theon was for that, like it’ll endear him to Sansa. Actually, he doesn’t seem to give two shits if Sansa likes him or not, says I. He tells Reek to apologize to Sansa for murdering the Stark boys, and then says Reek will walk the bride down the aisle as her last remaining relative. Wonderful! Ramsay is so batshit, wow.


Ramsay Bolton Sansa Stark at uncomfortable dinner

Hey Sansa, how about this dogshit smelling murderer walks you down the aisle at our wedding? I’m going to Optimum Romance. Y/N?

Roose, in his dripping with sex and murder voice, informs them all that Walda is expecting, and it’s most likely a boy. Ramsay? Show us on the Reek how that makes you feel?

So we get the backstory on Ramsay coming to being and it’s the old, romantic tale of a man of means takes what he wants from a peasant girl, has her husband killed, rapes her under the dying body, doesn’t believe her when she shows up a year later with a baby, then takes the baby and raises it to be a monster. [sings] Song as old as rhyme… Beauty and… the beast! Also, Roose knows about Stannis, so this big battle (let me guess, happening 5.9?) is gonna be [high pitched voice] awesome!

Gilly aw shucks around the library, and let’s take a moment to point out how wonderful it is when a person is excited to learn. Sure, her knowledge is very limited, but there’s a reason why it’s so limited, and Samwell’s Nice Guying and Pitying her, amused at how little she knows really ticked me off. (He does this often, let’s not forget.)

She even says in a voice strong for all that it’s ashamed, “I’m sorry I don’t know things.” But he backs off and lists all of the things she does know (things of value as well), and I’m not heated any longer. (I have issues with people smirking with amusement at less educated people, like they’re a dog walking on their hind legs, or something.)

I love that Samwell wanted to be a Maester, and I love that he’s always silver lining his way through bad situations, I’ll say that. “Far more adventure up here anyway.” Okay, Samwell, back in my good graces. For now.

The Stannis Campaign Bus continues to roll into Laura Town, let me tell you. He acknowledges who Sam is, wants to know how to kill White Walkers, shows the viewer once again that he is no dummy (“I know what it is, we have that in Dragonstone.”), and puts Sam back to researching Dragonglass and why it kills the Prederemen. And he’s also just won over Sam for acknowledging what ‘Winter is Coming’ actually means, if I had to make a bet. Stannis gets it. Stannis gets what it takes to win not just a war, but this war.

Stannis infoms Davos to get the men ready—he doesn’t want to give Roose any more advantage, and also Shit Mom and Little Newt are coming with them, because, ha, here’s the thing: they’re actually safer on the road to war than they are at the Wall! That’s what happens when you fill a castle with rapists and thieves.

And Ser Davos and Little Newt are maybe the cutest pair of friends in all the land. I love them so much it makes my throat burn with a hot lump. Ser Davos is a good guy, oh my heart.

Fire Crotch Mage’s drapes now match the rug, oho! What does this mean? (Don’t tell me if it’s a book thing, but I assume it’s because she’s Found Her Purpose again, or has boned up for the coming battle, refilled her bag of Magicks or some such.) The overhead shot of Stannis’ men marching away from the wall is killer. I am so excited for this battle, please, please, please let the Boltons get flayed ironically. Or not ironically, just, you know, make sure there is lots of painful torture. A-men.

Grey Worm miraculously wakes up! He’s been out for three days and has come to feeling like a failure. And holy smokes, man the cloning machine and get some extra Grey Worms churned out in time for holidays, and GIVE ME ONE, because he’s The Best. This man has game like oh my god. See, he’s a failure because he was afraid, afraid of never seeing the love of his life again, and THAT RIGHT THERE WAS GOLD, BUDDY. Missandei, if you don’t hit that, I will never be your friend again. Oh thank god, she got onto the bed with him and kissed him tenderly. My little romantic heart loves knowing that she is probably his first kiss. (Where is the fic, guys? I’m total shipper trash.)

Grey Worm Missandei kissing


After talking it out with Missandei, Daenerys goes below to Hizdahr’s cell to tell him that she was wrong and he was right about [sings] tradition!  She’ll reopen the fighting pits, but only to free people. Never will there be slaves fighting in the pits, and not only that, but she’ll make the Meereenese peeps happy by marrying someone from one of the oldest families. Let’s say… him.

Hizdar: UH. [adjusts self]

Tyrion tries to connect with Jorah in some way if only to make this trip more bearable, but Jorah wrote the book on sullen silences. (Pity. That’s a voice I’d love to hear ramble on.) They’re cutting through Valyria, Daenerys’ homeland, and there’s talk of The Doom and demons, entities that rule that land. Whether it’s real or myth, we don’t yet know, but it’s enough to keep pirates away, which makes their shortcut all the smarter. This is a great way to get exposition out, by having Tyrion tell us the story of it being the greatest city ever and how I guess lava burst from the ground and destroyed it? That’s “The Doom?”

Jorah and Tyrion watch a dragon fly overhead

Butterfly in the skyyyyyy! I can go twice as high!


BUT HOLD THE PHONE TIMES A MILLION, WHAT ELDRITCH HORROR LURKS ON THAT CLIFF WALL?!?! It was man shaped?! And it came out of hiding? And dropped into the water?!?! Oh, sure, Jorah, just keep sailing into that tunnel, WHAT CAN GO WRONG!?

Stone Man emerging from darkness behind Tyrion Lannister


STONE MEN! Ah, my kin! NO, NO THEY ARE FRIGHTENING. Okay, true story, I watched the movie The Descent, and SPOILER ALERT FOR THAT MOVIE, I CANNOT STRESS THAT ENOUGH, SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT, and I had NO idea what the movie was about. I thought it was just a “spelunking gone wrong” movie, because ha ha, I used to rock climb, etc., and let me tell you, being trapped in a collapsing cave is terrifying to me already and when you see the WHITE ALIEN FACE behind the girls as they’re using their camera’s infrared to see in the darkness I SHRIEKED and LEAPT over the back of my sofa, clawing at my face, shaking and crying. Pretty much did it again last night.

Ohhhhhhh, greyscale, it turns the victims into animalistic brutes, so infectious that just being touched by them will spread the disease. (The doll Little Newt was given apparently had plenty of the virus on it? IDK, the science doesn’t work, but this is FANTASY not SF, so I can handwave.) Tyrion has to get away from one by going overboard, but that first guy from the gif above grabs him under water and tugs him down, down, everything goes black, and if you don’t think I clutched my throat, blinking rapidly waiting for a cliffhanger of an ending, then you haven’t been paying attention to just how panic-stricken I can be.

WAIT! NO! Jorah is there as Tyrion blinks his eyes open! Surely Jorah Mormont is the man for my loins, I mean, he’s a hero and saved Tyrion. But is Tyrion infected? It seems not. Is Jorah? He shakes his head.

Tyrion, reflecting on the horrible event they barely made it through, says it would be kinder to kill people before they got to that state.

And of course, we see a patch of greyscale on Jorah’s forearm. GOD. DAMMIT. CAN I HAVE NOTHING NICE?!

Jorah Mormont has greyscale

NO. NUH UH. DO NOT WANT, SHOW. Oh, Jorah. Jorah!! *gross sobbing* I’d say lemme kiss it better, but… *ten foot pole push*

Okay. Awesome things this episode (there was a lot for me) was the parallel between Jon and Dany, both losing the last vestiges of their childish idealism and becoming leaders, leaders who both are “marrying” two different groups in order to forge some measure of peace. Sansa is doing that in a way, too, the marriage to someone she wouldn’t particularly choose—in fact, someone who’s being chosen for her—with the idea that it’ll create peace among the Northerners, and she’s definitely on the path to losing the last bits of her childhood, but I think she’s got a way to go. She’s S1 Daenerys and she’s got a horse heart to eat eventually, but not just yet. Hmm, I think it’ll be a dog heart, actually. I HOPE IT IS MYRANDA’S. Jeez, this show is making me so bloodthirsty… Hahahaha.

REMINDER THAT I AM NOT A BOOK READER. I do not want to hear what’s in the book, what they did wrong on the show, what detail I got wrong because I’m not a book reader so I didn’t spell… You see the common theme? Help me continue to love this show by not falling into the Pedant Well please and thank you. (There are creatures with greyscale down there, okay? Stay up here in happy acceptance land! We have cake!)

Folks who have been hanging out on my corner for a while know the drill and are AWESOME and have kept me happily in the dark for five seasons, and we seriously have the best forum, let me just say. I love picking up new folks over here, especially when they quickly learn the house rules. It’s all down to everyone being really supportive of the No Spoilers/Book Learnin’ rule and still managing to remain excited by this terrific television show we all love. AND I LOVE YOU FOR IT. (I’m… excitable, have you picked up on that?)

Next Week! I JUST DON’T EVEN. I kinda want some non-stop Stannis now, ngl.

Tell me your thoughts, guys. Help me heal as I fret over my beloved Jorah Mormont (it’s the voice, the obsession is a bit much, as we all know.) Help me giggle and blush over Grey Worm. GUYS. WE ARE HALFWAY. HOW. HOW?

(Psst: I’m conventioning all week in Dallas, so I might be sporadic this week, too, but I’ll be checking in often, I promise! And if you’re in DFW, I’ll be signing books Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Hyatt Regency. Come say hi!)

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  • DrewHolton

    In the true spirit of Stannis, it’s spelled “Atreides”.

    • LOL. This is what happens when I quickly edit so I can get out the door. I SEE HOW IT IS, DREW.

      • DrewHolton

        In the, er, true spirit of Roger Rabbit, I’m only a Spelling Nazi when it’s funny. (Now I want to see a Stannis/Roger Rabbit team up dammit…)

  • Lyanna Mormont

    Wow. Really narrow focus this episode, with only the North and the East featured. This is only, what, the second or third episode to not feature King’s Landing at all. But it looks from the preview that next episode will make up for it by being all about KL, Braavos and Dorne. (Apart from that Winterfell glimpse which I refuse to think about.)

    Sansa’s mask of courtesy was slipping at that “family” dinner. I guess she can blame it on seeing Theon. And poor Walda, why do I fear that she just signed her own death sentence by announcing her pregnancy? (Kill the boy!) Gah, I hope I’m wrong, she’s the only likeable Frey to have ever spoken a word on this show. But Ramsay will not welcome any potential rivals. Roose really has shaped Ramsay – the parallels between the story of Ramsay’s conception and the scene with Myranda showed that. “You’re mine.”

    Sansa is NOT yours. She belongs to the North, to Winterfell, but never to the Boltons. The North remembers. (No, Ramsay, you do not get to pervert that phrase by trying to claim it for yourself.) Brienne is waiting in the wings for the slightest sign that Lady Sansa needs her help. And Stannis is coming.

    Bringing Shireen and Selyse makes logical sense, but frightens me all the same. I keep picturing the Boltons capturing Shireen, or Melisandre wanting to Iphigenia her if those winter snows they keep talking about trap them before they make it to Winterfell.

    Interesting Stannis/Sam scene. Stannis would recognize that knowledge is power, and encourage Sam to gather more of it. And maybe he can spare a ship to send back to Dragonstone for more obsidian, huh? Unless Jon needs them all to go to Hardhome. And wow, doesn’t that just sound like it’s going to be the easiest mission ever, right? Right? And who’s going to command at the Wall while Jon’s gone – Alliser Thorne? I’d like to think it would be Maester Aemon, but it sounds like his health is not good… (Noooo, not Maester Aemon!)

    Hey, you know what? Unless I missed something, no named character died this episode. That’s a first this season.

    Well, things are not looking rosy for Jorah, but… Something cured Shireen! Okay, nobody knows what it was, but it could happen to Jorah, too. They’re not going to have him traipsing around infecting all the characters we care about with greyscale, right? They wouldn’t do that, would they? … Crap, he’s going to infect all of Meereen, isn’t he? And from there it’ll spread to Westeros, and in the end it won’t be the White Walkers who kill everyone, it’ll be greyscale. Poll on which would be the more horrible way to go? We can throw eaten by dragons in there, as well.

    (They’re all shit ways to go, says Jaime.)

    Dany. I understand your thirst for vengeance, I understand your wish to honor Barristan’s memory by practicing the mercy he preached, I understand that you want peace in Meereen. But opening the fighting pits and marrying Hizdahr…? You’re essentially rewarding the old Masters by giving them (almost) everything they want. What about the other side? Those slaves you freed, what do they get for their loyalty? No easy answers, I’m afraid. Maybe you can demand wedding gifts in the form of land, and share it out among the former slaves? No, it probably wouldn’t be enough for everyone, and they wouldn’t know what to use the land for anyway, unless they happened to know a trade or had been slaves on a farm or something.

    I bet there are people out there complaining that nothing happened in this episode… I disagree. It’s a set-up episode, yeah, but there was a lot of good stuff, and we had dramatic events both with Dany and Tyrion/Jorah. Also, Missandei kissed Grey Worm, Stannis left the Wall, and Reek spoke for the first time this season.

  • Carrie Pack

    When Stannis grammar-smacked the Night’s Watch, I immediately thought, “I can’t wait to see what Stoney has to say about this!” Also, ALSO…. if you’re dying to hear more of Jorah’s voice, he plays a priest in the Netflix series Borgia (not to be confused with Showtime’s The Borgias). He’s only on for one or two episodes in s2, but man does he ramble for a good long time. Fair warning, he’s a bit of a religious zealot and has a bit of a Reek treatment, but if you just want to hear his voice… ;)

    • PaulB

      He’s also got a great part in a doctor who episode: the time of angels. It won’t make a ton of sense if you don’t watch the show, but he’s awesome in it.

      • Carrie Pack

        Ooh, yeah… I forgot about that. Stoney, I can’t remember if you watch Who or not??

        • I watched Tennant Who!

          • Carrie Pack

            Ah. Well the Who episode that Paul mentioned is the “follow up” on the Weeping Angels. It’s from Matt Smith’s first season. So you could get your Sir Sexy Voice fix and not be totally lost. ;)

            • OH RIGHT!! I did see that one! I didn’t realize Ser Sexy was in that, oho! (And heee, Imma see you shortly, YAY!)

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      Isn’t he also in those crappy movies with Milla Jovovich? I know, I’ll have to narrow it down some. Um..Degenerate Evil? Discombobulated Economy? Diverse Etchings? You know the ones, there’s tons of them and he’s in 1 or 2.

    • Moriah Gemel

      Also he’s in Tomb Raider. And he rambles on in that one quite a bit as well.

    • LEW

      And Downton Abbey. And an episode of Poirot. And he’s Hamlet in the movie version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Which is exceptional, indeed.

      And lord, do these citations cast me in a great light.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        And he’s in Henry IV (part 2), the Jeremy Irons version, in the “Hollow Crown” series.

  • I really enjoyed this episode. A lot of forward movement and exploration of what power means.

    Hard to pick a favorite moment, but Jon taking the shackles off GtBF was right up there. The tension between them was great, and the look on GtBF’s face when Jon called his bluff was just right.

    The show is towing the line hard with making Ramsay a sympathetic character. Obviously he can never be, but they are pushing the right buttons to offer something other than just evil.

    And they are going HARD for the wink-wink no more Targaryens except Dany nudge-nudge.

    Speaking of Jon, his (and the entire Wall) storyline is really reminding me of Star Trek 6. I was half expecting him to give Spock’s speech about their generation having the hardest time living in the new peace. And for a brother to stand up and say “Let them die!” Of course, the Federation never had Walkers to deal with.

    Stannis is the bucket-keeper of the Pendant Well.

    • They are going SO hard for the wink-wink JON HEY WHO’S YA DADDY? line, right? And I laughed pretty hard at “bucket-keeper of the Pedant Well.” AHAHAHA!

      I looooooved the scene with Tormund (I’ve called him Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër for so long that I almost forgot his real name) and Jon had just the right amount of tension. I’m so, so satisfied with S5.

      • I’m immensely satisfied too. I was very worried about this season because of all the issues with the adaptation that were being speculated upon, but they’re really doing service to the themes and characters. And I truly have no idea where things are going, as a Sullied.

        And I’ve loved your GtBF terminology ever since I first saw the pic of gif of Ygritte saying ” I know you…”. So hilarious.

        And Stannis’s “fewer” grammersmithing apparently was a callback to something he did in season 2.

        • I am so immensely satisfied by this season. I’m VERY happy to hear that so many Sullied are, too! And HAHAHA, YES! Season two! *cough*

          Stannis: It’s fucking FEWER.
          Davos: What was that?
          Stannis: Fewer is for things you can count, less is for things you don’t, or have you forgotten season two??

  • PaulB

    Laura, as always great recap. I’m glad you mentioned the book signing because I missed that you had a novel published. I just ordered it and am looking forward to reading it on my upcoming trip to visit the I laws in Texas (coincidentally enough).

    • So Paul, what I just heard was that you want to be my sole heir. I hope you like my collection of ironic tees and a drawer of paperclips, because they’re all yours. :D

      • PaulB

        Cool! I’ve got lots of shirts already but I can always use more paper clips. Staples always seemed cruel to me.

  • Zack

    Yay! As a reader I am feeling this season is the best so far, and this episode is one of the top 5 in its history. So much awesome. I went bonkers at seeing Valyria!!!! I think in many ways the show is even improving upon the books in these later seasons. (Sidenote: I hope when the series wraps up you blog somewhere as you read the books. The POV of a watcher-first-reader-second would be such fun to read, so please consider it :)

    I am also loving seeing all the various characters start to converge. Tyrion heading for Dany. Stannis heading for Reek, Sansa and the Gruesome Twosome.

    Also: THANK YOU for getting the Grey Worm/Missandei stuff. It seems a lot of readers are feeling like this show invention is a waste of screen time but I love it. They have been one of my favorite ships, just because it’s so cute and innocent. I’ve been waiting for Grey Worm to be little spoon FOREVER and so this episode was great for me!

    My favorite stuff this week is also new territory for book readers, the Sansa-in-Winterfell. Roose in particular is one of the most magnetic presences on the entire show, and his story about Ramsay’s mom “You are my son” was a fantastic callback to the Stannis/Newt scene from last week.

    • LEW

      I can’t help but wonder what Roose’s true intentions are with that “You are my son” stuff. I feel like he’s psyching out Ramsay at least as much as Ramsay is psyching out Sansa. And maybe the “We must defend the North” business is a challenge, a manipulation of Ramsay’s thirst to prove himself. It is so interesting in contrast to Stannis last week, whose love for his daughter was unexpected, but fundamental and simple. With Roose, I am forever questioning his actions, especially when it comes to family, love, loyalty, etc.

      • I’m right there with you re: manipulation of Ramsay via his need to prove himself valuable. Roose is the slippery guy who made Ramsay, so he’s even less trustworthy than his creepy bastard.

      • Eddie H

        Now that we know he has another boy on the way, Roose wouldn’t think twice to send Ramsay to his death. That may even be a win-win situation for him if Ramsay goes to fight. Ramsay dies and that’s one less headache for Roose. Ramsay proves himself in battle and maybe even stands out as some great warrior, it legitimizes Roose giving him the Bolton name and setting him up as his air. The thing about being a Roose/Littlefinger type slimeball, is they always find ways to turn everything that happens to their advantage. Littlefinger more so than Roose, but he’s in the same mold.


      And you aren’t the first person to suggest I put my flailings on this site for the books, so I just may have to do that. :D

      I just made heart eyes over you waiting for Grey Worm to be the little spoon. <3 I LOVED his scene with Missandei. LOVED. It's like the tender scenes with Sam and Gilly: we need to know why people should even bother. Why fight if there's nothing GOOD? That's what their tender love story is–what it can be in times of peace. IT IS IMPORTANT.

      • PaulB

        I agree–I really appreciate the human moments where people actually get to enjoy each other’s company. Another recap I read also said this very nicely–that having someone you love makes you more likely to fear,so now that Grey Worm has Missandei, he can fear–fear losing her. Of course, he probably doesn’t fully understand that, which is why he was “ashamed.” A lot of people (book readers especially) are down on the whole Greyandei, but I think it’s been great.

  • OH MY GOD WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARES WHAAAAAT?!! I will JOYFULLY (read: curled up with all the pillows flanking me in a Fort of Protective Cuddles) rewatch that!!

  • JCDavis

    “Hurts so good”…..Missandie and Grey Worm. Can we get a big ol’ ahhhhhhh.

    HOW great was this episode? Why it is that when I hear Arya of the Needle I think Alia of the knife? You have no idea how verklempt I am that you are also a huge Dune fan. (met Herbert just before he died, but let that bit of jealousy wait for now). I have quite a few questions this week. Why is it that I hear Patrick Stewart in my head when Stannis the Mannis talks? (Patrick Stewart as ANY character he has ever done, he could read the instructions on my washer dryer and have me tharned).

    Why is it that I am seeing Dany as Scarlette O’Hara? “I never CAN decide which one of you is the better looking, why I was awake all night trying to figure it out”. She is so flighty lately and her decision making, oi. When she goes down to tell HHizdah

    • Okay, dying that you met Herbert. DY-ING. (How freaking amazing!?) And hahaha, now I’m going to purposely put Patrick Stewart’s voice in my head when I listen to Stannis, which is better than Sean Connery. I don’t know why I said that, but now it’s out there and I’ve just ruined everything for someone. I’m good with that. (Ha)

      If I ever get sent to Portland (a FABULOUS town) for a signing, I will ABSOLUTELY announce it. I’d love to meet you!

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    Dallas. You’ll be in Dallas. *twitch* Lived there for 2 years and while I liked the BBQ at Red, Hot & Blue and the paychecks were nice (TXU as it was known then), Dallas itself was kind of bleah. No, let me correct that: BLEAH!! So good luck *scratches arms*

    Is Season 5 like the best ever or is it just me? (am I the best ever? No wait) Great, great episode. I can see how some people complain about too much Myranda time or something but the Winterfell stuff is clearly crucial setup for future plot stuff so I’m diggin’ it. Also, Ramsay Bolton is the WORST. I can see even Joffrey sort of lifting an eyebrow at him and going “steady on, old chap”. And Sansa’s marrying him? OUR Sansa? That’s going to be hard to watch…And if the marriage is I’m going to claw my eyes out.
    VALYRIA! Damn, did those ruins look good. That whole place was totally Clark Ashton Smith and I loved it. The Stone Men tactics are a little dim (SPLASH! “I immediately regret my decision”) but it still scared the bejeezusfuck out of me. And of course Jorah gets grayscale. The way his luck is running he’d get hit by a comet if Dany ever moved to kiss him. And isn’t Missandei just heart-meltingly awesome? Smart, sweet and all that after a childhood which must have been less than idyllic.
    As for the Wall stuff, a lot of setting up here, but I still enjoyed it. Stannis is such a wonderful character. How can anyone who really does have the personality of a lobster be so lovable? Incidentally, I have a Theory that him having his brother killed will be the Original Sin that keeps him from getting the throne. Otherwise he’d be perfect. I also have a Theory about Vector-Sarmanov distributions which is way less interesting to TV viewers.
    Have fun at your convention!

    • JCDavis

      “How can anyone who really does have the personality of a lobster be so lovable?”
      Like I didn’t like lobster when I was younger, it grew on me. Same with Stannis. He has become very attractive this season as well. He didn’t appear to be so attractive in seasons past.
      Your theory on “original sin” could very well be correct. I just don’t have a good feeling about the conflict of Winterfell. (if there actually IS one). I am Sullied, but as we Sullied know, even GRRM left about the whole last third of book 5 nothing but cliffhangers all over the place and anything could happen at this point.

    • Hahaha, I live in DFW. :D Born and raised, actually! BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT, because I want to scream and jump about how amazing Valyria looked, tooooooooo.

      Seriously, S5 is so flipping good. I think it’s by far the tightest overall in story telling. EXCELLENT WORK, HBO, TWO THUMBS UP, LIKE, +1.

      Oh my gosh, who the hell is bitching about Myranda!? That level of threat is SO IMPORTANT. We need to really worry for Sansa! Or, we need to be blown away by how Sansa gets herself out of the mess. Nothing is wasted on this show, as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t really encountered too many “throw away” scenes (or any that I can even remember).


  • LEW

    I am enjoying the slow return of Dany the Conquerer. Happy (belated) Mother of Dragon’s Day to her, and to you. Also? I like that she only had the one guy barbecued and shared amongst the dragons. I feel like it made the point, didn’t spoil the kiddies, and it showed restraint.

    Because Barristan. He was so awesome. I’d burn them all. RIP Selmy. The East remembers.

    They certainly are strumming that Secret Bonus Targaryen chord like Rhaegar among the people, aren’t they? And I think it’s interesting that we go from her mourning Barristan’s death, to Aemon bemoaning Dany’s solitude at the wall, and her political-compromise marriage (not to a brother), to Tyrion’s first glimpse at a once-thought-extinct Flying Giant Flame Lizard (FGFL, love that). We move from misery and solitude to self-determination and compromise, and then we see Tyrion (and Jorah, but mostly Tyrion) arguably most pragmatic, skeptical, and currently hopeless of characters, witness something unexpectedly amazing, as they literally paddle through the Doom, that restores a little faith and reminds them of their quest.

    That is, before it all goes to hell.

    Also, in the North, Sansa is also learning the power that comes from being a good person with a straight backbone and a revered family name. She isn’t alone, because even though the Starks are all (seemingly) dead, Ned’s legacy inspires incredible loyalty. And she finds strength and support in unexpected places. If she shows strength and kindness, she will inspire others not to give up. Plus, there’s always Brienne, who absolutely refuses to give up even when it defies sense and logic.

    You know, there are times when I kind of wish this forum had a subforum for those of us with (increasingly irrelevant) book learnin’, because the way that they are potentially consolidating storylines and characters is fascinating to me.

    Finally, I love the Stannis grammar bomb, not only because it’s hilarious, but because it’s freaking right. And Stannis is right, above all else. His claim is the most legitimate, his methods are the most reasonable, and he doesn’t care about being popular, which is his greatest flaw. Something to which those of us who compulsively correct the grammar of others (and refuse to end sentences on prepositions) can all relate.

  • Moriah Gemel

    Can I say I am super fascinated by Old Valyria, and I hope we learn more about it? IDK like old advanced civilization taken out and thrown into dark times, I get Arcanum feels.

    I am here for the Dany/Jon parallels, I am here for both of their stories. They’re both struggling to rule their respective realms, they’re both going mostly blind into their futures, is it bad if I really wish Melisandre would stick around and make Jon look into the fire? Like I want to know things, she seems like she knows things.

    Can I say I am so excited for all the Baelish next week? I have such a twisted love of his scheming and wriggling. It makes for good watching for me, Aiden Gillen does his thing so well.

    • I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT OLD VALYRIA. And advanced civilizations being plunged into chaos/dark times is. my. JAM.

      I definitely want to know what Fire Crotch Mage sees in the flames, but I assume that would be a spoiler, hahaha. Like, they’re saving that for the final season. I DON’T KNOW IT’S ALL JUST VERY EXCITING.

  • cleverlittlekit

    LAURA! This is basically going to be a repeat of my Tumblr message (which I’m hoping you got, but…*shrug*).

    I legitimately screamed your name when I saw the stone men! And then, when I had stopped screaming, I said (to myself) “Laura’s gonna LOVE this!”

    I am loving your thoughts on the Jon/Dany parallel. I often think they are travelling a bit of the same road, and I secretly love it. And I really hope that we do soon find out Jon’s matriarchal parentage. I’ve only read like, half of the first book (because I’m terrible about continuing things), and I’m all for knowing this before I ever get to it anywhere else. Because I’m an impatient piece of shit…but, I digress…

    I am loving, LOVING this season, and am just beyond excited with what they’ve done so far. And I enjoy that it seems Dany and her dragons (minus Drogon because he gets to wander off on his own) have reached an understanding: “If you’re good and don’t pull too hard on your chains, I’ll bring you some spicy Meereenese delicacy!”

    • I did get your message! I’m just up to my eyes in work, etc. and have to prioritize where I chat! >.<

      I really think Jon and Dany are meant to represent two halves of the same whole, which will REALLY be awesome if it turns out they're related.


  • mrmonkeybottoms

    The Descent is one of my all time fave movie yes yes yes! Kevin and I saw it in the theatres and it scared the bejeezus out of us. SO GOOD

    I read this before I got to watch because I couldn’t wait. haha

    • Zack

      +1 for fans of The Descent. I don’t much go for horror movies in general because they tend to either be tame PG-13 (and often reboots or sequels) or on the other end of the spectrum, torture porn nonsense. Character based horror focused on mood and suspense is one of my favorite things though. And that is definitely The Descent.

      That’s the movie that I kept thinking of when news broke that its director would be a guest director for the episode on the Blackwater. I knew he’d be a great fit. And he was.



  • Grey Worm and Missandei: I’ve said it before, I’ll die with this on my lips (lol). THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT. They represent what good there is in the world and why the hell anyone’s even fighting! Plus: they’re both beautiful. And: they’re really sweet. Also: I heart them. :D

    AHAHAHA, I LOVE THAT YOU KNEW THAT SONG, HEE. I’m a terrible person, I know.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Yes. Grey Worm and Missandei are there to tell us that just because someone’s been broken and/or traumatized in some way, doesn’t mean they’re unimportant, or incapable of love, or that they don’t deserve tenderness and affection. They give us hope for characters like Reek or Arya. They remind us that wars aren’t just a game with armies, it’s about the real people who make up those armies, and the people who get trampled when the armies are marching.

  • caycos

    I forget and forget all the time that Roose is actually the scary Bolton. Ramsay is messed up and quite dangerous, but it was Roose who made the Red Wedding happen. He’s pure evil, and scary because he is strategic. Ramsay mostly just sees what’s in front of him and plays with his food. Roose plans out 12 course feasts ages in advance, and puts lots of little finishing touches on it…

    Be safe, Sansa!


    • Lyanna Mormont

      Roose is the one you should logically be more afraid of, yes. But Ramsay is creepier in the gut-deep, horrified, OMG-I-can’t-watch way. Especially the way he plays with Reek’s mind, like the bath scene last season and the “I forgive you” moment. Eeek.

  • Lee No

    Fantastically written episode, as all Bryan Cogman eps are.

    Dany: Remember when one of your last conversations with Barristan was how your daddy used to burn his enemies to make a point (or for fun), and how he didn’t want you to do that? Seems like a poor way to avenge him.

    Jon: Did you notice that – Maester Aemon “..a lonely Targaryen….” ZOOM DIRECTLY TO JON ta-taaa! Further support for the R+L=J theory or a red herring? Methinks the former. Also, I like the parallels you pointed out between his and Dany’s path!

    Jorah: The twist at the end was straight out of TWD. He was bitten!

    Stannis: I like you more and more pls don’t just get positive character developement so that it’ll hit us that much harder if the Boltons kill you, pls? We’re at the end of the books here too so NO CLUE WHAT HAPPENS AND TERRIFIED

    Ramsay: Honestly, I like his scenes. He’s such an engaging psychopath.


      Oh my gosh, I don’t think Bolton could kill Stannis, I really don’t. He’s dirty, to be sure, but Stannis seems incredibly canny of the ways of men and would know just how depraved the Boltons really are.

      And 100% agreed on Ramsay being an engaging psychopath, YES. He’s terrifying and I’m always riveted when he’s on my screen.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      What you said about Stannis goes for me too, and double with Shireen! Seriously – teaching Gilly to read, adorable scene with her father, promising to protect Davos… She’ll either be the last one standing, joining up with the remaining Stark kid(s) to rebuild the North after the White Walkers are defeated at a terrible price, or something awful’s going to happen to her. As for Stannis, I’ve never really expected him to make it all the way through. He just seems built to heroically sacrifice himself in the final battle in order to save his realm, you know? Sort of Boromir-like. But I would very much like to see him survive that long!

  • Unbeheld

    Glad to see you recapping this season of GoT! Just wanted to point out that the creepiest thing in that stone men sequence is that you could see them in the beautiful cinematic shots leading there. They look like small statues in the far shots, and even on the close up you can tell they were there all along. It just brings creepy to a new level re watching that scene.

    • But of course! They’ll take these recaps from me when I’m cold in the ground. ;)

      Someone else pointed that out, too, and I COMPLETELY failed to notice it, as I was all excited by Drogon. GOOD JOB, SHOW! But YES. YES YES YES, so damn creepy. A++++ on that, Show.

  • Eddie H

    I have always craved more of the rich history of Westeros and Essos to find it’s way into the show. Seeing things like the ruins of Valyria really helps show how deep this story truly is. Now I’m waiting for a whole flashback episode to go into the background of Robert and Ned (plus more Sean Bean, hell yeah) and the wars that preceded these things. Last week talking so much about Rhaegar was also awesome. As a book reader I love this season so much. I frankly don’t care about differences between the books and show either. I get to be surprised all over again now.

  • Jay

    “the spice IS the babies! Where the fear has gone there will be nothing, and only I will remain! Basically I’m saying…”

    Don’t turn me on like that. Jeepers!

    • *eyebrow maggle*
      *except they’re shaved off*
      Apparently I’m making myself look like a Bene Gesserit for you… I HOPE IT’S WORTH IT, JAY. ;)

  • Becky Diane

    Can I just say how very very much I love your recaps? I found your site just this last year and now I need to catch up on all of the awesome that I have missed! You are just as enthusiastic as I am about these shows (I also watch TWD), and I LOVE IT. This is the only place that I never have to worry about reading spoilers, either in the recap or in the comment section (the Internet is dark and full of spoilers). Thanks so much for creating a safe space for us non-book readers.

    • Oh, you absolutely can say that! (And let me say THANK YOU in return!) OKAY, GOT AND TWD? Clearly you’re awesome. <3

      And I am so, so grateful for everyone who helps keep this place fun, interesting, and SPOILER FREE. <3 <3 <3

  • Ashley Lynn

    Wow this episode was sure something. Seeing Old Valyria was just amazing. The architecture is so different from anything we’ve ever seen. I think it’s like Malaysian in origin or something. And Jon poor bby Jon doing his best to help everyone and people still acting like Winter isn’t Coming. Yes you guys got your issues but the Walkers won’t care about that. Death with come for you all if you keep up with these petty squabbles.

    Laura I’m on the Missandei/Grey Worm ship to Hell. Ridin and Dyin with this ship you don’t even know how much I squee when I see them on the screen being cute. They give me LIFE!!!!! *Paints M+G on my heart*

    I need Stannis to handle the business of wiping the Boltons off the map. So done with all of them rn.

  • JCDavis

    As sworn by the Old Gods and the New….a Lannister always pays his/her debts and so does JCDavis. Done. (I am on the way to B&N to download your book to my NOOK now). See you on Sunday/Monday after the review.


      • JCDavis

        *eyes get all dreamy* I always wanted a pony! Fortunately my dachshund eats less and much less of the byproduct. ;) Keep on “Doing That Thing You Do”.