Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: Kill The Boy

Last night's episode of Game Of Thrones did not feature any big battle scenes, trademark character deaths or anything from King's Landing (Cersei), Dorne (Jaime) or Braavos (Arya). Nevertheless, it managed to be one of the better episodes of the season thus far. Read on for our full recap.

Warning: Spoilers within!

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So that's another episode of Game Of Thrones done and dusted. Can you believe we've passed the halfway point already? It seems like only yesterday we were speculating about potential Season 5 spoilers and predicting characters we thought were going to die. (So far, we're sitting on an impressive hit rate of zero. I'm sticking to my guns about Shireen though -- that girl is toast.)

Episode 5 was called Kill The Boy; a metaphorical reference to Jon Snow's new responsibilities as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. As the geriatric Maester Aemon ponderously explains, Lord Snow needs to "kill the boy" and learn to become a man so he can make those difficult ruling decisions. Hopefully, this means Kit Harigton will stop acting like a lip-quivering sprog whose milk money just got stolen.

For his first act as Lord Commander, Jon seeks to pardon the wildlings and grant them safe passage across the Wall so they can join in the fight against the white walkers. His reasoning is that it's better to make peace with former foes than face them on the battlefield as undead wrights. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that bollocks.

This decision goes down like a particularly noxious wet fart with the rest of the Night's Watch, which is completely understandable -- half of them were slaughtered by the very same wildlings last season, after all. In a single stroke, Jon goes from hero to asshole in the eyes of his sworn brothers. His steward Ollie the orphan is especially peeved (I'd be checking my morning coffee for loogies if I were you, Jon).

In an unusual departure from the books, the captive wildling Tormund Giantsbane agrees to deliver these peace terms to his comrades north of the Wall -- but only if Jon will accompany him. We're a bit leery of this invented plot line. The last time Jon embarked on a fan fiction-style adventure, we were treated to the risible and entirely pointless Karl Tanner storyline. We suspect the writers are once again attempting to tread water while the show's other plot threads catch up. Tch.

Elsewhere in the North, the psychopathic Ramsay Bolton is preparing to marry Sansa Stark in a bid to solidify his grip on Winterfell. This causes a jealousy spat from his equally bloodthirsty mistress Myranda (she was the woman with the bow who helped Ramsay hunt and kill a peasant girl in Season 4 while "Reek" looked on).

It's clear that Myranda plans to drive a wedge between Ramsay and his newly betrothed which seems exceptionally unwise. This is a guy who flays and castrates people for fun -- you really don't want to piss him off. Expect her to come to a grisly, sticky end next episode.

Meanwhile, Sansa discovers the presence of Theon Greyjoy in the castle as Ramsay's daddy prepares for the coming siege of Stannis Baratheon. If there's going to be a big battle this season, it will likely be beneath the walls of Winterfell with Theon and Sansa's fates hanging in the balance. Excitingly, none of this has played out in the books yet, so readers will be going in completely cold.

In far-off Essos, Queen Daenerys Targaryen is still trying to bring the rebel slavers to heel in the city of Meereen. Since the assassination of her chief advisor Barristan Selmy (see our Episode 4 recap), the mother of dragon's methods have become considerably harsher. A random master is cruelly immolated and dismembered as a warning to the others: fall in line or become dragon food.

Somehow, we doubt this act of savagery will stay the Sons of the Harpy's knives for long. Danny seems to sense this; she abruptly agrees to reopen the fighting pits and marry Hizdahr zo Loraq, a master that she'd planned to execute mere moments before proposing to him. Seriously, those Targaryen women are even crazier than the blokes.

Oh, and Grey Worm finally got to kiss Missandei. Hurrah! We look forward to reading the inevitable fan fiction of this romantic union online. Doubtlessly it will be entitled The Pillar And The Stones and contain reams of terrible poetry.

So far, Kill The Boy had been bobbing along at a respectable pace but they definitely saved the best for last. To close out the episode, we rejoin Tyrion Lannister and his captor Jorah Mormont as they sail towards Mereen and the hope of a royal pardon. This takes them through the smoking wasteland of Valyria; the ancestral homeland of the Targaryen dragonlords of old.

The depiction of this haunted city is truly masterful: the crumbling ruins and surrounding scenery easily rival anything seen in the Lord Of The Rings movies. Just when you think the vistas can't get any better, one of Daenerys' dragons flaps into frame. It's one of the best shots of the entire season.

Unfortunately for Mormont and the Imp, things don't stay serene for very long. Seemingly out of nowhere, a gang of loonies infected with the highly-contagious grey scale jump onto the boat and proceed to do their best monster impressions. Although they are quickly dispatched, the violent encounter is set to have serious repercussions for Jorah -- and possibly all of Westeros.

When you consider how many times "grey scale" has been mentioned this season, the disease clearly has a major role to play in future events. Knowing George R. R. Martin, every single character will succumb to the disease and the white walkers will take up residence in Westeros completely unopposed.

We're not entirely sure what to make of this episode. It was certainly entertaining, but Cersie, Jaime and Arya were sorely missed. Hopefully they'll be given a meatier role in Episode 5.6. What did you guys think? Share your views in the comments section below!

Note: Please, no spoilers from the books in the comments below!


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Comments

    Books:
    They really don't care about being even close to the books, at this point, do they? Selmy dying, no Aegon, Jon going with the wildlings, Jaime and Bronn, Jeor getting grayscale and not Tyrion, Sansa and Ramsay, Sam staying at Castle Black, etc.

    At this point it feels like they're almost entirely alternate takes

      Seems that they'll keep the overall 'plot', but the means of getting there will be different. Very surprising that Jon goes with the Wildlings, in my opinion.

      I'm getting the feeling that this Season will be similar to Season 2.

      Tyrion doesn't get grayscale, Jon Conington does

      Yeah quite a few big changes but I'm actually rather enjoying the surprises, well except for Selmy :'(
      I expect this season is still going to end mostly the same way book 5 ended though (Kevan Lannister and the White Raven, Dany w/ Drogon). Or some of that might not come until next season, they seem to be moving through pretty quick though.

      I suspect Tyrion already had greyscale. Remember the episode in the brothel when Tyrion chats up the whore bit can't go through with it? He notices something about his fingers and can't touch her - he says something along the lines of, "what am I going to do in my spare time now?" And two of his fingers are noticeably discolored. In the books, greyscale always afflicts the fingers first.
      I don't remember him having it in the books but I'm fairly confident he's picked it up from somewhere in the show.

    Author didn't notice Baristan Selmy died. A bit disappointing because he didn't really get to do anything and i think he's still alive in the books.

    They keep laying on the R+L=J pretty thick. They better answer it this season because I'm getting sick of all the hints. Maybe before the maester dies.

      There is only one person who knows where Jon truly came from

      Howland Reed (Jojen & Meera's Father)

        I reckon the show will have Maester Aemon spill the beans as dirtycod suggests. Casting Howland Reed purely for R+L=J is a waste of money and screen time. It won't be that hard to pull off either -- perhaps Rhaegar sent a letter to his great uncle Aemon revealing the birth before dying in battle. It's totally doable.

          There is speculation that Howland Reed is the High Sparrow. Everything I've read so far reinforces the speculation.
          EDIT: That's incorrect, I confused High Sparrow with High Septon. In either case, they are somewhat linked.

          Last edited 12/05/15 11:26 am

            Caution Episode 1-4 Spoilers

            The high sparrow and high septon are the same person, Cersei made the high sparrow the high septon, the previous septons were killed

              Boom. You're a legend.

              So asides from them looking different from the TV to the books, it could be possible that he is HR.

                From what i've read via wiki and fan theory, yes it's entirely possible.

                my knowledge of the lore of Westeros is growing day by day :P i'll get there eventually haha

                Really craving a prequel with Khal Drogos rise to power, Robert's Rebellion, Aegon the conquerer, mance raider.

                They have the ability to chew a lot of money out from this universe and series while giving a lot of fans what they want!

      Should probably label your spoilers a bit better haha

      I don't think we'll find out until next season, unless they decide to speed that through or completely change it from the books (I certainly wouldn't complain about knowing sooner >_<).

      Spoiler from books:
      I expect his story this season is going to end with his death and we're still going to be stuck waiting to find out

      Last edited 12/05/15 12:03 pm

        The books never actually state that he has been killed only that he is stabbed, George RR Martin has been questioned on this and has never given a straight answer

          Well yeah, that's what I meant. Should've said 'killed' lol. I mean, I expect his story will end with the same cliffhanger as we are stuck on as the books, hopefully they won't make us wait 5 years though :P

            Haha that'd be grand, with the differences between the movies and the books at the moment though i don't see us waiting very long for anything.

            I only started the books a few weeks ago so just getting into them but there's a lot of stuff i would have really liked to see played out on screen :(

      By author do you mean me? I did mention Baristan Selmy's death. I also spoke about it at some length during last week's recap.

    I'm currently reading the books and am a bit ahead or a bit behind on the show depending on which character. Interestingly, the show is diverging quite a bit from the books, especially this season. I wonder if they are setting it up to continue when they get ahead of the books?

    Before anyone else points out the obvious that the TV show is diverging even further, i read a point that someone else made after this episode.
    That as a book reader they where glad the show is diverging because that made watching the show more intense not knowing what would happen and that when the show takes over the books that if this keeps happening they would be fine with this because there would be less spoilers for the books.

    I far prefer these recaps:
    http://m.imgur.com/a/umg5H

    Is this Khaleesi that was grappling with the moral integrity of executing someone for the crime of murder last week, the same Khaleesi that threw a man not accused of any crimes to her dragons for intimidation purposes this week? I found that jarring.

    And also, I would totally disagree that the very fake looking ruins of Valyria match the greatest miniature work of the LoTR movies.

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