GAME OF THRONES 5.05 ‘Kill the Boy’ Review
GAME OF THRONES Season 5 Episode 5
Episode Title: “Kill the Boy”
Writer: Bryan Cogman
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Previously on Game of Thrones:
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones could have easily been called “Kill the Girl,” as the spotlight fell on both Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Those are two characters who have never met on the show (although I’ll bet that changes before the series concludes) that are connected here by the theme of making difficult decisions to maintain their rule for the greater good.
But there’s already some major blowback for Jon and Daenerys may face the same thing once her surviving allies hear what she’s done.
From this point forward, there are full spoilers ahead for “Kill the Boy.” You’ve been warned!
One of the reasons that I was sure that Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) survived the ambush in Meereen is that his romance with Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) hasn’t really been dealt with yet. And sure enough, their relationship comes to the forefront when Missandei stays by Grey Worm’s side and embraces him after he admits that he was afraid of dying without seeing her again.
Unfortunately for Ser Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney), nobody loved him quite as much. He truly lived to serve Daenerys and she takes his death particularly hard. As amusing as it was to see Daenerys extract some measure of revenge by feeding one of the masters to her dragons, that’s not really who she is. This was a standout episode for Missandei because she actually had an emotional scene of her own in addition to serving as Daenerys’ reminder that she can find a better way to rule.
Daenerys’ decision is sure to piss off some GoT shippers. She basically forces Hizadr zo Loraq (Joel Fry) into a marriage pact and she reopens the fighting pits for the freemen of Meereen. It is kind of hilarious how unworthy a suitor Hizadr is for Daenerys, but I think that’s the point. He knows enough to fear Daenerys, but there’s no real love between them. I also suspect that Daario (Michiel Huisman) won’t take it well if this means that he can’t be Daenerys’ lover anymore.
Over at the Wall, Jon turns the majority of the Night’s Watch against him by suggesting an alliance with the Wildlings in exchange for letting them settle in the North. Even his squire, Olly (Brenock O’Connor) looks at him with barely contained hatred for that one. It may be the right thing to do, but Jon could probably have broached the subject with more tact. It was a nice touch that Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan) wouldn’t even let Jon run the decision by him. Aemon trusts Jon so completely that he utters the words “kill the boy” to inspire Jon to become the man and the leader that he needs to be.
Over in Winterfell, Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) solidified his position as the show’s new Joffrey by terrorizing Sansa (Sophie Turner) at dinner and by making Theon aka Reek (Alfie Allen) apologize to her for murdering her brothers even though Ramsay knows they aren’t really dead. I would never have guessed that Roose (Michael McElhatton) could make the late Tywin Lannister look warm by comparison, but he had a sublime takedown of Ramsay. Roose’s new child could take Ramsay’s place as his heir.
If the Boltons weren’t such terrible people, they could hold some sympathy. But the backstory of Ramsay’s mother reveals that Rooth is even more of a monster than previously imagined. He murdered the husband of Ramsay’s mother and raped her simply because he could. It’s almost a dark parody of the scene from last week’s episode between Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Shireen (Kerry Ingram).
Fortunately, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) might get a chance to put a sword through Rooth and avenge her beloved Renly. Stannis is marching on Winterfell and Brienne is already waiting near the castle for Sansa to send her a signal for aid.
The other major part of the episode dealt with the burgeoning friendship (of sorts) between Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jorah (Iain Glen) as they traveled through the ruins of Valyria. The series hasn’t really dealt with the mystery of Valyria and it was fascinating to see a glimpse of it here before the inevitable attack of the Stonemen.
This episode had an unexpected effect on me. When Barristan died, I was very curious to see if he also died in the books that way. I had the same reaction when Jorah was revealed to be infected with greyscale from the Stonemen. It’s hard to resist that temptation. Barristan’s death potentially opens the door for Daenerys to let Jorah back into her life. But is that something that Jorah will live to see?
Last week’s episode established that greyscale can be treated, as Shireen survived with scarring on her face. But that was with the resources of a kingdom behind her treatment. Jorah may not be as lucky and that is making him more compelling.
“Kill the Boy” felt a little muddled as the midpoint of the season, but the new character turns are intriguing. I can’t wait to see how some of these stories intersect with each other.