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

5 talking points from Game Of Thrones season 5 episode 5, 'Kill The Boy'

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Five episodes in and the somewhat glacial place of Game Of Thrones season 5 so far is finally showing some signs of picking up.

'Kill The Boy' focused mainly on the fall out from last week’s major death – Barristan Selmy, slaughtered by the Sons of Harpy in Meereen – and developed Sansa’s storyline in Winterfell.

But the real relief was seeing Stannis finally grow bored of hanging out at the Wall and decide to march south, setting up the season’s first big battle, against the Boltons.

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Five talking points, then.

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1 | Is Dany breaking bad?

For a moment, it looked as though my colleague's hope that Daenerys follows her father and becomes a Mad Queen may come true. The last time we saw her in the crypt with her dragons, she was crying. This time she watched impassionately as Viserion and Rhaegal gobbled up a Meereenese nobleman she sentenced to death to warn the rest of them against helping the Harpys, raising fears that Dani had decided all men must fry.

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By the end though, she’d decided against fiery retribution and opted for a surprise piece of diplomacy. This episode’s roll over lottery winner was undoubtedly Hizdahr zo Loraq, who went from imprisonment and certain death-by-dragon to a marriage proposal from the most desirable woman in all the seven kingdoms. What Dany's lover Daario Naharis makes of the proposed nuptials remains to be seen, but more importantly, does Dany cementing her position in Meereen mean we have to wait even longer for her to march on the Iron Throne?


2 | Sansa’s déjà vu

Meanwhile at Winterfell, Sansa Stark sat down for dinner with her fiancé Ramsay and got an insight into how her new bae gets his kicks: namely, by being a total bastard and when possible, torturing her. Sound familiar? Ramsay paraded Reek / Theon before the woman who was once his step-sister (of sorts) and made him apologise for slaying Sansa’s young brothers (even though technically, he didn’t), making a tear roll down the her cheek.

Watch Sansa in this scene, though, to see how far she’s come from the meek victim of King’s Landing. Her hateful side eyes at Ramsay throughout dinnner was topped with a supremely smug glance when Roose Bolton announced he and Mrs Bolton had a new baby – probably a boy – on the way. Ramsay’s heart sank, and Sansa enjoyed every second of it.


3 | The Irresistible Rise of Stannis Baratheon, Part 4

At the Wall, Jon Snow was imploring his fellow Night’s Watch to join forces with Wildlings. If we don’t, they will all die, he argues. “Good”, one of his charges shouts, “that means less enemies for us!”. “Fewer,” corrected Stannis, in a wonderful moment of pedantry that confirms his unlikely, meteoric rise as our new favourite character on the show. We’ve said it almost every week so far, but between the sardonic put downs, the affectionate moments with his daughter and – hopefully – destroying the Boltons next week, Stannis is now firmly ‘our boy’.

The other major talking point from the Wall is that Jon Snow is off North again to recruit the disparate Wildlings tribes with Tormund Giantsbane, presumably to then march south and join Stannis just in time to save the day against the Boltons – who no doubt have something horrific planned – and reclaim the North. Jon's palatable disdain for running this particular errand was a joy to watch, but a bit like popping to Tescos for bacon and eggs on a Saturday morning with a hangover, he knows there is little other choice.


4 | Grey Worm and Missandei are the new Jon and Ygritte

After being wounded by the Sons of Harpy, Grey Worm wakes up in his sick bed to find Missandei – now officially our biggest crush in the show – sat by his side. “I was scared,” he tells her, “not of death, but of never seeing you again.” Missandei responds by curling up next to him, making this the show’s best utterly doomed romance since Jon and Egritte took a dip in a cave.

Call us hopeless romantics, but it’s not hard to see why the Grey Worm / Missandei subplot is so sweet. To state the painfully obvious: the guy doesn’t have a penis, meaning unlike every other man on the show, he isn’t motivated by sex. Instead, like the poor Unsullied murdered in episode one as he lay with a prostitute humming sweetly in his ear, Grey Worm appears motivated by a deeper, purer need for human companionship. It's a fascinating subplot we're looking forward to seeing develop over the next few episodes.


5 | Tyrion’s poetry

Game Of Thrones is primarily a show of base pleasures – blood and guts, sex and nudity, great big f***ing dragons – but occasionally it does dip its toe in high culture, usually by way of Tyrion, the show’s chief intellectual. So it was at the very end of 'Kill The Boy' when he and his captor Jorah Mormont floated into the beautifully rendered, abandoned ancient city of Valyria and found themselves moved to poetry:

They held each other close and turned their backs upon the end.
The hills that split asunder and the black that ate the skies;
The flames that shot so high and hot that even dragons burned
Would never be the final sights that fell upon their eyes.
A fly upon a wall, the waves the sea wind whipped and churned
The city of a thousand years, and all that men had learned.
The Doom consumed it all alike, and neither of them turned.

It was a wonderfully atmospheric moment, particularly when Tyrion glanced up and saw one of Dany's dragons and gasps, grasping for the first time how dramatically the world order may be about to change.

The tranquility, of course, is shattered a moment later when a gang of Stone Men jump on the boat and attack them. They survive – just – but poor old Mormont is touched by one of them and infected with greyscale. Brace yourself for a 28 Days Later moment when someone has to plunge a sword in his chest before he turns into one of them completely. Hopefully, Mormont will get one last chance to stare at Dany with slightly awkward unrequited lust before he goes.

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MORE RECAPS:

Season 5 Episode 4: Sons Of The Harpy 
Season 5 Episode 3: High Sparrow 
Season 5 Episode 2: The House Of Black And White
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