As far as deceptive titles go, this week’s Game of Thrones takes the biscuit a tad. There is no killing of a boy this week, not literally at least.
The titles refers primarily to Jon Snow’s growth as a leader, spurred along by Maester Aemon. Jon has a plan to ally with the Wildlings to help bolster the numbers of the Night’s Watch, but naturally his men aren’t so keen on the idea. It’s got to be hard being Jon, having to try and convince people that Winter (still coming by the way) is almost upon them, and they will need all the men possible to beat it. On the one hand it’s a sound plan, on the other, lest we forget the wildlings spent the better part of last season killing innocent farmers and acting like they were bad-asses for doing so.
So Barristan Selmy is definitely dead. A radical departure from the books, but also note-worthy in how he was killed by knife-wielding amateurs that weren’t real warriors. Grey Worm survived (I’d rather Selmy had to be honest, I liked him more), and the boring love sub-plot with Missendei continues (skip). Daenerys is playing hard ball though, with some good dragon-themed sins as she ultimately embraces Mereen culture and puts herself on the fast lane towards becoming the tyrant she was so keen to avoid.
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Sansa meets Theon again! Myranda, who will no doubt become a problem in the near future makes it happen. I’m not sure if Ramsay is really interested in Sansa or simply interested in what marrying her will gain him in the long run. Roose has news of his own though: Fat Walda is pregnant. Considering what Ramsay usually does to people, one wonders if this new child will have much hope survival if Ramsay’s claim to Winterfell is on the line.
Brienne and Podrick are stilling following/stalking Sansa. While Brienne is correct in her assessment that Sansa is not safe with the Boltons, one still has to wonder what would Brienne say if confronted with her own poor track record of keeping people safe? Then again, Littlefinger has left Sansa with these maniacs to return to King’s Landing and such, so whether his head’s in the game at the moment is up in the air.
All those times that Shireen Baratheon’s Greyscale has been referred to this season? Well, here’s the payoff. After spying one of Daenerys’ dragons, Tyrion and Jorah are attacked by Stone Men, people afflicted by the disease and driven mad by it. It’s a pretty tense scene as Tyrion is once again bound during a battle and pleading to be cut loose to help out (happened in season 1, he killed a man with a shield). It gives the episode a cliff-hanger of sorts to work with, though how it’s going to turn out is, as ever, in the wind. The scenes involving Valyria are fantastically done, spellbinding to say the least when the dragon flies overhead.
Here’s the dilemma, season 5 has been fun so far, but we’re mid-way through with nothing substantial to show for it. Dorne has made next to no appearances, Arya’s sub-plot is on the back-burner, Tyrion’s trip to Mereen is similarly so. Having said that, with the season 6 guaranteed, perhaps this is the show-runner’s setting up for next year. Or perhaps the next five episodes will be so action-packed that the audience won’t know what to make of it.
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The security of having a definite next season in advance certainly will have affected how things are going. As mentioned, I’m enjoying this season so far. I love books, but some things simply won’t work on television. The Song Of Ice and Fire novels are wonderful, but there are so many characters and plots that it’s no wonder the show is taking the broad strokes approach to things. With the show currently assuming its own identity, one can only speculate what will happen next.
Are Tyrion and Jorah becoming friends? Will Daenerys’ wedding be on par with any weddings we’ve seen in the show so far? Let us know what you think in the comments below…