You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Review: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Episode 5 ‘Kill the Boy’: The Targaryens Stand Alone

Review: 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 Episode 5 'Kill the Boy': The Targaryens Stand Alone

PREVIOUSLY: Review: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Episode 4 ‘Sons of the Harpy’ Brings New Characters and Potential Casualties

Post-“Game” Analysis

It’s Mother’s Day, and “Game of Thrones” spent a lot of time this week with our favorite Mother of Dragons, which was an appropriate place to start off after last week’s possible double death. But as we saw at the very top of the show, fan favorite Grey Worm lived (yay!) and Ser Barristan Selmy was the one who perished (sad!). Meanwhile, Brienne and Pod set up camp just outside of Winterfell to keep their eyes on Sansa, spreading the rumor of her return in the process; a mighty strategy. Even if the show did omit Lady Stoneheart, Catelyn does sort of live on in Brienne’s determination to her oath. At Castle Black, poor GIlly continued to feel inferior, and lashed out like so many women before her and after her. “I can wash the linens! I can sweep the floors!” she screamed, sarcastically in a sort of medieval, pre-feminist realization. Speaking of which.

Great Moments in Feminism

Perhaps in rage, perhaps as revenge or perhaps as some act of justice, Daenerys rounded up the leaders of the great families of Meereen and brought them down to the dragon pits. “They will eat you if I tell them to,” she threatened. “They may even if I don’t. Children.” Kids! Am I right?! She let her flying lizard babies torch and eat one of the leaders, but before she could extend the dinner invitation to the others, Hizdahr said some familiar words, Valar Morghulis, which made her hesitate to kill him or the rest. What did that bit of High Valyrian do to change her mind? She mentioned to Missandei that Selmy had urged mercy the very morning that he died. Daario urges vengeance. What did Missandei think? She could suggest only what she’s seen: the best ideas are the ones that Dany has come up with on her own.

It’s obvious that Daenerys is still learning as a leader. She’s young and much of her rule has been gained by instinct, so perhaps she should learn to trust her own a little more. Now that she’s decided to stay put in Meereen, she’s gone the route of advisors and counsel and so forth, but rather than being influenced or even persuaded, Dany needs to start making decisions on her own, which she does by the end of the episode, when she released Hizdahr, reopened the fighting pits to free citizens and declared that she’s going to marry one of the leaders of the families of Meereen: Hizdahr himself.

For the Book Nerds (May Contain Spoilers from “A Song of Ice and Fire”)

Daenerys’ marriage to Hizdahr is not a change from the books, but the way in which it’s decided upon certainly is. In the books, marriage to one of the powerful Meerenese leaders is suggested by many of her advisors, but Daenerys is extremely reluctant to do it. She’s also a lot more troubled by many of the obstacles that have faced her while in Meereen, including the many deaths caused by the Sons of the Harpy. But show Daenerys is much more stoic, and the decision to marry Hizdahr is hers alone. It makes her a much “stronger” character in the sense that she’s powerful, but the show shouldn’t shy away from showing Dany’s weaknesses or vulnerability. We love how strong and badass Daenerys is, but the show should not be afraid to show all of her emotional range.

Most Poised to Take the Throne?

Another character (also possible Targaryen) adjusting to their rule is Jon Snow. Though his men seemed to have thankfully stopped refusing his every request after his beheading of Janos Slynt, that doesn’t mean that they don’t respectfully disagree with his decision to head north of The Wall to gather more free folk. During a chat with Maester Aemon (his possible great-uncle), Aemon gave Jon a bit of advice: “Kill the boy, Jon Snow,” he said. “And let the man be born.” Jon knows that winter is coming and what’s out there beyond the wall. Like his half-sister, Sansa, he’s willing to side with a few enemies in order to survive. It was too fitting that Maester Aemon mentioned the loneliness of Targaryens just as Jon walked in. If last week’s episode didn’t confirm his lineage, the show continues to suggest it.

Wit of the Week

Stannis: “Fewer.” 

Can we just give it up to Stannis Baratheon for his insistence on being grammatically correct?

Who’s the God of Tits and Wine?

Grey Worm not only lived, after being stabbed repeatedly by the Sons of the Harpy, but he also came to terms with his fear, not of death, but of leaving Missandei. And like that, a little more romance was added to the world of “Game of Thrones,” and we’re all a little better for it. Sure, we’re not exactly sure what kind of physical relationship the two can have, but their affection is a nice addition to the series.

Why, Show, Why?!

This episode also spent a lot of time in Winterfell, introducing a new character via “sexposition” and setting up the wedding of Sansa and Ramsay Bolton. First, we met Miranda, the daughter of the kennel master who has made her way to Ramsay’s bed through their seemingly shared love of playing it a little rough. Then, Sansa was instructed by a maid to light a candle in the highest window of the broken tower, should she ever need help. The message was no doubt the one sent by Brienne via her man at the inn. This same window, you’ll recall, was the one through which Bran caught Cersei and Jaime in the act and was abruptly shoved out of. It’s here that Miranda approached Sansa, praising her dress and flattering her abilities. She then brought Sansa to the kennels, where Theon Greyjoy, AKA Reek, appeared to make his home.

It was then that Sansa kind of realized what she’s in for and what she’s getting involved in. Her signature coldness returned and she wasn’t afraid to show her opposition to some of Ramsay’s aggression. When Walda Bolton née Frey tried to comfort her, Sansa allowed a bit of her sarcasm to show through. “This isn’t a strange place,” she said, “this is my home. It’s the people who are strange.” “Very strange,” Ramsay added, in his own creepy way. Sansa also smirked when Roose announced that Walda was having a baby, and Ramsay’s status seemed threatened. She’s still on the ball, that Sansa. She may have had moment of weakness, walking into that sketchy kennel, but she’s catching on. We’re still not sure what Sansa is in for, marrying Ramsay, and we’re really not sure that we can handle Sansa’s first sexual encounter being as violent as it probably would be at the hands of Ramsay. But at this point that’s just fearful speculation; hopefully this marriage isn’t actually going to happen.

Most Magical Moment

As mentioned last week, “Game of Thrones” is capable of some seriously gorgeous visuals, and the shots of Tyrion and Jorah sailing through old Valyria, with a graceful Drogon soaring through the sky was this week’s eye candy. Jorah had seen the dragons before, albeit not as big, but this was Tyrion’s first encounter, and the wide-eyed wonder showed on his face. The attack by the Stone Men, those inflicted with greyscale, was truly nerve wracking, and Jorah’s patch of infection at the close of the episode made for a shocking twist.

It Is Known

Giving Jorah a touch of greyscale is also a new addition to the show, but we shouldn’t worry for Jorah just yet. The series did a good job in the first few episodes of setting up that greyscale is a survivable affliction, through the story of Shireen Baratheon and the lengths to which Stannis went to save her. Then again, Jorah doesn’t have a horde of healers at the ready to stop the spread of the infection, so we might be looking at yet another casualty added at the hands of HBO.

Grade: B

READ MORE: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Brought the Frightening Reality of the Gay Rights Fight to Westeros

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,