We enter the halfway point of Game of Thrones’ fifth year and holy shit do we have something to talk about.
Game of Thrones: Season 5: Episode 5: Kill the Boy: GRADE: B+
So up in The North we got a couple ongoings here and well the first is far less interesting. Brienne and Podrick run into a servant that is still loyal to the Starks and use him to relay a message to Sansa to light a candle on Winterfell’s highest tower should she ever be in trouble and they will come to help.
Not that compelling, but the dinner table in Winterfell sure is. Ramsay and Sansa join Roose and and Walda at dinner where shit gets super awkward. In a great moment of some uneasy tension, Ramsay attempt to get Reek to apologize to Sansa for murdering Bran and Rickon, which starts making Sansa feel uncomfortable and the way Alfie Allen plays Reek being so timid and scared at doing so is just great. Also awkward for the fact that Bran and Rickon aren’t exactly dead. We also see much more into the damaged and fucked mind of Ramsay as Roose and Walda announce they are expecting a child which even though being very much alove with now, Ramsay feels his status as Roose’s heir is in jeopardy, but is reassured it isn’t and is asked for support in resisting the upcoming attack on Winterfell by Stannis.
This episode really shows how well Iwan Rheon as at playing creepy, unstable bastards so well. Having first played a bit more so unstable character on Misfits (watch Misfits), Iwan as has been someone to keep an eye out for me and I was happy to see him on Game of Thrones, then once we got to really meet Ramsay Bolton, holy fuck. Ramsay is truly becoming Jefforey 2.0 now that he’s buried. The show will always need an antagonistic force like that aside from Cersei and Ramsay is filling in the role nicely. Even during his conversation with Myranda you could possibly see it go a completely different and horrifying way. He’s such a force on the show, a horrifying, deranged force of nature that brings something to the show. I’d seriously double look at someone saying Ramsay is their favorite character.
Meanwhile Jon snow continues his rise into most interesting character of the season so far as he seeks some advice from Maester Aemon about gaining the wildlings as allies which he then tells him to just really follow his heart. With Jon as Lord Commander, he needs to do what he believes is right in leading the Night’s Watch. Only decision and feelings Jon has to worry about are his own and I’m still so happy about where this has gone this season. Jon Snow’s quick turnaround into why I wanna watch the show for him is still magic.
Jon then frees Tormund Giantsbane and offers him the wildlings to settle south of the wall if they agree to an alliance with the Night’s Watch, but that’s all for naught as Tormund reveals most of the wildlings have made their way to Hardhome and the only way the alliance is possible is for Jon to speak to them himself. Of course the others reject the idea when proposed, but Jon says fuck it can goes ahead with it anyway. Jon’s just like fuck it and he’s going to do it anyway, thus showing that the words os Aemon are still ringing in his ear. Jon must prove himself as the leader that the Night’s Watch deserves and just like anything with Jon Snow season, I’m anxious about it.
The other aspect of the Wall section didn’t leave much an impact on me.I’m not that overly excited about Sam and Gilly’s part, it was just fine and continues to involve a great part of the show that we aren’t getting in the White Walkers in trying to find a weakness. I would love to be seeing some White Walkers. Maybe they’re being saved up for the penultimate(!) chapter of the season when all the heavy shit goes down. Stannis also decides to not wait on Jon’s talk with the wildlings to march towards Winterfell. Not much there grabbing me aside from that, which again shows how strong the show has gotten when focusing on Jon.
The Narrow Sea
We conclude this episode across the Narrow Sea whee it turns out Grey Worm lived, so massive fuck up on my part, I’m sorry. Once again, only seen the show and not read any of the books. While Missandei keeps an eye on him, Daenerys once again deals with Hizdahr zo Loraq and various leaders of the great families and its there we get to meet the dragons again and they promptly start to burn and eat one of them. I’m continuing to enjoy Daenerys’ story this season as she’s discovering more and more what type of leader she really is and how she will be an effective ruler. This is the first time that her leadership has needed to be proven than before.
Grey Worm wakes up a few days later and a nice little touching moment between Grey Worm and Missandei occurs. A nice show of loving emotion on this show in a while that feels genuine. Missandei then advises with Daenerys about how to deal with the Sons of the Harpy and reminds Daenerys she has the ability to find solutions no one else can see and find a double whammy of a solution by not only agreeing to reopen the fighting pits to Hizhahr, but also agree to marry him to make peace for the people of Meereen. Unexpected is how I’d best describe that, its a nice plan that shows how calculated Daenerys is when she wants to lay out a plan in order to acheive what she wants. I like the set up for this and curious where it goes.
But of course we can’t end the episode without checking in on Jorah and Tyrion’s excellent adventure. They decide to shortcut through Valyria and see a dragon fly overhead. Its honestly majestic in how they shot that. Beautiful, lovely, destruction causing dragon. Nature’s truest fine creation. Oh yeah then they run into some greyscale infected stone men. The sequence in question is nicely shot and well paced. Camera is in perfect alignment so I can honestly tell what the hell is going on, please take notice most modern action films. Its got great tension to it in the furiousness of the stone men and suspense when Tyrion is pulled under, only to be saved by Joran, who as it turns out is infected with greyscale now and hasn’t quite disclosed that with Tyrion.
Kill the Boy is a more than worthy installment in the season that continues forth the storylines already in place for the season while introducing new elements to them that make for great possibilities. Its quite an intriguing chapter.
Game of Thrones: Season 5: Episode 6: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken: GRADE: B-
Arya continues her training over in Braavos by cleaning bodies, but after a while she starts asking Jaqen what exactly they do with the bodies of those that die in the temple and we don’t get a damn answer. Pretty sneaky, sneaky man. Arya’s struggle to keep herself secret and wanting to learn the ways of the Faceless Man is one of the better conflicts of the episode since she does need to convincingly lie in order to pass the game of faces and the past has proven she can’t quite do that. Arya is stubborn in how she must let it be known she is Arya Stark and not gonna take much shit from anyone. She’s one of the only few Starks left and feels a sense of honor to keep the name known and alive. She can’t even do it well around Jaqen. She lies to him and herself. Its a nicely done scene that sets up the point in the episode when she is eventually able to convincingly lie when a man and his sick daughter come to the temple. She tells her how she will die peacefully, that she was once ill like her before poisoning her and cleaning the body. While in the chamber where all the faces of those that die in the temple are, Jaqen tells her she is ready to become someone else. Its a pretty well done scene, but I think I honestly like it more for how creepy and great the chamber looks with all those faces in the walls. Its a lovely piece of set design.
Dorne this week, both a highlight and yet not as I thought it more since the initial airing of the episode. Trystane and Myrcella walk through the Water Gardens, and make plans to marry one another, which Doran isn’t too pleased about, but what timing as at that same time Jaime and Bronn walk by dressed as Dornish guards and enact their rescue plan. The fight is on and is fairly good but then the Sand Snakes arrive and the fight is better. Game of Thrones has been getting progressively better about its fight scenes as its gone along. They were good in the beginning but now are incredibly done. This was a thrill to see be done as there is so much going on but yet I wasn’t lost. The fight goes on until they are all arrested, Ellaria too who was nearby and I gotta question, I think Ellaria would be smarter than to not be this nearby in case shit went bad. I mean she’s organized the whole Sand Snakes, has a plan in tact, and clearly knows what she is doing and as stated to Doran that she wants revenge via Myrcella’s death. She should know better than this and is a weak character moment for me. It doesn’t add up in all honesty, but I’m curious to see where this goes now, but her getting caught like that was just dumb to me.
The Narrow Sea
Meanwhile on Jorah and Tyrion’s excellent adventure, I’m calling that all season so get used to it, Jorah and Tyrion are captured by slavers and Tyrion convinces them to take them to Meereen so Jorah can fight in the newly reopened pits. That’s about what happens there and that’s really all I got. I mean Joran and Tyrion’s back and forth is good, it is, but not much else this week other than Jorah still secretly has greyscale and they got caught. Moving on!
Baelish is back and right away confronted by Lancel and the Sparrows, but he merely dismisses them as he goes to see Cersei and convinces his way back on while informing her of Stannis’ upcoming attack on the Boltons.
Now comes the cat claws! Olenna is here in an effort to help Margaery free Loras and oh my goodness the catty bitchiness between Diana Rigg and Lena Dunham is so perfect. Their back and forth with each scratch of their paw is just glorious. All this happens the the trail of Loras who is on said trail for being homosexual, surely a wet dream for those living in Alabama and Mississippi. All seems fine until the High Sparrow brings in Olyvar to testify and says he has been with Loras and that Margaery has seen them in bed together. High Sparrow is convinced and Loras and Margaery are both arrested and Tommen just sits their looking dumb. Mainly I like this section for seeing Baelish back in King’s Landing but the cat fight between Olenna and Cersei is a highlight in of itself. Its so good.
Alright its time to talk about that scene. Sansa and Ramsay marry each other and afterwards he orders Reek to stay behind since he saw Sansa grow up, he’ll see her become a woman. Ramsay rips Sansa’s dress open and rape her and we hold on Reek’s reaction as we hear the act take place.
To say this caused a reaction is the hugest fucking understatement of the week right now. Rape has yet again entered the discussion on Game of Thrones. Now of course we must bring up the other two times where rape was a plot device on the show. Season one in Winter is Coming when Drogo not waiting for Daenerys to consent to sex on their wedding night and of course that infamous scene in last season’s Breaker of Chains. Now where as Breaker of Chains was discovered as a bad sense of communication between the director and writers, Winter is coming and Unbowed are just horrible. Drogo maybe you can make the case for as a barbarian type and was maybe a bit uncivilized, but its still terrible and its not really addressed here and that’s the problem here is how rape seems to causally be used for story on here but never touched upon again. Now as for the scene itself, it was terrible, I myself didn’t care for the end of the episode. I just felt uncomfortable during the whole damn thing, but I think this has the far better chance of being mentioned again. Winter and Breaker never were addressed again on the show and that has rubbed several people the wrong way, but the way and time this certain scene came about sets it up for redemption in terms of Sansa and Reek’s characters and a possible comeuppance of Ramsay Bolton, that consequences will come, but time can only tell on this one.
The scene has caused an uproar such as several people to stop watching the show of The Mary Sue to cease promotion of the show on their site. Sure Alfie Allen perfectly played his part by showing the reaction, but that’s not gonna help this scene at all as its causing major backlash. I’m staying with the show, but given this is the third time such an instance of this has happened, if its not addressed right away or dealt with in leu of the story for the season, I’m gonna start having some doubts as to the showrunners of Game of Thrones. If something as scarring and horrifying as rape is gonna enter your story, you need to have a purpose for it and its never really served a purpose on Game of Thrones and I hope against hope that it does this time or else the show is in some serious, serious trouble.