After the profound and compelling conclusion to last
With key characters en route through perilous paths and being forced to make complex decisions, the dynamic throughout Westeros is shifting, and things take some seriously interesting – and indeed surprising – turns throughout Kill The Boy.
The Title: ‘Kill The Boy’
What Does It Mean?
It is clear from the opening frame that this fifth episode is all about choices; making ones which better others but perhaps not ourselves, or opting to do what can be deemed the ‘most right’ regardless of common belief. The two most greatly affected and indeed burdened by such weight are the Mother of Dragons who along with her small council is mourning the tragic killing of Barristan Selmy, and newly appointed Commander of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow. The Fire and the Ice.
The bastard of Ned Stark goes to Maester Aemon for some much needed advice, proclaiming he intends to announce a decision to his fellow brothers which they most certainly will not like. The wise blind man mocks Snow by telling him half of them already hate him so their thoughts really don’t mean that much, but he does leave him with an important nugget of information.
“Kill the boy” he bellows; remove the inner child from the frame and allow the true man to be born. With this in mind, Snow leaves the Targaryen and heads to command those at Castle Black.
Most Shocking Moment:
A number of sequences from tonight’s episode could qualify for this position, but the best one actually introduced Kill The Boy and it takes place in a deeply divided Meereen.
Throughout Season 5, we have witnessed Daenerys’ armour take a parade of knocks; the worst being the possible alienation of the people she so valiantly freed, but few taint her military strategy and sword game quite like losing Ser Barristan. He travelled the lands to serve her and had become a key part of her arsenal with the Unsullied, so he simply must be avenged.
Daario wants to paint the city red with the blood of “every rat” that scuttles the many alleys and avenues, but Dany opts for a leaner, more dominant approach.
She gathers every leader of all the great families and herds them into the gloomy dungeons where two extremely peckish dragons await. Spilling a profound monologue in her mother tongue, she orders her guards to shove one of them just a little closer into the swelling darkness ahead, but things don’t stay black for long.
Maroon-red eyes ignite from the nothingness, followed by a glimmer of fire behind gnashing teeth. What’s comes next is really a no-brainer; a flamethrower jet-stream of agony which barbecues the potentially innocent man before Rhaegal and Viserion chow down on his burning remains, ripping him in two like a tatty ragdoll.
Being a leader of a great family himself, Hizdahr zo Loraq finds himself spending the night in the dungeons too, but it becomes later apparent that Khaleesi was wrong to doubt his wisdom about the free folk and that tradition is critical to maintain her rule in Meereen. She agrees to reopen the fighting pits, continue the banishment of slavery, and most importantly, marry a key figure in the city to cement her allegiance. Have a guess who she selected…
In an episode which sees Jon Snow forming a partnership with the Wildlings; the Night’s Watch’s most deep-seeded foe, as well as Stannis Baratheon packing up his fleet and family before riding out of Castle Black, the biggest plans are brewing in the land the rightful heir heads for: Winterfell.
Sansa has been frequently reminded that “The North remembers” since Baelish dropped her amidst the Bolton’s gameplan, but the eldest Stark daughter has as much to worry about as she does to gain. Ramsay Snow/Bolton is having difficulty controlling the surprisingly jealous Myranda (the kennel-master’s daughter) in the wake of Lady Sansa’s arrival, and considering the fact that she might be as mad as ‘Reek’s commander, things are likely to become complicated.
Most likely as a means to taunt, Myranda takes the Stark girl to her father’s keep which amongst the snarling hounds lies a tattered and petrified Theon. If viewers recall, Greyjoy has been attempted to hide away from Sansa – he did overthrow her homeland and murdered her family members after all. Yet despite feeling anger, nae disgust towards Theon, having him around only aids her campaign. The duo have a common enemy: the Boltons.
Throughout this fifth episode, we see glimmers of ‘Reek’ remembering – he might still act for Ramsay, but his control looks to be fading away, little by little. Both Stannis and Jon Snow want the Bolton boy’s head firmly on a spike, but Sansa and Theon might beat them to it.
After an extremely uncomfortable and profound ‘family’ meal – and an equally hideous eulogy from Roose – they unlawful rulers of The North think they are ahead of the competition. Not likely.
Best Overall Moment:
Few shows can close with such awe-inspiring detail, thematic excellence and slack-jaw shocks quite like Game of Thrones. Undoubtedly the crowing moment of Kill The Boy is the stunning final sequences which take place upon the waters to Meereen.
Still bound by haggard ropes, Tyrion is at sail with Jorah Mormont who, as always, is not in the mood for talking. Soon however the pair start to converse as their boat quietly floats into the chillingly beautiful ruins of Old Valyria – a lost fortress, laden with myth and intrigue; its rustic, almost Aztec walls are peppered with moss and drooping foliage. It is a beautiful, haunting and otherworldly environment, but one that should be approached with caution.
As they travel on, the pair are stopped dead in their tracks as the now enormous Drogon delicately flies over them; consuming the sky in his red-fire glory. Clearly stunned by what they’ve just witness, they fail to notice the mysterious figures which have dropped into the water around them. Quickly they are attacked by ‘Stone Men’ – greatly contagious folk banished to this wasteland for living with the almost incurable plague that is Greyscale (Stannis’ daughter Shireen has her live…just).
Attempting to fight their way out of this deadly situation, things are made only harder by not being able to actually touch their attackers, plus Tyrion is still tied up and effectively helpless. Jorah stabs and slays his way through but cannot reach ‘The Imp’ in time forcing the Lannister to dive from the boat. All we see is Tyrion trying to untie himself before being pulled further under into the abyss.
Thinking the episode ends there is deeply shocking, but quickly we rejoin the twosome on the shore – now without transportation and really much hope. Luckily for Tyrion, his former captor saved his life Unluckily for Mormont, he was handled by the ‘Stone Men’ and now has the horrific disease. Will they ever make it to Khaleesi? We’ll have to wait and see.
The ascent is over – constructing something truly fascinating – and now Season 5’s descent to completion begins. Kill The Boy expertly developed crucial narrative arcs whilst installing some serious paths for development which will no doubt bloom next week and onwards. With Jon Snow and Stannis departing base, at least two major weddings to be commissioned and a handful of core players all working from a dense tactical script, what is likely to unfold over the next five weeks will almost certainly be biblical.