Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” picked up in Meereen. Following the attack from the Sons of the Harpy we were left wondering if Ser Barristan had died or if Grey Worm had died or if both of them had died. Within seconds of the episode beginning we see that Grey Worm has only been badly injured but not killed. That, of course, means that Ser Barristan was killed. As Dany stand over his dead body she is filled with sadness. Barristan was her one link to her family and now she is left without that vital link to her heritage. In this season it seems the question that has been posed to Dany over and over again (not to mention Jon) is what kind of ruler will she be? Will she be kind and gentle and just or will she be vengeful and ruthless or will she somehow find a way to walk the tightrope between the two? This time she reacts with vengeance by having the leader of each of the great families of Meereen imprisoned. She then chooses to demonstrate her might by having her two remaining dragons, Viserion and Rhaegal, torch and eat one of the heads of family.
I don’t think this was the wrong approach. Dany’s greatest strength has always been those dragons and she needs to use them to her advantage. My frustration with Dany this season has been her wishy washyness. I want her to find her power and her way of ruling and stick to it.
Up at the wall Sam reads news of Dany to Maester Aemon. I found this scene very touching. As far as Aemon knows he and Dany are the only two Targaryens left in the world. You could see his concern for her and his desire for his family’s legacy to continue written all over his face.
Jon then came in to seek Aemon’s advice.
The most important part about his interaction isn’t the actual decision Jon is struggling with it is the piece of advice Aemon give him. He tells Jon, “Kill the boy. Let the man be born.” Isn’t that the perfect line to sum up both Jon and Dany’s current situation? The again it is the perfect line to explain the transition from childhood to adulthood we all must make.
We find out that the choice Jon made was to give the order to bring the Wildings onto the side of the Night’s watch. He wants to allow them to cross over to the other side of the wall before winter arrives so that they can survive and not have to face the White Walkers. However, Jon is met with lots of resistance from wildings, crows and even little Olly. Yet, Jon is dedicated to his decision and I appreciate that.
A brief check in with Brienne and Pod reveals to us that Brienne believes that Sansa is in danger even if she doesn’t know it. Duh…All due respect Brienne I think Sansa knows she’s in danger. Brienne then seems to be gaging who is on the Bolton’s side and who might still be loyal to the Starks.
At Winterfell we find that Ramsay’s lover, Myranda, is very upset that he is marrying Sansa. At this point I find Myranda more of a danger to Sansa that Ramsay. A jealous lover is always a danger. But Sansa isn’t alone, as is indicated by a servant who tells her how to call for help if she needs it. After this meeting Sansa returns to the tower where Bran was pushed from all those seasons ago. It was interesting watching Sansa stand at the bottom of that tower. I hated season 1 Sansa but now I do feel a bit sorry for Season 5 Sansa. Goodness knows she’s paid the price for her own bad choices early on. One can only wonder what would have become of the Starks if Bran hadn’t climbed that tower only to see Jamie and Cersei having sex. A few moments later Sansa is forced to confront a different link to her past when Myranda approaches her. Myranda sends Sansa down a dark corridor. At first I thought Sansa was going to find the rotting bodies of the two boys that were supposed to Bran and Rickon but instead she finds a broken Theon/Reek. I found the interaction between Sansa and Theon/Reek devastating. He tells her that she shouldn’t be there. There is something about the way that Reek in interacts with Sansa. It makes be believe that there is still a tiny bit of Theon left alive in that shell of a man, and the good part is the part that is still alive. As for Sansa, I can only imagine the flood of emotions that washed over her when she saw Theon. I’m sure part of her absolutely hates him for betraying her family. Yet, in many ways Theon was her fifth brother. There was once affection there. If Sansa had anybody to confide in we might find out how she feels about what he’s become but since she’s all alone we have to guess
Reek does fess up to Ramsay that Sansa saw her. Then in a meal from hell Sansa and Ramsay and Roose and Roose’s wife all toy with each other.
In a moment for rare belly fire Sansa declares to Roose’s wife “This isn’t a strange place. This is my home. It’s the people who are strange.” I really enjoyed seeing Sansa fight back, even if it was just a little bit. Ramsay then makes Reek/Theon apologize to Sansa for killing Bran and Rickon. Once again I believe you could see the real Theon behind the eyes of Reek as he issued this apology. But is that sliver that’s left strong enough to emerge? Then the twisted mind of Ramsay comes up with the idea for Reek/Theon to give Sansa away at their wedding. I shudder to think that Sansa is about to get married a second time to somebody she has not romantic feelings towards at all. This whole meal scene was clearly an effort on Ramsay’s part to show off his power but when Roose reveals his wife is pregnant the wind is taken out of Ramsay’s sails.
If Roose can legitimize his bastard then I’m sure Ramsay is afraid that if his father has a boy then he could be un-legitimized. Yet, these two men need each other. Ramsay needs Roose to give him legitimacy and Roose needs Ramsay to fight against Stannis who he knows is coming.
Back that the wall we learn that Sam once wanted to be a Maester and that Gilly feels very inferior because of where she comes from. We also learn that Sam’s father once defeated Robert in a battle and that it was the only battle the Robert ever lost. Stannis seems very interested in how Sam managed to kill a White Walker. Not wanting to wait any longer to make his big move Stannis makes his move and begins to march his army toward Winterfell. It seems very obvious that the big action episode of this season will involve a battle for Winterfell.
In Meereen, Grey Worm feels that he has failed and is comforted by Missandei. I found this to be a very touching scene. Without Ser Barristan to advise her Dany asks Missandei for advice. Dany then chooses to try to find a middle ground by re-opening the fighting pits but declares that slavery will not return. She also says she will marry into a power family in Meereen to try to win back the trust of the people of Meereen. I found myself, once again, frustrated with Dany. She backs away from being ruthless. Seriously, just pick a path girl. I’m starting to run out of patience with you and I’ve always been on her side.
The episode wrapped up with Tyrion and Jorah going by Valeria before going to Meereen. Tyrion is in awe as he sees Drogon fly above.
Then all hell breaks loose. Valeria is now full of the Stonemen, men who have gone mad from grayscale, and they attack. It was a very intense scene in which Tyrion is pulled underwater by one. However, Jorah saves him but in the last moment of the episode we learn that Jorah was touched by one of the Stonemen and he now has Greyscale. Having lied to Tyrion about getting touched he is now in a race against time. A race to get Tyrion to Dany and a race before the greyscale turns him into a Stoneman himself.
I can’t believe we are already halfway through season five.
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