Review – Game of Thrones – Season 5, Episode 5

"Kill the boy and let the man be born..."
Halfway through the season and we’re back in Meereen, where Daenerys finally finds her balls. Pissed off about Barristan’s death and Grey Worm’s injuries, she rounds up the heads of all the old Meereenese families for Dragon feeding time! But later she decides to release them all and, uh, marry that one guy that’s always hanging around. She IS reopening the fighting pits though, so that’s something. That’s our Dany, two steps forward, one step back.

News about Dany’s plight reaches the Wall just as Jon Snow forges an uneasy alliance with the remaining wildlings, offering them shelter in the north from the coming winter in exchange for their help with Stannis’ war effort. The rest of the Night’s Watch is obviously unhappy, especially the little archer boy that killed Ygrette. Stannis decides not to wait for Jon before he marches towards Winterfell, but not before questioning Sam about his encounter with the White Walker and encouraging his continued research. That Stannis, what a guy!

Speaking of Winterfell, Brienne and Pod manage to get the message to Sansa that she still has allies there. She then encounters Ramsey’s side piece Miranda, who leads her to Theon’s dog cage. Later at dinner it’s decided that he’ll be the one to give Sansa away at the wedding, being the closest thing she has left to any family as far as they know. Ramsey gets his comeuppance though in the form of his father having an actual, non-bastard son on the way. We’re then treated to Ramsey’s lovely origin story, his father having raped his mother after killing her husband and only deciding not to murder little Ramsey at the last minute once he showed up on the doorstep. A wonderful sentiment for Mother’s Day. Ramsey still pledges allegiance to Roose though, especially after receiving the news that Stannis is on the war path!

And finally we catch up with Tyrion and Jorah’s jungle cruise to Meereen, making it’s way through the abandoned wastes of Valyria, they wax poetic about the city’s destruction. Distracted by a flyover from one of Daenerys’ dragons they hardly notice an ambush by Stone Men, they of the same affliction as Stannis’ Daughter, but driven mad by the condition having covered their entire bodies. Tyrion is dragged to the bottom of the lake but heroically saved by Jorah, who is touched by a Stone Man in the skirmish and is now doomed to share their fate. He might have to lose that arm, where’s Michonne with her katana when you need her?

Here at the season’s mid point we seem to be set up for a kick ass way to the end. Stannis ought to be showing up in Winterfell just in time to crash the doomed Bolton/Stark nuptials, and with Tyrion and Jorah in Meereen, Jamie in Bron in Dorne and Jon Snow’s further adventures over the wall, even more shit will be hitting the fan. The end of the season is coming, even faster than winter, and if GoT’s show runners can stick the landing their curious experiment with having very little book material to adapt will be a successful one.


Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.
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