Season Five is where Game of Thrones lost all the readers who loved the intricately crafted jewel that is A Song of Ice and Fire. The only reason I’m watching this show at all now is that I promised Acadia I’d review it. Two more seasons sounds more like a chore than the Sunday night anticipation it was when I started.
There’s no way to write about this episode without big reveals and giant spoilers. If you haven’t watched it yet come back and scream at me in the comments. It will be like primal therapy internet style.
Jon Snow can’t be dead. I didn’t believe it at the end of the fifth book either. He’s just too essential to the story. They even revealed he’s the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen on TV. The only other reason to have a blood line like that is to be nuclear fuel for one of Melisandre’s fire incantations.
“We did the Tony Soprano walk [to tell an actor they’re going to die]. And they said, ‘Look, you’re gone, it’s done.” -The death of Jon Snow
What happens if I’m wrong? Maybe the whole R+L=J theory is just George Martin giggling at us. I’m ok with that. When an author does something like that I say: Good for you. Then I never read anything else written by that author. I’m a very unforgiving reader when it comes to violating my head space with plot twists that just exist because a writer is clever.
People are already researching season 6 to find out if Kit Harrington has billing. One of the biggest spoiler factories is whether the actor has a contract because nobody in Westeros is absolutely dead. Kit Harrington told Entertainment Weekly: “I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season.” but nobody actually believes him. In the novels Thoros of Myr (another of those pesky red priests. He’s still pretty creepy even if he doesn’t make princess smores) has brought back Beric Dondarrian so many times the knight is a fruit loop. Jaqen H’gar was a face changer. Catelyn Stark isn’t dead just missing on TV. Gregore Clegane is only mostly dead. Hell if someone could find Ned Stark’s head he probably wouldn’t be dead either. The show could use some Sean Bean about now.
Melisandre isn’t dead. She took off when she realized Stannis wasn’t the chosen one. All those bonfires and she can’t tell Azor Ahai the god R’hollor’s legendary hero from a want-to-be king with a stick up his backside. Did Stannis die well? In real history that moment when the much larger Bolton army shows up is when royalty usually starts shouting: My Kingdom for a Horse!
I promised a friend I wouldn’t go on about how unhappy I am with what they did with Stannis last week. Now that we all know it was just a set up for the now obligatory major character slaughter that punctuates every TV season I’m even unhappier. Stannis was a ruthless man and ultimately doomed but it was out of character for him to burn Shireen for no good reason. Think about all the characters that would have brought popcorn to a little girl fire. The longer that list is in your head the more this point is made. The whole thing with immediate punishment for an evil act is just atypical for Game of Thrones even if it is a hammy Hollywood formula.
“Do your duty.” Stannis tells Brienne when she finds him among the dead. Which duty would that be? It’s fairly atypical for Brienne to not be there when Sansa lights that candle in the window. Good thing Reek remembers he’s Theon and throws Myranda out the window. I guess torturing Sansa everywhere but the lady parts was too much for old Reek. At this point I don’t care how crazy that is I’m just cheering for a feel good death. So Brienne is missing and Sansa and Theon are over the ramparts and in the snow. They were both raised by Ned Stark. With all that “Winter is Coming” nonsense those kids are like survivalist family survivors. They’ll make an igloo or something.
The girl took a life that was not hers to take.
In Braavosi why cane and defile one girl when you can have three. *gasp* That third girl not reacting to the beating is Arya. It’s a magic face from the Faceless Men’s sanctuary. In a civilized world I’d be worried about someone who stabs a pedophile in the eyes then continues to slash wildly while reciting an impressive soliloquy. It’s Game of Thrones. Two feel good deaths in one show!
The Braavosi version of putting the little psycho in a straightjacket is to have her blinded. Since this is a story where the dead come back to life with appalling regularity I’m not too worried that Arya’s path to becoming a Holy Master Assassin is blocked. Even if she stays blind there’s a long history of blind Kung Fu masters on TV. We’ll find out more when George Martin publishes the sixth book in a couple of decades.
While I have liked Siddig El Fadil since Deep Space Nine the whole plot line in Dorne could have been axed in favor of a number of others that hit the cutting room floor. I’m convinced that the showrunners thought the Sand Snakes were going to be the next big thing thrilling the audience instead of coming off as a bunch of whiny girls. It just goes to show how much talent Scarlett Johansson has to bring a character like Black Widow to life. So anyway Myrcella knew who her daddy was and she falls victim to poison and Prince Doran admits he was plotting to over throw the Lannisters and help Danny. *Yawn*
The Left Behind gang in Mereen isn’t sure what to do. Tyrion wants to go with the warriors but he’s stuck with the eunuchs and whatever Missandei is. Wait! When I said eunuch I didn’t mean Varys. As Dany’s testosterone squad rides out the Spider rides in. I can’t imagine a stadium full of assassins with Varys around. Things are finally looking interesting across the narrow sea. Well once Dany gets back from her vacation in the middle of the Dothraki Sea (All that grass). Maybe the Dothraki are about to get reminded they have a Khaleesi!
I’ve been waiting a long time for Cersei’s walk of atonement. All she has to do is walk naked and barefoot from the High Sept to the Red Keep. She’s a lot more sympathetic on TV but I still felt her pain in the book as she suffers that long journey with her pride intact. She makes it to the keep. Qyburn meets her with a cloak and the latest addition to the King’s Guard. The Mountain has been raised from the dead!
“It’s the Lord of Light brings you back. I’m just a lucky drunk who says the words.” ~ Thoros of Myr to Beric Dondarrian
There’s an odd mix of science and magic here. Even stripped of his Maester’s chain Qyburn is still a kind of scientist. He’s just Dr Mengele doing forbidden experiments. Does this mean that you don’t have to have princess bonfires to resurrect people since up till now that’s been a perk of knowing a red priest? (Or Lady Stoneheart who got her powers from a Red Priest) Who the hell cares? Everyone knows that Melisandre is back in Castle Black to resurrect Jon Snow and that’s all that counts.