How can you give me an episode that’s so intense yet at the same time leave me feeling everything is wrong?

There is logic to good narrative. Even after setting aside the numerous confusing deviations from the books you can’t have Stannis telling Shireen she is the future of House Baratheon one week and letting Melisandre make little girl Smores the next.

“Because you did not belong across the world with the bloody stone-men,” he told her at the time. “You are the princess Shireen of the House Baratheon and you are my daughter.” –Stannis Baratheon

I’m becoming more convinced that the showrunners think we’re here to see naked Australian extras and swordplay. They sure as hell don’t have any respect for character and plot. Stannis is now irrevocably grotesque and the events of Game of Thrones are twisted beyond my imagination. Stannis is supposed to be the King that represents the rule of law. He saves Davos but chops off his hand because that’s what the law demands. Now he’s just a filthy monster like the rest of them.

“But it was GRRM’s idea!” Internet fan boys shout. I don’t care. The author is a mass murderer of some of the best characters fantasy writing has ever seen. He also offs our favorites in ways that are unquestionably consistent with their character and the plot. There’s no Stannis simpering about Shireen in the books. If he ends up killing her on the page there will be a reason not just a plot twist worthy of a shoddy telenovela. If he does…well GRRM is an old TV hand and knows cash comes first especially when it’s filling his pocket. He’s an ardent defender of the show’s deviations because he’s getting paid. If it translates to the page I’ll just stop reading. There are a lot of door stop novels that can occupy my time.

The Crows let Jon through the gate with his wildling friends. Being the articulate guy he is Jon isn’t very good at explaining that the army of the dead is just so freaking scary that politics don’t matter anymore. Then again there’s a giant. I love giants, especially ice giants. Who cares what Alliser Thorne and the rest of the scum think when you’ve got a giant strolling around the fort? Good god is this what Game of Thrones has come to? Cheering for the CGI creatures?

Arya is distracted from her Holy Assassin mission by one of the first names on her KOS list (Kill On Sight). If you remember way back when Game of Thrones made sense Trant killed Sirio Forel the Braavosi sword master who faced the fully armored King’s Guard with a stick. In order to make sure we know Trant is a sadistic bastard that deserves a dose of the Needle he’s revealed to be a pedophile that rapes and brutalizes girls. It’s almost like the writers are saying look Stannis isn’t all that bad at least he doesn’t rape little girls.


Prince Doran is clever. There’s some motive in freeing Jaime and letting Myrcella and her prince return to King’s Landing. I’d be more excited about what sort of clever move was afoot if the writers hadn’t destroyed Stannis for a cheap thrill. What could be a clever ploy waiting for the dragons and their mother could just be another clown move on the part of the TV people.

Of course since nobody in Dany’s entourage seems to be able to check for golden Harpy masks it’s going to take the intervention of GRRM to save her…or a dragon. Look Jorah is trying to kill Dany! No he’s not that’s a Son of the Harpy. Fight Daario, fight Jorah, fight unsullied, oh no it’s hopeless. Drogon to the rescue! He does fly off with mommy after toasting some slavers but I’m pretty sure Jorah and the boys will be all right. Ok I admit I liked it even though it was a deviation. Dany taking to the sky is the high point of Book Five and she takes her birthright on screen just as well. CGI critters saving my Game of Thrones day again.

Vintage Krampus Holiday Card

Still not as bad as Stannis