Sometimes Game of Thrones can be so intense with the raping and murdering that we don’t get a chance to really dive into who these characters are and what motivates them. It’s a key part to story development that can be left unappreciated. Last night’s “Kill the Boy” had all the makings of senseless slaughter in its title, but it was symbolic for the changes in maturation that Sansa Stark, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen have to make on their path to becoming leaders. The change in pace was a welcome one, and the extra focus on each story gave them a better sense of depth.
Mother’s Day: For all of those that ditched their moms to watch Game of Thrones, it was a neat little inclusion to have Daenerys go on about motherly responsibilities and such. It was also kind of nice to see her feed the head of one of the ancient families to her dragons.
Maester Aemon’s presence: After his notable absence from the last episode, Maester Aemon is clearly the voice of reason and neutrality in what has otherwise been dogs fighting over scraps. He’s basically been the steady hand patting Jon Snow on the back for his unsure decisions. While Jon is an honorable leader, he seems to lack the strategic know-how that made Robb the great commander he was before death. Aemon’s (or his successor’s) steady hands could help Jon see things more clearly
Miranda’s games: I’m a fan of when anybody pulls one over on Ramsay, as he is one slippery fish. By letting Sansa know about Reek, she’s started planting seeds in her head that Ramsay is an undesirable candidate for marriage. It might not work, because in the realm of Sansa’s betrothals, Ramsay is only second-worst. It could, however, trick Ramsay into showing his chest just enough to embarrass himself and lose his father’s favor.
Ramsay and Roose, as people: It’s easy to dismiss Ramsay and Roose Bolton as villains from the get-go, but when Game of Thrones spends more time on their individual stories… well, it’s actually even easier to define them as the bad guys. “Kill the Boy” gives a much more detailed look at who they are as people. They are from the North, and yet, they differ wildly from the Starks or the Mormonts. In their own eyes, they are not evil, and that makes their perspective all the more intriguing. Although, the loving father-child speech Roose gives is far less convincing than Stannis’ talk with Shireen.
Poetry in motion: This episode had a certain elegance to it. There wasn’t really any action (barbecue notwithstanding), yet the extra detail they paid to each scene made it feel more enveloped. The scene that left the best impression was the poem about The Doom that Jorah and Tyrion recited. Prior to Season 5, a teaser was released of Harry Lloyd (who played Viserys Targaryen) reciting the poem. It’s chilling stuff.
Rigorous Cuddling: Finally, Grey Worm professes his love… kinda… for Missandei. These two have been dancing around the issue for too damn long! Now that Grey Worm and Missandei have locked lips, it’s time to take the relationship to the next level. Grey Worm doesn’t need a professional cuddler anymore; he’s got the real deal. I hope this relationship continues to grow, but it will probably end horribly for everyone.
The Pink Panthers: Let’s be honest. Brienne and Podrick’s meandering have no bearing on what’s actually going on. They’re so convinced that they are making a difference, and that their mission is a righteous one. They aren’t, and it isn’t. It’s almost comical how irrelevant and unnecessary their mission is at this point. I’m sure that will change eventually, but right now it’s making them both look stupid.
Sansa. Still: Logic says that if a bunch of people murdered my family and came into my home that I would have a good sense of stranger danger – not Sansa. Miranda easily lures her into the kennels, filled with ferocious beasts. She has not learned a damn thing. I couldn’t imagine her becoming Wardeness of the North. I would feel so bad for those people.
Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things (Odds and Ends)
The Broken Tower: Brienne passes on a message to Sansa about lighting a candle in the top of The Broken Tower. That tower is the same one where all the ridiculousness started, where little Bran saw Cersei and Jaime doing the sex and was consequentially pushed from it. Stupid tower started a chain reaction of misfortune for everybody.
Awkward: I haven’t seen a more awkward family dinner since Jesse came over to the White residence on Breaking Bad. It’s embarrassing enough having to endure dinner with the people who murdered your brother and mother, but bringing in the dickless former ward of your dead father who pretend murdered your little brothers has got to make for a terrible time. These people are practically the Anti-Starks. Even Walder Fray’s greasy daughter Walda could ease the tension.
Stannis, the Grammar Nazi: All this time, we were led to believe that in Westeros, the scum of the Earth who took womenhood without permission were referred to as rapers, but after Stannis refers to them as “rapists,” were we fooled by bad grammar all along? Stannis knows his grammar, and was quick to check the Night’s Watch guy on his use of “fewer.” I’m beginning to like Stannis more each episode.
The Stone men: In “The Son of the Harpy,” Stannis tells Shireen that the case of Greyscale she had could be a lot worse, that he was advised to send her to Valyria and be with the Stone Men. Well, good thing ol Poppa Stannis has a heart, because you can imagine the homecoming a little girl would have gotten with those guys. Now that Jorah has the Greyscale, the question isn’t “How long will he live,?” but rather “Who will he give it to?” If he’s already turning into Ben Grimm after a few hours, imagine how easily he’ll spread it to unsuspecting people. Jorah will do anything to redeem his honor in the eyes of his Khaleesi, but at what cost? Can you imagine the city of Meereen victim to a plague of Greyscale? There’s not enough Lubriderm in the world to keep the disease from spreading.
Hodor Hodors (Best Quotes)
“But a good mother never gives up on her children.” – Daenerys
“Of course I do. I’m not blind.” – Ramsay, upon being asked if he thought Sansa was pretty
“Long, sullen silences and an occasion punch in the face – the Mormont way.” – Tyrion
Who won the Game of Thrones this episode?
Daenerys came out hard this week, rocking the Power Girl boob window. The chilling speech she gave before having one of the head of house sacrificed to her dragons rekindled the Daenerys of old, and pretty much cleared any question of her ability to rule I had. It was also an appropriate metaphor for her not to wipe out the people now who oppose her – and once called her Mhysa (Mother). Daario was partially right; her power resides in her dragons, and she should use them as such. However, her real power resides in capturing the trust of her people. Her decision to marry Hizdahr zo Loraq is an obvious power play, and a smart one to unite the city under her control. She has Hizdahr under her thumb, and although he can sometimes convince her to see the other side of the argument, she is never tricked into a decision she disagrees with. Some might see the marriage as a step back for her as a strong, female character, but it’s pretty obvious she is using his status to get what she wants.
Hush Comics gives “Kill the Boy” a B+ for using a slow episode to take the time and show some depth and humanity to its roster of characters.
All media credited to HBO