Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 5: Don’t Hate the Flayer Hate the Game

The Targaryens (both secret and not) are at it again, executing people left and right:

The Good

  • Dany’s speech about not abandoning her children is interesting and adds to her Mhysha image, because it’s clear she’s not only talking about the dragons, but also about all the people of the city (masters included). Then she feeds one of the masters to her dragons, so I guess we can safely say she plays favorites.
  • On a side note, I’d like to mention that both serious contenders for Westeros’ Next Top Ruler execute people by burning them. Yet this does not unite their respective fan-bases who seem to take this similarity as an affront and, for the most part, hate each other.
  • Master Aemon talking about the Targaryens will always twist my heart in a painful but good way. Aemon advising Jon is just a bonus. It’s interesting to see that even an old man ascribes to the ancient Targaryen practice of singing “Shake it Off” and doing whatever you please.
  • That sizzling tension between Tormund and Jon: called it. Also every time someone calls Stannis “King Stannis”, an angel gets its wings. So thank you for that, Jon Snow.
  • You can tell a lot about people from whether they warmed up to Stannis because of the Shireen scene or because he is a stickler for proper grammar.
  • In this episode, Jon Snow proves why election vetting needs to last longer than ten minutes and the length of a few of Samwell Tarly’s homemade burns.
  • Grey Worm and Missandei are unbearably sweet and I hope their relationship is handled well.
  • My heart is warmed by thoughts of the North rallying around Sansa, Brienne helping her escape, and the Starks finally gaining some ground.
  • The ruins of Old Valyria and two disasters bonding over poetry. I haven’t lived until this moment.

The Bad

  • Barristan really is dead; he was not napping. Boo.
  • The show has apparently forgotten that the women of the free folk are nobody’s damsel in distress and wrote them as exactly that. Jon knows better.
  • Why Ramsey needs to be somewhat humanized by saying he loves Myranda is beyond me.
  • People really need to stop using “Winter is coming” whenever they’re trying to convince someone to do the practical thing. We get it, it’s a good line, please stop.
  • Pod is further reduced to a person that makes ridiculous and naive claims that would turn even an in-character Brienne into a snappish grump.
  • Edd reminding us that Grenn and Pyp were killed by wildlings and Theon telling Sansa that she shouldn’t be in Winterfell is not really doing much but fanning the flames of my discontent.
  • Did we really need Ramsey to ask his father how he could have possibly impregnated his wife? Especially since Roose didn’t make it a point to strongly (at least in a Roose way) tell him how much he actually likes his wife? Theirs is one of the most happy and stable relationships in the books (which is sad).
  • Theon’s apology for killing “Bran” and “Rickon” comes almost out of left field since their deaths weren’t really discussed by other characters and no one has mentioned they are thought dead for a while.
  • Missandei finally has more of a part to play when Daenerys asks for her advice. Unfortunately Missandei’s advice boils down to a pep-talk telling Daenerys that the world is her oyster and that if anyone can do it, she can.
  • As I have mentioned many times, whenever I hear someone justifying traditions in Meereen I get a rage headache. However, it will be interesting to see the fallout of Dany’s wedding to Hizdhar in later episodes.
  • After all this talk of greyscale, we finally get a horrifying glimpse into what it does to people. It is far more zombie-like than I imagined it, but if there was anyone who’d keep contracting it a secret that could potentially ruin him and everyone around him (because he probably thinks he’s special enough that it won’t turn him despite all indications that this is not true), it’d be Jorah. Oh, Jorah.

The Bolton Category (of things I refuse to label Good)

  • I am torn between accepting the fact that Myranda has some sort of agency in the show (even if, at the end of the day, she is someone in a very unhealthy relationship) and hating the fact that they made a woman that was tortured by Ramsey join and seemingly revel in his torturing of others. Especially when it’s shown as some sort of kink.
  • While the Ramsey/Theon dynamic is being adapted fairly well and it effectively portrays an abusive relationship, it will be a cold day in hell when I put it in a category titled Good.
  • Roose Bolton has always been one of the scariest characters in the series and his recollection of the circumstances surrounding Ramsey’s conception is a good reminder that Ramsey is actually a shadow of his father’s evil.

This post is brought to you with help from the lovely Nikki who saved us all from the typos. 

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