Game of Thrones Rewatch: Season Five Episode Five “Kill the Boy” and Episode Six “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

Continuing my reposting of articles originally posted on the old site. Spoilers abound.

Episode title: Kill the Boy

Director: Jeremy Podeswa

Written by: Bryan Cogman

Summary: Brienne and Podrick arrive at an inn not far from Winterfell. When their conversation is interrupted by a servant, Brienne speaks to him and determines he is still loyal to the Starks. She arranges for a message to be delivered to Sansa that if she is ever in trouble, she should light a candle in Winterfell’s highest tower, and help will arrive.

Myranda speaks with Sansa, and shows her to the kennels where Reek, formerly Theon Greyjoy, lives. At dinner, Ramsay forces Reek to apologize to Sansa for murdering Bran and Rickon, despite being aware that Reek did not kill them. Annoyed by Ramsay’s petty cruelty, Roose announces that he and Walda are expecting a child.


News of the events in Meereen reach Sam and Maester Aemon. Aemon laments that he is Daenerys’s only remaining relative, and that he is too old and sickly to help her. Aemon tells Jon that he must “kill the boy and let the man be born,” indicating that as Lord Commander, Jon must do what he feels is right. Afterward, Jon meets with Tormund and frees him. Tormund tells Jon that most of the wildlings have made their way to a settlement called Hardhome, and that in order to unite them and forge an alliance, Jon must accompany him to speak with them himself. In the library, Sam tells Gilly about how he had always wanted to become a Maester before joining the Night’s Watch. Later, Stannis tells Ser Davos that they will march toward Winterfell in the morning.


Daenerys and Daario mourn Barristan in the Great Pyramid, and Daenerys orders the leaders of the great families of Meereen to be brought before her, including Hizdahr. She has her dragons Viserion and Rhaegal burn and eat one of the leaders, and imprisons the others. Later, Daenerys consults with Missandei on how to deal with the Sons of the Harpy, and Missandei points out that Daenerys has always had the ability to find solutions that nobody else could see. Inspired by Missandei’s words, Daenerys meets with Hizdahr in his cell, and informs him that she will reopen the fighting pits, and that in order to make peace with the people of Meereen, she will marry him.


Tyrion deduces that Jorah is taking a shortcut through the ruins of Valyria. They see Drogon fly overhead before they are attacked by a group of stone men, victims of the leprosy-like disease greyscale, who have been turned feral by the disease. Tyrion is forced overboard but is saved from drowning by Jorah, and the two set camp on a small sandbar. Jorah leaves to gather firewood, and checking his wrist, finds the beginnings of a greyscale lesion.

My take: One of the overall themes of this season is retaining power once you have attained it, and it’s demonstrated by most of the plotlines in this show. Starting with Dany, I feel that she wants to be loved rather than feared. She takes her cities by conquest, but then falls in love with the idea of “mother,” but offers no viable structure to replace what has been destroyed, as shown by the elderly former slave who wishes to sell himself back to his former master. She refuses to negotiate, saying her will is absolute, but seems unwilling to enforce that will, and when she does, her people riot. Jon is elected by a narrow margin, but has difficulty maintaining loyalty in his men when the policies he wishes to enact are unpopular, which will lead to mutiny.

Roose Bolton has taken the North by treachery, and his key ally, Tywin, is dead. He states that if the other houses were to unite against him, they would be overwhelmed, and having Ramsey randomly flay his bannermen will only serve to anger them, but I doubt that Roose knows any other way. The Starks were loved because they ruled fairly, Robb once said that Ned saw himself as a father to his people, but Roose has not given the North reason to follow him.

Cersei sees her influence fading once Tommen is married. She arms the Faith in order to wipe out the Tyrells, but it works against her, and the Tyrells learn that throwing money at a problem won’t make it go away. In all these cases, you are seeing populist uprisings: the Faith, the Sons of the Harpy, the Wildlings, maybe the North. Dany later says that she wants to smash the wheel, destroying the system. That may already be happening beyond her control to survive it.

Changes from the books: Jorah and Tyrion never went near Valyria. Tyrion did encounter Stone Men, but in The Sorrows region of the river north of Volantis. Jorah was never infected with Greyscale. Tyrion’s companion who saved him from the Stone Men and ended up infected was actually Jon Connington. Selyse, Sheeren and Melisandre stayed at Castle Black when Stannis set out. Sansa never sees Theon, because in the novels, it is her friend Jeyne Poole, masquerading as Arya Stark, who is betrothed to Ramsay. Jeyne does indeed see Theon, who immediately recognizes her but remains silent in order to protect her.

Nudity: Myranda and Ramsey nude having sex.

Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, Braavos, Meereen, Dorne

Death Count: Dany feeds a Meerenese nobleman to her dragons.

Quotes: Maester Aemon: Kill the boy, And the let the man be born.

Tyrion Lannister: Long, sullen silences and an occasional punch in the face. The Mormont Way.


Episode title: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

Director: Jeremy Podeswa

Written by: Bryan Cogman

Summary: Arya continues her training with the Faceless Men, washing the bodies of those that die in the temple. Some time later, a man brings his sick daughter to the temple so that she can die in peace. After she cleans the body, Arya is taken by Jaqen to a chamber underneath the temple, where the Faceless Men store the faces of all the people that have died in the temple. Jaqen tells Arya that she is not yet ready to become “no one”, but she is ready to become “someone else”.


Trystane and Myrcella walk through the Water Gardens, and make plans to marry one another. Meanwhile, Jaime and Bronn disguise themselves as Dornish guards and infiltrate the gardens. Bronn knocks out Trystane and Jaime moves to take Myrcella but they are ambushed by the Sand Snakes. Jaime and Bronn battle with them briefly before more Dornish guards, led by Areo Hotah, arrive and arrest both groups. Ellaria Sand is also arrested for orchestrating the planned kidnapping.


Jorah and Tyrion are captured by slavers, who plan to take the pair to Volantis for sale. After the leader of the slavers, Malko, mentions that Daenerys Targaryen has reopened the fighting pits in Meereen, Tyrion convinces the slavers to take them to Meereen instead, saying that Jorah is an accomplished warrior and can earn the slavers more money in the pits.


Littlefinger meets with Cersei, who has started to question where his loyalties lie. He assures her that he is loyal to the throne, and informs her that Sansa is alive in Winterfell and is set to marry Ramsay Bolton. Cersei is infuriated at the Boltons’ apparent treachery, but Petyr convinces her that he has already set up a plan to deal with the situation. He informs her of Stannis Baratheon’s impending attack on the Boltons and asks to lead the knights of the Vale to Winterfell to destroy whatever is left of the victor. In return, he asks to be named Warden of the North, a condition Cersei agrees to. At Loras’ holy inquest, the High Sparrow interrogates both Loras and Margaery Tyrell, and they both deny that Loras is homosexual. Olyvar is then brought in and testifies against Loras, also noting that Margaery had seen them in bed together. After Loras, enraged, attempts to attack Olyvar, the High Sparrow is convinced that there is enough evidence to proceed with Loras’ trial. He also orders Margaery arrested as well for lying during the holy inquest.


Reek arrives to take Sansa to the Godswood, where she is then married to Ramsay. Afterward, Ramsay takes her to his chambers and orders her to undress. When Reek tries to leave, Ramsay orders him to stay and watch, and proceeds to rape Sansa, to Reek’s distress.

My take: Myrcella 2.0. Don’t you hate it when you’re making out with a boy and your dad shows up with his greasy friend? Boy the Sand Snakes suck. They can’t take on two middle aged guys with three working hands between them? It’s hard to blame Olyvar for confessing after what he witnessed in the brothel. He had to save his own skin.

Naturally, this was an upsetting episode. When I read the book and read what Jeyne Poole’s marriage to Ramsey was like, it was upsetting. So when Sansa was taking over Jenye’s storyline I was hoping it wasn’t going to happen. Sansa is not raped in the books, and I didn’t want this to happen to her. Some of the comments I read at the time suggested that Sansa was raped to forward Theon’s story, and I can see that, since that is what Jenye’s function in the books was.

Changes from the books: Margaery Tyrell was arrested due to rumors that she was unfaithful to Tommen, rumors that were mostly invented by Cersei. Ramsay marries Jeyne Poole under the guise of Arya Stark, not Sansa. Theon was forced to participate in Ramsay and Jeyne’s wedding night by stripping her clothes and performing oral sex on her to “warm her up”, before he is made to watch. The Sand Snakes planned to spark a war with the Lannisters, but with different means: Obara wanted to go to war directly, Nymeria wanted to assassinate certain key Lannisters and Tyene wanted to make Myrcella Queen of Westeros as their puppet, sparking the war they all wanted. It was a different group led by Arianne Martell, Doran’s daughter and heir, instead of Ellaria Sand, who tried to carry out Tyene’s same plan: to crown Myrcella. No one planned to harm her. During the skirmish with Areo Hotah, Myrcella is attacked and scarred by a rogue knight, Ser Gerold “Darkstar” Dayne, who flees capture, while the Kingsguard protecting Myrcella, Ser Arys Oakheart, makes a mad charge towards the Dornish forces and is killed by Hotah.

Nudity: none

Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, Braavos, Meereen, Dorne

Death Count: Young terminal girl, poisoned by Arya in the House of Black and White

Quotes: Malko: The dwarf lives until we find a cock merchant.

Olranna: You can smell the shit from five miles away.