Thus far in season 5, Cersei has allied herself with religious fanatics; Jaime is on a covert mission to the dangerous country of Dorne; Tyrion is on his way to meet the Mother of Dragons; Daenerys has a group of murderers and her wild dragons to deal with; Sansa is engaged to Ramsay Bolton; Arya is becoming no one; and Jon Snow is Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Also, blood and boobs. Boobs everywhere.
Proceed with caution!
Across the Narrow Sea
In her pyramid, Dany mourns the death of Ser Barristan the Bold, her only connection to Westeros now that Ser Jorah is in exile. In an attempt to flush out information about who is behind the Sons of the Harpy, she has the leaders of the great houses of Meereen taken to the dungeon where two of her dragons are in chains. To intimidate her new prisoners, she lets the dragons set fire to (and subsequently consume) one of the leaders.
Needless to say, her children are more intimidating than Mushu.
Grey Worm is recovering from his wounds, and is ashamed that he felt scared at the thought of death. Missandei attempts to comfort him, telling him that he fought bravely and has no reason to feel penitent, and they finally share a kiss. (*squeee*) It’s a tiny bit weird, considering that in the books, she’s supposed to be 10 years old, but I fully ship them in the show.
Dany asks Missandei what she thinks should be done about the Sons of the Harpy, Dany’s prisoners, and the reopening of the fighting pits. Missandei is surprised to be asked, and says that she doesn’t think herself qualified to answer the question. Dany says that Missandei is perfectly able, and asks again. Missandei says that she has seen Dany both take heed of her counselors, and ignore them when there was a better choice, “one that only you could see.” An idea sparks in Dany’s head, and she goes to visit the cell where they are keeping Hizdahr zo Loraq. When he kneels at her feet, she confesses that he was right and she was wrong—she will not only reopen the fighting pits to free men, but she will also take a husband to forge a lasting bond with the people…a suitor who is already on his knees before her.
*cue frantic flipping through A Dance With Dragons*
The Ruins of Valyria
Tyrion and Ser Jorah approach the ruined city of Valyria (which has been substituted in place of the Sorrows), the ancestral home of the Targaryens. As Jorah steers the small boat, Drogon flies overhead, and Tyrion is shocked at finally seeing a real dragon. While the men are distracted by the unearthly sight, something splashes in the water behind them. They realize too late that they are being ambushed by Stone Men (those who have been afflicted by Greyscale and sent away to die in something akin to a leper colony). Ravaged by the highly infectious disease, the men are beyond reason, acting like brutal animals. Jorah fights them off, but Tyrion can do nothing as he is still tied up. He falls into the water, and is nearly dragged down into the depths by a stone man who has a hold of his shoe. Jorah rescues him, and unties him when he comes to. They decide to make camp and rest before continuing their journey. As Jorah walks away to find some firewood, we see that part of the skin on his arm is becoming patchy and mishapen, like Shireen Baratheon’s face.
Samwell Tarly reads reports about Dany to Maester Aemon (who, if you will remember, is her last surviving kin). The Maester says that it is a “terrible thing” to be alone in the world, and we are reminded that for many years, he thought that he was the last of House Targaryen. Jon interrupts them, requesting to speak to the Maester alone. Jon reveals that there is something he wants to do, but that he is worried it will divide the Night’s Watch. The Maester laughs, saying that half the Night’s Watch already hates their new Lord Commander, so he must trust his instincts and do what he thinks is best. “You’ll find little joy in your command,” he says, “but with luck you will find the strength to do what needs to be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow…and let the man be born.” Foreshadowing, anyone?
Later, Jon meets with Tormund Giantsbane, Mance’s former second in command. Jon offers the promise of peace with the Wildlings, if Tormund will go North to gather them. Jon says that he can give them passage past the Wall, and land to tend. He insists that he does not want the Wildlings to bow to him, but instead to fight with him when the White Walkers inevitably invade. Tormund agrees, but only if Jon will accompany him to relay the message to the Free Folk himself.
When Jon brings up his new peace treaty to the Night’s Watch, he is met with resistance. Although he explains that it is better to have the Wildlings fighting beside them, instead of becoming members of the dead army and fighting against them, many of the brothers cannot leave the past behind. (Insert Stannis’s grammar nazi mutterings here.) Jon chooses to go ahead with his plan, as it seems the best way to bolster their numbers before Winter arrives.
Speaking of White Walkers—Stannis goes to Sam and asks him how he was able to kill one even though he doesn’t look like a soldier. Sam tells the story of the dagger made of dragon glass, and says that he’s been attempting to research why it works. “We have to know how to fight them,” Stannis tells him. “Keep reading, Samwell Tarly.” Of all those attempting to sit on the Iron Throne, Stannis seems to be the only one who understands the threat the White Walkers pose to the Seven Kingdoms. Although I am a staunch defender of House Targaryen, I believe that Stannis would make a good king, if only because he truly cares about keeping the realms safe.
The next morning, Stannis and his army (including the Red Woman, his wife, and his daughter) depart for Winterfell.
fucktoy companion Myranda admits that she is jealous of Sansa Stark. After all, Ramsay had promised to marry Myranda back when he was still a bastard. When Ramsay brushes her comments aside, she says that maybe she’ll get married, too. Angry, because he’s a possessive son of a bitch, Ramsay becomes violent and tells her that she will always belong to him, unless she becomes boring.
We know what Ramsay does when he’s bored, don’t we? The Boltons are nothing if not vicious.
Sansa is visited by the old woman who took her to her chambers when she arrived at Winterfell. “You still have friends in the North,” she whispers. “If you’re ever in trouble, light a candle in the highest window of the Broken Tower…you’re not alone.” Although confused, Sansa seems both comforted and intrigued at the thought of there still being people who support the Starks. Feeling nostalgic, she goes to look up at the Broken Tower (where her brother Bran used to climb). She is joined by Myranda, who pays her compliments, and appears to want to gain Sansa’s trust. She takes Sansa to the kennels and lets her see Reek. Sansa is under the impression (as is everyone else) that Reek/Theon burnt Bran and Rickon alive when he took Winterfell, and can’t bear to even look at him.
At dinner that night, Ramsay forces Reek to apologize to Sansa for what he did. Irritated by Ramsay’s smugness, Roose Bolton and his wife Walda announce that they’re expecting a child. If it is a boy, it will displace Ramsay as heir (since he was born illegitimate, and his family name is on paper only). Obviously Ramsay is displeased with this news. After dinner, Roose tells Ramsay that he knows of Stannis Baratheon’s plans to take Winterfell on his way to King’s Landing, and asks for Ramsay’s assistance in defeating him. Ramsay appears mollified for the time being, but one must wonder what he will do to ensure his new position of power in the household.
For what it’s worth, I rather hope Stannis defeats the Boltons and comes to a truce with House Stark.
What comes next?
We revisit the places left out of “Kill the Boy,” laying eyes on Arya, Cersei, and the people of Dorne. Turmoil is afoot in King’s Landing, Littlefinger is back in town, and Arya’s training seems to finally begin. Can we cue the badassery?
Winter is coming.
The Collected Mutineer
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