Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 5 “Kill The Boy” – Written Recap Round-Up

We’re officially halfway through Season 5 and writer Bryan Cogman started off on a high note!

Dany roasted the Masters and the Boltons had a dinner party in this week’s episode “Kill The Boy”.

And don’t forget WotW’s own Sullied and Unsullied reviews!

Reviews for Book Readers: 

Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post

Laura Hudson, Wired 

Myles McNutt, A.V. Club

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone

Charlie Jane Anders, io9

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian

Neil Miller, Film School Rejects

Eric Dodds, Time

Elio Garcia, Westeros.org

Chris Mandle, The Week

Ron Hogan, Den of Geek 

 

Unsullied Book-Spoiler-Free Recaps:

Andy Greenwald, Grantland

Laura Stone, Hey, Don’t Judge Me

Richard Rushfield (for this week), Hitfix

Erik Adams, A.V. Club

Nina Shen Rastogi, Vulture

David Malitz, Washington Post

Libby Hill, Salon 

Let us know what you thought of this week’s reviews in the comments below!

42 responses

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    1. SerDuncanTheTall,

      Yes, they moved the location of the Stone Men from the ruins of Chroyane to the ruins of Valyria. Given they cut the boat trip down the Rhoyne, I was happy to see not every element of that storyline was lost.

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    2. I just loved Sean T. Collins’s comparison of the Valyria poem recited by Tyrion and Jorah to Shelley’s Ozymandias. That amazing poem applied most eloquently to Breaking Bad and, possibly even more so, to GoT S5/ADwD.

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    3. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      SerDuncanTheTall,

      Yes, they moved the location of the Stone Men from the ruins of Chroyane to the ruins of Valyria.Given they cut the boat trip down the Rhoyne, I was happy to see not every element of that storyline was lost.

      I was happy to see that part too. it’s just that i was disappointed by “Valyria”. The whole mystery surrounding the Doom is because of the fact that people can’t get anywhere near Valyria and be heard from again (supposedly). Negating this by having what is effectively a smuggling route is not only stupid, but also unnecessary. if this is Valyria proper, they’ve butchered it, if it’s like a river near the painted mountains, it’s okay. For me the main islands should be like The Mordor, but it’s just my opinion.

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    4. Thanks for this round-up. I loved Andy Greenwald’s review, and especially what he wrote about the Valyria sequence. That was the high-point of the episode for me. I have watched that sequence too many times to count already.

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    5. Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys to use mercy and not kill innocent people? Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys her father was a power-hungry lunatic that burned innocent people alive in front of him out of paranoia? Hey guys remember that time Daenerys did all those things right after Barristan Selmy died?

      Good times.

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    6. Renly’s Peach:
      Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys to use mercy and not kill innocent people? Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys her father was a power-hungry lunatic that burned innocent people alive in front of him out of paranoia? Hey guys remember that time Daenerys did all those things right after Barristan Selmy died?

      Good times.

      Hahahahahaha nice. A+

        Quote  Reply

    7. Thanks for the round-up. I love Laura Stone! I tend to gravitate toward the more “fun” unsullied recaps. Love Tormund as Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër 😀

      Jordan Yerman for The Vancouver Observer is similar if you enjoy that style too 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    8. I always forget to bring this up, so forgive its off-topicness! If nothing else, arguing about this might give everyone a break from arguing about book changes 😀
      ——————–

      Has there ever been any official word on Brienne’s surname? It’s almost certainly not Tarth. Why?
      “of Tarth” is a place name – her family lands. If she was referred to as “Brienne of House Tarth,” that would be different.

      It may be “Evenstar,” though. Why? We are told that the head of the Norrey family is referred to (in the Scots fashion) as “the Norrey.” Brienne’s father is known as “the Evenstar,” so it seems much more likely to me.

      What do you folks think?

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    9. KG,

      I imagine she’s trying to distance herself from the noble connotations of being a lord’s daughter. She goes by Brienne of Tarth, because that sounds more like a commoner hedge knight name, think Thoros of Myr, Duncan the Tall, Bronn of the Blackwater etc. Those guys don’t have surnames because they’re not from noble families, and that’s something she aspires to. So by putting the ‘of’ in there, it just means she from Tarth, and separates her from the family name.

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    10. Renly’s Peach:
      Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys to use mercy and not kill innocent people? Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys her father was a power-hungry lunatic that burned innocent people alive in front of him out of paranoia? Hey guys remember that time Daenerys did all those things right after Barristan Selmy died?

      Good times.

      Wow, when you put it like that…

      *cringe*

        Quote  Reply

    11. SerDuncanTheTall,

      How is it “butchered”? Just because it doesn’t match what you personally imagined while reading the books doesn’t mean it’s butchered. Personally I thought it was beautiful and sad, and very believable. Also, there’s that “supposedly” – they dealt with that, too.

      That’s the thing with book adaptations: you already have a picture of everything as you read, and nothing will ever match that picture. It’s like people pointing at that picture of the Iron Throne that GRRM said was the closest to what he imagined, and saying how the show “butchered” it – while not even thinking about the production nightmare something like that would’ve been. The show has a budget and has technical limitations that can’t possibly match a person’s imagination in its entirety. That doesn’t mean that whatever they create sucks.

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    12. Hey guys,

      So I am the guy who is covering for Scott Meslow at The Week this and next week. I’ve been coming to WOTW for AGES and to see my recap on here has really made my day!

      Chris.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Renly’s Peach,

      Yeah, I was picturing a gifset of Barristan’s dialogue (“He burned men alive with wildfire and laughed as they screamed….But the Mad King gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved, and each time it made him powerful and right, until the very end.”) intercut with Dany having that guy arbitrarily burned alive.

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    14. Wow the guy standing in for Alan Sepinwall this week at HitFlix has been absolutely torn apart in the comments section for his (admittedly substandard) review. Goes to show that being a TV critic is a real skill which can’t be easily replicated. For me, Alan Sepinwall and Andy Greenwald are the two best in the business.

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    15. James: Wow, when you put it like that…

      *cringe*

      Why? It was clearly Daenerys coming to one of two equidistant paths spurred by the death of Barristan: her father’s way, or a new way. She clearly admits that her father’s way was wrong, that she was wrong, by the episode’s end. She overcomes grief and rage. Why are people complaining now?

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    16. The show is making a point to show that Jon Snow is the only person left with honor in the game. Dany has gone slightly mad. Stannis has killed his own brother. The rest are even worse.

      First Jon will broker a deal with the wildlings. He will eventually broker a deal with the white walkers to fight off the dragons.

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    17. You know what the show could have done?

      Have Jon Snow say “fewer” instead of “lesser” while talking to Stannis for the last time.

      That would be the ultimate goodbye Stannis hoped for.

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    18. There was also the time Barristan counseled mercy, and then Dany proceeded to crucify 137 people (some innocent). The masters scene wasn’t anything new or out-of-character, especially since Barry had just been killed and she was really fucking pissed off.

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    19. KG,

      I think it comes from the fact that Tarth is both the name of the island AND her house. Also members of a house are sometimes addressed as “my lord of (family name) notably Denys Mallister refers to Sam as “my lord of Tarly” in ASOS and vice versa.

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    20. I love the books but moving the Stone Men from Chroyane to Valyria seems like an improvement to me. Valryia is significant in the overall history and lore, Chroyane not at all. And the smoking sea actually boiling in the books is another example of the kind of unrealistic “color” that D&D usually remove.

      The fact that Jorah and Tyrion got attacked by Stone Men and lost their boat as soon as they got near Valyria still gets the point across that it’s a very bad idea to go there.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Ross,

      I read the first paragraph and closed it as soon as the guest recapper said Cersei is the only person fit to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Yeah no. She is one of the most interesting characters, Lena Headey plays her well, and she does have a few positive traits, but she makes a horrible ruler.

        Quote  Reply

    22. pntrlqst,

      Wonder if it was due to Mother’s Day. Episode 6 might get the most viewers. And the episode is bound to be filled with controversy as the previously on shows what looks to be

      Ramsay and Sansa getting married in front of a Weirwood tree. Wedding consummation is coming.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Renly’s Peach:
      Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys to use mercy and not kill innocent people? Hey guys remember that time Barristan Selmy told Daenerys her father was a power-hungry lunatic that burned innocent people alive in front of him out of paranoia? Hey guys remember that time Daenerys did all those things right after Barristan Selmy died?

      Good times.

      On the other hand, he counseled all of that and got ambushed in a back alley by an insurgency.

      Maybe it’s a spectrum and there’s a middle way.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Renly’s Peach,

      One could argue that him getting killed, of all people, was proof that he was wrong. 😉
      “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. Rhaegar died.”

        Quote  Reply

    25. NYI:
      Renly’s Peach,

      One could argue that him getting killed, of all people, was proof that he was wrong.
      “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. Rhaegar died.”

      And Rhaegars wife and children got raped and murdered and his siblings exhiles.

      The problem with war is that every choice has terrible consequences.

        Quote  Reply

    26. A Man Has Patrol Duty:
      Thanks for the round-up.I love Laura Stone!I tend to gravitate toward the more “fun” unsullied recaps.Love Tormund as Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër

      Jordan Yerman for The Vancouver Observer is similar if you enjoy that style too

      After this site, I am pretty much addicted to Laura Stone. She is fresh and down right laugh out loud funny. I recommend the site to anyone looking. She is Unsullied and that makes some of it all the more funny.

        Quote  Reply

    27. ugashep:
      KG,

      I think it comes from the fact that Tarth is both the name of the island AND her house. Also members of a house are sometimes addressed as “my lord of (family name) notably Denys Mallister refers to Sam as “my lord of Tarly” in ASOS and vice versa.

      In the show Marilion called Tyrion my lord of lannister IIRC.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Valaquen,

      It’s still a terrible, out of character moment that tarnishes her. All of the lessons this man died for she threw away in one scene, where she did everything he warned her against.

      NYI,

      Except he isn’t wrong. He would have gotten killed either way — let’s not victim-blame the poor old man. Him dying was a direct result of her failed ruling, not his advice, which was solid.
      His legacy to her was the wisdom of the past: don’t be like your father; don’t act out of emotion or paranoia; be stern but just. She couldn’t even control herself, she immediately grabbed a bunch of rich people and started killing them not even knowing if they were guilty or not while grinning like a Bond villain.

      I dunno about you, but that’s a red flag of someone being an unstable ruler.

      Or terrible writing. But we know they can’t possible do that, right? Right Jaime?.. no?

        Quote  Reply

    29. I dunno about you, but that’s a red flag of someone being an unstable ruler.

      Well, yeah. But that’s hardly out of character. Dany’s been shown throughout the series to be irrational and/or psychotically violent at times (a bit of the old Targaryen madness perhaps?). It’s fine if you don’t like that, but it’s not exactly a change from the books.

        Quote  Reply

    30. jjp,

      In fact it is a change from the books. A big one, since she never did this.

      On the contrary, the way she fought the Harpies and rich family was by taking their children as wards. And when her people began to die again, she never harmed them. She was told to kill them as retribution multiple times, but never did.

      So yeah, that is a big change.

        Quote  Reply

    31. I realize she never did *this*, specifically, in the books (she couldn’t have really, since the Ser Barristan thing didn’t happen). I’m just saying that irrational behavior and psychotic violence on her part are not out of character (certainly not for the show, I don’t think for the books either).

        Quote  Reply

    32. Renly’s Peach,

      On reflection I am kinda bothered by her killing the random Master too. At the time I thought “did this guy confess or get ratted out by someone?” but no, it really seems like she just picked someone at random to kill. Definitely a Mad King moment.

        Quote  Reply

    33. I saw Daenerys burning the Master as an emotional decision made without thinking, in the wake of Barristan’s death (possibly hinting at a bit of madness…)
      Later, when she’s talking to Missandei (after having had time to think), I felt like she regretted what she did…

        Quote  Reply

    34. I’m not blaming Selmy for his own death. He gave his best advice. And if things worked at all fairly, it would have worked out. But Dany followed his advice for a trial. She did. And things still went pear shaped. The counter insurgency has only grown.

      Selmy was honorable and true. So was Ned, for that matter. But war and its backlash brings the ugly. Unfortunately to the ruthless, fairness can look like weakness. And practically speaking there probably needs to be some choice between Mad King and honorable but dead.

      Dany’s choice to burn the guy is ugly and instinctive. But she subsequently follows Messandi and seeks a more reconciliatory stance.

      Of course the thing that sucks is that there is no ‘right’ choice as any choice in war has negative consequences.

      It’s like the Jon/Aemon scene when Jon says his choice with the wildlings will make half the watch hate him and Aemon tells him that half the watch already does. He’s still going to have to make a choice.

      The Masters want a return to their previous lifestyle and are fueling an insurgency. Dany tried ‘fair trial’ and got an angry populace and got her top men ambushed. She’s tried retaliatory fury by killing master. And now she’s tryin reconciliation through marriage and the pits. But there’s no panacea in war. No perfect solution to the Mereneese Knot.

        Quote  Reply

    35. I love how the Unsullied reviewers persistently differ from the WotW Sullied on many points.

      This week, we doubled down on the Winterfell awkwardness, to the overall detriment of the episode. “Kill the Boy” felt sluggish to me, with the admittedly-great moments (Dragons torching a dude; Missandei kissing Grey Worm; Valyria, the dragon, and the Stonemen) way at either end of the episode. And still no Dire Wolves. I also wanted (and would have expected) more of a reaction from Sansa to seeing Theon Greyjoy.

      “The Boltons at Dinner” may have seemed interesting on the page, but it wasn’t very interesting on the screen. There’s only so much the actors can do with all that essentially empty text: their already-established relationships didn’t really change.

        Quote  Reply

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