Game of Thrones Memory Lane 510: Mother’s Mercy

ep50-ss03-1920

This is it: we’ve reached the end of our long and winding Game of Thrones Memory Lane. What started with the long-ago first episode “Winter is Coming” comes to a resolute finish with the season 5 finale “Mother’s Mercy.”  The journey has been filled with laughs, twists, love and death, and every step of it a reminder that there is still more to come, as we head into the sixth season of Game of Thrones.

“Mother’s Mercy” is not the “clean-up in aisle 3” finale that we’d grown accustomed to in the first few years of the show. Rather than tidying up after the events of previous episodes, the season finale is packed with huge moments and big deaths, and leaves many characters’ fates and next moves up in the air. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won an Emmy for writing this episode, David Nutter picked up one for directing it, and it’s no surprise that this is the episode they chose to submit. The board is reset in a major way, and it gives the stars of the show plenty of rich material to play with.

36

Fun memory: I rewatched this episode before sitting down to write this. I also watched the “Previously on Game of Thrones” quick recap before the episode, and remembered what a furor it caused last year with its inclusion of Benjen Stark. Everyone thought it meant we would be seeing Uncle Benjen returning in the episode. What a glorious trolljob that was.

The episode begins on a slight upbeat note- the freeze that’s blocked Stannis’ army is thawing, according to the icicles Melisandre is eyeing. (The icicles were hilariously dubbed “a Winterfell clock” by Lena Headey in the Blu-ray commentary.) For just a moment, we’re led to believe that Stannis’ horrific act of burning his daughter Shireen has brought him the success his red priestess promised.

But as it turns out, there’s also bad news: soldiers apparently don’t like it when you torch your own offspring. The storm may have gone, but half of his army have deserted with the horses, and to compound that, Selyse has hanged herself out of remorse for her daughter’s death. It’s always been apparent that there’s no real affection between Stannis and his wife, but he prides himself on being a man who does his duty- and he did not do his duty by his wife and child, in the end. He chose his ambitions and a supposed duty to a throne he didn’t really hold over their wishes and lives, and was more loyal to his priestess and her visions than his family. Things are very grim, indeed.

And then the worst of the news is delivered: Melisandre has deserted him as well. There’s nothing left for Stannis, but to press on and march on foot to Winterfell.

Sam Jon

At the Wall, we get the pleasure of one last Jon and Sam bonding talk. The Lord Commander relates to Sam the nightmarish battle at Hardhome, and the necessity of dragonglass and Valyrian steel for the war ahead is highlighted. Sam asks for permission to leave the Wall for Oldtown. He says it’s to study as a maester to help the Watch, but really it’s to get Gilly and the baby away from the Wall and the encroaching threat from the north. Naturally, being Jon and Sam, they find time for a little awkward sex talk.

No matter how many times I watch this scene I always laugh at Jon’s careful and then incredulous, “Sam.” “What?” “Sam. You’ve just been beaten half to death.” Kit Harington honestly doesn’t get enough credit for his performance. It can’t be easy, playing a character as stoic as Jon is, but he makes it work. I think Benioff and Weiss throughout the series have done remarkable work in developing Sam and Jon’s friendship, along with the natural partnership the actors bring to the table.

After agreeing to Sam’s request, Gilly, Sam and the baby are on their way. It feels like a truly final goodbye this time, for the two men who have become like brothers.

SansaAt Winterfell, Stannis and his army arrive, trudging along without horses in a rather sad death march, just as Sansa escapes her room in order to finally ask for Brienne’s help with the highly questionable candle-in-the-window trick.

With remarkly good (bad) timing, Pod brings the news to Brienne of Stannis’s impending arrival. She makes the fatal decision to abandon her post in order to hunt down Stannis, just before Sansa’s flame flickers to life in the tower.

If you cock your head and listen closely, in the distance you can still hear millions of fans shrieking, “OH COME ON!”

Stannis’s pathetic remnants of an army assemble and discover that the planned siege isn’t going to happen. Realizing that the opposing army is in shambles, the Boltons are riding out to greet them in force. Understanding now that everything Melisandre predicted for him has come to nothing, a resigned Stannis Baratheon draws his sword and plunges into battle.

The Baratheon army is swallowed up by the Bolton forces, surrounded and decimated in a devastating attack.

Perhaps not surprising for a man as stubborn as he is, Stannis survives the initial attack, albeit injured. He fights off Bolton men (ah there’s the Mannis we remember!) but his leg is slashed, and he can no longer even stand. Collapsing against a tree, he’s done for. It’s here that Brienne of Tarth discovers him.

Stannis doesn’t even know who she is, this woman who has sworn vengeance against him for so long. And the Brienne who watched Renly die is like a different woman altogether. I somehow doubt this will bring her as much peace and resolution as she’d hope.

Brienne introduces herself, explaining how she watched Renly die at his hands thanks to blood magic, and in the end, Stannis admits he is responsible for his brother’s death. She sentences him to die.

Terse to the bitter end, he tells her to do her duty. She does, and the sword falls.

Stannis

Her questionable-candle method a failure, Sansa tries to get back to her room undetected by Ramsay. Unfortunately she runs into Myranda first, on the walkway over the courtyard. The young woman menaces her as Reek looks on, conflicted. Myranda taunts Sansa until Reek snaps and throws Ramsay’s favorite torture pal over the railing and down to her death on the stones below. With no other good choice at hand, Sansa and Reek- no, Theon– have to run. The two clasp hands, deciding to take a chance on the dangerous leap of faith over the walls of Winterfell, rather than face Ramsay ever again. They might die, but if so, it will be as themselves.

But we all know that Ramsay won’t let go of his wife and his plaything that easily.

Arya Meryn

Across the Narrow Sea in Braavos, the other Stark sister is also reclaiming her identity, albeit in a very different fashion.

Having discovered in the previous episode that Meryn Trant (murderer of her water dancing teacher Syrio Forel) is in town and visiting very young brothel workers, Arya slips away from the House of Black and White to make her move.  Using the face of the young girl Ghita whom she helped die a few episodes ago, Arya infiltrates the girls Meryn is choosing from for the evening.

Once alone, she wastes no time, taking her vengeance ruthlessly without hesitation. We’ve spent episodes this season watching her insist she’s no one, and watching her try to at least be someone else,  but in the end, Arya rejects the training. With Meryn on his knees, she reminds him of what he did to Syrio Forel and announces her name, taking back her identity before cutting his throat. Another name crossed off her list.

Her escapade hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Faceless Men, however, who teach her the lesson once again that there must be balance. A debt is owed, only death can pay for life. Jaqen, her only friend left in the world, appears to die before her. Except it’s a trick- the faces are for No One, and to Someone like her, the faces are like poison. Caught in some sort of fevered hallucination, she sees several faces including her own on the corpse, and the world blurring until she looks up- blind.

What will this mean for Arya in season 6? The blind assassin is a popular trope in literature and film, and based on the trailers, her lack of eyesight won’t prevent her training from proceeding in the House of Black and White.

Myr Jaime

On the docks in Dorne, Ellaria begs for Myrcella’s forgiveness for their kidnapping attempt with an uncomfortably long kiss on the mouth. Bronn and Tyene Sand bid farewell and no one said anything else, certainly nothing about bad pussy, I refuse to acknowledge it ever happened.

Aboard ship, Myrcella and Jaime share a tender bonding moment. In the discussion, the princess admits she knows that he’s her father- and she’s actually glad about it. (With a guy like Robert Baratheon as the alternative, I don’t blame her.) One of Jaime’s children finally knows they’re his, and embraces him as their father. It’s a beautiful moment.

Naturally that means it had to go to hell immediately. A trickle of blood flows from Myrcella’s nose, and then more. As the blood pours from her, and the good-hearted princess dies in her father’s arms, we return to the docks. Ellaria, we see, was dosed with the same poison on her lips. Only she has the antidote, and poor Myrcella presumably doesn’t.

This is a bit of a predicament, with Trystane Martell on board the ship, and Jaime likely in a murderous rage. We should’ve known that Ellaria’s tearful apology to Doran and her docile behavior wasn’t genuine. It was nearly a suicidal move on her part, but for Ellaria, perhaps it’s worth it. Or perhaps she has faith in her cunning and that of her Snakes to maneuver their way out of anything Doran can throw at them.

Dany

In Essos, Meereen’s Saddest Boyband sits lost without their khaleesi. (Hey, at least Grey Worm is back on his feet finally.) After quality moping and sniping, the men make plans – Daario and Jorah will go out and search for Daenerys, while Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm will stay in the city to govern. Tyrion has become a Hand once more.

It’s very funny how Varys resurfaces just in time- as usual, he avoids the carnage and chaos, and slides into a neat spot of power. Season six looks promising, with the team of Varys and Tyrion once more taking on a city with wine and snark.

Speaking of the khaleesi- she’s touched down in the Dothraki Sea which is far less wet than it sounds. The wounded and petulant Drogon refuses to budge, much to Daenerys’ chagrin. Stranded alone and hungry, Daenerys is out of options until the dragon is ready to move. She wanders across the field- and within moments finds herself engulfed in a Dothraki khalasar. As she spots the warriors approach, she slips a ring from her finger and leaves it behind- a signal to anyone who comes looking. (It’s pretty obvious someone will find that tiny ring in the massive expanse of Dothraki Sea, as unlikely as it should be. I’d have believed it easier if she’d left it near Drogon’s bony nest.)

So it appears that in season six, in order to move forward, Daenerys has to go back to the beginning. She’s in the hands of the Dothraki, but now she’s older, wiser, fluent in their tongue and her (wounded) dragon is nearby. She may be retreading some steps, but her moves can have a completely different spin on them this time.

Cersei KG

Still imprisoned, Cersei sees the only way out of her situation is to play the High Sparrow’s game. She confesses to (some of) her sins, owning her infidelity with Lancel but lying with admirable skill about the parentage of her children. Clearly she knows admitting that would cost Tommen his crown and possibly all of them their lives. She begs for mercy, to be allowed out of the prison and to see her son, but first, the High Sparrow declares, she must complete her atonement.

The walk we saw earlier in the season with the previous High Septon was just a small preview of the one in “Mother’s Mercy.” Shorn of her long hair, there is no way for Cersei to hide her body from the public. The queen regent is marched before the people of King’s Landing, exposed as a sinner, and forced to walk naked from the Great Sept of Baelor all the way to the Red Keep, where she will remain free until her trial.

Lena Headey was nominated for an Emmy for this episode, and she damn well should have won it. She was incredible.

Initially, Cersei holds herself like a queen, despite being made to parade through the filthy streets of the city. The harsh Septa Unella follows close behind, with her endless cries of “Shame!” The shouting begins almost immediately. The people whom Cersei and the rich nobles have lorded over enjoy the show, subjecting her to thrown refuse and exposing themselves at her in return. There isn’t an ounce of mercy or a single sympathetic face in the crowd. They hate her, they absolutely loathe her, every one of these people of King’s Landing. Cersei isn’t going to forget that.

Cersei’s pride wanes as she walks, the roar of the crowd growing, and she begins to stumble close to the end. Her feet are raw and bloodied, but she sees the Red Keep, and presses on homeward to her son. Though teary-eyed, Cersei Lannister doesn’t stop. She always keeps moving; that’s her way. I’m reminded of her in “Blackwater,” and of how she was determined to take her own life and that of her son rather than sit quietly and wait to be slaughtered. Even when it was destructive, Cersei remains in charge and active in determining her fate.

Now, her fate is largely in the hands of others…but not for long. Covered in blood and filth, she enters the Red Keep. Safe from the eyes of the crowd, it’s only then she gives in to sobbing.

Strangely perceptive in his way, Qyburn presents her with a tool of vengeance at once, a gift to soothe the indignity she’s just suffered. The silent and monstrous new Kingsguard who carries her will no doubt be a weapon in the near future. Hatred burns in her eyes harder than ever. Cersei isn’t broken, there isn’t an ounce of shame in her and there will be no mercy for her enemies in season six.

Thorne Jon

Returning to the Wall, Melisandre arrives back at Castle Black a different woman. Davos sees at once the change in her. Without words, he understands: Stannis, Shireen, everything. Lost. The confident woman we’ve known since the second season is shaken and we have to ask: was there any meaning behind Melisandre’s visions? What now for the red priestess and the Onion Knight, both of whom have shaped their lives and goals around their king?

In his office, Jon Snow is dealing with the tedious scrollwork of his job when Olly interrupts with incredible news: his uncle Benjen has been seen alive! A wildling saw him at Hardhome. Amazing! Wow! So incredible it’s hard to believe! Because it’s totally not happening!

Instead of his long-missing uncle, Jon finds a sign reading TRAITOR tacked up. Confused, he finds himself surrounded by members of the Night’s Watch.

Alliser Thorne delivers the first blow and you know he’s been waiting for that since “Lord Snow” first showed him up in the training courtyard, years before. His fellow mutinying men take turns delivering their blows, stabbing into Jon, but it’s the final one that cuts the most. Olly faces Jon, knife in hand. “For the Watch,” the boy says, the blade driving into him.

Jon falls to the ground. Against the snow, he bleeds out and the light leaves his eyes. Jon dies.

Jon dead

With the death of Jon Snow, it appears Game of Thrones has killed off a leading man once again. But they wouldn’t really do that again…would they?


Introductions: The silent new Kingsguard member, who is suspiciously tall and huge.

Deaths: “Mother’s Mercy” had no mercy whatsoever, knocking off Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Selyse Baratheon (Tara Fitzgerald), Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and his entire army, Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free), Myranda (Charlotte Hope) and Ser Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie) within a single episode.


The Walk of Atonement was a painfully dramatic moment. So naturally it became a meme of sorts.

The Walk has become a popular choice for cosplay and Halloween costumes.

cosplay

Photo: geek.com

And oh yeah, there are remixes. Septa Unella’s “Shame” and her bell-ringing cried out for it.


Beautiful Death. “Go on, do your duty.”

Stannis BD

And that wraps it up! Our Memory Lane has come to an end. I’d like to thank our WotW staff- Petra, Oz, Nate, Geoffery, Marc Kleinhenz, Cian, Bex, WinterPhil and Axechucker- for their contributions to the #GOT50 project.

We’d also like to thank the guest writers for stepping up and providing their own takes on the wild, weird and amazing world that is Game of Thrones:

Hannah
Greatjon of Slumber
SirSquinty
Paige
James Rivers
Jared Kozal
Manu
Morgan
BryndenBFish

Game of Thrones has the best fans, and I’m proud to be a part of this community with them, and you all.

One day remains until the season 6 premiere, and now we’re ready.

Valar morghulis.

Valar dohaeris.

It’s time.

146 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Great review Sue!

      I also want to think you for your diligence in keeping spoilers off WOTW.

      This episode was complex with so many storylines having crescendos. I’m just happy it is only one more day … then all the arguing about which theories are correct will start to work themselves out.

        Quote  Reply

    2. Whether you think Stannis lives or not, you can’t deny that Brienne hesitates mightily before swinging her sword. The look on her face and the half hearted way she pulls the sword out of the scabbard is proof of this. That coupled with us never seeing the kill stroke or any blood, and it happening very early in the episode is more than enough to raise suspicion.

      He lives, I am calling it. Be it on my head if he doesn’t!

        Quote  Reply

    3. I feel that the Stannis parts of this season were very badly rushed, and came off in the season finale as some wacky attempt at black comedy. Which didn’t work. Though good performances as always. Dorne also seemed rushed though that depends on how the premiere handles it – by which I mean I kept waiting for Siddig to get a big scene and then was stunned at how little he appeared this season.

      Why the heck did they need Meryn Trant to be *beating girls with a stick*? We don’t need to be reminded he’s a bad person. Otherwise I don’t mind the under-aged girl stuff as it was a plot element from the novels which allowed Arya to get close to her target, and they condensed two characters.

        Quote  Reply

    4. I’ve never been this early in the list, but as no one has said it …. HODOR 🙂

      Back later for more comments 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    5. I review had discussed more how the mutiny against Jon is handled in the TV show.

      I was stunned when I saw this: it’s just events randomly falling into place because the plot demands it, rather than logical internal sense.

      Was everyone just so stunned at Jon being stabbed that they turned off their critical thinking?

      How can they transfer motivation for the mutiny from being due to the Boltons to the wildlings?

      Why the heck would Thorne mutiny against him *now*, for letting wildlings through the Wall….when if he felt that strongly about it, he would have just locked the gate to them in the *previous episode*?

      What are Thorne’s motivations? Why is this happening now?

      It’s possible they wanted to keep the shock of it in, and next episode they’ll explain it was due to Melisandre bringing news that the Boltons defeated Stannis – well and good, they can have their fun with shocking cliffhangers.

      But right now it only seems to be relying on “characters do wacky things for illogical reasons”.

      “Well the TV show is different from the novels”

      …yeah, that’s my point. In the books the motivation of the mutineers was understood: they’re worried about Jon breaking his vow of neutrality to fight the Boltons, which will destroy the Night’s Watch.

      What….what is the motivation as presented here? Thorne’s a short-sighted idiot?

      Relying on “the characters are stupid” is….just lazy writing.

        Quote  Reply

    6. This episode was great but the cliff hangers over whelmed me a bit. Not knowing what happens in the books at this point, it was almost too much for me. If Stannis does end up being dead, then I don’t really understand why they couldn’t give us confirmation. That will annoy me a bit. It was too much.

      I somehow made it to this episode without knowing Jon died, but by the time the end of the episode came around, I was so overloaded, his death was almost an after thought.

      I’ll say it again, it’s criminal that Ramen wasn’t even nominated for an Emmy. He flat out should’ve won the Emmy. Complete joke.

      BTW, great job on this series. Really enjoyed it!

        Quote  Reply

    7. Darkrobin,

      hah 🙂 Yeah I don’t want to take over this thread as I’ve had plenty of back and forth with people over this, but I’m just saying there is some suspicious stuff that definitely needs to be noted in that scene.

        Quote  Reply

    8. The Dragon Demands,

      Thorne expecting Jon to die at Hardhome, if he would then he didn’t let the wildlings through the Wall. But Jon survive it. But Thorne doesn’t want a open treason that’s why he let them in, but he disagrees Jon’s decisions so much, so he kills him with his supporters in a secret way. No one will knows who is the murderer, only suspect.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Young Dragon: What do you mean by this? It was tragic, not funny.

      The one-two-three of “the army is gone!” “your wife killed herself!” “Melisandre abandoned you!” and then “Boltons charge before we can get defensive trenches dug”.

      It was….I know it sounds one way on paper, but it was the pacing. They crammed a lot in and it just felt rushed.

        Quote  Reply

    10. The Dragon Demands:

      How can they transfer motivation for the mutiny from being due to the Boltons to the wildlings?

      Because the relationship between the Night’s Watch and the wildlings has already been established, and it makes sense for the Night’s Watch to kill him over attempting to make peace with their enemies rather than throwing in a lame plot device.

      The Dragon Demands:

      Why the heck would Thorne mutiny against him *now*, for letting wildlings through the Wall….when if he felt that strongly about it, he would have just locked the gate to them in the *previous episode*?

      Thorne was only acting commander and didn’t have the authority to shut the gate on the real lord commander.

      The Dragon Demands:

      What are Thorne’s motivations?Why is this happening now?

      Thorne may have not had the support he needed before, but his support increased after Jon sacrificed the lives of their brothers for the lives of wildlings.

      The Dragon Demands:

      Relying on “the characters are stupid” is….just lazy writing.

      Bowen Marsh and co. in the books were idiots. They stabbed Jon in broad daylight, out in the open, in front of Jon’s allies. Thorne was smart and killed Jon under the cover of darkness.

        Quote  Reply

    11. I haven’t been doing the rewatch thing but I did watch this episode earlier today and was struck by how beautiful it is. All the wide shots in the north and the last shot of Elaria and the sand snakes was really pretty as was the cabin in the ship.

      On the other hand I had forgotten “bad pussy” and nearly cringed myself to death when it happened. I think they overplayed their hand a little with all the characters who’s fate was left in the air, they should have shown Stannis properly dead and the Myrcella death felt a bit out of place.

        Quote  Reply

    12. r-hard:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Thorne expecting Jon to die at Hardhome, if he would then he didn’t let the wildlings through the Wall. But Jon survive it. But Thorne doesn’t want a open treason that’s why he let them in, but he disagrees Jon’s decisions so much, so he kills him with his supporters in a secret way. No one will knows who is the murderer, only suspect.

      You’re saying Thorne wouldn’t risk locking the gates publicly because Jon still had at least some supporters. This is the only logical argument I’ve heard.

      If it was, they didn’t make it clear enough, at least.

      More importantly….this is an organization in which treason is punishable by death. Mutinying against the rightfully elected Lord Commander is a big deal. Thorne would only do this, even in PRIVATE, if he felt the wildlings coming through the Wall would destroy the Watch….in which case, why not just mutiny against Jon publicly by locking the gate? If he considers letting them through the Wall to be an existential threat to survival?

      For that matter, what’s the end game? Surely they’d know he was a traitor after *Jon was stabbed*, wouldn’t they? And they couldn’t exactly blame it on a random wildling because they *for some reason went through the trouble of making a sign that says ‘traitor’?”

      That makes no sense.

        Quote  Reply

    13. A great post to finish the series. I have enjoyed each and every Memory lane, so a big thank you to all the contributors, especially the guest contributors. It has definitely helped the last fifty days to fly by!

      It was a great finale, and one I have greatly enjoyed watching again. There are arguments against some of the scenes in the finale from the usual suspects, but I have no complaints myself.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Phoe:
      I haven’t been doing the rewatch thing but I did watch this episode earlier today and was struck by how beautiful it is. All the wide shots in the north and the last shot of Elaria and the sand snakes was really pretty as was the cabin in the ship.

      On the other hand I had forgotten “bad pussy” and nearly cringed myself to death when it happened. I think they overplayed their hand a little with all the characters who’s fate was left in the air, they should have shown Stannis properly dead and the Myrcella death felt a bit out of place.

      I laughed my ass off when I first heard that line, it was so bad.

      Now I just cringe at it lmao.

        Quote  Reply

    15. re; Stannis: (Shrug). Subjective. At any rate I’m more upset about the Jon stuff;

      On the other hand I had forgotten “bad pussy” and nearly cringed myself to death when it happened. I think they overplayed their hand a little with all the characters who’s fate was left in the air, they should have shown Stannis properly dead and the Myrcella death felt a bit out of place.

      Yeah…it’s not that I don’t think the line itself would be awful in like….a brothel scene or something.

      It was…..it was just so random and out of nowhere. Were there like, fragmented unfilmed scenes they abandoned before this?

      I mean, someone sat down and actually scripted and directed this?

      It’s not even anger at this point but general bafflement.

      Yes, the word is “cringe”. The world cringed.

      ****Major question. I don’t have the Season 5 Blu-ray set. Episode 10 is the only one Benioff and Weiss made a commentary track for. Well….what do *they* say when that scene airs? If anyone has it on hand?

        Quote  Reply

    16. There have been nothing but great comments from everyone in the thread so far (even anyone I disagree with 🙂 )

        Quote  Reply

    17. Great job with the Memory Lanes, loved them. Can’t help but wonder if this would have made more sense leading into the final season though.

        Quote  Reply

    18. r-hard: Latrine

      The beautiful death poster is meaningless. If you think the show runners are letting a contracted artist who doesn’t even work for HBO in on the deepest secrets of the show – secrets that many of the crew don’t know about – I think you’d be mistaken. The beautiful death posters are a very very minor part of the vast marketing campaign of Game of Thrones. D & D and other producers probably aren’t even aware of them.

        Quote  Reply

    19. My Ranking of Season 6 episodes (worst to best):
      10: The House of Black and White – Failed to have a big-moment-final-scene which most GOT-eps do. Jon’s story was nice though and kudos to Mossadors character.
      9: High Sparrow – A great early episode, intriqing introduction to the sparrows cult and to the High Sparrow especially, Janos Slynt scene was awsome and I really liked the sequence in Volantis (except maybe the way too sassy prostitute). However, season five was still moving quite slow at this point.
      8: The Wars To Come: Excellent premiere, one of the best, we get a nice to-the-point check-in with the important places and it ends with a sequence that beatifully sets the dark mood for season 5.
      7: Kill The Boy – The end sequence in the ruins of Valyria is so beatifull and atomospheric, while also having great suspence and action. The other storylines were more plotting, not quite as eventful. They were well written though and providing of a lot of little pieces of important info, like Maester Aemons advice to Jon, the Valyria-poem reciting, stone men, Rooses story of how ramsay was conceived, Stannis and Sams conversation
      6: The Sons of The Harpy – With rebel factions rising in both Kings Landing, Mereen and Dorne there’s a unifying theme in this episode. We get to see different kinds of resistance, the very personal revenge-lust of the Sandsnakes, the Deep fanatisism of the faith militant and the coldly calculated terror of The Sons of The Harpy. That last scene with the unsullied and Barristan is one of the shows best action sequences. I especially love how barristan gets his hero moment before fact kicks in and he gets killed simply because they are too many and are much younger.
      5: The Gift: Very Solid episode taking us into the endgame of season five. Everything with cercei and the sparrows was really good. All Sam and Gillys story was at the same time brutal and tender, very well executed.
      4: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken: I actually enjoyed the sequence in Dorne in spite of the randomness of the story, the fight was funny like an ode to Xena Amazone Warrior and Areo Hotah was subtly badass. Of course, It wasn’t a fabolous storyline by any account but the episode also had the awsome Arya plot and the final wedding sequence is one of the shows best in my opinion. I never understood the critism. To me it makes complete sense. Sansa did NOT go from frightened hostage to dark avenger mastermind in less than a season, because that would be ludacris. She got tricked by yet another man (LF) and sold to Ramsay, it’s brutal but essential. I think that was her final lesson.
      3: The Dance of Dragons: The Stannis story was sooo devestation and captivating. Stephen Dillane gave perhaps the best performance of any actor in any episode in the burning scene. When he comes out to look at the pyre, his face kills me everytime I rewatch it. The darkest seqence in all of Game of Thrones. The Great Games in Mereen was also very good. Drogon arriving to save his mother is also one of the shows best scenes.
      2: Mothers Mercy: Perhaps the best of all season enders tied with The Children. I gotta mention Ian Beatty who turned out to be a very talented actor in this episode, just before he dies in one of the most brutal scenes in the shows history. His loooong sigh frightens me every time that scene begins. The walk of shame was so well executed, perfectly long with a suitably thorough warm-up with cerceis confession and the septas preparing her. The last scene was horrible to watch, but it capped of a brutal season very nicely. I also think the somewhat corny Dorne Storyline redeemed itself when it took me by complete surprize in a heartbreaking scene with Myrcella.
      1: Hardhome: Perhaps the greatest thrones episode ever. The surprise of the attack Works so well, and the Chaos of the massacre is so greatly visualised with people fleeing to the see pushing eachother. The fight itself has many awsome bits, Jon vs White Walker, Wun Wun getting more and more angry and Karsi showing herself as a fierce warrior. Such an great built up too.

      Al in All I still think season 5 is just as good as the other seasons. The seasons themselves are much harder to rank. They all have a great litterary quality to them.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Thanks for all your kind words about Memory Lane, everyone!

      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      The artist is told directly by HBO which death he’s making the poster for, they give him the quote and everything, so yeah, Stannis is dead. Time to let it go.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Thank you all for Memory lane,it made easier waiting for new season. I’ve read them all.So again,thank you very much!! Greetings from Croatia!

        Quote  Reply

    22. Sue the Fury,

      Great job on this. If you feel it was worth your time and effort and it benefitted the site, I don’t see why you couldn’t do it again. Maybe instead of a full episode recap, you could have a writer focus on one specific thing from the episode and write a little essay on it. Just my 2 cents.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Sue the Fury:
      Thanks for all your kind words about Memory Lane, everyone!

      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      The artist is told directly by HBO which death he’s making the poster for, they give him the quote and everything, so yeah, Stannis is dead. Time to let it go.

      Where was this said?

        Quote  Reply

    24. Great job Sue!! And great job to all at WOTW!! Enjoyed all your recaps and looking back articles! This was such a good episode for so many reasons! Exactly what I have come to expect from GoT!! But I refuse to ever watch Jon Snow’s death again!! Just can’t do it!! Sleep well everyone and will see you all back here tomorrow night after……….episode 1 of Season 6!!!!! Yessssss!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    25. What a shame! Jon Snow was such a great character. We shall never see his like again! Certainly not on this show. No, Ser. 😉

      On a sincere note, this Game of Thrones Memory Lane series has been an amazing way to alleviate the excruciating wait for Season 6 over the past 50 days. It’s made my annual full series rewatch even more fun than it usually is. As I’ve said many times, I love every episode of this brilliant and remarkable show (though perhaps I love some episodes slightly more than others 😉 ). As such, being able to discuss every hour in detail with members of this amazing community has been both a genuine privilege, and a whole hell of a lot of fun.

      Reliving some of my favorite moments in television yet again along with all of you fine folks here at the Wall – both regulars I’ve known for years and new recruits who were just stopping by for the first time – was a joy. Even better, the conversations we had frequently helped me attain a new perspective or a deeper understanding of certain storylines and characters, some of which I either hadn’t noticed or didn’t fully appreciate the first several times around. With a show as dense, rewarding, and deserving of love as Game of Thrones, what could be better than that?

      I’d especially like to thank Sue and the other members of the WOTW staff for inviting me to contribute to the Memory Lane series. It was an honor to be asked, and writing the pieces for “A Man Without Honor” and “Sons of the Harpy” was a blast. The kind feedback I received from many of you on those pieces – and on the many long, rambling comments I left on the pieces written by other contributors – was deeply touching. So thank you. 🙂

      I’d say let’s do it all again, but fortunately we have something even better to look forward to. What else can I say? Bring on Season 6! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    26. r-hard:
      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Like i said, 50/50 pictures was right yet.

      Of course the previous 49 were correct, all of them had been confirmed on the show. Even if Robert M. Ball is told by HBO what poster to do, what I said still stands. It’s highly unlikely that someone in the marketing department is privvy to the major secrets from the show. Even many in the crew were locked out this season. With all the stuff the producing team has to worry about, I seriously doubt Robert M. Ball’s beautiful death series even crossed their minds.

        Quote  Reply

    27. LatrineDiggerBrian: Of course the previous 49 were correct, all of them had been confirmed on the show. Even if Robert M. Ball is told by HBO what poster to do, what I said still stands. It’s highly unlikely that someone in the marketing department is privvy to the major secrets from the show. Even many in the crew were locked out this season. With all the stuff the producing team has to worry about, I seriously doubt Robert M. Ball’s beautiful death series even crossed their minds.

      Stannis is dead. Just stop. Stephen even pretty much did an exit interview.

        Quote  Reply

    28. The Dragon Demands: I was stunned when I saw this: it’s just events randomly falling into place because the plot demands it, rather than logical internal sense.

      It’s been explained to you countless times why the plot makes sense on the show. You covering your eyes and screaming “la la la” like the book purist you are doesn’t change the fact that the sequence as shown on TV makes sense, and even in the books the Pink Letter was not the catalyst for Jon Snow’s murder.

      Get over it already.

        Quote  Reply

    29. I still stand by the walk of shame being the finest among all the “book to tv” set pieces adapted.

      David Nutter is truly amazing

        Quote  Reply

    30. I’ve been following this site for a while but this is my first comment. Just wanted to say I appreciate everything you guys do. This site has made the long wait bearable. Particular shout out to sue for squashing the recent leaks. I don’t like spoilers but if I see the link to one sometimes I can’t help myself. So I like that they are all being deleted because I have no willpower. Anyway thank you everybody for such a terrific site.

      How do the names work? Can I pick another one later if I think of a better one? So hard to decide.
      This was a great episode. Every minute was powerful and exciting.

      One more day!

        Quote  Reply

    31. The Dragon Demands:
      re; Stannis:(Shrug).Subjective.At any rate I’m more upset about the Jon stuff;

      Yeah…it’s not that I don’t think the line itself would be awful in like….a brothel scene or something.

      It was…..it was just so random and out of nowhere.Were there like, fragmented unfilmed scenes they abandoned before this?

      I mean, someone sat down and actually scripted and directed this?

      It’s not even anger at this point but general bafflement.

      Yes, the word is “cringe”.The world cringed.

      ****Major question.I don’t have the Season 5 Blu-ray set.Episode 10 is the only one Benioff and Weiss made a commentary track for.Well….what do *they* say when that scene airs?If anyone has it on hand?

      Did we ever figure out why Doran is wearing footwear in that promotional pic?

        Quote  Reply

    32. Fine, I guess I’ll say a little more. 😉

      “Mother’s Mercy” just misses my list of personal Top 10 episodes for the show (I currently have it ranked 11th). I consider it my second-favorite episode of Season 5 after “Hardhome”, my second favorite finale for the show after “The Children” (though “Fire and Blood” is close). Obviously, it’s a colossally important hour for the show, both in terms of the major events it depicts (including Cersei’s Walk of Shame, Arya going blind, Sansa and Theon escaping Winterfell), and the six significant deaths it features. And of course, the show catches up to the books here in all but a few minor chapters and storylines. For most of the major players, we stand on the verge of truly uncharted territory … which I find to be an exhilarating prospect. 🙂

      A lot has been said about the many deaths that we saw in this episode, particularly Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon. But amidst the chaos that happened in the rest of the finale, particularly up North, I think the death of Myrcella Baratheon got a bit overlooked at the time. That’s understandable – Myrcella was definitely a minor character, and the general dissatisfaction that many people voiced (loudly and often) with the Dornish storyline undoubtedly colored the moment to a certain degree. But I still think it’s a shame.

      I loved the scene between Jaime and Myrcella on the boat, and I found the sudden and cruel end to their newly-acknowledged father-daughter relationship to be extremely sad. I thought that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Nell Tiger Free played that scene beautifully from beginning to end. Jaime’s awkward attempts to find the right words. Myrcella warmly assuring him that she knew everything and accepted him as her father. Their first (and last) real embrace. Myrcella’s sudden confusion and Jaime’s growing panic as she collapsed. It all worked for me. With the possible exception of Jaime and Bronn’s banter on the beach, I thought it was the best scene in the entire Dornish arc. Some will sneer that’s a low bar to clear, but I thought this particular scene worked on every level.

      When the camera cut back to Ellaria and the Sand Snakes standing on the dock, I was deeply angry at them for destroying that nascent bond. After being mostly sympathetic to Ellaria’s enduring grief for Oberyn – if not the rage it engendered – I really hoped that she would drop dead on the docks. Being willing to die for the sake of her petty revenge on an innocent girl? That would have garnered her a grudging measure of respect on my part for her level of commitment. But as it turns out, she wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice. Alas.

      Of course, the reveal that Myrcella had been poisoned was the necessary anchor to the scene from a plot perspective. In keeping with Maggy’s prophecy, I think most people assumed that Myrcella was eventually fated to die. But if the show had cut away from that cabin before the blood started streaming from her nose, I would have been perfectly happy. The moment would have comfortably ranked among the sweetest and most genuine scenes in Game of Thrones history.

      When we first learned that Jaime would be traveling to Dorne in order to retrieve Myrcella, I really hoped he would be forced to confront his conflicted feelings about being Myrcella’s real father. We didn’t see quite as much of that exploration as I would have liked, but I’m very glad that the show gave us that one moment of connection … even if it ended in tragedy.

      To end on a happier note, I absolutely love the moment when Tyrion and Varys are reunited in Meereen. “Mother’s Mercy” is a pretty unrelentingly bleak hour by design, but that was truly a cheer-worthy moment, and a bright light against the long darkness we faced as Season 5 drew to a close. The words that the two old friends exchange pretty closely resemble my own feelings towards Game of Thrones as we prepare to embark on a new season and new adventures with all of these characters we love.

      “I did miss you.”

      “Oh, I know.”

        Quote  Reply

    33. The Dragon Demands:
      Why the heck did they need Meryn Trant to be *beating girls with a stick*?We don’t need to be reminded he’s a bad person.Otherwise I don’t mind the under-aged girl stuff as it was a plot element from the novels which allowed Arya to get close to her target, and they condensed two characters.

      I like to explain it this way: when people are away from ‘home’ they feel free to act and behave without restraint of scrutiny by their family, friends, co-workers, community, etc… for some that means doing bad things – we know Trent is bad, but because of his position, which is like a 24/7 job, and his high profile in the community (I sure everyone knows who the members of the Kingsguard are from turneys and public displays) he probably couldn’t act out, at least not with such abandon as he did in Bravos. We might also point to his beatings of Sansa as something he found he liked and wanted to do again, but had little opportunity, without word getting around. Probably more on this than the topic warrants, but all these things crossed my mind when they were showing us this version of Trent.

        Quote  Reply

    34. LatrineDiggerBrian: If Stannis does end up being dead, then I don’t really understand why they couldn’t give us confirmation. That will annoy me a bit. It was too much.

      The only other thing they could have done to confirm his death was to show his head roll. I couldn’t have stood that. They showed profuse blood-loss from his leg injury, the blood pooling up under his right leg as he leaned against the tree. He wasn’t surviving that, whether Brienne showed up or not. Brienne just caused his death a few minutes earlier than it would have been. His last words: “Go on, do your duty,” were pure Stannis. Duty, he understood duty.

      On rewatching the episode, I thought they did an amazing job of including all those story-lines in a cohesive fashion. It was and is a fast hour of television. One … more … day…

        Quote  Reply

    35. I have no issue with Stannis dying. I never really liked him and kinslaying is one of the most despicable things you can do imo. But everything happened way too fast. Some scenes should have been spaced out. Maybe the writers should have had him leave CB earlier than he did. The ingredients for his arc are good, but the execution (no pun intended) wasn’t the greatest.

      Poor Jon. Many daggers, much blood, so dead doge.jpg. I’m sure they’ll drag the inevitable for a large portion of next season……much suspense, many ratings, so transparent.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Am I the only one who finds it weird that Melisandre jumps ship 5 minutes after assuring Stannis that victory was certain?
      She’s always been shown as a fanatic who believed blindly in her visions, who kept thinking Stannis was going to triumph despite the odds. When he only had a few men in Dragonstone, she believed in him. When his army was exterminated in the Blackwater, she kept believing in him.
      And now she flees because the sellswords have deserted? Without any visions or prophecies playing any role? Sorry, but that’s not the Melisandre you’ve shown us for 3 seasons.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Mother’s Mercy is a great hour of television, I remember being miserable for the past week after watching the episode for the first time. The Jon snow Death hit the hardest without a doubt. Sam leaves him to go to olds town with gilly and the baby. More bad news comes with the defeat of Stannis Baratheon. Jon then gets Lured out by that snake Olly with false hope of having chance to see his Uncle again. Jon surrounded by his Brothers is stabbed to death and left under a traitor sign.

        Quote  Reply

    38. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      His wife died, his daughter died, Mel left him, he sent Davos away. His line is dead and his narrative is over. He’s dead. Brienne has no reason to carry around the body of a severely injured man in the snow. He’d die anyway from blood loss and infection.

        Quote  Reply

    39. I love that change in the soundtrack when jon is dead in the snow, it changes to good bye brother to something else.

        Quote  Reply

    40. All in all, I liked the episode, although I had lost interest in Winterfell and Stannis’ storylines.
      – Regarding Dorne, I loved Jaime and Myrcella’s moment (I hope you die screaming, Ellaria! You and your fucking Sand Snakes!!!).
      – I think Arya’s storyline was the only one I didn’t have any problem with.
      – I had read the books, and I swear that I completely forgot Jon’s death when they mentioned Benjen. I thought the wildling was going to be Varamyr or something like that. (Wasn’t Varamyr rumored to appear in Season 5?)
      – I prefer Jon’s assassination in the books.
      – Sue, I love your analysis.

        Quote  Reply

    41. The promised prince:

      How do the names work? Can I pick another one later if I think of a better one? So hard to decide.

      Welcome! A few folks around here stick in a “previously known as (old name)” in brackets after their new name for the first few posts after they change names.

        Quote  Reply

    42. In my opinion, this episode rivals The Children and is my second favorite of season 5, and my fifth episode overall, followed by The Rains of Castamere. Stannis’s last stand was absolutely epic, accompanied by amazing soundtrack and no book purist or certain GoT Wikia administrator will convince me otherwise.

      Meryn Trant’s scene was disturbing as hell. Even though he deserved every bit of it, I found his death really difficult to watch. Not even Oberyn’s death was as gruesome as his.

      A week ago, I would have had a few words for fellow Mouth of Elio and Linda but his rants are getting stale… I occassionally still check his personal blog… I mean GoT Wiki but I think that site is beyond saving…

      Side note: It is funny how many westeros.org purists gave this episode 1 star. I wonder what is their criteria…

        Quote  Reply

    43. Flayed Potatoes: Me too. I’m curious to see what music we’ll get next season

      Same. The soundtrack leaked early last year, but we don’t have a single track listing for Season 6.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, the Jon Snow scene still left me emotional. Argh, poor Jon. He always tries to do what is right, and what does he get? A knife in his back.

      Cersei’s Walk was very well handled. I was impressed with the range of emotions Headey managed to convey using only her facial expressions.

      The only thing that annoyed me slightly was the lack of security that the Faith had to offer her, and the absence of the Kingsguard. A few Sparrows with sticks are meant to protect the Queen from hundreds of crazed peasants… really? If I hadn’t read the books I would be afraid the mob would viciously attack her.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Jared,

      Jared

      I always appreciate your posts!

      I will say in regard to Varys and Tyrion, that Meereen may prove a slightly more difficult city to rule, if the spoilers are to be believed

      that Varys leaves Meereen due to differences with the Red Priestess and the upcoming battle of Meereen, and so on

        Quote  Reply

    46. SueWhat a glorious trolljob that was.

      Well, not really. After all, Joe and Jane Viewer have not seen Benjen in 4+ years at that point. Think on it: that is like being asked to remember a bit character you saw on a TV show your senior year in High School when you are a senior in college! Verbal cues are very ineffective for reminding people about things: people are really bad at putting names to faces in general, and it’s worse with so much time elapsed. However, short visual cues like this are extremely effective at reminding people. (Also, supposedly scents are really good at jogging memories: but fortunately iSmell TV is still off in the future; besides, one unbathed barbarian probably smells much like another unbathed barbarian to us!)

      Vincent Stark: A few Sparrows with sticks are meant to protect her from hundreds of crazed peasants… really? If I hadn’t read the books I would be afraid the mob would viciously attack her.

      But that in itself is informative. The crowds backed off quickly from the Sparrows. Something that showed us is that the Sparrows already are the “Brown shirts” intimidating Joe and Jane Kings Landing Resident pretty effective.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Lord Parramandas,

      In a year or two or more they will have TWOW and can then dissect the differences between the page and the screen. Until then it is really much ado about nothing as most people do not know how the book/show arcs will differ

        Quote  Reply

    48. It’s obvious Stannis’ death precipitated Jon’s stabbing: he was very much in Stannis’ favour; had Stannis won at Winterfell he would punish Thorne’s mutiny without care for excuses. The arrival of Melissandre green lights the mutiny.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Tywin of the Hill,

      Stannis had to die and Mel had to be back at the wall at the end of the episode. Certain liberties may have been taken to bring things to conclusion within the time frame alloted.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Tywin of the Hill: I prefer Jon’s assassination in the books.

      The problem with the assassination in the books is that it left too many readers confused about why it happened, at least among the hardcore fans. The show made it abundantly clear: this is all about Jon letting the Wildlings into Westeros.

      As they have shown, B&W are aware of a lot of the fan conjectures. This could be a good thing because it means that they are aware of what some readers are getting confused. That, in turn, means that they have a better idea of what needs to be adapted for the sake of clarity.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Valaquen: It’s obvious Stannis’ death precipitated Jon’s stabbing: he was very much in Stannis’ favour; had Stannis won at Winterfell he would punish Thorne’s mutiny without care for excuses. The arrival of Melissandre green lights the mutiny.

      I would not call that obvious at all. I would think it more probable that it took some time for Thorne to realize that he is no longer the least popular man at Castle Black: thanks to Jon’s treason, he (Thorne) is now the second least popular man at Castle Black! 😀

      I also think it quite possible that Thorne is/was waiting for reinforcements.

      An oft-overlooked aspect of the book is that there is a small force of Northerners at the Wall and their leaders are not happy about the Wildlings coming into Westeros. They might turn out to be key in the Nationalists’ plot.

      EDIT: That added, I do not dismiss this as a possibility. However, it was not so obvious that it had occurred to me!

        Quote  Reply

    52. The Dragon Demands,

      They were talking about how well the casting of Indira Varma worked … how they loved her in Rome … and how Ellaria was originally a one season character, mainly to be in Oberyn’s shadow, but when they got her they expanded her role. The sound was turned off and you didn’t hear the “offending” line. It makes you wonder how they would have killed Myrcella if another actress had taken the role (and no Ellaria for Seasons 5 or 6).

        Quote  Reply

    53. Tywin of the Hill:

      – I prefer Jon’s assassination in the books.

      I prefer the one in the show for a couple reasons:
      1) Bigger scale: Every high ranking officer stabbed Jon, showing that his decisions really pissed them off.
      2) More organised: Instead of stabbing him in the middle of the day, they waited till nightfall, thus making sure nobody has seen them.
      3) Jon actually died: In the books we are left clueless, in the show, he is clearly dead (at least for some time).

        Quote  Reply

    54. Wimsey,

      That is true … The Norrey and the Flint … although as I recall they were primarily concerned that the Wildlings be settled on the Gift and that they stated they would kill any wildlings who came on their land … of course, in the books it is not Alliser … it is Bowen

        Quote  Reply

    55. I forgot to add something. Memory Lane was really amazing and I want to thank everyone, who has taken part in it. I loved reading these recaps, even though I was ahead with the rewatch. I’m so glad I found this site, where people actually love TV show and don’t constantly complain about the changes.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Wimsey: The problem with the assassination in the books is that it left too many readers confused about why it happened, at least among the hardcore fans.The show made it abundantly clear: this is all about Jon letting the Wildlings into Westeros.

      As they have shown, B&W are aware of a lot of the fan conjectures.This could be a good thing because it means that they are aware of what some readers are getting confused.That, in turn, means that they have a better idea of what needs to be adapted for the sake of clarity.

      The assassination was really well done in the books imo, one of the highlights of ADWD was Jon’s arc as it made Jon morally questionable as hell where as in the show you aren’t meant to view him in a bad light at all, he’s completely in the right.

      That being said I don’t have that much of a problem with the show’s depiction I just wish they made it more morally grey like in the books. Even one of the Ds say in the post ep bit that Thorne stabbing Jon is “A bad guy stabbing a good guy”.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Bearded Onion: The assassination was really well done in the books imo, one of the highlights of ADWD was Jon’s arc as made Jon morally questionable as hell where as in the show you aren’t meant to view him in a bad light at all, he’s completely in the right.

      That being said I don’t have that much of a problem with the show’s depiction I just wish they made it more morally grey like in the books. Even one of the Ds say in the post ep bit that Thorne stabbing Jon is “A bad guy stabbing a good guy”.

      I don’t think ser Alliser is a “bad guy”. He is a grey character, like everyone else. Definitely more complex than his book counterpart.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Lord Parramandas,

      In the books the timing was more happenstance … when the opportunity arose … due to the to-do created by Wun Wun’s killing of Ser Patrick … there was a clear indication that Jon was going to foresake his vows due to the Pink Letter … they had to act quickly before he left for Winterfell and that may have been the best chance given the chaos that errupted … in the show he is not immediately leaving Castle Black so they could be more deliberate

        Quote  Reply

    59. Darkrobin: That is true … The Norrey and the Flint … although as I recall they were primarily concerned that the Wildlings be settled on the Gift and that they stated they would kill any wildlings who came on their land … of course, in the books it is not Alliser … it is Bowen

      True! However, they also had Alliser subsume a few key traits of Bowen’s on the show, including being badly wounded in the attack on the Wall. I think that this was an effective adaptation: the show has far too many characters as it isa, and even viewers who do not remember Ser Alliser’s name cannot forget that smug arrogant bully’s face! (It helps that they do not make him another walking pile of hair.)

        Quote  Reply

    60. Darkrobin: in the show he is not immediately leaving Castle Black so they could be more deliberate

      It was deliberate in the books, too. The head of the Nationalist faction in the books was about as capable of spontaneity most people are of flying! And according to that instigator, Jon already had committed treason: after trying to obliquely indicate it several times, he finally blurts out that letting the Wildlings into Westeros is treason.

      Of course, Marsh also heavily implied that he thought that appearing to support Stannis in any way was treason. So, Marsh clearly thought that Jon was prone to treasonous behavior.

      The difference was that the Nationalists were give a now-or-never moment to assassinate Jon in the books. On the show, they had the leisure of picking their moment. Hopefully, it communicated the important point: despite the threat of White Walkers, many view Wildlings a a more clear and more present danger.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Josh L: It’s been explained to you countless times why the plot makes sense on the show. You covering your eyes and screaming “la la la” like the book purist you are doesn’t change the fact that the sequence as shown on TV makes sense, and even in the books the Pink Letter was not the catalyst for Jon Snow’s murder.

      Get over it already.

      It will be utterly hilarious if…..and I know this is a big if…..in Season 6 they retroactively have Thorne say that yes, they did it because of the Bolton victory, and the TV show didn’t explain this at first just to keep it shocking.

      Where will all of your rationalizations be then?

      Big if, though.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Bearded Onion,

      I always thought that the reason in the book was cumulative … yes, the wildlings … but also his express intent to ride for Winterfell … to me it made sense … whether they would have done it anyway even without the Pink Letter is beside the point … Wildlings + Jon’s announcement he was riding to Winterfell to take part in the affairs of the realm (I know that there is a controversy regarding whether as “taking no part” is not part of the vows but more of a custom, whether Jon actually broke his vows or merely broke the customs of the NW, but I think that is beyond his brothers)

      In retrospect Mormont’s words to Jon foreshadow the cirucmstances of his death.

      Your heart is noble, Jon, but learn a lesson here. We cannot set the world to rights. That is not our purpose. The Night’s Watch has other wars to fight.

      And due to many mistakes made by the Watch, as well as the indifference of the rest of Westeros to the Watch, it appears that the wall may fall. Eternal vigilence it was not.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Wimsey,

      Good Point. Marsh was anything but spontaneous. And yes, many thought Jon too close to Stannis, taking part in the wars/politics of the Kingdom, Deliberate but opportunistic is a good way to describe it …

        Quote  Reply

    64. Jared,

      I love your thoughtful posts and also the considerate way that you engage in discussion with other posters. Hope you will continue to comment in the episode threads for S6.

      And to Sue and the rest of the authors here, thanks for the “Memory Lane” articles. Its been some of the best work that this site has done. I was reminded of many small moments that I had long forgotten.

      Looking forward to tomorrow tonight and what promises to be an exciting season…

        Quote  Reply

    65. This was great journey reading all this recaps. Eager to see what awaits us the next year. Really, Good Job writing all the memory lane.

      Tomorrow a new chapter begins.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Stunning episodes, one of the hardest ones to watch as the whole time (even as an unsullied) I had a bad feeling about jons fate. I was angry after that I had to wait ten months!

      The Mycella Jamie scene is VERY sad.

      Arya killing Trant was awesome!

        Quote  Reply

    67. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to find a reason why Thorne would kill Jon when he did and not shut out the wildlings in Episode 9.

      1. Even if Thorne didn’t open the gates, they would have been opened eventually. Jon Snow is the actual Lord Commander, and he still had loyal members of the Night’s Watch there. Thorne doesn’t want a violent conflict between him and the rest of the Night’s Watch right then and there. He would have had to restrain or kill the loyal members of the Watch if he was to keep the gates closed to the wildlings…and even then, Jon would still be alive, with an army of wildlings behind him.

      2. It’s quite possible that Thorne didn’t have the support he needed yet. Those like Yarwyk and Marsh may have been pissed at Snow, but maybe they weren’t ready to mutiny until they actually saw all the wildlings come through.

      3. By killing Jon when he was alone, unarmed, at night, surrounded by Thorne’s allies, Jon doesn’t have a way to retaliate (obviously) and there’s no telling who actually killed him, so Thorne has plausible deniability. Some seem to be purposefully ignoring the strategic and practical benefit of secretly killing him rather than openly opposing him in front of his allies in the Watch.

      The complaints about this is reflective of purist, mathematical thinking about an adaptation. 2+2=4, and taking 2 away means that 4 can’t be the answer to the problem. Similarly, a Night’s Watch mutiny doesn’t make sense unless Jon threatens to invade the Boltons beforehand…even when their hostility towards him was clear for a long time and the practical difficulties of pulling off a mutiny are easy enough to grasp for the general audience.

        Quote  Reply

    68. I have loved the Memory lane posts. Each author has their own unique voice, all entertaining, all valid, all helped us remind ourselves of the details and complexities of the show that sometimes can dim over the seasons.

      One thing that hasn’t been pleasant has been reminded of all of the differing opinions that comment on this particular site, and how people choose to express their own personal opinions in the comments. I will do my best not to let it dampen my excitement for the show. (Deep breath….. Count backwards from 10…..Namafuckinste….)

      Nonetheless, I’ll be watching tomorrow promptly at 9PM mountain (AZ) time, after my loinfruit is well asleep. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to stay off social media between 6 and 8:59 but I’m gonna try. Gotta hit up Total Wine for some Ommegangs tomorrow!

        Quote  Reply

    69. I’ve been waiting for Months to find out what’s next for Jon Snow
      So glad season 6 s finally here.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Darkrobin: And yes, many thought Jon too close to Stannis, taking part in the wars/politics of the Kingdom,

      heh, there I wondered if Bowen thought that this was treasonous not for “getting involved” but because (again) “you are helping the enemy.” Yes, the topic of getting involved in the politics of the 7 kingdoms comes up: but Marsh’s main point is that “most of the men” (by which he certainly means “I”) think that Tommen is Robert’s son, and that Stannis is lying about Tommen’s bastardy in order to seize the throne for himself. I.e., this is not “internal politics” but an enemy of the realm.

      Of course, this is always the Catch-22 of Civil War: there is no such thing as a neutral statement.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Hodor Targaryen: The complaints about this is reflective of purist, mathematical thinking about an adaptation.

      To an extent, there might be a “spoiled grapes” element as well. Book fans have argued among themselves as to why the Ides of Snow happened. The show’s adaptation sides squarely with those that said “Letting Wildlings into Westeros” is the right answer. It’s bad enough when B&W get things obviously wrong: but when they get them obviously wrong the way that the “fake” fans do, that’s doubly aggravating, right?

        Quote  Reply

    72. LatrineDiggerBrian: If Stannis does end up being dead, then I don’t really understand why they couldn’t give us confirmation.

      Originally, I greatly appreciated the show’s decision not to show Stannis’s death, and to provide this utterly broken man with a last vestige of dignity by not actually showing his head leaving his neck. I never doubted for a second that he did indeed die, but I’m also well aware of viewers’ tendencies to treat any death where they don’t see a body with a healthy degree of skepticism.

      Once it became clear that not showing Stannis’s death was going to lead to a full offseason of people wondering, honestly or merely hopefully, if he might be alive, I began to fervently wish that the show had just shown Brienne actually taking his head. In this particular case, an excess of sensitivity proved to be more trouble than it was worth.

      I was sympathetic to David Nutter’s concern that depicting Stannis being beheaded might have been too much, but they needn’t have shown such an action. They could have shown his hand going limp (à la Braveheart) and releasing his sword, perhaps with some blood running into the snow. That would have balanced the show’s desire to treat Stannis’s final moments with dignity while providing more definitive onscreen proof that he’d actually been killed.

      Wolfheart,

      The first time I saw that Beautiful Death poster (perfect, as always), I missed that little fawn in the background. I heard it was there from someone else, and when I went back to look again, I saw it. My heart broke all over again, as I wasn’t over Shireen’s death. Hell, I’m still not fully over it, even though I’ve long since come to appreciate the scene’s incredible power, both within the episode and in the context of Stannis’s entire character arc.

      I understood why the Beautiful Death poster for “The Dance of Dragons” focused on Daznak’s Pit, but I was a little upset that Shireen didn’t get a poster. It turns out, she did … along with her entire family 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    73. Wimsey,

      I didn’t know that was an argument among fans. I mean, I think it’s clear that it’s kind of both, right? That bad blood had been simmering between Snow and conservative Night’s Watch members like Marsh over the wildlings, but that the Bolton thing was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Or at least forced them to do it early? That’s another frustrating part of purist logic, complexity of human psychology seems a bit lost on them. Characters can’t have more than one reason for doing something, so when the show excises one of those reasons, somehow the other ones don’t matter.

        Quote  Reply

    74. By the way, I loved these Memory Lane posts. Didn’t get to read a lot of them, but the ones I did read were thoughtful. I think it was a great idea to get excited for the season (especially early on, when we were still waiting for trailers and the like). Just wanted to voice my appreciation to those hard-working WotW folks who put this together and put so much effort into it for our enjoyment, and I hope it is repeated next year.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Darkrobin,

      Thank you! I always enjoy your comments as well!

      I’m not sure if Varys leaves the city specifically because he disapproves of Kinvara and her fellow priests invading the city. But he’s definitely not going to be happy, as the leaked audition scene proves. Furthermore, despite his and Tyrion’s best efforts, the city’s definitely going to hell before Dany returns. But hopefully we’ll still get some good and witty repartee out of the Dream Team before they separate yet again.

      mariamb,

      Thank you! 🙂 I always enjoy talking about the show with you, both here and on Twitter. I’ll keep commenting as often as I can throughout Season 6, trying to keep things respectful and positive as ever. I hope you’ll share your thoughts as well when you have the opportunity.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Thank you all writers and volunteers for WoW. It’s been amazing finding this haven and it has helped me get through the wait while learning so much. Thank yo once again.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Jon now 2016 Return options
      1. Melisandre Resurrects jon Snow, the most believed Theory.
      2. Jon Snow Get’s Resurrected by the nights king, could happen. I doubt it.
      3. Bran and Blood Raven have a hand in Jon Snows Return.
      4. Bran Wargs into Jon Snow, highly Unlikely, Gods No…
      5. Jon Snow is really dead, and someone pretending to be Jon snow takes his place using glamour. Just as bad as number 4, Seven save me 🙁
      6 Jon Snow comes back in a way no one
      predicted, I can see this happening.
      100th reply talking about jon Snow.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Fun memory: I rewatched this episode before sitting down to write this. I also watched the “Previously on Game of Thrones” quick recap before the episode, and remembered what a furor it caused last year with its inclusion of Benjen Stark. Everyone thought it meant we would be seeing Uncle Benjen returning in the episode. What a glorious trolljob that was.

      Oh yeah; in the back of my head as I was reading all the speculation, I kept thinking, really? Something is fishy here…..

      The Dragon Demands,

      It was…..it was just so random and out of nowhere. Were there like, fragmented unfilmed scenes they abandoned before this?

      The signs were there, plenty of times when we are almost told what will happen – both in the book and in the show. But it probably did help that I knew what happened in the book, sooo

      Young Dragon,

      No, it was just Stannis getting a lot of bad news at one time. Like I said, tragic. Hearing that made me think of Macbeth – in fact the words the soldier says to Stannis are similar to what they say to Macbeth about his Lady. When things go wrong, it doesn’t rain but it pours.
      GOT is Shakespere tragedy at its best

      Lyanna_Targaryen,

      Nonetheless, I’ll be watching tomorrow promptly at 9PM mountain (AZ) time

      Wait, I thought it was 9 EST, 6 our time……Which please (and we do need to get together one of these days for a GOT watch. My DH isn’t interested any more and its more fun with company!)

        Quote  Reply

    79. The Dragon Demands,

      How can you criticise the Wall politics as they have been depicted by D&D with just a big and in my opinion meaningless if? What’s the point of it when all the logic for Thorne’s and the rest of mutineers’ decision to kill Jon are in front of our eyes? How could the mutineers act otherwise when there are enough Watchers who would have been sceptical to or even worse against their plans? How could the mutineers not take into account the numerical presence of Wildlings who have already camped around the Wall after S3Ep9 plus the newcomers? How could the mutineers count on the Boltons when the Boltons have not yet managed to establish their authority at WF, and why would they count on the fact that the Boltons would risk to interfere in an internal conflict in the Watch? In addition the mutineers and largely all Watchers, and that has been made clear several times, have their own self-sufficient logic, a logic that is permeated by a sense of being and living together and under the omnipresent power of an oath. That is why Thorne acknowledged Jon’s contribution when the Wildling’s attacked CB, that is why Thorne accepted his defeat by Jon as LC and that is why Thorne implicitly approved of Jon’s decision to behead Janos Slynt and that is why Jon’s murder is strictly an internal For the Watch affair.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Sue and co – this Memory Lane segment has not only bring me back to the episodes, but encouraged more comments from others that gave me different perspective. I really looked forward to them. Thinking maybe for off season next year, go back and start doing them from Season 1? Thanks again to all of the writers for your work!

      Oh meant to say before – I loved this episode and think that Headly, Nutter and D&D richly deserved their emmys for it.

        Quote  Reply

    81. I’m surprised there are still people cheering for Arya after this episode. The girl is a psychopath! Killing Trant was revenge for Syrio. OK, I get that. But how she did it, Jesus Christ! For a girl that once saw herself so high and mighty above muderers like the Hound, she sure as hell became one crazy, muderous lunatic…

        Quote  Reply

    82. Wimsey,

      You guys may well be right about Stannis, but the point of my post was, saying you’re right because the actor confirmed it isn’t great reasoning. There is this thing call lying.

        Quote  Reply

    83. I think the motivations for the assassination of Jon are worse in the movie than the books, if just because there are trustworthy survivors at Hardhome. It’s absolutely bananas to let wildings stay on the north side of the wall, as they become far scarier when the white walkers take them. In comparison, the white walker threat is still not quite that clear for the watch.

      The white walker threat is so clear after Hardhome, it’s likely the wildlings would have given up much to cross the wall.

      That’s why I thought that, in the series, the pink letter would have made more sense: What seems like an insane idea that goes against what the watch is about is to even consider sending an army to Winterfell.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Flayed Potatoes,

      I agree that it easily could’ve been a nice tidy ending to his arc, but I could also see other ways that his story could continue. It’s not impossible.

      Jared,
      Thronetender,

      For the life of me, I cannot understand how you guys can take David Nutter at face value when he’s talking about a beheading being too gratuitous. Did you not see what happened to Oberyn Martell? Did you not see what happened to Rob and Cat Stark? And they easily could’ve confirmed the kill with a tiny bit of blood without making it overly gratuitous. Easily.

      If he does indeed end up being dead, then I think they erred in making his death a cliff hanger. Why go out of your way to show Brienne clearly hesitating (which no one has disputed in this thread) and to not confirm the kill? And to have it happen early in the episode? They could’ve easily had Brienne find a half alive Stannis at night and do the job later in the episode.

      If he is alive, I think they left it as a cliff hanger as a favor to George. To give him a chance to finish the book so he could officially be the one that breaks the death of Stannis in Winds.

      Otherwise, I think it was a mistake. Too many cliff hangers in the episode. It frustrated me as a viewer as the episode moved forward.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Bob,

      How is the White walker threat not yet clear for the Watchers? We saw Wights in Castle Black. A whole expedition was attacked by Wights. Rangers who never come back, or come back either butchered or insane, Sam the Slayer, Hardhome. I mean what else must happen in order to make the WW threat imminent and fast approaching? It is not a matter of a threat becoming real it is a matter of a stubborn, landlocked, sterile mentality. It is typical when the end seems inevitable people are stuck in their own failed ways of living and thinking. They don’t want to accept this failure and they don’t want to do anything to save that that can be saved. If the WW come it is the end but until then we will keep playing the game of the angry and wounded men by Jon’s insistence to let our Wildlings enemies to cross the Wall.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Jack Bauer 24,

      Jon is dead…but didn’t get a Beautiful Death poster.

      I don’t remember seeing one for the Hound, either…

      Edit: I should also add a big THANK YOU to all of the folks doing the write-ups. I try to read everything from you guys and the comments, too! Everyone here adds so much to my enjoyment of the show! Can’t wait until tomorrow night!

      Hmmm. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    87. Hodor Targaryen: That bad blood had been simmering between Snow and conservative Night’s Watch members like Marsh over the wildlings, but that the Bolton thing was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

      I think that the assassination had been planned for some time. Too many people misremember the letter as revealing the entire plan to which Jon had been privy: but it really didn’t. Basically, it would make no sense to most of them, including the Nationalists: if we had no other information other than that letter, then we’d have no idea what (if anything) Jon had done. Only we book readers could make sense of it. However, I also think that the Nationalists did not care what the letter meant or whether it was true: what it meant was that they now had a much narrower window to kill the Traitor before he left Castle Black than they thought.

        Quote  Reply

    88. dothrakian raven: How is the White walker threat not yet clear for the Watchers? We saw Wights in Castle Black.

      We did, but not many of them did.

      dothrakian raven: A whole expedition was attacked by Wights.

      Of whom, only two returned: and both of them were good friends of Jon.

      dothrakian raven: Rangers who never come back, or come back either butchered or insane, Sam the Slayer, Hardhome.

      Rangers are always being lost, and it’s usually because of Wildlings. Nobody has come back insane. Last season suggests that few people believe Sam’s story. And almost none of them went to Hardhome, and most of them probably do not believe the recounting.

      dothrakian raven: I mean what else must happen in order to make the WW threat imminent and fast approaching?

      They have to really see it. They would have to be able to put aside their hatred of the Wildlings: and as the show has done a really good job of showing how strong the hatred is on both sides, clearly that is asking a lot. As the White Walkers have not hurt them anywhere near as much as the Wildlings have, it is asking even more.

        Quote  Reply

    89. LatrineDiggerBrian: If he does indeed end up being dead, then I think they erred in making his death a cliff hanger.

      But it wasn’t a cliffhanger for most of the viewers. At some point, you are going to have to accept this simple truth!

        Quote  Reply

    90. The Dragon Demands,

      The signs were there, plenty of times when we are almost told what will happen – both in the book and in the show.But it probably did help that I knew what happened in the book, sooo

      Er…when I said “that came out of nowhere” I was referring to Tyene’s “you want the good girl” line.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Wimsey,

      Right, I’m just a dumbass who is an “average” viewer and who isn’t on your intellectual level so I was unable to comprehend the obvious.

        Quote  Reply

    92. My thanks also go to Sue and the WotW team and also to the guest writers for the Memory Lane marathon. I found it a mine of information and although I have re-watched the series many times, I was surprised how much I had missed (or misunderstood) such as subtle interactions between the characters and these recaps filled in the gaps.

      In this episode, the lowest point for me was Myrcella’s death. I really thought up to the point when Myrcella told Jamie she knew he was her father it would have a happy ending, but being GoT it was not to be.

      My high points being Reek once again becoming Theon and pushing Myranda off the wall and escaping with Sansa and Arya taking out Meryn Trant. Cersi’s ‘Walk of Atonement’ was pretty epic also and that final moment when she was carried away by The Mountain, one could see from the expression on her face she’ll be getting revenge for being forced to do that – Re “I chose violence!” I had to chuckle at the expression on Pycelle’s face (the dirty ol’ lecherous fucker) just before Qyburn covered her naked body 😉

      As for Jon Snow getting assassinated, I never saw that coming. My reaction must have been the same as millions of other viewers. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing and feeling – Like how the fuck can they kill off a character whose so important to the underlying thread of the story. What a spectacular ending to S5 that was !

      It will be interesting to see how S6 pans out. Especially regarding Jon Snow and whether or not he will temporarily warg into Ghost before being rezzed with a new identity. As the saying goes – “The King is dead – Long live the King” ?

        Quote  Reply

    93. dothrakian raven,

      It is typical when the end seems inevitable people are stuck in their own failed ways of living and thinking. They don’t want to accept this failure and they don’t want to do anything to save that that can be saved

      Mmmm, sounds like art is imitating life here…..:)

        Quote  Reply

    94. just finished re watching the last three episodes of season , Thanks for the memory lanes. I had a lot of fun reading them every day since the GOT 50 began.
      The wait is finally over and season 6 is Here, Let Jon Snow be Reborn a new.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Sue, you are our champion! Re-watch of this episode is a different experience to first watch – the cast really shine, as does the staging and cinematography. Aria’s damage becomes much more apparent, it’s interesting to see Dario take a leadership role, the Tyrion/Varys re-union harks back to their first tentative steps toward alliance in KL, and Cersei’s entire atonement sequence, from bath and shearing, to the doors of the Red Keep, was top notch theatre (on TV!). Icing on the cake: Ustad Djawadi’s score, seamlessly woven throughout. Roll on S6e1!

        Quote  Reply

    96. Thank you, thank you all the writers!! This whole run-up has been awesome. Also, thank you for the screen-grabs- I’ve really enjoyed the close-up on the costumes.

        Quote  Reply

    97. My ranking of season 5 eps, best to worst.
      1. Ep8, Hardhome (obviously)
      2. Ep5, Kill the Boy (The themes in this episode, mmm tasty drama)
      3. Ep7, The Gift (The pick up just before Hardhome, Give Alfie Allan a gobbie right now, oh wait, never mind).
      4. Ep10, Mother’s Mercy (Lena Heady MPV, Arya brutal, Jon’s death was okay. The rest was not).
      5. Ep9, The Dance of Dragons (As a stand alone episode it was great but I find Shireen’s death pointless, a great scene but pointless. And Drogon of course).
      6. Ep1, The Wars to Come (Strong season opener, drama at the Wall is great).
      7. Ep4, Sons of the Harpy (Just…. ehhh)
      8. Ep3, High Sparrow (the moment there was a collective sigh upon realising Sansa Poole was a thing).
      9. Ep2, The House of Black and White (Just…. why? Someone tell me why?)
      10. Ep6, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (what an utter piece of trash)

        Quote  Reply

    98. I just want to be grateful to the team of Watchers on the Wall. This was an excellent series! I looked forward to every recap for all of these 50 days. You made a series recap possible for me in your own way, enhanced by your perspective.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Can’t rank the Season 5 episodes 1 – 10 but for me

      Mother’s Mercy, Hardhome, The Dance of Dragons and Kill the Boy were definitely a notch above the rest.

      And IMO not a single episode was a clunker although some scenes were disappointing for sure. I find when you watch the episodes in a binge session it work so much better than in weekly chunks with time for people to try and nitpick and moan – before waiting to see what transpires in the rest of the season.

      Having read the books before seeing any of the show, I knew season 5 would be a big test, I reckon by and large it succeeded though inevitably it could never be completely satisfying given that some book storylines by necessity had to be ripped apart and looked at anew for TV adaptation.

      “Memory Lane” has been a lot of fun, thanks to all who took the time to write the reviews.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Best to worst.
      1. Hardhome: The other scenes are good, but what I adore about this episode is the Jon part. It’s full of good scenes, both dramatic (Jon exiting the burning hut, “Now we’re 2 fools together”), comedic (Rattleshirt’s death, “Fuck’em, they’re dead.”) and action-wise (White Walker fight, Wun Wun.) The best episode of the season and show.
      2. Mother’s Mercy: It provided us with fitting endings for the characters, while teasing the next season.
      3. Kill the Boy: Good acting. The Boltons were the highlight.
      4. The Wars to Come: Ciaran Winds gives an award winning final performance. Varys, Tyrion, and the “fucking crate.”
      5. The Gift: “Egg…I dreamed…that I was old.” Though the “slaves in Meereen” thing bothered me a little.
      6. The House of Black and White: The Jaqen reveal would’ve been a better cliffhanger. Rushed Jon election.
      7. High Sparrow: Cringeworthy wedding night. Boring episode overall.
      8. Dance of the Dragons: Ridiculous Ramsay incursion is ridiculous. Hardhome return… by land. SFX for Drogon left much to be desired.
      9. Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken: So much has been said about that episode that I don’t wanna sound repetitive.
      10. Sons of the Harpy: Nazi Sparrows. Biker Snakes.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Personally, I hated this episode. Almost every bit of it. Not because characters died, I can handle that. Because of what a huge fucking mess it was. I really don’t get what people love about it so much, or how in the world it even won all those awards.

      Only good scenes here were the opening (even there the writing was fairly poor), the Walk of Shame, and perhaps the ending. The rest was an absolute clusterfuck of poorly edited, unecessary and pointless cliffhangers. One of the worst episodes this season for me.

        Quote  Reply

    102. My list of best to worst episodes this season:

      1. 507 The Gift (best overall episode, every single scene was well shot, well edited, and the writing was pretty good compared to some other episodes)
      2. 508 Hardhome (Mainly for the battle sequence in the end, but I didn’t really feel the first half of the episode)
      3. 503 High Sparrow (some people think it’s boring, and while it’s true that not a great deal of things are happening, the quality of the scenes is still outstanding to me)
      4. 509 Dance of Dragons (Very good episode if you discount the final sequence. The whole scene at Daznak’s was beyond cringey, it felt like very mediocre TV, which is a sad thing to say about such a big, vital scene from Game of Thrones)
      5. 501 The Wars to Come (it did really well as a season opener)
      6. 504 Sons of the Harpy (somewhat of a mixed bag, when there was a bad scene it was overly bad, but there were also numerous scenes that were very good)
      7. 505 (kind of boring, but had some good scenes)
      8. 502 The House of Black and White (kind of boring, but had some good scenes)
      9. 510 Mother’s Mercy (for reasons stated in my comment above)
      10. 506 Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (very boring episode, and very few good quality scenes to make up for that)

        Quote  Reply

    103. I can’t believe it’s already been 50 day’s. You all made time flie as we are all counting down the days (and hours now.. only 16 hours to go!!!)

      Thank you! I have enjoyed this “trip”.

        Quote  Reply

    104. My ranking of season 5 episodes:

      10) The House of Black and White (7/10)
      9) Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (8/10)
      8) The Wars to Come (8/10)
      7) Sons of the Harpy (8/10)
      6) Kill the Boy (8/10)
      5) High Sparrow (9/10)
      4) The Gift (9/10)
      3) The Dance of Dragons (10/10)
      2) Mother’s Mercy (10/10)
      1) Hardhome (10/10)

      Average rating: 8.7

        Quote  Reply

    105. And my whole list:

      50) The Night Lands (7/10)
      49) The Prince of Winterfell (7/10)
      48) Lord Snow (7/10)
      47) Breaker of Chains (7/10)
      46) Dark Wings, Dark Words (7/10)
      45) The Bear and the Maiden Fair (7/10)
      44) The Ghost of Harrenhal (7/10)
      43) The Kingsroad (7/10)
      42) The House of Black and White (7/10)
      41) Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (8/10)
      40) Valar Dohaeris (8/10)
      39) The North Remembers (8/10)
      38) The Climb (8/10)
      37) Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things (8/10)
      36) Mhysa (8/10)
      35) Oathkeeper (8/10)
      34) Winter is Coming (8/10)
      33) The Wars to Come (8/10)
      32) First of His Name (8/10)
      31) Walk of Punishment (8/10)
      30) The Pointy End (8/10)
      29) What Is Dead May Never Die (8/10)
      28) You Win or You Die (8/10)
      27) A Man Without Honor (8/10)
      26) Sons of the Harpy (8/10)
      25) Mockingbird (8/10)
      24) Kill the Boy (8/10)
      23) Valar Morghulis (9/10)
      22) Garden of Bones (9/10)
      21) Fire and Blood (9/10)
      20) High Sparrow (9/10)
      19) The Old Gods and the New (9/10)
      18) The Wolf and the Lion (9/10)
      17) A Golden Crown (9/10)
      16) The Gift (9/10)
      15) Two Swords (9/10)
      14) Second Sons (9/10)
      13) Kissed by Fire (10/10)
      12) The Dance of Dragons (10/10)
      11) Baelor (10/10)
      10) The Lion and the Rose (10/10)
      9) The Laws of Gods and Men (10/10)
      8) And Now His Watch Is Ended (10/10)
      7) The Mountain and the Viper (10/10)
      6) The Rains of Castamere (10/10)
      5) Mother’s Mercy (10/10)
      4) The Children (10/10)
      3) Hardhome (10/10)
      2) Blackwater (10/10)
      1) Watchers on the Wall (10/10)

        Quote  Reply

    106. Congratulations are in order to Sue and all the other contributors who made Memory Lanes happen. My thanks also go to countless posters whose thoughts and opinions in the comment section helped shape this series of posts into one of the most enjoyable WotW has ever hosted. It was great to revisit the episodes of our favorite show together with my illustrious fellows at the Wall. Long may we reign!

        Quote  Reply

    107. 10) Kill the Boy – Bit of a snoozer
      9) The Gift
      8) Hardhome – Hate zombies and prefer the smaller action scenes to the big battles
      7) Sons of the Harpy
      6) The House of Black and White – Loved the Brienne, Baelish guards fight
      5) The Wars to Come – Good premiere, Mance was a shocker to me
      4) High Sparrow – Intro to house of B & W, Volantis, Brienne and Pad, Kings Landing
      3) Mother’s Mercy – High octane finale
      2) Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken – Supremely underrated episode
      1) The Dance of Dragons – D & D & D master class, shocked people didn’t like Drogon CGI

        Quote  Reply

    108. This episode was just perfect. From Stannis’s final march, witch was just beautiful.
      Cersei’s walk.

      Jon’s assassination. You can’t imagine how glad I was that Thorne did. Much better then the clusterfuck in the books.
      Sansa’s story was perfect. So much that it made me a fan of her character and she is one of the characters I look the most towards.
      Myrcella’s death was so sad..
      Arya’s story was just perfect.
      Me and my father where watching the episode togheter, when Tyene said that line we laughed and he said: ”that is really Oberyn’s girl”.

      Better to laugh then close the book and not read it for 2 week after ”i am of the night.”

      All in all this is my 3rd favourite season. Probaly 2nd if it wasn’t for Sean Bean during S1. S4 was still better though, mostly because Oberyn.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Varys and Tyrion are amazing. I can’t wait to see more of them.

      Getting Tyrion to meet Dany is in my opinion the best decision they made.
      But putting him in Meereen with Varys is a briliant decision.

      I can’t wait to see more of them.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Mihnea,

      It was a very good decision, indeed. And there were more like it: Having Jaqen be the Faceless Man, having Arya with Tywin in S2, for instance.

      Also I want to thank Sue and the rest of the crew for this amazing Memory Lane. It really made the wait easier (and helped me remind how many days there were left: “Oh today the memory lane will be “High Sparrow” so it’s only seven more days”).

      And thanks for keeping any spoilers from the first ep off this site. I’ve heard they are quite huge so I’m really happy I’ve managed to not have a look at them this time. I reeeeeeeeeeeally hope HBO is able to prevent this from happening every week. As I’ve said before, this is much, MUCH worse than a superfan “having his own little commando expedition”.

        Quote  Reply

    111. During the last two weeks of last season I was in Greece, without hbo, or access to it, obviously. So I just waited out, staying away from the Internet and all, waiting to go back and watch the last two episodes.
      So I had no idea what happens in the end, no clue about Jon, nothing.
      And then at the airport before leaving I get this newspaper to pass time. And I read an article on the negotiations on the Greek debt crisis. So the journalist goes : “let’s see if the Greek Finance Minister will make it, or whether he’s gonna end up stabbed to death by his comrades like Jon Snow”. Or something like that.
      I think the other passengers thought I was having a stroke.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Sou,

      This just proves that you can’t avoid spoilers.

      The show has become to big. Can you remember a show that people from all over the world watch or at least heard of? I can’t.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Wimsey,

      what do you mean “not many of them did” the attack of two whights happened inside CB, they attacked the Lord Commander Mormont and in the end they had to burn their bodies. The man who executed Edd Stark was one of those who lost their mind before he lost his head he told the Watchers what has happened. The show was careful to give us a lot of incidents. Furthermore the Watchers live in an area where these incidents have happened and in most cases involved Watchers. When Jon comes from Hardhome, Thorne looks at him and by the state of the Wildlings and the rest of the expedition understands pretty well what had happened.
      The show did a great job to show us that the Wildlings do not necessarily (at least not all of them) hate the Watchers for the sake of it. The show made it clear that the Wildlings at this point want to save themselves from the WW threat. Mance didn’t attack the Wall because he had so much spare time and didn’t know what to do with it. He attacked the Wall for one reason and guess what the reason was not his hatred for the Watchers. Had it been black and white Jon would have been already dead. So the haters are mainly the Watchers because this hatred gives them a purpose. The show did a good job to show the corrupt, stale and degraded way of their thinking. It made a good job to show that nobody cares about them except they themselves and it made a good job to show that they are aware of it. So Jon tried to change things a bit, he tried to make them part of a greater whole and to communicate to them the nature and the extent of the danger that the WW make up and that crushed their limited weltanchauung. Hence he paid the price.

        Quote  Reply

    114. And thus concludes the walk down memory lane. Thanks for a great series of posts to all contributors. Here’s to the new season that is upon us. *raises wine glass*

        Quote  Reply

    115. My ranking
      seasons
      5
      3
      1
      4/2

      Season 5
      10. House of Black and White
      9. High Sparrow
      8. The wars to come
      7. Sons of Harpy
      6. Kill the boy
      5. Mother’s Mercy
      4. Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
      3. The dance of dragons
      2. The gift
      1. Hardhome

        Quote  Reply

    116. Lord Parramandas,

      Nice! I was thinking about posting my own list, but your list is pretty close to mine, especially at the top and the bottom. I have “Kissed by Fire” and “Baelor” in the Top 10 instead of “Mother’s Mercy” and “The Laws of Gods and Men”, but those episodes are very close. All 10/10 episodes in my book, for sure.

      The episodes that I would put in my bottom 10 (even if I still love them), are pretty similar to yours as well. A few substitutions and some minor shuffling with the order, but most of the same episodes are there.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *