TV Show Review

TV Review: GAME OF THRONES: Season 5, Episode 5: Kill the Boy [HBO]

HBO‘s Game of Thrones Kill the Boy TV Show ReviewGame of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 5: The Kill the Boy marks the halfway point in season five. For those who felt the previous episode’s abundance of plots and characters were tough to follow, Kill the Boy skips over the events in Dorne, King’s Landing and Bravos, creating a slower paced, highly focused episode.

It has been more than a season since Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) halted her march back to the Seven Kingdoms, and since then, the never-ending turmoil in Meereen has proven to be one of the least interesting aspects of the show.  Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) journey to Meereen was enough to pique the audience’s interest in the storyline; however, now that we are half way through season five, it feels more likely that Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) will figure out how to outmaneuver Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) in a game of Monopoly before Tyrion and Khaleesi cross the narrow sea together.

Ser Barristan’s (Ian McElhinney) death forced Daenerys to give up on her aspirations of benevolent dictatorship. Daenerys has repeatedly shown poor judgement in dealing with her kingdom’s political outbursts. Daenerys is young, inexperienced and prone to taking advice from her counsel. What sets her apart from other conquerors is the might of her dragons. While Daenerys burned a man alive during a moment of “Targaryan rage”, the fire also purged her clouded mind, offering a moment of clarity. Daenerys realized that she cannot instill her values  upon a people so set in their ways. Daenerys, much like the characters on the show that managed to survive  for several brutal seasons, realized the key to success is compromise; she reopened the fighting pits and is poised to marry Hizdahr zo Loraq (Joel Fry) as an act of good will to her people.

Back on the wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) had a leadership epiphany of his own. The Free Folk and the people of the North have been killing each other for centuries, and it was up to Jon to convince both sides to change their ways.  Jon brokered an uneasy peace with the Free Folk, which is more than anyone has accomplished in thousands of years. While it may be easy to credit this feat to Jon’s rock-star status as the son of Eddard Stark, the new Lord Commander of The Night’s Watch and the object of Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) approving nods, the encroachment of an army of White Walkers is enough to motivate Kanye West and the paparazzi to get along.

Stannis Baratheon’s trip south is set to have a major impact on the events of the show. As much as viewer’s would like to see the downfall of those sinister Boltons, it’s great to see Stannis take the time to halt his journey and acknowledge the threat of the White Walkers. Yes, many in the Seven Kingdoms consider the Walkers to be fairy tales, but Stannis travels with a witch, he is a believer. The Machiavellian politics between the Lannister’s and Martells mean little when there is a horde of snow zombies cutting a swath through King’s Landing.

Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), perhaps the noblest character on the show is 0 for 2 in her “save a Stark girl” campaign. Over the course of her journey, we have watched Brienne become more of a pragmatist, and it appears that she is now willing to use subterfuge and misdirection in order to protect Sansa (Sophie Turner). Brienne has slowly transformed into a character willing to play by The Seven Kingdom’s crooked rules and it will be interesting to see what kind of toll this newfound outlook takes on her.

This week we were privy to another Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) Fifty Shades of Grey re-enactment. Roose (Michael McElhatton) and Ramsey are two of the most hated characters on the show, so it was amusing to see Ramsay squirm after realizing that his soon-to-be baby brother may supplant  him as heir to The North.  What’s even funnier is how Roose Bolton’s, “you are my son” speech was the bizaaro version of Stannis’ you are my daughter speech to Shireen (Kerry Ingram) in last week’s episode. Shireen’s mother treats her like Sloth from The Goonies because the poor child came down with greyscale, however, in Westeros, being born a bastard of low standing is far worse. Sansa found some amusement in Ramsay’s dismay at the dinner table. Was Sansa’s  look of pleasure derived  from seeing Ramsay behave like a petulant child or was she smirking because she found a weakness in him to manipulate?

Tyrion and Jorah’s (Ian Glen) brief appearance towards the end of the show felt like a diversion from everything else in the episode.  Not much had changed from the last time that we saw them aside from Tyrion’s eye-socket being as bruised as his ego. The Stone Men attack felt like a throw in; an exciting scene for everyone to discuss while waiting for the next episode to air. That is, until the reveal that Jorah is contaminated with the disease during the scuffle. Jorah’s  secret infection changes everything. Ive never been a fan of the over-done zombie movie trope, where a person secretly hides being infected from their group of survivors, and I expect that is how the show will handle Jorah’s infection. Game of Thrones has always been great at subverting genre expectations, so I’ll withhold judgement until this storyline can play out.

We are officially halfway through Game of Thrones fifth season.  Many of the show’s disparate plot threads are beginning to bind together, offering the slightest of hints about the series end game. Jon feels like a leader, Dany is keeping her kingdom in check and Stannis is about to wage war on the Boltons; each story line feels as though it’s heading towards a logical conclusion. With another five episodes to go, and so many interesting scenarios in play, we can expect some major shakeups before the final credits roll in episode ten.

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About the author

Victor Stiff

Born and raised in Toronto, Victor has spent the past decade using his love and knowledge of the city to highlight and promote significant cultural events such as TIFF, The IIIFA awards, and the Anokhi Gala. He is an avid reader of Sci-fi and Horror and constantly sits through indie film marathons in rabid anticipation of the genre’s next great film auteurs. He also contributes sci-fi and fantasy movie reviews to

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