Game of Thrones recap: "Kill the Boy"

Game of Thrones recap: "Kill the Boy"

I truly thought someone would literally “kill a boy” in this episode. This is Game of Thrones, after all. But the show showed considerable death restraint this week, especially for an episode with the word “kill” in the title. All of the kills were metaphorical. Witness:

Jon Snow: This is where Maester Aemon actually uttered the words, “Kill the boy.” No, I’m sorry to say, he was not referring to Ollie. He was talking about the little bastard child who lives inside the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon has to make some hard decisions  as the head honcho of Castle Black. He has to free Tormund Giantsbane in order to let him pass back north of the wall and lead the wildlings to safety. Most of the Night’s Watch are against this move, but Jon is playing “Winter is Coming” chess and knows that they’ll be better off in the long run with a bunch of live wildlings instead of an army of cold, dead white walkers. Not just a pedestal to hold up Kit Harrington’s luscious locks, that thing atop Jon Snow’s neck.

Ollie doesn’t want to welcome the wildlings, because they killed his family and torched his town. Jon Snow tells him to “kill the boy” and nut up, because, son, you think you’ve lost people? I’ve lost people. We’ve all lost people.

Ramsay Bolton: This is where I thought we’d get some serious boy killing, actually infanticide, if we’re being literal. Murdering unborn children is what the Boltons do best. It’s kind of their thing. Ramsay learns that his dad is about to have a legit son with his new wife, Fat Walda, and the maester thinks it’s a boy. A threat to his succession can’t sit well with Ramsay, but he appears to accept the situation after his father tells him a lovely tale about the time he raped Ramsay’s mother, and how he wasn’t willing to accept Ramsay as his son until he looked into his eyes and saw the PURE EVIL.

Also with Ramsay, he is maturing? A little? He seems to be repressing some of his baser instincts. He accepts that he has to marry Sansa, and he’s being pretty cool about the whole thing right now. He only almost beats Reek for coming clean about talking to Sansa. (Side note: What is it with people on this show threatening bodily harm to those who spill information? Espionage, you’re doing it wrong.) I know there’s darkness lurking beneath the surface here, but until someone does something to disrupt the delicate balance of whatever the Boltons have going on here (a-hem, Miranda), I’m pretty sure Ramsay will continue to toe the line, lest he lose Sansa’s hand to Baby Walder Bolton.

Daenerys: She lost her mentor. Ser Barristan is dead. That really happened. One of the greatest knights in all of Westeros was offed by a bunch of street toughs. She needs to do something, so she threatens the leaders of all the important Meereenese families, actually going one step further than just threatening — she feeds a dude or two to her chained-up dragons. This whole thing doesn’t sit right with her, so she consults Messandei, who tells Dany that she’s tried listening to everyone, and maybe it’s time to try listening to herself. Dany “kills the boy” inside of her by reopening the fighting pits (no slaves need apply), pardoning Hizdahr Zo Loraq, and proposing marriage to him.

Samwell Tarly: He’s always been the boy who’s not good enough. He wasn’t a good enough soldier for his dad. He’s not the bravest member of Castle Black. But he smart as hell and he is the only one who’s been known to kill a white walker. He has committed himself (with Stannis’s blessing) to figuring out why obsidian is lethal to a white walker. Sam also mentions having wanted to be a maester, to study at the Citadel in Old Town. There are so many books there; he’d love to do some research. Keep that dream alive, Samwell Tarly.

Sansa: Sansa’s been killing the little girl inside of her since last season, since she no longer has her family to rely on; but now she knows for sure that there’s someone looking out for her. If she needs help, all she has to do is climb right up there to that tall tower from which Bran fell in the pilot and leave a candle burning. No big deal. However, while I want to believe that Sansa is working with a full deck these days, she did listen to Ramsay’s side piece when she told Sansa to walk to the very back of the kennel filled with murderous hunting dogs for a GREAT SURPRISE. What are you doing falling for that shit, Sansa? Did Littlefinger teach you nothing?

What she found at the end there was, of course, Reek, who’s still working all angles here, placating Ramsay while, I’m pretty sure, plotting some kind of amazing escape or something. Or maybe he’s just pathetic Reek and I’m giving him too much credit.

Podrick: He’s with Brienne, staying in an inn near Winterfell, and he is quite literally the only person actually having fun in Westeros right now. Keep on keeping on, Podrick Payne.

Other stuff:

  • Oh, yeah, Jorah and Tyrion. They tried to outwit the pirates by float through Valeriya, a city of ruins that is a leper colony for stone men, AKA people with grayscale, AKA that shit on Shireen’s cheek. If the stone men touch you, you get the greyscale. Tyrion claims not to have been touched. So does Jorah, but then Jorah turns away from Tyrion and checks his wrist. Yep. The greyscale. Can’t Jorah catch a break?
  • The whole stone man fight scene felt like a Walking Dead episode to me.
  • Grey Worm lives! And he’s kissing Missandei. And I can’t muster up any enthusiasm for this storyline.
  • Other things for which I cannot muster up enthusiasm? Gilly. Go away, Gilly.
  • Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, Shireen, and that bitch Selyse have left Castle Black and are marching toward Winterfell.
  • Jon Snow is on a boat with Thormund because he needs to convince the wildlings it’s NOT A TRAP.
  • Reek is going to give Sansa away at her wedding. I guess they don’t expect Littlefinger back anytime soon.

What did you think of the episode?

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