Morbid but appropriate question: How do you want to die? Your first choice is probably something along the lines of, “In my sleep, of old age, surrounded by four hundred smiling grandchildren,” but come on. What’s fun about that? Literally billions of people have passed away under those circumstances! We should all hope and pray for an interesting death that’ll keep people talking long after the memories of our actual accomplishments have faded. “I’ll never forget Bill Wilson and how he crashed his catamaran into a garbage island.” Or “Not a day goes by I don’t think of Linda Schwartzman getting attacked by those coyotes in the Macy’s parking lot.” These are the ways we should hope people talk about us when we’re dead. So when you see an overly ridiculous or violent death on TV, don’t be shocked. Be jealous.
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones featured one of its most ludicrous and amazing kills in its entire run. Yes, I’m talking about the guy who was both set on fire and then torn apart by dragons. We all cringed and perhaps even clapped when it happened but part of me was like, “Damn. That’s how I want to go.” You know? It’s the main reason I hope cloning becomes a real thing someday… It would make the possibility of me getting eaten by a dinosaur that much more real. Fingers-crossed!
“Kill the Boy” was a solid and enthralling hour of television that consisted mostly of intense conversation, but was bookended by a pair of stunning action moments. First the amazing dragon kill, then later the appearance of the dreaded Stone Men! Nothing like a huge dose of horror to wrap up an episode. But let’s start at the beginning!
We began in Meereen — *chorus of groans* — hear me out!
This would be a much better visit to Meereen in that Daenerys had HAD it with this loathsome town and she immediately set about exacting justice for last week’s masked uprising. The best kind of justice. DRAGON justice.
That’s one of the Meereen’s ruling family leaders getting set on fire and then torn in half by Dany’s sweet babies. And honestly? Not the worst way to go. As I said before, this was a death even his own family will be bragging about someday.
Anyway, don’t worry, Dany decided not to “overfeed” her dragons and threw the rest of the city leaders in jail. She is a fair and just leader, as always.
To answer your most pressing question from last week: Grey Worm did not die in the uprising last week! Yes, he lay down in a puddle of his own blood and sadness but here he was, very much alive. Which, surprisingly enough, came as a bit of a disappointment to him!
See, Grey Worm was very sad that Ser Barristan was dead and that he had not saved his life, which made him feel like a failure. But then he admitted to Missandei that his biggest fear in almost dying was not the fear of death, but the fear he’d never see her again.
Yeah, it was heart-crushingly romantic, especially when she climbed in bed beside him. These two are OTP for realsies. If you didn’t feel emotional at this moment then maybe your heart has Greyscale.
Later in the episode Missandei convinced Daenerys to follow her heart when it came to ruling, so that meant Dany suddenly got real diplomatic (which was a bummer considering how much righteous fun Double Dragon Street Justice had been) and reinstated the fighting pits to quell the masses’ insatiable lust for violence. And in a surprise twist she decided that she was going to marry this one advisor dude in order to get the ruling families off her back.
Like, I don’t know, guys. After Khal Drogo he’s a bit of a downgrade. But whatever works? I feel like Daario won’t be stoked, though.
Much of the episode took place at Castle Black where Jon Snow continued to struggle with his new role of Grand High Supreme Prime President King Lord. The main question was what to do with the Wildlings that were living under his roof, and more importantly how to better equip Castle Black against the inevitable White Walker incursion. It seemed like nobody could really agree on a plan of any kind!
Luckily this old blind guy had some great advice: Jon Snow was the only smart and honorable person in the vicinity so he needed to follow his heart or whatever. Which is a pretty good point, seeing as Jon Snow is basically the leader of a lot of criminals and rapists and they were all dressed in black fur that made them all look like they had dandruff. Maybe just feel free to take the reins, Jon Snow.
So his first order of business was trying to convince Gingerbeard McAngry to rally the Wildlings to fight alongside the Night’s Watch when the White Walkers descended. That would obviously make tons of sense, but the Wildlings were NOT about making sense. Eventually Jon Snow got this guy to agree to ride with him north of the wall to try and, I don’t know, campaign amongst the people? That’ll probably go well.
Meanwhile the rest of the Night’s Watch were just as wary of the Wildlings as the Wildlings were wary of them. A lot of that had to do with the fact that they’d all been murdering each other for centuries. Even the boy steward that had been emptying Jon Snow’s toilet basin objected to the idea of helping the Wildlings in any way. They’d murdered his parents, see, so that made them total jerks. Still though, Jon Snow stuck with his plan: They all needed the Wildlings help if they were going to stop the ice zombies. Settled.
There was also this cute scene in the mix: Stannis personally approached Samwell to get the scoop on how he’d killed the White Walker that one time.
It’s almost amazing how quickly I’ve come to love Stannis lately. Between this scene (in which he encouraged Samwell to continue his scholarly research into killing White Walkers) and last week’s scene in which he hugged his daughter, he’s gotten one million times more sympathetic this season. Which means he’s probably going to die soon, right? We definitely know better than to trust this show with our emotions at this point.
Anyway, it was time for Stannis and his army to finally depart Castle Black. Which meant no more sexy-flirtations with Melisandre for Jon Snow!
The main reason for Stannis’ departure was that Stannis didn’t seem super excited about his wife, daughter, and side-piece hanging around a bunch of horny ex-cons. But another reason was that “winter is coming” even though, duh, it’s snowing. Winter seems to be here already? The most exciting part was that Stannis and his army were off to retake Winterfell, so that was going to make things pretty interesting for Sansa. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, Brienne got a room at the Holiday Inn near Winterfell so that she could stare at Winterfell from her window. That’s when she encountered an elderly man who seemed pretty willing to help her slip a secret note to Sansa.
Between this old man and also the old woman who assured Sansa that she “still had friends in the north,” it’s like Winterfell was TEEMING with elderly spies. Very into it.
Speaking of into it, was anybody else uncomfortably attracted to Ramsay Bolton during his seemingly three-hour long nude scene? No, just me? Anyway, since he was engaged to Sansa he was getting as much last-minute hate-sexin’ in with his main lady as he could. Fair enough.
To her credit she seemed almost as mentally unstable as he was, so they made a cute pair. Then after she bit his lip all up and they enjoyed a shirtless hug together, the next scene had the girl approaching Sansa and behaving strangely. Was she going to try and destroy Sansa somehow, or was she mad at Ramsay for marrying Sansa and not her? Either way it meant that Sansa was led to the kennels where she encountered a familiar face.
Yep, you guessed it…
It was Reek fka Theon! He did not look great, and the kennel he’d been sleeping in did not look cozy. (Nowhere in Winterfell looks cozy, if we’re being honest.) But Sansa’s reaction to seeing him was a reminder that she still believed he had murdered her brothers Bran and Rickon. (He hadn’t.) I guess I wasn’t sure what Sansa knew or didn’t know about her little brothers and it’s incredibly sad that she currently believes FIVE of her family members have been slaughtered by enemies. That’s pretty tough in my opinion.
What followed was a super long and awkward dinner scene in which Ramsay analog-cyberbullied everyone about everything. Then he forced Reek to “apologize” to Sansa for murdering her brothers, and he seemed openly disappointed when his father and stepmother announced she was pregnant with what they assumed was a male heir.
But it was very hilarious when Sansa cracked a smile at this revelation. She was LIVING for Ramsay’s frowns. Anyway, yeah. Ramsay was not thrilled about possibly having a threat to his title. His poor baby brother.
The episode concluded with Tyrion and Ser Jorah’s sailboat trip to Valyria, which looked remarkably like the Jungle Cruise at certain points. Especially with all the ruins and giant beasts. Because yup! They spotted a dragon!
And while they were busy dragon-watching, we spotted something else behind Tyrion.
Meet the Stone Men! They are the end result of Greyscale, the wasting illness that turns peoples’ skin into a stone-like horror. And here they were, jumping into Ser Jorah’s boat and hissing and shrieking at everybody! Not only were they mean and annoying, if they so much as touched Tyrion or Ser Jorah’s skin, Tyrion or Ser Jorah would become sick as well! So that’s an especially fraught skirmish as far as skirmishes go. Just a total nightmare.
At one point Tyrion couldn’t fight off an attacker due to having his hands tied, so he jumped into the water only to be pulled deeper by a Stone Man! It looked really and truly unpleasant. Then the screen faded to black and for a moment it was the rudest fade-to-black in Game of Thrones history. But fortunately there was one more scene.
Ser Jorah had somehow saved Tyrion and dragged him ashore. They’d be walking the rest of the way to Daenerys. But unbeknownst to Tyrion, Ser Jorah was going to need some medical attention along the way.
Because WHOOPS! Those pesky Stone Men had spread their despicable skin condition to Ser Jorah. What an unpleasant turn of events for him. Still though, that was a truly amazing and terrifying sequence. Leave it to Game of Thrones to make beastdom a communicable disease. It’s like vampirism or lycanthropy except disgusting.
Despite the Stone Men attack and the scene in which two dragons tore a flaming man in half, “Kill the Boy” was a relatively subdued episode. Which was not to say it was boring — it was not boring — I just mean it got so much mileage out of mere conversations. From Jon Snow’s politicking to the ongoing psychological terror of the Reek-Ramsay relationship, “Kill the Boy” knew exactly how to keep us enthralled even without creatures hissing menacingly into the camera. It’s still not clear where this season is headed exactly, but credit where credit’s due: The journey continues to be stellar.
What did YOU think of “Kill the Boy”?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.