‘Game of Thrones’ 5.10 Recap: “Only Death Can Pay for Life”

I seem to be way out of touch with ‘Game of Thrones’ fandom this season. I didn’t much care for the White Walker battle a couple episodes ago, which everyone else went completely gaga for. Then I actually did like the dragon climax last week, but nobody else did. Let’s see how much you disagree with me about the finale.

I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I liked it. I imagine that, as happens with every major character death, waves of viewers will declare that the show has jumped its shark and swear never to watch again. That’s the way things have gone since Ned Stark bit it in Season 1.

Stannis Baratheon’s Camp

Stannis’ sacrifice of his daughter apparently worked. The harsh winter has broken and the weather has warmed up. Conditions are quite seasonable for an attack on Winterfell. Melisandre is quick to credit the God of Light. Unfortunately, having witnessed their leader murder his own daughter, fully half his army has deserted and taken what’s left of the horses with them. Stannis’ wife, who never seemed to care much for her daughter previously, has hung herself from a tree out of grief. Even Melisandre bails when she sees the writing on the wall. Stubborn as ever, Stannis insists on pressing forward anyway.

As they approach the castle, Stannis’ army is a sad lot. He orders the troops to prepare for a siege the next morning, but needn’t bother. The Bolton army, much vaster in number, has seen them coming and charges out on horseback, quickly surrounding and swarming the invaders.

It’s a short battle. Unlike the interminably repetitive zombie fight two weeks ago, this episode doesn’t dwell on the hacking and slashing to make its point. We see the beginning of the battle and quickly cut to the aftermath. Stannis is thoroughly routed. He’s done for. Ramsay takes glee in personally mopping up the few survivors.

Brienne watches from a nearby hill, throws on her armor and runs in. She finds Stannis still alive, but barely. He’s a tough bird. Even wounded, he takes down two Bolton soldiers. Brienne announces herself as a former Kingsguard for his brother Renly Baratheon. Will Brienne save Stannis? Oh wait, that’s right, Stannis had Renly assassinated and Brienne is still pissed about that. She sentences Stannis to death. Utterly defeated, he resigns himself to his fate and tells her to get it over with. Brienne takes her vengeance. So long, Stannis.

Winterfell

Inside the castle, Sansa uses the distraction of the battle as a chance to escape. She picks the lock on her door with that corkscrew she stole a while back and makes her way to the broken tower to light a candle. Too bad Brienne is preoccupied with other matters and doesn’t see it.

As Sansa tries to find an exit, she’s blocked by Theon and Ramsay’s girlfriend Myranda, the latter with a bow in her hand. Sansa tells them to go ahead and kill her. She’d rather die now than suffer any further with Ramsay. Quite the evil bitch, Myranda plans to hurt but not kill her. She needs to save the baby-making parts so Ramsay can produce an heir.

At this point, finally, Theon snaps. He can’t take anymore. He forces Myranda to miss her shot with the arrow, then picks her up and tosses her off the battlement to her (presumed) death below. He grabs Sansa and they run to the edge of the wall, step up on the parapet and, hand-in-hand like Thelma & Louise, leap off.

I have no doubt that both these characters will survive, but this sure looks like a suicide jump to me. The wall is very high and there’s nothing below to break their fall, except maybe some snow. I guess Sansa has nothing to lose and would rather go out on her own terms anyway, but the real chances of survival seem pretty far-fetched to me.

Braavos

At the brothel, the pedophile knight Ser Meryn beats three young girls with a stick. Only one doesn’t cry. Relishing the chance to break her, Meryn sends the other two girls away. The third, of course, peels back a mask from her face and reveals herself as Arya Stark.

With a shiv in her hand, Arya leaps on Meryn and stabs out his eyes, then shoves a rag in his mouth to prevent him screaming and gouges him repeatedly (though not fatally) in the chest. Arya announces her name and her intent to kill him as vengeance for Syrio Forel, and slits his throat.

Arya returns to the temple and replaces the mask, but is confronted by Jaqen and the other girl who’s been training her. Jaqen expresses his disappointment. He tells her that the man’s life was not hers to take, and she now owes a debt to the Many-Faced God that can only be paid with another life. He pulls out the vial of poison but, rather than force it on her, drinks it himself. Jaqen falls to the floor dead.

Arya wails in grief that her friend has died. She obviously hasn’t gotten how this “Become Nobody” thing works yet. Behind her, the other girl morphs into Jaqen. Arya pulls a mask from the corpse’s face – then another, and another, mask after mask until seeing her own face on the body. Suddenly, Arya’s vision fades to blackness and she goes blind.

These Starks just can’t win, can they? (More on this shortly.)

Dorne

Prince Doran bids adieu to Jaime and his niece. Ellaria is surprisingly friendly and gives Myrcella a big kiss goodbye. Yeah, that’s not suspicious at all.

On the boat, Jaime has a touching heart-to-heart with Myrcella in which he attempts to come clean about his relationship with Cersei. She stops him. She already knows all about it and is glad that he’s her father. They share a nice hug when suddenly Myrcella’s nose starts bleeding and she collapses to the floor.

On shore, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes watch the boat sail away. Ellaria’s nose also starts to bleed. She wipes off the poisoned lipstick and drinks from a vial of antidote.

Meereen

Tyrion, Daario and Jorah regroup in the throne room after the rebellion in the fighting pits. (I’ve seen at least one site refer to this scene as “Two and a Half Men.”) They’re joined by Grey Worm and Missandei. Tyrion reveals that he can speak Valyrian.

The group devises a plan for what to do next. Daario and Jorah will leave the city to search for Daenerys. Tyrion, the only one of them who has any experience governing, will stay behind to rule in Dany’s place. Grey Worm (still recovering from his injuries) and Missandei will stay with him in order to provide legitimacy that he speaks on the queen’s behalf.

In the best scene of the episode, Tyrion stands on a balcony overlooking the city when he’s greeted by Varys, who has of course tracked him down through his network of spies. They trade some wonderful dialogue in which Tyrion asks his friend for help in the most roundabout way possible.

Daenerys, meanwhile, finds herself deposited far from the city by Drogon. She tells him that it’s time to return home and tries to climb on his back, but the wounded dragon has no interest in helping her. He shoves her off and settles down for a nap. With no idea where she might be, Dany wanders the hills until she’s surrounded by a huge army of what look to be Dothraki warriors on horseback. Although Dany didn’t exact leave things on good terms the last time she saw the Dothraki, this isn’t the worst situation she’s ever been in, honestly.

King’s Landing

Finally unable to take anymore suffering, Cersei offers a confession to the High Sparrow. She owns up to fornicating with Lancel, but adamantly denies the accusations of incest with Jaime. She begs forgiveness and asks to see her son. The High Sparrow informs her that she will still be put on trial, but agrees to let her return to the Red Keep… after her atonement.

Atonement? What atonement?

The grumpy nuns scrub Cersei down and chop off her hair, leaving her with a fetching pixie cut. The Queen Mother is then trotted out, bare-assed naked, in front of the teeming crowds and forced to walk all the way to the other end of the city while the Sparrows shove people out of the way and chant “Shame! Shame! Shame!” over and over. Cercei tries to keep her head up as her feet bleed and the city’s riff-raff decry her a whore, toss food at her and literally spit in her face.

By the time she finally enters the palace and is draped in a blanket, Cersei is a broken wreck. Maester Qyburn introduces the newest member of her Kingsguard, a man who would say hello himself except that he’s conveniently sworn a vow of silence. The Mountain, fully armored and his face masked by a helmet (inhumanly gray skin barely visible beneath it), sweeps Cersei in his arms and carries her off.

Castle Black

After his defeat by the White Walkers, Jon Snow feels pretty sorry for himself. He tells Sam that their supply of dragonglass is gone and cannot be recovered. Piling on the bad news, Sam asks that he be allowed to leave for Old Town with Gilly and the baby, so that he can train to become a maester. Snow reluctantly agrees.

Later, as Davos begs Jon Snow to send men and supplies to support Stannis (before news of the defeat at Winterfell as reached them), Melisandre arrives. Davos immediately knows what this means. He demands to know if Shireen still lives. Melisandre walks away without speaking. That’s answer enough, though she leaves out the part about how she convinced Stannis to roast the girl on a stake.

That night, the boy Ollie runs into Jon Snow’s quarters and tells him that a Wildling claims to have seen his uncle Benjen still alive. (This is a plot thread from way back in Season 1.) Snow rushes out to question the man, but it’s all a ruse. Alliser stabs him in the gut, muttering “For the Watch.” One after another, more Night’s Watch brothers do the same. Ollie, who has never forgiven Snow for making peace with the Wildlings, is the last to step up and finish him off. The episode ends with Jon Snow collapsed to the ground, bleeding out.

I have to say, I’m quite shocked by this last plot twist. For as much as ‘Game of Thrones’ loves to kill off major, even beloved characters, Jon Snow had been set up to play a major role in the upcoming war with the White Walkers. Like the deaths of his father Ned and his brother Robb before him, this event will truly change the entire course of the story. I’m impressed by the ballsiness of that.

On the other hand, Jon Snow’s death makes me feel like all the time spent on his storylines this year, especially that big battle with the White Walkers, was wasted. What was the point of all the hints about his true parentage? Just misdirection? I find that irritating. Stannis Baratheon’s death I felt was deserved and a logical outcome for his story. I’m not sure how I feel about this one yet.

I also have mixed feelings about the shaming of Cersei. Although this is clearly meant to be an utter humiliation for the character, I fear that the scene actually objectifies her and that the show’s audience (at least, the male members) were too distracted by drooling over the idea of seeing Lena Headey fully 360-degrees naked. (Seriously, save spreading her legs, the scene leaves nothing to the imagination.) Is it sexist of me to suggest that she simply looks too good nude – and that the new haircut flatters her too much (I get that it’s meant to be reminiscent of Renee Falconetti in ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’, but she looks more like a stylish Mia Farrow in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’) – for the scene to work as intended? The revelation that Headey used a body double especially undercuts the scene’s effectiveness.

Now that it’s over, this was certainly the weakest season of ‘Game of Thrones’ so far. That’s obviously disappointing. However, I don’t feel that the show jumped any sharks this year. As the middle portion of a much larger story, it may have dragged a little, but there’s still plenty of time to recover as we build toward an ultimate series finale.

The season’s problems were perhaps exaggerated by watching week-to-week. I suspect that it will play better in binge-watch form later.

41 comments

  1. “The season’s problems were perhaps exaggerated by watching week-to-week. I suspect that it will play better in binge-watch form later.”

    Since I cut the cord 3 years ago, I have to agree that binge watching is the best way to enjoy this show. I look forward to the day when the latest season Blu-ray set lands on my doorstep.

  2. Spoilery comments:

    Not so sure about Stannis’ fate as it was off-screen. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that when the show comes back we see the scene again and Brienne shoves her sword into the tree behind him. The poison lipstick gag was sooo telegraphed and so overdone… I was really disappointed by that one. No way Jon Snow stays dead, Melisandre is bringing him back to life immediately. Especially if Stannis actually does die she’ll be all over the ‘king’s blood’ literally pouring out of him. And as for the walk of shame, all I could think during that scene is how fucking scared everyone in that town should be. Do they not think Cersei is memorizing every one of their fucking faces? And now she has a zombie-Mountain?

      • Dan

        I read these articles too, but what do you expect them to say? I think he is coming back and the red witch lady is there by no accident. I could be wrong, but If I was a betting name, I think we will be back.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          The TV show differs from the books, and the producer of the TV show has straight-up said that Jon Snow isn’t coming back. Now, perhaps he’s lying, but for the time being I’m inclined to take him at his word.

          As for why Melisandre is at Castle Black, she just needs king’s blood for her evil magic. She doesn’t need to resurrect him.

          • Shayne

            But she doesn’t have a horse in the race anymore. She took off because she saw the writing on the wall that Stannis was going down so she decided to throw in with Jon Snow.

          • Josh, at this point, considering that the show is about to carry on without source material, even if Jon Snow comes back in the next book, do you think the series will no longer honor the books?

            I’m curious as to where the series is going. When the Harry Potter series was coming out, I know Rowling would offer “big picture” insights to the filmmakers along the way. I wonder if GRRM will do the same, or if he simply doesn’t give a rat’s.

            Learning about Azor Ahai is the only thing keeping me going now. This finale was too much.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            George R.R. Martin resurrected Catelyn Stark in the books, and the TV show refused to do that. So, yeah, even if Jon Snow comes back in the next book, that doesn’t mean he’s coming back in the TV show – not if the show-runner has explicitly said that he won’t.

          • Shayne

            The TV show distancing itself from the books is even further reason why I don’t believe Jon Snow is done. GRRM may love to kill off popular characters, but no way in hell is HBO getting rid of their leads if they don’t have to. The books might do away with Jon Snow, Dany, Arya and Tyrion but HBO isn’t about to.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Right, just like they would absolutely never kill off beloved lead characters like Ned Stark, Robb or Catelyn. Never gonna happen. 🙂

            Look, I don’t know what to tell ya. The guy who actually makes the TV show has said flat-out, unambiguously, that Jon Snow is dead and not coming back. He didn’t say it with a wink, or with his fingers crossed. He made a point of being very firm about the fact that Jon is gone for good. You can choose not to believe him, but I suspect you’re going to be very disappointed if you wait around all next season for Jon Snow to come back.

          • Dan

            I still think it is silly to just take the word of the show runners. There is not way in hell they would show their hand with this. Mark my word, I believe that John Snow will be back next season, you may have to wait until the last episode, but he will be back.

  3. I agree that Stannis is (and should be) probably done, but that quick cut-away was a weird choice if he is. I don’t buy the Jon Snow business for a second though. Why else would Melisandre even go there if not to align herself with him? And like you said, there is no one else at the wall we’re going to follow now.

    • Even if he doesn’t come back next season it wouldn’t mean much, we didn’t see Bran this season either. They could leave out the entire Night’s Watch storyline entirely for next season.

    • Charles M

      My theory was that Stannis comes back as an undead wight. They cut away to give them choices later on how to do his wounds.

  4. agentalbert

    I’m with you somewhat on Cersei’s walk of shame. I had no problem with the scene as written, but if its not supposed to be titillating (and I don’t think it is), why go with a body double that has a perfect body? Lena Headey’s body is probably plenty good enough, but since the point of the scene isn’t supposed to be how good the Queen Mother looks naked, why use an obviously younger double? They did a good enough job super imposing her head, though the next looked unnaturally long. But it was too obvious that it wasn’t her.

    I think its funny you found the pixie cut “fetching”. Ha! Even with the bloody cuts all over?

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Lena Headey is currently pregnant, so an argument can be made that she couldn’t film the scene on her own. However, she would have been in the very early stages of pregnancy when this scene was shot. Whether she was showing yet or not at that time, I don’t know. Regardless, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been comfortable parading naked in front of a crowd of people.

      Does that excuse what was done? I don’t know. At the very least, I think the producers could have made a better attempt to find a double that matched her body type. Using a body that was younger, perkier and more buxom only serves to sexualize the character in a way that works against the alleged purpose of the scene.

      On the other hand, if you were Lena Headey and had to sign-off on a body double to play you naked, wouldn’t you want one that makes you look good?

  5. I think it’s important to note that the show never included all of the times Melissandre basically gave away that Jon is the Lord of Light reborn. The show either did this to A. Make his death more shocking and permanent feeling, or B. to deviate and actually kill him off.
    I’m in the A. camp. I don’t see how he can be out of the finals acts of the story. It just doesn’t make much sense.
    Also, I don’t believe Stannis is dead. Brienne wants to protect Sansa more than anything and to put aside vengeance and get Stannis’ help with Sansa would be cool for her character. Both the books and the show seem to clearly try and mislead us as to Stannis’ fate. Would be nice if he lived.

  6. Charles M

    I do agree with your last comment. This was not the best season for me either. There were good parts here and there. But I also don’t believe that it’s suddenly turned into the worst show of all time as some acting as it is. The quality is still pretty damn high.

    And as far as the good guys always getting killed off and the bad guys winning, we still have like 2 more seasons of this. Plenty of time for that.

    Lastly, I’m torn on Jon’s death. I thought they’d maybe give him Stannis’ plotline from the books, but that can’t happen if he’s really dead. And I’m not sure killing him was worthwhile. Like I get that you need to be able to kill characters. Heroes was a show that never killed characters and suffered immensely for it. But Jon’s death comes across like killing him off just for shocks sake.

  7. Timcharger

    WTF! This recap is so shocking!

    The most shocking thing isn’t what happened to Jon.
    Or to Cersei. Or Arya. Or Sansa/Theon.

    It’s that Josh wrote this for a previous episode:
    “A dwarf’s cock has magic powers.” (I came very close to making that quote the headline of this recap.)”

    Yet this recap DOESN’T have this line:
    “You want a good girl, but you need the bad…”
    🙂

    https://giant.gfycat.com/InexperiencedParallelBarnowl.gif

    • Timcharger

      Hey Josh, changing the article title to:

      “You Need Bad P….”

      would give extra meaning to Cersei’s walk of shame.

      (Because of all the cat calls she got, that’s what I
      meant. Get your minds out of the gutter.)

  8. Timcharger

    Josh: “Is it sexist of me to suggest that she simply looks too good nude?”

    I don’t know if that’s sexist. Or that you’re just a horndog.
    🙂

    I’m sure if Brad Pitt had to do the walk of atonement,
    many women (and men) would consider the walk down
    the steps of the Sept, a Magic-Mike-like-moment.

    But seriously, the editing should have shown less of her
    (full body on screen) in the beginning of her atonement.
    Your “looked too good” comment didn’t apply to the 2nd
    half of her walk, right? I think exposing the full monty of
    her with the thrown feces, rotten tomatoes, bloodied
    feet; that is powerful and should be shown. This
    humiliating, dis-empowering act is in the High Sparrow’s
    mind worth the risk of setting Cersei free. Yeah, the cut
    lingers too long at her exposed body at the beginning,
    when she “looks too good.”

    But if you thought she “looks too good” for the whole
    of her walk, then that’s a whole another issue. And let’s
    not get into that. But I’m sure Littlefinger has a special
    room for that interest.

  9. Timcharger

    Josh: “Stannis’ sacrifice of his daughter apparently worked. The harsh winter has broken and the weather has warmed up. Conditions are quite seasonable for an attack on Winterfell.”

    The Starks have so overhyped Winter. I thought
    Winter is coming. The Walkers have traveled further
    south with the Winter, now I guess the Walkers
    gonna head back where they came from. Despite
    not defeating the Boltons, Stannis has taken care of
    the zombie menace, I guess.

    My point is the last episodes made it appear like
    the freezing conditions were abnormally tough,
    implying the start of the multi-year Winter.

    —–

    And as for the Melisandre leaving, I was surprised
    that she abandoned Stannis. Her Lord of the Light
    just performed another miracle of the snow
    thawing. Who needs half the army, if they have
    100% of their god?

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Melisandre previously had a vision of herself in King’s Landing, which she interpreted to mean that Stannis would win the war (because she assumed that she’d stay by his side). She may have had a new vision that clarified that he wouldn’t, and that she’ll be there either alone or with someone different.

      • Timcharger

        She spoke of having a vision of Bolton
        banners burning; I recall something like that. But
        your suggestion has no evidence implied or shown
        on screen. Sure maybe she had another vision,
        but we can only judge what’s there. And the point
        is when Melisandre was faced to a decision this
        time:

        A) miraculous snow thawing
        B) mathematical odds of tiny army

        Surprisingly, the priestess went with reason,
        instead with religion.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          Part of that reasoning process may have been: “You know, now that I think about it, Stannis wasn’t in that vision of me at King’s Landing. Oh crap, how did I miss that?”

          • Timcharger

            “Now?! You say that now!
            You couldn’t figure out that yesterday?” says crispy Shireen.

  10. Timcharger

    Much was made of Sansa, resigning,
    becoming weak again, not putting up a fight, not
    resisting her wedding-night-rape or arranged-
    marriage-inevitable-outcome. But what happened
    in this episode is really just as severe, as critical of
    her character development.

    Unless there’s a trampoline at the bottom of
    Winterfell’s wall, she and Theon is knowingly
    jumping to their deaths. (Yes, we know due to
    Season 6 trailers, that they aren’t dead.) But this
    is confirmation that she is back to being the
    weak character she was.

    Which is strange, because moments earlier she
    breaks out of her room. She lights the candle to
    attempt escape. And the only person who
    knows she’s out of her room is Myranda and
    half her brains are on the courtyard floor.

    Sansa knows there’s hope that her 2 younger
    brothers are still alive. Theon just turned, so she
    has an ally. Sansa must figure that there must
    be more than just the old woman who oppose
    the Boltons. She has reasons to live.

    Here’s a possible solution:
    A clever Sansa would go back to her room, and
    wait for Ramsay with the door open. Ramsay
    would confront her about dead Myranda.
    Sansa would respond that Myranda freed her
    to force her to watch the Stannis massacre.
    And tell Ramsay, that if another of his
    mistresses boast about giving Ramsay a child,
    Sansa will push them off the wall, too. Heirs
    are Ramsay’s wife’s, Sansa’s job. And tell
    Ramsay that he should be more concerned
    about another heir being born. Ramsay would
    turn to Theon and ask if this is what happened.
    Theon would cower. Cutaway cliffhanger for
    next season…

  11. Timcharger

    Josh: “The revelation that Headey used a body double especially undercuts the scene’s effectiveness.”

    I would wager that if Headey did the scene herself,
    you would still say that she “looks too good nude.”

    The “scene’s effectiveness” is still achieved at the
    back half of her (or her body double’s) atonement
    walk.

    And by effectiveness, I mean to convey the
    message of dis-empowerment of the once most
    feared person in King’s Landing. And not the
    effectiveness of the accused goal of creating drool
    from the male audience.

    And in a weird way, maybe both goals are intended.
    Maybe the “ding-ding” is to also shame the drooling
    male audience into re-tasting their bitter drool as
    they realize how revolting that scene ends up.

    —–

    As for the character Cersei, I cheer her shaming.
    It is still mind-boggling to me that Jaime has fans
    now. He’s a incestual rapist, family-killer, out-a-
    window-child-pusher; his character has been
    atoned in some GoT fans’ minds. Cersei deserves
    that torture and then some. Losing a hand and
    a walk of shame is enough? Not even close.

  12. Timcharger

    Josh: “On the boat, Jaime has a touching heart-to-heart with Myrcella in which he attempts to come clean about his relationship with Cersei. She stops him. She already knows all about it and is glad that he’s her father. They share a nice hug…”

    I did not take that scene as a beautiful moment
    between father and daughter. I get why it’s such
    a joyful moment for Jaime (before Myrcella bleeds,
    that is).

    But I was revolted by Myrcella’s happy acceptance
    of it. It made her pure-innocence character much
    less innocent. So it was much more palatable to
    me that she got killed shortly afterwards.

    Myrcella knew for how long, for years? She
    wouldn’t say or do a thing when Uncle Jaime visits
    her mom late at night? At lunches, she would eat
    with Papa Robert and suggest that mom must
    not be feeling well so she skips lunch again
    during Kingsguard Jaime’s off day? It’s clear that
    the social more Myrcella grows up in, does not
    accept incest.

    So when Myrcella was all hunky-dory about
    incest, I got the wink-wink, okay, she’s about to
    die.

    • Timcharger

      About Myrcella’s poisoning, with Bronn on
      board the ship and with first hand experience of that
      method, Ellaria has effectively killed her nephew,
      Trystane Martell. There’s no mystery to how and who
      must have poisoned Myrcella.

      The previous episode had me blaming Prince Doran
      for his stupidity for sending Trystane to King’s
      Landing. Will Trystane even survive the boat ride?

      I get that Ellaria hates the Lannisters. But by killing
      Myrcella and effectively killing Trystane, that now 2
      innocent bystanding family members that will be
      murdered. And that just goes completely against
      what her lover, Oberyn stood for.

  13. Timcharger

    Josh: “With a shiv in her hand, Arya leaps on Meryn and stabs out his eyes…
    …Suddenly, Arya’s vision fades to blackness and she goes blind.”

    We get it. An eye for an eye. Arya should be
    glad that she didn’t stab Meryn in his crotch
    and cut off his reproductive organs. Hey, it’s
    not my rules. Don’t get mad at me. It’s the
    Many-Faced-God’s doctrine.

    • Timcharger

      And let’s add how stupid the doctrine is.
      Supposedly there are rules by the Many-Faced-God as to
      when it is or isn’t a time for a person to die. And that it
      wasn’t Arya’s decision to determine when Ser Meryn’s
      time to die is.

      But let’s remember back in the season when Arya first
      meets Jaqen H’ghar. Because she saved 3 people from
      dying, she was allowed to arbitrarily decide on the death
      of any 3 people of her choosing.

      This House of Black & White, Many-Faces-God storyline
      is wearing on me. Just go for it and full crazy. Is this a
      supernatural shapeshifting, magical doppleganger
      story. Or is it a medieval version of Mission Impossible
      assassins with a library of human face-skins?

      Whatever it is, hurry Arya and get your license to kill
      from Jaqen. Let’s get on to the rest of your kill list.

  14. Timcharger

    I hate knowing stuff like this:
    Josh: “George R.R. Martin resurrected Catelyn Stark in the books, and the TV show refused to do that.”

    It so undermines the storytelling process of the
    TV show. Yes, I remember Beric Dondarrion,
    Thoros of Myr, and what supposedly happened
    in Season 3. But there is mystery in the TV
    show version to whether that is a resurrection
    or a superhealing magic spell/prayer that is
    administered within seconds of an injury.

    Reanimating life 3 days later, that stuff creates
    religions. Yes, I get that GoT has the
    resurrection of white walkers. It can be argued
    that the Mountain was resurrected. But if
    Catelyn Stark was resurrected, it makes us ask
    about Ned Stark? Robb Stark? Why doesn’t
    Cersei get Joffrey resurrected? Tywin would
    make sure his will has funds allocated to a
    resurrection, right?

    Yeah, I want Jon Snow back. But I fear how it
    will be done. What that would mean to the
    finality of death, and how that gives life
    meaning?

  15. Timcharger

    In this episode, I also appreciated the final(?)
    conversation between Jon and Samwell. It was hilarious
    watching them talk about breaking their celibacy oaths.
    It’s nice that at least for another year, the Sam, Gilly, and
    baby family will make it.

    I read something about how the Tarly family will be a
    part of Season 6. Looking forward to meeting more of
    the Tarlys.

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