Political Analysis of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 5, “Kill the Boy”

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Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you enjoyed last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. I’ve got another essay up at Salon.com, this time on the theme of assimilation, at the Wall and in Meereen.

Enjoy!

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23 thoughts on “Political Analysis of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 5, “Kill the Boy”

  1. winnie says:

    Great essay as always Steve. What I particularly enjoyed about last nights episode and the Wall was that it didn’t set up any straw
    Men. Jon is right and what he’s doing is absolutely necessary but he knows full well many will resist his decision and their feelings are all too understandable. As I’ve said on other boards its really refreshing to see this kind of thing after the pettiness of KL.

    Its also interesting that we had no KL last night but this was still considered such a great episode by Sullied and Unsullied alike. D&D have actually succeeded in shifting our focus. Well done.

    LOVED everything in Valyria and looks like we will see Oldtown and Randyll Tarly at some point.

    And yet another with Jon coming to see Aemon at just *that* moment….

    • Thanks!

      Speaking of the no KL, I really liked how this episode had a very natural flow: Sam and Aemon to Aemon and Jon to Jon and Tormund to Jon and the NW to Jon and Olly, and then Pod and Brienne to Myranda and Ramsay to Sansa and Theon to Theon and Ramsay to the Roose family breakfast to Roose and Ramsay father-son time.

    • Fourten says:

      I’m afraid (and sorry that) we’ll never see Randyll Tarly on the show, Cersei is already well into her plan to oust as many Reach-oids as possible from KL and the show has moved past any telling of the war’s effects on the Riverlands (the Whofish?). Only chance: Sam gets sent to Oldtown quickly (like “The Red Woman goes to Gendry and back” quickly) and Gilly and Baby Sam stow away.

  2. Sean C. says:

    Someone should make a gifset of Dany having that random guy burned and eaten, together with Barristan back in episode 503 telling her about how her father liked to burn people to death and every time he did it made him feel stronger and more right.

    • winnie says:

      Word. It especially worries me how many people see it as a sign of ‘strength’ on her part.

      ShowDany frankly appears smarter to me than BookDany was in Mereen (or at least more proactive) but she’s still not my choice to rule Westeros. (While this same episode reminded me why Jon is though I know Steve feels otherwise. But Jon will definitely need some people with experience in Southern politics in his corner no matter what else happens hence Sansa being sent up North.)

      Can’t deny though that we need her to bring her dragons there though in Season 6.

      • winnie says:

        And by her I mean Dany to bring the dragons. Personally I always though would be best suited to recolonize Valyria rather than rule in Essos or Westeros.

    • I’m sure people already have. I’ve also seen comparisons between her making that Great Master kneel and Ramsay doing the same.

      • Sean C. says:

        My problem with it is that based on the tenor of Dany’s scenes, I’m pretty sure the show is not intending this comparison.

  3. Doug McMillan says:

    As much as Dany burning the man calls up both mad Aerys and Aemon’s ‘A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing’ I felt a weird parallel between Dany and Joffrey in her final scene with Hizdahr. Similar courtship strategy, just with fire and dragons instead of decapitation.

    • winnie says:

      Lol. There is a certain sadism in some of her execution techniques isn’t there? Only in her case unlike Joffrey it seems less psycho sexual and more rooted in a certainty of her own righteousness. I’m not saying her targets don’t deserve it but the Stark way of quick and clean beheading makes me much less queasy and uneasy.

      Which is yet another reason I really don’t want Dany/Jon. She may not be full fledged Aerys II just yet but she’s got enough symptoms of the Targaryen syndrome that I think its better we avoid her breeding with her own nephew in consideration of the future heirs there.

      In any event this makes her inevitable arrival to Westeros in season 6 very VERY interesting indeed.

      • Roger says:

        Why do they deserve it? For the crime of being Masters? Martin has stated many Masters aren’t worse than Westeros’s lords.

  4. winnie says:

    Something else ..Shireen specifically mentions the Winterfell crypts asking if father will ever get down to them. More credence to the theory that Sansa and the Northern conspiracy lead Stannis into Winterfell via the crypts and/or that someone (on the show at least likely Sansa) will soon be making a shocking discovery in the crypts related to Jon….

  5. Afterthought says:

    Your essay for Salon doesn’t include Stannis. Do they tell you not to mention him, or was that just an oversight?

    It’s like talking about the Politics of the War of the Roses without mentioning Edward the 4th.

    • Well, keep in mind that the essays aren’t a full recap, they’re an essay on a particular political theme. So I didn’t mention Stannis or Tyrion, etc.

      • winnie says:

        And I like that. Plenty of recaps to be found elsewhere but your essays are something much more special and even help me see the episodes in a new light.

        And I’m glad you found a source of extra income. Hopefully they’ll want you to do the same next season too.

  6. Jaime'slefthand says:

    I was mostly just devastated that Barristan Selmy was confirmed as dead. The rest of the episode rather passed me by.

  7. Roger says:

    It wa really a waste to kill Ser Barristan. Especially considering Grey Worm is mostly a secondary with a few phrases. I don’t care about his “romance” with Missandei, which is real dull. Also, why does he feel pain? Aren’t Unsullied unable to feel pain for wounds?

    Daenerys actions seems almost bipolar. One day he feeds a man to his dragons, without any proof of his guilt. Next day he marries a man who was in her jail (agains, without proofs) the day before. A man she had also accused. A man whose father was killed by Daenerys, too. Also it’s a marriage without asking the groom’s opinion. “Marry me or meet Balerion”.

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