No Cersei. No Arya. No hot fun in the Dornish summertime and no swash-buckling adventures of Jaime and Bronn. That would make a person inclined to think that perhaps, just maybe, this week’s Game of Thrones, “Kill the Boy,” wasn’t necessarily a good episode. Maybe it was another one of those mid-season filler episodes, only meant to serve a purpose of moving chess pieces, not story.
Well my friend, if this is your line of thinking, I would say that you stand to be corrected. Despite not having some of the main characters and some of the juicer story lines and locations, “Kill the Boy” was another razor sharp episode in what is shaping up to be the best season of Game of Thrones so far.
Let’s get to this week’s power rankings before we have Stone Men all up in our business.
Giddy Up America’s Game of Thrones’ Power Rankings: Week Five
1. The Homies of the Wall
I’m as surprised about this as anyone and kind of shocked to say that Jon Snow has become one of Game of Thrones most compelling characters. You could make a joke about Kit Harrington just learning to act and that would probably be half true. I do think he’s learned to act better as the series has gone on, but I also think it has converged nicely with his character getting better, stronger and more developed. And on the subject of surprising turnarounds for characters, I’m 100% on board with Stannis now. Good dad, good dude and unlike the other potential kings & queens kicking around the countryside, is well aware of the dangers the White Walkers pose. Because remember – THIS SHOW IS ABOUT EVERYONE BANDING TOGETHER TO DEFEAT THE EFFIN’ WHITE WALKERS. Stannis is hip to this and look at him, strolling around the Castle Black library, encouraging Sam to keep reading those books. All that was missing was a go get ’em butt slap. I enjoyed that scene. And I also enjoyed Jon’s attempt to make nice with the Wildlings- predictably a move that doesn’t suit well with the Night’s Watch, a group of dudes who have only made it their mission since Day One to stop said Wildlings from coming south. Jon’s reasoning is sound though- Wildlings stay north>Wildlings die>Wildings become White Walkers. The last thing Jon needs is more White Walkers. Damn it Night’s Watch, why can’t you understand and be cool with this rock solid logic? Oh, is because the Wildlings killed your friend or murdered and ate your family? Well get over it! It’s Westeros, not only does everyone die, but everyone dies in totally shitty ways. Think less about yourself and more about the impending nastiness of a White Walker army headed in your direction.
I would also like to take a moment to advocate for more Tormund because that hulking lug is bad ass. Although I do wonder if he looks slightly less menacing and gigantic with his beard. There’s part of me that imagines that he goes from this…
…with only a quick shave and trim.
But either way, more Tormund please.
2. Littlefinger’s School of Hard Knocks
No Littlefinger, but Goth Sansa is still kicking around Winterfell, being watched over from a safe distance by Brienne, who apparently holds onto oaths with the same kind of ferocity gyms hold you to with gym memberships or airlines air reservations. Brienne gets word to Goth Sansa that A) she’s got her back if shit gets weird and B) she is starting to look a little too much like Bjork. Little does Brienne know that Sansa’s entire world is weird right now- whether it’s saying what’s up to Theon in the kennels or having a family dinner with the dude who stuck a knife in her brother. And you think dinner with your in-laws is less than ideal. I realized this week that Sansa still thinks Theon killed Bran and Rickon. That happened so long ago and we’ve spent so much time with Bran on his absurd vision quest that it was easy to forget that everyone thought he and baby bro were dead. Either way, you have to give it to Roose when it comes to dishing on a good love story, of which I shall quickly paraphrase:
This dude was being a dick, so I hung him. His woman was talking smack, so I boinked her under the hanging body of her husband. A year later she comes up to me with a little baby, I love babies, so I took the baby and killed her. Pretty traditional, boy meets girl story if you ask me.
And that’s how we got Ramsey, heretofore named Joffrey 2.0. Little known fact, Ramsey and Joffrey actually hung out once…
So now we ask ourselves the following questions:
Does the presence of Sansa snap Theon out of his torture haze?
Will Stannis be able to beat the Boltons and retake Winterfell?
And if he does, should we be worried that the Boltons would have little hesitation when it comes to killing Sansa?
And finally, are Roose and his wife registered at Babies ‘r Us or Buy Buy Baby? I really think we should get something now before all that’s left are big ticket items. I don’t want to be rude and not get them anything, but I also don’t want to spend that much. You understand, right?
3. Over in Essos: The Tyrion Chronicles
Here’s the thing about shortcuts, you want to make sure they are 100% beneficial. Like, you don’t want to take one if there’s a lot of lights or it might be faster, but it’s more miles. And you definitely don’t want to take one that might involve creepy Stone Men attacking you. That’s just common sense, something Jorah apparently lacked when he decided to take the slow road through Valyria as opposed to staying out on the open ocean. Definitely a scenic trip, but was it worth it? What’s the point of taking in some history if you can’t stop and enjoy it because freaky zombies are all up in your business? You know what they say about Valyria, right? Great views, but no touching! The real bummer about this whole debacle isn’t that Jorah caught himself some grey scale or that we didn’t get to see more of the great city of Valyria. No. The real bummer is now it’s going to even longer for Tyrion to get to Danerys. First they were traveling by wagon, then by slow ass boat and now he’s on foot. By the time he reaches Mereen it’ll be the Game of Thrones spin off series, where Rhaegar Targaryen splits his time between kidnapping gals and signing at open mic nights.
4. Over in Essos: Danys Does the Day to Day
Danys had a tough week last week, losing Ser Barristan. But on the plus side, Grey Worm’s not dead! He’s just very badly bruised. Danys finally…FINALLY decides to do something cool again, feeding one of the top dogs in Mereen to her two dragons. But in typical Danys fashion- one step forward, two steps back, she elects to marry that dude, whatever his name is, because she’s looking to show she wants to not just be in Mereen, but be in Mereen. And yeah, that relationship is going to be awesome for him. One day he narrowly escapes getting fed to a dragon, the next he’s that dragon’s step dad. Yuck. Good luck, homey.