Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10: Mother’s Mercy

Have we recovered yet? I certainly haven’t. And by the looks of it the internet hasn’t either. But first let’s look at the rest of the episode before we get to it’s shocking denouement.

I knew Stannis would get his comeuppance eventually. I just didn’t expect it so soon. This big battle at Winterfell that has been hyped up all season never came, as half of Stannis’ men deserted him and his wife committed suicide. The look on Melisandre’s face said it all really. She has backed the wrong horse and Stannis has sacrificed his daughter for nothing. It was also amusing to hear that Melisandre had fled and abandoned Stannis to face the Boltons on his own. Easily defeated by their superior army Stannis is wounded when he comes across a vengeful Brienne. The last we see of him is his acceptance of death as Brienne wields her sword. It’s unlikely he escapes his fate. Stannis story has come to a natural end. He has sacrificed many people, including his brother and his own daughter to capture the Iron Throne but it seems the gods were not on his side. As well executed as it were I felt Stannis’s scenes in this episode could have been a lot longer (it’s not often I say that!). Maybe if there had been an episode’s worth of build up with him believing everything is going his way before it falls spectacularly apart then this would have been a bit more satisfying. Still Davos lives! Although what will he do now Stannis and Shireen are gone?

Meanwhile watching from afar at Winterfell, Sansa sees her opportunity to escape using the corkscrew she stole. She tries to light a candle to Brienne but narrowly misses her. As she tries to escape on her own she runs into Reek/Theon and Myrnada. I was glad to see Sansa bravely stand up to Myranda as she declares she’d rather die now as herself rather than when Rasey has broken her. Myranda though laughs and threatens to mutilate her causing Reek/Theon (finally) to step up and push Myranda over the edge to her death. How I cheered. Last we see of Reek/Theon and Sansa they are jumping off the castle walls together. How can they survive the jump? Will the snow cushion their fall? And where will they go? So many questions. Including why did Reek/Theon react now when he’s had plenty of opportunities before? I personally think it was down to Myranda threatening to cut off the parts of Sansa that wasn’t needed. I think this snapped him into action having been through Ramsey’s own torture. Better late then never I suppose. But Sansa’s escape was one of the few happy things in this episode so I’ll go with it.

In Dorne Jamie, Bronn, Myrcella and Trystane set sail back to King’s Landing and Ellaria says goodbye and sorry to Myrcella with a kiss. As soon as she did that I knew it was the kiss of death-literally. Of course Myrcella’s poisoning doesn’t come apparent until after her heartfelt talk with Jamie who tries to confess to her that she’s his daughter. Myrcella states she already knew and she’s happy that he’s her father. Really Myrcella you’re happy that your uncle is your father and you’re a child of incest…ok? Although we don’t see her death, like Stannis I think she’s a goner. Now that that’s happened does this mean we won’t have to endure anymore of the pointless Sand Snakes?

In Braavos Arya goes to a brothel where Meryn Trant is and slays him quite brutally in a bloody but effective scene. While I’m happy she killed him I knew taking one of the faces for a disguise without asking and killing for her own needs was going to bring her trouble. Arya can’t forget she’s a Stark and the consequences of what she has done are quite horrific as she starts to go blind. (I thought for a moment that the Many Faced Gods were going to take her face!) What does this mean for Arya now?

Over in King’s Landing Cersei confesses to the High Sparrow about sleeping with her cousin Lancel but denies all other charges. She’s allowed to go back home but must face an ‘atonement’.Which involves cutting all her hair, putting her in rags before disrobing her and making her walk naked all the way through an angry mob to get to the Red Keep. I have to say Lena Headey knocks it out the park with her performance of Cersei. I mean she’s always good but there was so much emotion on her face, fear, anger, determination. While she’s a great character I’ve never felt particularly sorry for Cersei (even when her son died I couldn’t feel for her because it was Joffrey who was dead-too busy celebrating). But even I felt slightly sorry for her at this point. Even if she brought everything on herself by being so stupid. Anyway I won’t go into anther rant. What I will say is that it was interesting to see her newest member of the Kings guard –the Mountain! Last properly seen with in his deadly duel with Oberyn. Hopefully the Mountain will kill the Sparrows next season as they are really getting on my nerves.

Across the narrow sea in Meereen with Daenerys still missing Daario and Jorah decide to leave Meereen to search for her, while Tyrion governs the city with Grey Worm (we hadn’t seen him for so long I thought he’d died!) and Missandei. It made me laugh when they decided the Unsullied should stay in Meereen as they were the only thing keeping the city together when they have been rubbish this season. Still with Grey Worm back on his feet hopefully he can whip them to shape. Also does anyone else think that Daario and Jorah won’t both come back to Meereen? Surely one will try to kill the other? Although this episode is a bit of a downer there is some good news as Varys returns and him and Tyrion return to their banter and contemplate governing Meeren. We then find out that Drogon has taken Daenerys very far from home and is too exhausted and wounded to take her back. As Daenerys wonders off to get food she is quickly surrounded by a Dothraki horde? Will they be friend or foe to the mother of dragons?

Which leads us to the end of the episode. Having sent Sam off to become a maester along with Gilly and little Sam, Jon is left without his main ally. He is tricked by young Olly into going outside where he find a post that says Traitor. Then he is repeatedly stabbed by Alliser, Olly and some other men as they repeat the mantra “For the Watch”. I knew something would happen to Jon and I had a feeling Olly might try to kill him but I wasn’t expecting so many of the other members of the Night’s Watch and Alliser to stab him too. I thought Alliser would be smarter than that depsite his hatred for Jon. I know they are upset about Jon’s truce with the Wilding but there are White Walkers coming! They won’t be able to stop them on their own. Unfortunately their short sighted-ness seals Jon’s fate.

But can he actually be dead. It looked like it from that final shot and Kit Harington has said that Jon Snow is dead and won’t be back for Season 6 but are they just tricking us? Will he come back from the dead for Season 7? There was still so much for the character to go through and even though GOT loves it’s shock deaths, narratively it doesn’t make sense. What about the mystery surrounding who his real mother is? Is that just going to be a story thread left hanging? And also what was the point of bringing Melisandre to the Wall if not to cast a spell and bring Jon back to life? She seemed to have a vast interest in Jon previously so if Stannis is no longer the man she thinks he is, surely she would move on to Jon? It just feels like there is unfinished business with Jon Snow, and while I’m not sure if he would have survived to the very end (I could imagine a heroic sacrifice in the final battle against the White Walkers) it seemed he would be around much longer?

But maybe I’m in denial. If so at least the rest of the internet is with me. We’ve seen plenty of times in Game of Thrones that the good guys don’t necessarily survive and Jon Snow was one of the more stereotypically heroic characters we had left. Maybe this was the plan all along? If so no one really is safe.

On another note, where the hell is Ghost? Surely the faithful direwolf would have been around to stop Jon getting killed? Unless Jon sent him off to look after Sam and Gilly?

So there we go another season down. I can’t believe it’s over all ready. It was a slow start but the last lot of episodes have been fantastic with the fight against the White Walkers in episode 8 one of the best moments of the whole series. If they can pace the episodes a bit better then I have high hopes for Season 6. With or without Jon Snow.

So what did you think? Did you like the last episode? Is Jon Snow really dead? What do you predict for Season 6? Let me know in the comments below.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10: Mother’s Mercy

  1. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Jon Snow. Sure it’s true that “nobody is safe on Game of Thrones” but let’s face it, they can’t kill everyone off or there will be no one left to drive the narrative forward. Also personally not sure about Stannis. If you’re gonna kill him why not let us see it? I actually kind of liked that character, right up until he burned his sweet innocent little girl at the stake. (I want to see his death, and if that has taken place, without appearing on screen, I feel cheated.) My only other complaint about the show is the lack of Baelish in the last couple episodes. Baelish ROCKS!!!

    • I hope you’re right! It wouldn’t be the same without Jon Snow. I thought it seemed like Stannis was definately dead but I’ve seen quite a few people question that so maybe he isn’t. Although why would Brienne let him go? Yes Littlefinger has been missing for a while. Wasn’t he last on his way to Winterfell? I hope the Boltons have a good excuse for where Sansa is.

      • The only reason I personally question whether Stannis is dead is simply that we didn’t see him die. Almost ANYONE is a better alternative to rule Winterfell than the Boltons, and Brienne may have figured that out, possibly even feeling just the tiniest bit sympathetic towards Stannis when seeing how resigned he is to his own fate. I could see her deciding there is still some use for Stannis, and actually taking him under her protection. (Which has worked oh so well for the last couple folks she’s done that for. Ha! Ha!) Of course, the ambiguity was almost certainly left there to make us wonder for the next 9-10 months while we wait for the next season.

      • I guess you’re right about not seeing Stannis die. But can both Jon Snow and Stannis stick around? Surely someone has to be dead. Although who knows!

  2. I thought this finale was terrific. Lena Headey’s performance is excellent and that ending is a big gut punch. Great post!

  3. The fate of so many characters changed in this one … This was a brilliant conclusion after first 6 episodes have been one hell of a downer!

    Cersei’s sequence was difficult to watch n Lena truly nails it. It’s great to see Tyrion & Varys back together. The ending was heartbreaking, like you I’m wondering how Sansa n Theon would’ve survived that jump and frankly, I wish the war was more prolonged coz they had been hyping it the whole season.

    Loved episodes 8-10 with Hardhome being favourite! Brilliant take, Lauren!

    • Thanks very much! Yes Season 6 is going to look very different. Hopefully they won’t have such a slow start next year. I’m so glad Tyrion and Varys have been left in charge of Meereen, the people won’t know what’s hit them!

  4. Hi Lauren! I’ve been looking forward to your thoughts on this episode, so much shit went down. It was a lot to process.

    As for Stannis, that idiot, he done goofed. He bet everything on his victory against the Boltons but did not consider the fact that he may lose. There were so many things going against him like his small army compared to the enemy, the cold weather and his faith in Melisandre and the apparent powers of the Lord of Light, who in my opinion has given me or any of the characters any reason to believe in the existence of said power or that it would indeed guarantee victory if he did what Melisandre told him to. The fact that he killed his daughter after all his character building was terrible and I knew her death would amount to nothing. And on the day of his death he has pretty much the worst luck: Melisandre jumps ship, so do loads of the other soldiers, his wife commits suicide and the dude and his men get slaughtered and to top it all off Brienne takes him out. :S As for Davos, that poor guy, he’s lost the closest person to him in the form of Shireen, and he doesn’t know that it was both Stannis and Melisandre who were responsible for it, I wonder if he’ll find out?

    As for Sansa and Reek in Winterfell I was glad that Reek FINALLY did something right. I’d given up on that guy ages ago and thought that he’d do nothing right, but seeing him push Myranda to her doom was such a happy moment. Was kind of gutted that Sansa didn’t do it though, she’s not as strong as I would like her to have been, sure she’s been through hell but I was hoping for a more triumphant comeback for her. At least they’ve escaped, but I wonder how far they’ll get before Rasmay finds out and goes on the hunt for them.

    The stuff in Dorne has been the least interesting stuff of the season, but I did like that moment between Jamie and Myrcella, sure she is hardly my favourite character and I hardly cared for her, but that moment between father and daughter was nice, but then BAM, kiss of death takes effect! Just like you I KNEW, I FRIGGIN’ KNEW that bitch Ellaria would make a move and that kiss looked too suspicious to be something meaningless. If I were Jamie I’d turn that ship around and start some shit or go back to Cersei and get some plans together to fuck Dorne up.

    As for Arya, I was happy she got to get her revenge, though I knew from last week there’d be consequences for her actions, but going build? That’s rough, I wonder how she’ll operate now? That Meryn Trant, what a creepy guy, he makes me feel so uncomfortable, but Arya really messed that guy up and I LOVED IT! Oh and what’s the deal with Jaqen? Since he was just no one, does that mean that he’s been no one since the time he met Arya or is this a different guy? How much magic and mystery is there to this mask stuff!?!

    When it comes to Cersei, damn, talk about humiliation. That walk of shame was so extra. At first it wasn’t so bad, but then people started coming out of the crowd cursing, showing off their naked bodies, spitting and threw food and stuff that looked like poo, and I was like bloody hell I actually feel a bit for you Cersei. By the end of that walk she was broken, but then once she was carried away by the Mountain there was that look in her eyes, the look of revenge and I was like “Ah shit, she’s learnt nothing, she’s back to being the old Cersei again.” I wonder if the Moutnain’s services will be used when Jamie tells Cersei about what happened to their daughter.

    As for the stuff in Meeren, I while it was cool and all, I was WAY happier to see the return of Varys. I love that guy, so sneaky and yet so socky and fun. I’ve missed him and his dynamic with Tryion. Oh and Darenerys as soon as she left Drogon I knew she’d messed up, now surrounded by some Dothraki dudes on horses I wonder if she’ll use her history with those guys to make it out of that situation or with her dragon help her out?

    As for the stuff at the Wall, oh man, poor Jon. My boy! I felt like his time at the Night’s Watch as the leader was numbered but I didn’t think he’d get taken out so soon. Poor guy, damn you Olly and damn you Alliser for being so close-minded. I hope the White Walkers take them all out the bastards. I’m also curious to know if Melisandre will use her magoc to bring Jon back because of all the theories floating around online.

    Great review Lauren, its been fun talking about this show with you and reading your thoughts. Now its time to do the longest wait ever until the show comes back next year.

    • Yes Stannis really messed up and everything he did was all for nothing. His wife and duaghter are dead, his men deserted him and Melisandre buggered off when the going got tough. I was wondering if Davos will eventually find out about how Shireen died and kill Melisandre? After she has brought back Jon Snow of course 😉
      I would have liked Sansa fight back more but then again it’s keeping in character for her. She was always taught to be a lady and be polite. For her just standing up to Mryanda was a big moment for her. I’m glad she’s out of Ramey’s clutches even if it’s just for a little while.
      Jon Snow just has to be alive. I won’t beleive anything else.
      Thanks for commenting on all these past episodes it’s been great discussing the show. I just can’t believe it’s over for another year!

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