Before this season of Game of Thrones, debuted, author George R.R. Martin hinted that there will be characters who are still alive in the books that will die in the show this year. Last week's episode, "Sons of the Harpy", gave us the first of those deaths, when Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney) was killed while trying to help Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) fight off a Sons of the Harpy ambush. This week's episode, "Kill the Boy", brings us to the halfway point of Game of Thrones Season 5, and while there were no major, surprising deaths this week, but there were certainly a few monumental developments, including one hell of an ending.
The episode starts off with Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) watching over Grey Worm, who still managed to survive the ambush at the end of last week's episode. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) are mourning over Barristan, when Hizdahr zo Loraq (Joel Fry) comes to say how sorry he is. A vengeful Daenerys asks that all of the leaders of Meereen's houses be brought to her, which includes Hizdhar, who is taken away by the unsullied in protest. What punishment could Dany have in store for Meereen's leaders, one of whom is leading The Sons of the Harpy? Dany takes them to her dragon's lair, presumably trying to scare one of them into talking. Daario pushes one of the leaders closer, when one of the dragons wastes no time by setting him on fire, as another joins in as they begin eating his fiery remains. Hizdahr quietly says "valar morghulis" (all men must die) to Dany, which seems to signify to Dany that he's responsible, so she sends them all away. This will clearly send a message that Daenerys isn't afraid to use her fire-breathing dragons to punish those who truly deserve it.
Back at The Wall, Samwell (John Bradley) is reading about Daenerys to Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan), since as you may recall, Aemon is originally a Targaryen. Jon Snow comes in asking to talk to Maester, saying he needs his advice about something he has to do, which will cause half the Night's Watch to hate him. Aemon says half the men hate him already, offering Jon the sage advice to "Kill the Boy and let the man be born." Jon then meets with the closest thing to the wildling's leader since Mance Rayder's death, Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju). Jon asks him to to get the rest of the free folk to come and settle south of the wall, since winter is (still) coming. Jon says they won't have to kneel to him, but he wants them to fight with him. Jon asks him to make peace to save his people. Tormund eventually agrees, but he wants Jon to come with, to assure the Free Folk that they won't be slaughtered, as Jon adds he'll ask Stannis (Stephen Dillane) for some of his ships.
As Jon suspected, most of his Night's Watch brothers aren't pleased with this plan at their next meeting, with seemingly no one on board to bring the wildlings south of The Wall. After the meeting, Jon is brought some food by Olly (Brenock O'Connor), whose whole family was killed by wildlings last season. While Olly hopes Jon's plan is just a trick, Jon says he knows this is hard for him, but winter is coming and they know what's coming with it and they can't face it alone. Olly doesn't seem too happy. Perhaps it will enrage Olly enough to seek vengeance on his own? Who knows at this point, but it's certainly something to consider.
We also catch up with Podrick and Brienne at a Winterfell inn, as they continue their quest to save Sansa. Pod suggests she might be safe here in Winterfell, her home, but Brienne knows she's still in danger. When some Winterfell guy comes in, Brienne asks him to give a message to Sansa, but it's never clear if he actually agrees to do so or not. We also see Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) with his girlfriend, Myranda (Charlotte Hope), the kennel master's daughter, who isn't terribly happy that he's now set to marry Sansa. We see Ramsay's nasty side as he threatens the girl, hinting that Brienne may have been right all along about Sansa still being in danger.
One of the more intriguing scenes in this episode is also the briefest, but it could pay off in an exciting way later on this season. Sansa is in her chambers, when the old cleaning woman from last week's episode tells her that if she's in trouble, she should light a candle, and that Sansa still has friends in the North. Who could these mystery friends be? Sansa also meets Miranda, who leads her to a dark chamber. It's a secret and she won't believe it until she sees it. Sansa walks down a dark corridor full of dogs that are chained up, when she finds the surprise: Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), who tells her "You shouldn't be here." I could be wrong, but this might be the first thing he's said all year, and even if it isn't, it certainly has the most importance.
Ramsay is turning into somewhat of a Jekyl and Hyde character, since we're not sure if we'll see the benevolent and compassionate side, or violent and vengeful side. Theon admits to Ramsay that Sansa saw him in the kennels. Ramsay makes Theon get on his knees and give him his hand, but instead of doing something nasty, Ramsay forgives him. Then at dinner with Sansa, Ramsay and his family. Ramsay proposes a toast to their wedding. Ramsay's mother asks if she's uncomfortable in a new pace, Sansa says this is her home, the people are strange. Ramsay brings out Reek/Theon, Ramsay explains that he punished him for killing Sansa's brothers and he makes Reek apologize for killing Sansa's brothers. Ramsay says that since Sansa's family is gone, Reek will give Sansa away at the wedding. Roose Bolton and his wife then proceed to steal their son's thunder, announcing that they're going to have a baby, and it looks like it will be a boy, but this pisses off Ramsay.
After dinner, Ramsay asks Roose how he knows she's pregnant. Ramsay is pissed because he knows he's only Roose's son until a better opportunity came around. Roose says Ramsay has never asked about her mother. He gives him a story about Ramsay's mother, reassuring Ramsay that he is truly his son. Roose then states he knows Stannis is coming to Winterfell, and asks Ramsay to help him to defend it. You may notice quite a lot of stories about mothers in this episode, which I suppose is the show's own way of celebrating the Mother's Day holiday.
Back at the Wall, Samwell Tarly is in the library with Gilly (Hannah Murray), who is asking him a bunch of questions about books. She apologizes for not knowing things. Samwell says he originally wanted to be a maester but he became a brother of the night's watch. Then Stannis visits Samwell and starts telling tales about his father. Stannis asks how he killed a white walker, Samwell says he killed him with a blade made of dragon glass and he's been reading to find out why that killed it. Stannis then goes to Davos and says they're marching to Winterfell tomorrow. The next day, they all prepare to leave, Stannis says he needs his ships back, Jon promises him he'll get them back before they say their goodbyes.
Back in Meereen, Missandei is still with Grey Worm, who finally woke up, saying he failed his men and his queen since Barristan died. Missandei says he was ambushed and he failed no one. Grey Worm said when the knife stuck in him, he feared that he would never see Missandei again. She's moved, and gets in bed with him and kisses him, which will certainly be just the start of another GoT torrid romance. In the absence of Barristan, Dany counsels Missandei on political matters, who doesn't think she's qualified for such matters, stating that Dany often ignored her advisers because only she could see the right answer. Dany visits Hizdhar, says she was wrong and he was right, about re-opening the fighting pits. She will re-open the fighting pits and she will marry one of the house leaders... Hizdhar himself! Since Tommen's wedding was harmless, fans have two upcoming weddings that could get deadly, Dany and Hizdhar's and Ramsay's and Sansa's.
Finally, we catch up with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). Tyrion is trying to get Jorah to say anything. Tyrion asks for wine, Jorah refuses, which could get interesting because, as Tyrion puts it, people who drink simply have to drink. They start sailing through Valyria, Daenerys' homeland, which features some amazingly gorgeous landscapes, when one of Dany's dragons flies over them! Tyrion is transfixed, as is Mormont, which causes none of them to see the Stone Men emerging above. They attack the ship, and Jorah yells that they can't be touched by them, or they'll develop Greyscale, the normally fatal skin disease that Stannis' daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram) was mysteriously cured from. Still shackled, Tyrion is forced to go overboard so the stone men don't touch him, as more stone men grab at him in the sea. Of course, Tyrion is fine, as Jorah saved him somehow, since we see Jorah waking Tyrion up the next morning asking if they touched him. Tyrion says no, Jorah says no as well, as he tries to come up with a new plan on how to get to Meereen. However, as Jorah leaves to get firewood, he lifts up his sleeve as we see the grey scale on his wrist! Grey scale can be fatal, but since we never learned exactly how Shireen was cured, it seems rather unlikely that Jorah would be able to find a cure. Then again, anything is possible in Westeros and beyond.
Directly after this episode, we also got a teaser for next week's episode "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", airing Sunday, May 17 at 9 PM ET on HBO. The video shows Arya (Maisie Williams) as she prepares to start her training at the House of Black and White with Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha). We also see a few scenes in Dorne, where Margaery (Natalie Dormer) returns to be with her grandmother Olenna (Diana Rigg). Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) returns to King's Landing, where Cersei asks if The Vale will fight for the king. What do you think of this week's episode? Chime in with your thoughts below, or on my Twitter page @GallagherMW, and stay tuned for next week's recap.