What is it with this season of Game of Thrones? All sense of pacing has been thrown out the window. Major characters go missing for entire episodes. Like in this episode, for example, where characters south of the Neck are nowhere to be seen. So if we don't have Cersei, Jaime or Arya in season five's fifth episode, who do we have?
The Boltons. The freaking Boltons. It felt like half of this episode was spent with the most hated family in all of Westeros. Fun fact: the Boltons are the worst. Seriously. Nobody likes them. Ramsay is a sadistic psycho, his father isn't much better, and just having to look at Theon (or if you prefer his pet name, Reek) is downright depressing.
What's even more depressing is watching Theon have to look Sansa in the eye and apologize for murdering her younger brothers (even though he actually didn't.) Meanwhile, Ramsay never stops grinning, as if he isn't even aware how ironic it is to be making Reek apologize for the death of Sansa's family while Sansa is literally sitting at the dinner table with the people who murdered her family. But he totally is aware. That's what makes him by far the worst person in all the North. At least Stannis is finally on his way to Winterfell with his army to put the Boltons in their place.
The North is actually where the vast majority of this episode goes down. When we aren't spending time with the Boltons, chances are we are at the Wall, as Jon struggles to make the hard choices as Lord Commander. Should he make peace with the Wildlings, or attempt to kill them all? A tough decision to be sure, made even more difficult by the fact that the vast majority of the Night's Watch hates the Free Folk with a fiery passion. With good reason, of course. The two groups have been enemies for centuries, and many of the black brothers have lost friends and family to a Wildling axe.
Jon is certain, however, that the Night's Watch won't survive the winter and the coming White Walkers if the two bitter enemies don't make amends. To that end he frees Tormund Giantsbane, who agrees to show Jon where many of the Wildlings north of the Wall have fled to -- as long as Jon comes along for the trip, that is.
Dany sends some of her unwilling subjects on a trip this week as well. After last week's episode-capping battle between the Sons of the Harpy, Ser Barristan and Gray Worm, fans have been wondering who, if anybody, survived the bloody fight. Turns out Barristan is indeed dead, though Gray Worm survives to fight another day.
Dany is pissed and wants answers. So she cooks up a solution, one that involves rounding up the heads of all the noble houses in Meereen and forcing them to get up close and personal with Dany's hungry dragons. Intimidation will only get you so far though, so Dany takes things a step further by pledging to reopen the Meereen fighting pits and marry Hizdahr zo Loraq, the head of a noble Meereen family. Will this finally halt the attacks by the Sons of the Harpy? Book readers may already know the answer, but everybody else will have to wait and see.
Maybe, just maybe, Tyrion will arrive in time for the wedding. At this rate, chances aren't looking good. After being attacked by "Stone Men" (or people driven insane and completely infected with the deadly disease known as Grayscale), Tyrion and his captor Jorah are sailing upstream without a paddle. Or on their way to Meereen without a boat. Either way, they aren't going anywhere fast, especially upon the revelation that Jorah contracted the fatal disease during the battle. Bummer.
And no, no boys were actually killed in this episode. Read on for our weekly awards.
Worst Reunion: Theon And Sansa
He sleeps in the dog kennels. She is marrying a psycho. This is all very unpleasant.
Sucks To Be You Award: Jorah Mormont, Getting Grayscale
This guy seriously can't catch a break.
Internally Screaming: Night's Watch Kid, After Listening to Jon Talk About Save Wildlings
His name is actually Olly, but that doesn't matter. This kid is mad. And rightfully so. The Wildlings did kill his whole family and village. But he put an arrow through Ygritte's heart! Isn't that revenge enough!?
Book Worm: Samwell Tarly
Keep reading, Sam. You'll be useful one day.
Most Pointless Scene: Myranda and Sansa Talking About Gloves
Best Fatality: Meereen Noble, After Being Ripped In Two And Eaten By A Pair Of Dragons
Heck of a way to go.