Game of Thrones 5.10 – “Mother’s Mercy”

Alright guys and gals of Westeros, it is time. The unfortunate moment when after 9 weeks of living and breathing a show, it finally comes to an end. The fifth season finale of Game of Thrones came roaring to life (or rather death) tonight. If you thought things were going to slow down, think again. After the insane White Walker attack in “Hardhome” and then the daughter burning, dragon riding chaos in “A Dance of Dragons” what else can the show manage to do? Well, it turns out a hell of a lot! People are surely going to be talking about this for the next ten months ’til season 6.

***** SPOILERS BELOW *****

A lot happened. Everywhere. But let’s start with Braavos and Arya. Or rather “no one.” We get a front row seat to Ser Meryn Trant’s disgusting pedo-obsession. He’s whipping little girls for fun? Two of the girls scream, but the last makes no noise. As Meryn tries to figure it out, the girl takes off “her face” and becomes Arya Stark! She stabs Meryn in the eyes and all over as she reveals her true identity. RIP Ser Meryn Trant. No one will miss ya.

nooneShe returns to the House of Black and White, proud of herself. She’s confronted by Jaqen H’Ghar and the Waif, who express disappointment in her deliberate disobedience and failure. Jaqen then drinks a poison and dies and Arya is sad. But then, the Waif is revealed to actually be Jaqen and the dead body is “no one” but a series of faces. Arya pulls them off in a tizzy as her own vision starts to get cloudy. The last face she sees is her own and then she goes blind. She really wasn’t ready to give up “Arya Stark” and now she is blind, so that sucks.

Down in Dorne, we find Jaime, Bronn, Myrcella, and Trystane heading off on a boat for King’s Landing. They say goodbye to Doran, Ellaria, and the Sand Snakes. Ellaria gives Myrcella a kiss on the lips goodbye. Odd. Tyene and Bronn have one last flirt. OK. On the boat, Jaime and Myrcella have a heartwarming scene, where he sort of reveals he’s her father and she says she knows and doesn’t care. Awww. Well, it doesn’t last long, because it seems Ellaria poisoned Myrcella with her kiss. Ellaria has the antidote, but Myrcella does not. DANG IT. RIP Myrcella Baratheon Lannister. Cersei is going to be very, very mad. Poor Jaime.

In Meereen, Ser Jorah, Daario, and Tyrion try to recover from the grand Dany Dragon escape in the last episode. Everyone wants to go out and find Daenerys, even Grey Worm, who missed all the fun. It is quickly decided by Daario that Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei will stay and try and govern Meereen – cause that’s real fun – while Daario and Jorah go find Dany. Season 6: Jorah and Daario- Road Trip Buddies.

dany's menTyrion later gets a visit from his old pal, Varys! Ah! We were all wondering where he had been, but the Master of Whispers is almost too good at his secrets. He will once again team up with Tyrion to cause some trouble.

Meanwhile, Daenerys is off in another world, trying to goad injured/tired Drogon into flying her back home. He’s having none of it, so she wanders off of the mountain they were on and finds herself surrounded by an entire khalasar of Dothraki. Not them again! She drops a ring on the ground so there is a clue in case anyone is looking for her. And then who knows what will happen with her now… Surprisingly, no deaths in this story! That’s new for Game of Thrones.

msCerseiKing’s Landing: Cersei is still locked in prison, looking terrible. It seems she has had enough finally and goes to meet the High Sparrow to kinda, sorta confess. She admits to sleeping with her cousin, but denies everything else. Just let it go and be free, Cersei, even if the High Sparrow is an insane crazy person. He is going to allow her to go back to the Red Keep – but only after her “penance” and “absolution” which turns out to be having her hair cut short and parading her around the streets of King’s Landing completely naked.

cersei demaneThe sequence was hard to watch and uncomfortably long but Lena Headey manages to emote something that is just magical and it was hard not to feel bad for her. She falls, gets hit by things, spit on, and called a whore and a bitch over and over again. It’s quite sad. When she nears the Red Keep, she breaks down into tears. Qyburn comes to comfort her, bringing his creation, her new guard. He takes the mangled Cersei up in his arms and carries her to safety…for now. She is still set to have a trial. She doesn’t even know her daughter is dead yet. Yowch. How the mighty Lannister lions have fallen.

ughOutside Winterfell: Things are not looking any better in the North. After the terrible, terrible, terrible decision made by Stannis and Melisandre last week to burn Shireen at the stake, Melisandre thinks things are looking up. But, girl is wrong! Half of Stannis’ army has deserted him (taking the horses with them), Selyse hung herself from a tree, and then Melisandre also deserts Stannis. His only option is to march to Winterfell on foot.

When they get to Winterfell, they are met by a large Bolton army and are decimated. Stannis, wounded and not looking good, meets his maker when Brienne of Tarth comes upon him and kills him in the name of Renly Baratheon! Stannis accepts his fate of death. And THAT, folks, is why you don’t burn your daughter at the stake. Karma is a bitch, Stannis.

msSansaMeanwhile, in Winterfell, Sansa uses the corkscrew she stole earlier to escape from her room. The chaos of the battle helps hide her as she makes her way to the tower to light the candle. She lights it, but just misses Brienne, who goes off to take care of Stannis. Sansa is caught by Theon/Reek and Myranda, who points a bow and arrow at Sansa and promises her injury. Theon/Reek is overcome with anger and actually throws Myranda off the ledge to her death. RIP Myranda. Then Theon and Sansa join hands and jump out of the castle to freedom and hopefully not death? Where will they go now? It was nice to see the childhood friends semi-reunited. But they better get far away before Ramsay discovers what they did.

The Wall: Sam asks Jon to send him, Gilly, and the baby Sam away to Oldtown so he can study to become a maester. Jon is reluctant because Sam is his only friend at the wall. But, of course, he allows it. He also finds out Sam lost his virginity. It’s a nice last moment between the two friends. Last moment you say? Why is that? More to come.

bestiesAs Sam leaves, Davos arrives and asks Jon to send men and supplies to Stannis. Jon refuses. Both are caught off guard when Melisandre strolls into Castle Black looking forlorn. Davos knows something bad has happened. He asks about Shireen with such concern and love that it is hard not to get emotional. Still not over it. Melisandre doesn’t even answer and just walks on, looking upset.

That night, Olly tells Jon that they think a ranger knows where his long lost uncle Benjen is. When Jon goes to investigate, he finds a “traitor” sign and then gets stabbed (starting with Alliser Thorne) one by one by each of the Night’s Watch members. The last blow comes from young Olly and it is all terrible and THEY CAN’T KILL JON SNOW. That’s it for the season. Wow.

Overall, the episode was fast paced and super dramatic. Everything felt resolved, yet still full of intrigue, excitement, and new things. Cersei’s walk of shame, Arya crossing a name off her list, Jaime’s tender father-daughter moment, Sansa’s escape, Stannis’ downfall, and Jon’s ending… People are going to be very upset about Jon Snow and I hold onto hope that he isn’t dead or will be making a return, but we won’t know for months and that is painful. What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below.

It’s been an odd, but great season. The show has now surpassed the books so unless George R.R. Martin’s sixth book, The Winds of Winter, comes out soon, we might be watching an entire season with no knowledge of what is to come and that’s scary! See you guys next year. And remember: “If you think there’s a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”

A new season of Game of Thrones will return in 2016 on HBO.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck