I’m a teensy bit annoyed with last night’s episode of Game of Thrones (Season 5, Episode 5), not because it was a bad episode (it was fine) but because it didn’t give me anything big and meaty to turn into a new book-show comparison post. I was hoping for some comparison-fodder on Tyrion.
What the episode does give us on Tyrion is confirmation that he’s an alcoholic. He doesn’t drink all that wine because he really likes the taste and it’s fun to get out of his own head. He may love the taste and enjoy the feeling of intoxication, but he drinks because he gets withdrawal symptoms if he doesn’t.
Awww, look, Stannis is a grammar pedant. This should make me like him more, but no, it doesn’t. What makes me sympathize with him at least a little is that he thinks his wife and daughter will be safer with his army than at Castle Black. He won’t feel so good about that decision when Melisandre ties that sweet little girl up to a pyre and lights her up.
While I still disagree with this business of Littlefinger putting Sansa at Winterfell with the Boltons, I see what the showrunners are doing with the divergence. Now Sansa sees what’s been done to Theon. Her being Ramsay’s bride allows several storylines from the books to converge at an earlier stage. Since they’re in the castle together, Theon may have a chance to tell Sansa that her little brothers are still alive.
Ramsay remarks to Theon/Reek that he’s smelling “particularly ripe” that day. Ramsay likes to keep his Reek as smelly as possible. That’s why a bath is such a rare treat for him. Ramsay grew up with a servant, the original Reek, who was constantly smelly due to a medical condition. Ramsay keeps Theon in a constant state of terrible hygiene because the stench reminds Ramsay of his bond with the original Reek. The smelliness also has the effect of keeping Theon isolated. If he smells awful, then nobody else will reach out to him, take care of him, ask him if he’s okay.
Lord Bolton and his new wife Walda (in the books they call her Fat Walda because of course they do) have a new baby on the way. At this stage in the books she’s much farther along in the pregnancy. Cue the fat jokes from Ramsay.
Lord Bolton reveals that Ramsay was conceived through rape. At the time, Bolton felt he was justified in his actions because of the custom of first night right, which was a regular practice in Westeros before it was banned by the Targaryens. So, the scary thing about Ramsay’s conception is not just that Roose saw nothing wrong with committing rape, but that before a certain point in Westerosi history, rape of a peasant woman by a lord was totally legal as long as it happened on her wedding night.
I’m a bit surprised that Stannis and his army are beginning the march to Winterfell so early in the season. In the books they get caught in a vicious snowstorm that holds them up for some time before they reach the castle. And they run out of food in the meantime. It’s a rough trip. And they don’t have a crafty smuggler to sneak in with a boatload full of onions and salt beef. So I guess they’re going to spend the next 3-4 episodes struggling their way through the North in late autumn. I’m waiting to see whether Yara Greyjoy yields to King Stannis and gets hauled along to Winterfell where Theon can find her just outside the castle walls.
This episode shows us that Jorah Mormont is doing double-duty for himself and Jon Connington. Jorah is the one who won’t let Tyrion have more wine, and he’s the one who catches greyscale from rescuing Tyrion from stone men. So I guess that means Connington won’t appear on the show. That greyscale shouldn’t appear so early, though. It should take at least a few days before the disease makes its appearance. Since Connington is nowhere to be found, we also won’t see Duck, Haldon Halfmaester, or Septa Lemore. I’m reserving judgment on whether Prince Rhaegar’s son turns up alive on the show.
Dany is going to make Hizdahr zo Loraq her king consort. This is one of those times when she’ll miss her gruff old men giving her advice. Also, Benioff and Weiss are a pair of filthy bastards.
Next episode, we’ll see Jaime and Bronn dressed up like Dornish knights, Lady Olenna shows up again, and we see more of Littlefinger pulling some foolhardy stunt with Cersei as part of his plans for world domination. Now I realize what was missing from Episode 5: too little Tyrion, too much of the Boltons, and nothing at all of the twins.
(The sight of Jaime and Bronn in those Dornish knight getups is pretty funny, though.)