Rising swiftly to the top of the list of people you’d be unwise to piss of in the world of Game Of Thrones this week is Daenerys. If you annoy Cersei, she might have you thrown in jail. Do the same to Khaleesi, and she’s liable to feed you to one of her dragons.
Essentially, the running theme of this episode is of leadership – and challenges to it. Daenerys and Jon are both new to leadership, and deal with it in various ways. The former chooses to fight fire with fire, while Jon instead chooses a big bucket of water – in the form of the wildlings. The first real unpopular decision he’s had to make, the ramifications will surely be felt, especially with Stannis and his army having departed to fight the Boltons.
Speaking of the North’s new first family, the scenes there are fast becoming the pick of the season – mainly due to Iwan Rheon’s performance as Ramsay Bolton. Exhibiting shades of Joffrey and Tyrion, he steals the screen whenever he’s present.
A chief characteristic of his persona that becomes evident is his need to be in control: he has it over his concubine Myranda, and he has it over Theon. The new and improved (?) Sansa, however, might be a different proposition altogether.
Ramsay’s theatrics aside, much of this episode takes the same format to the ones preceding it: a lot of slow build and scene-setting punctuated by a few jaw-dropping moments. We all know this is geared towards up a truly epic finale/penultimate episode at some point, but in between there haven’t really been enough jaw-dropping moments for which Game Of Thrones is famed for.
One thing this season has done well so far is put everyone on the same wavelength: Barristan’s death in the previous episode showed that even those who’ve read the books don’t know the whole story, and the closing moments of ‘Kill The Boy’ hint at another assumed-safe character looking pretty doomed.
Even with this, however, not quite enough happens for our liking. The likes of Arya, Cersei and Jaime are sorely missed, and all the build up to introducing the characters in Dorne seems a little redundant thus far considering how little they’ve actually appeared. Hopefully things will improve next week.