Ser Jorah’s gets greyscale! Sansa reunites with Theon! Stannis marches toward Winterfell! Tyrion sees a dragon!
And that’s about all I actually knew about “Kill the Boy” before this episode aired because HBO has stopped sending out screeners to TV reporters for the rest of the season. So I approached this hour like Littlefinger appraising Ramsay: I know very little about you, which makes you quite a rare thing. And instead of writing this week’s recap leisurely over the course of a few days leading up to the telecast—punctuated by celebratory rounds of Jameson and checking obscure Thrones-ian facts via the The Wiki of Ice and Fire—I jammed to draft this tonight and I’m just praying I didn’t misspell Daenerys Targaryen (there’s always more ‘e’s than you think there are!).
But here it is at last. Let’s break down “Kill the Boy”:
Meereen: Grey Worm is unconscious in bed. Missandei looks very upset even though this is pretty much the same amount of conversation she usually gets from Grey Worm.
Meanwhile Dany is in her throne room, looking really pissed about Ser Barristan getting murdered last week. Clearly she’s a Game of Thrones book-reader. Daario suggests pulling back their troops to the pyramid district then attacking outward. I get distracted a little here because I just love that Meereen has a pyramid district; it sounds like some fancy zip code with high property taxes and great schools.
Dany decides instead to round up the heads of the major families and has them brought to her dragons’ den lair—including her own adviser and suspected reggae enthusiast Hizdahr zo Loraq. This is exciting because Dany has lately been in “How do I make people love me?” mode, so we’re excited to see her shift back into badass Mother of Dragons mode.
She forces the lords to slowly march toward her two chained dragons, Rhaegal and Viserion. It’s like they’re being forced to walk the plank, but instead of sharks and water, there are dragons and fire. Only Hizdahr doesn’t totally lose his composure.
This is pretty risky for Daenerys because she doesn’t really know how her dragons are going to react because she can’t actually control them. She’s betting they’ll react the same way they acted toward her in the season premiere. The dragons could just be sleeping like bears at a zoo. Or they could waddle up and give one of these guys a great big happy lick and totally blow her whole fearsome image. Thankfully, they torch one of the great family heads on cue and rip him into two pieces. Aw, it’s so nice that they share!
Dany decides not to sacrifice any more of these guys. “I don’t want to overfeed them,” she quips, as if they’re giant goldfish. But she’s made her point to them, which is simply: Don’t f— with me.
Castle Black: Jon goes to Maester Aemon for advice because he wants to try and get the Wildlings to fight with the Night’s Watch. Aemon tells him to do what he wants and quit being such a wuss all the time, jeez. “Kill the boy, Jon Snow,” Aemon says, “and let the man be born.” A blind 100-year-old guy is literally telling Jon to man up.
NEXT: Ramsay’s bite-y sex life