(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)
(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)

Valar morghulis, valar spoilers.

With Game of Thrones 5×10: Mother’s Mercy we end a tumultuous and heart wrenching season five of the show, so the goal for all the camps is to keep you watching. To do that overall, you know some players have to leave the arena. I’m not going to cover the entire season. Rather, I would like to move forward and see how this episode sets up the power players for the next season. Well, most of them. Be aware that I’ve read the books and although most people would laugh about that now, there’s a reason why reading the books might garner me a bit of an edge in guessing the outcome of what’s next. So, again, there’s a shitload of spoilers ahead.

In case you haven’t noticed, every location has a camp with power players. Each camp builds them up, but their main leader might not always be the power player in training. Ned Stark fell but his children became power players to each form different camps. To put it in gaming terms, sometimes the character in play is a support class. Tyrion is definitely an adviser, and a very strong one on a camp where the main leaders were his father, Tywin Lanniser, and to a lesser degree, King Joffrey. They might’ve been power players but they both fell. Tyrion now joins a different camp but has been made a stronger character.

(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)
(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)

Since it’s a season finale, we have to put everyone in jeopardy. And that we do. Stannis goes first which means he actually gets executed. The Boltons ride up to meet him after half his men have deserted, his wife has committed suicide and his sorceress has ridden off to Castle Black. Why does Melisandre ride back to the Wall? I’ll let you know what I think, but let’s have Stannis have one last duel first. As his army is ripped apart, he’s left wounded and fights off two Bolton soldiers. He manages to dispatch them, but not without taking a blow to his leg. He’s a goner and he knows it, so when Brienne shows herself to finish him off for killing her beloved Renly, he welcomes it. Of course, he had to die in order for his camp to be gone but two power players result from it.

That’s how I explain Stannis Baratheon. He was a power player and the leader of his camp, but he wasn’t the one being built up. He literally got more interesting when he appeared at the Wall, but that’s because the intention was to fool us. However, we haven’t been losing time with Stannis. The reason for his existence was to built up two possible power players: Melisandre, a sorcerer, and Ser Davos Seaworth, an advisor. It’s not a coincidence that they both go to the Wall. Jon Snow is the obvious power player there. I know what happens later, but let’s leave that for last.

Sansa Stark didn’t really need to go to another camp to be built up more. She has done that. Instead, she was almost sacrificed to built up another power player in the form of Ramsay Bolton. Who actually was pretty much built already. In the usual fashion of worst possible timing, Sansa lights the candle just as Brienne of Tarth gives up her watch of the broken tower. As she’s trying to stay out of everyone’s path, she rans into Miranda who wants to prevent her from escaping but doesn’t mind hurting her permanently. As she threatens to do so, she’s offed by Reek? Or perhaps we can call him Theon again, because all of sudden he’s willing to help Sansa escape. Or not. Well, depends on what’s at end of that fall. I know Theon/Reek is a bit of a reverse built – he’s been deconstructed so that we do not expect anything from him and to further this point, we’ve seen several instances in which a spark of Theon could appear but hasn’t. If he’s broken completely, why would he help Sansa now of all times?

Screw the order here, let’s go to Braavos. There’s a completely unnecessary long scene with Meryn Trant being a creep to children, until he focuses on one and she face-shifts into Arya Stark. She gets stabby with Meryn and she doesn’t hold back one bit. Yes, Meryn’s a complete piece of shit, but the whole knife to the eyes thing… Anyhow, Arya gets reprimanded for this in the weirdest fashion when Jaqen H’ghar takes potion and dies, then appears behind her, then as she tears his face off, he becomes Arya. I can’t quite explain that scene, but it does end up with Arya going blind. I don’t expect her to stay blind for long, but that’s the books talking. We’ll see what the series does, but I don’t expect Arya to disappear.

(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)
(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)

Cersei finally goes into her repentance phase, which she obviously does to get out of her cell. She marches naked through the city, getting mocked, threatened, insulted, harassed, and soiled with all kinds of disgusting crap. Basically what a woman faces when playing online games turned true in the vilest of fashions. Anyhow, she manages to make it back to the castle where she has ONE friend. Grand Meister Pycelle and newly appointed Hand of the King Kevan Lannister are only there to stare. Only Qyburn is there to wrap her in a cloak and introduce her to something he’s created, a new member of the Kingsguard that seems to resemble The Mountain. Congratulations, Cersei has a necromancer on her side and he’s built her a golem to fight for her. Can she really built her power back up after this ordeal? The answer should be yes.

Meereen? Well, let’s call it Daenerys’ camp. It’s weird, they’ve lost their leader. However, if there’s one character that hasn’t disappeared but continuously gets built up to ridiculous height, that’s Daenerys. However, we’re also building Tyrion here. He’s left in charge of the city while Daario and Ser Joras Mormont seek out the Mother of Dragons. He’s not alone though, besides Missandei and Grey Worm, he also gets a Master of Whisperers as Varys appears from nowhere. Somewhere in the Dothraki Sea, Drogon sleeps off his flight and nurses his wounds. Daenerys takes a stroll until she finds herself surrounded by Dothraki. Again. Whatever happens next to the Queen of Meereen, has not been written yet. She can’t really be out of the picture yet, but hopefully she doesn’t have to start from scratch.

Okey, now that we’re done with almost everyone, time to head to The Wall, right? No, we have to make a little stop in Dorne first. Jaime is finally taking Taylor Swift – sorry, I mean Myrcella Lannister – back on the ship bound for King’s Landing along with Bronn and Trystane. Myrcella confesses she has always suspected Jaime is her real father and they have a moment. Which is kinda cute until we remember that Myrcella got a kiss from Ellaria Sand – a kiss that was poisonous. Her nose suddenly starts bleeding. Zero people were surprised when Ellaria is shown alongside the Sand Snakes at the pier, taking the antidote as her own nose starts to bleed. I do expect Ellaria, or at least the Sand Snakes, to make the trip up north sometime and hopefully have a more engaging storyline. Let’s not have them reappear just to kill them off? Otherwise, I’m going to start doing Boba Fett comparisons.

(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)
(Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO)

Ok! The Wall! Finally… Ok, so we got this teaser thing at the beginning of the episode with Benjen Stark just to remind us who he was. It’s going to be a red herring anyways. Ser Davos is at The Wall. Melisandre also appears at The Wall – I guess she teleported over there or there was a longer spell of time between these two. The point is that Jon might know at least that he’s hated by his brothers of the Night’s Watch, as he tells Samwell Tarly. He doesn’t know how much, though. When Olly delivers the message that Benjen Stark has returned, he’s led into a trap with Ser Alliser Thorne stabbing him in the chest first and Olly last. They all enforce their stabbings saying, “for the watch.” At this point Jon Snow has caught up to his storyline in the books exactly up to this scene.

And now, his watch is end- wait a fuckin’ second…

Finale Thoughs:

  • I don’t expect Melisandre and Ser Davos Seaworth, the best characters from Stannis’ camp to join the camp at The Wall only to be present when their only power player dies. I’m sorry, I should consider Samwell Tarly a potential power player, but we can’t have the character with the mysterious back story, the only sword made our of Valyrian steel, the giant direwolf, the deceased Wildling girlfriend and adopted son to the House of Stark die without exploring it. That would really be a waste of time.
  • Although every camp is expendable to a point, I don’t expect Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark or Daenerys Targaryen to be killed. You know why? They’re power players whose support classes are helping them built up their character. We got to Melisandre via Stannis, but although she was helping him get what he wanted, she was the interesting one. Stannis only got interesting lately because he was about to get dispatched.
  • How does Jon Snow make it back to the land of the living? Someone tell me it’s a coincidence that Melisandre walks into Castle Black just before the mutiny. She’s needed here. Or perhaps Jon worgs into Ghost, but I’d only expect him to do that to eat Ser Alliser Thorne. Somehow I do expect Olly to come back to Jon’s side.
  • Also, I will be really pissed if the next season decides to skip the Wall altogether like they’ve done with Brandon all this season.
  • I don’t believe Arya’s blindness will be permanent, but there’s a chance they want to tease us around with that for a bit. Unless she’s going to go Daredevil, I expect her sight to be restored by next season.
  • We went to Dorne, we’re leaving Dorne. Woo hoo! Well, we got the Sand Snakes. I half-expected them to swim after the ship.
  • Is Cersei going to be back in power or are we expecting repercussions to her from the Small Council? Is Tommen going to come out of his room? Can someone with a backbone, a brain and preferably no psychopathic issues take the Iron Throne?

That will do for now.

(Source: HBO)