Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 4: Four Big Questions After This Week’s Episode

ser barristan selmy

Game Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 4 “Sons Of The Harpy”

Game Of Thrones is back with an episode even more deadlier than the last. “Sons Of The Harpy” is anchored by two action sequences.  The fight scene in Dorne was surprisingly amusing at the same time incredibly deadly.  For reasons why we are excited to see more of Dorne, take a look at What You Need To Know About Dorne.  In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the interesting questions this episode leaves us with. Full spoilers ahead.

Is Ser Barristan Selmy Alive or Dead?

Because Game Of Thrones is filled with so many conniving characters, Barristan Selmy’s nobility and righteousness stands out above them. What he also offers as a trusted advisor is connecting Dany to another side of her family’s history in a way that no one else can. After all the drama from previous weeks, it’s a refreshing lighter moment when Dany smiled while listening to stories about her eldest brother. 

A nitpick I have with the episode’s closing fight is that even though the Unsullied were badly outnumbered, they weren’t the great Spartan-like fighters that I imagined; Grey Worm being the notable exception. The fight did provide a heroic send off for Barristan Selmy whose fate is likely sealed while Grey Worm will probably live to see another day.

As mentioned in our death predictions for this season, the show runners are killing off characters that might be alive in the books. George R.R. Martin needed Selmy’s POV to tell what was happening in Meereen but the show isn’t constrained in that way. With Tyrion’s imminent arrival and Jorah’s return to Mereen, it’ll be a surprise if Selmy still has a future on the show.

grey-worm game of thrones season 5 episode 4

How Will Dany React When Jorah Returns With Tyrion?

It’s like a scene from Sherlock with the way Tyrion deduced the identity of his kidnapper. Tyrion made an interesting remark that Dany would just as likely execute Jorah and pardon him. Of the many story lines converging, Tyrion and Dany is one that I’m most looking forward to. Dany’s recent decisions have put her out of touch with her people’s culture and beliefs, Tyrion could help Dany navigate Meereen’s political dilemmas with shrewdness and wiles.

I’ll be curious to see if Selmy’s death might play a factor in Dany reconsidering her promise to execute Jorah if he ever set foot in Mereen again. Will Dany feel partly responsible for Selmy’s death and make her second guess her handling of the Sons Of The Harpy? What about the public execution of former slave Mossador? Dany may not have shown Mossador mercy but perhaps she’ll give Jorah a second chance to regain her trust.

Will the Battle Between Stannis and the Boltons be the Big Episode 9 Event?

Stannis is a stern, uncharismatic leader; however, his scene with Shireen adds another wrinkle to his character. Shireen grew up to be pretty well-adjusted considering how emotionally unavailable her parents are. Between Shireen’s parents, Stannis is the only one to care and believe in her which is a nice shared moment for them.

What also helps make Stannis someone to possibly root for is that he’s the only House at the moment that is willing and capable of taking down the much despised Boltons. If Stannis does arrive at Winterfell it’ll be a major convergence of several characters at one location: the Boltons, Sansa, Theon and likely Brienne & Pod. But with so many other storylines deserving of the center stage, Stannis’ storyline is likely one of several that will significantly progress in the penultimate episode 9.

What Is Melissandre’s Hidden Motive To Seducing Jon Snow?

In the season preview post, I said with tongue in cheek that whenever Melisande gets naked bad things happen. But there’s most definitely an ulterior motive to seducing Jon. Whatever is her ultimate goal is a mystery to me but perhaps looking at how her magic works might shed some light. In the scene with Stannis she made a remark about how there’s power in Stannis’ bloodline and that carried over to Shireen. She also indicated that there was power in Jon. Melissandre has needed men with a king’s bloodline in them eg. Gendry and Stannis to work her deadliest magic. But is this because she needs king’s blood to kill other kings? The only living king besides Stannis among the War Of The Five Kings is Balon Greyjoy, but that’s more because the show runners have forgotten /sidelined the Greyjoy storyline. I would think Melissandre has something else entirely up her sleeve.

On a final note, it’s interesting that both Littlefinger and Barristan Selmy told a story about Rhaegar. Because we will never see Rhaegar depicted on the show, we are learning about him through stories given by various characters. Each narrator’s perspective, assuming they are reliable, adds a piece to the bigger puzzle or backstory. In some cases we get a conflicting idea of who Rhaegar is. From Selmy’s perspective, Rhaegar did not like killing which differs from how Sansa believes he’s a rapist. The full story has yet to be revealed.

What are did you like or dislike from this episode? 

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Posted on May 5, 2015, in Game of Thrones, Television and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Great review! I loved that this episode really kicked things up! I am really worried about Ser Barrister – he is one of the only true noble characters left and I enjoyed how he could tell Dany about her family.

    • Thanks Natasha! 😀 This episode turned it up, I loved all the action in Dorne and in Meereen. Sad what happened to Selmy, he’s a rare honorable person on this show and he knows more about Dany’s family than she does haha.

  2. great recap. cant wait for next weeks episode to see how things pan out

  3. brendantbewley

    I predict the Stannis/Bolton battle to be one of those climactic events in an episode with more significant climaxes. I’m excited about it, but Sansa is the only major character involved in that storyline. I’m betting King’s Landing or Mereen or maybe the Wall will play host to the big climax of this season based on how prominent those storylines have been this season.

    • I feel the same way about Stannis/Bolton battle, I’m looking forward to it but if it had more major characters involved it would feel more significant. I love predicting which events will happen in which episodes. My guess is episode 9 will have climatic action at the wall, mereen and winterfell. And then big character moments for Dany, Jon and Cersei in the finale.

  4. You totally had this Barristan death (assuming he is dead). It was one of the first things I thought of when I saw it happen. I’m bummed but impressed with your prediction skills! As you said with Tyrion coming in it makes sense.

    I still need to do my review and have no idea how to discuss the whole hinting they are doing about that popular fan theory (more of a fact than theory I’d say!). You did a good job here without giving too much away. I didn’t know how they’d go about doing it in the show, but I really enjoyed those aspects this week.

    Also any time Rhaegar comes up is a plus. I enjoyed both of those stories this week. And I loved that Stannis-Shireen scene too! Great blog!

  5. Hahah, thanks. A good thing then I didn’t put Bronn in my prediction post which I was considering … well the season is still young. 🙂

    I actually got stuck writing about it (I agree it’s more a fact). It was originally my fifth topic but it was too hard to dance around the issue without giving too much away so I came up with another way to hint at it. I really like how this episode handled it.

    The more Rhaegar stories the better, I like all this history stuff.

  6. Y’know, after watching BORGIA, all the violent stuff in GoT don’t seem all that shocking anymore, ahah. This Jon Snow guy is popular eh, I don’t find the actor playing him attractive at all for some reason. Too bad they killed off Richard Madden!

    • Awesome that you’re watching GoT! Oh I didn’t know BORGIA was a violent show but then again those were violent times. A lot of people have a thing for Jon Snow, other people think his acting is not always up to par. Madden has Prince Charming looks … well he played him in Cinderella haha.

      • Oh no I don’t watch GoT, I meant to say that I read recaps of it and whilst I used to be shocked by its violence I think BORGIA is pretty darn brutal. I mean this is during Medieval times where the kind of torture is just beyond sadistic. Not only that, it’s shocking what the family members do to each other, on top of all the incest stuff.

  7. abbiosbiston

    Not sure what is worse… Melissandre boob or Littlefinger kisses. So much barfing in the mouth.

  8. Howdy friend cool recap man. I would have commented sooner but I didn’t see the episode until yesterday morning and then had to go to work afterwards. Anyways I thought this was another great episode with some shocking and intriguing moments.

    First thing I have to mention is the fact that Melissandre trying it on with Jon Snow. I frigging knew it’d happen! The moment in the lift in episode one made me feel uncomfortable, and I knew that strange woman had an eye on my boy, like she wanted a piece of him, and it came to pass! For a second I thought Jon was gonna give into her naked body, but he showed restraint and defended his feelings for his former lover Ygritte which I give him props for. One other thing to note, Melissandre, does she ever wear anything more than that dress/nightgown? She’s seems like a woman practically ready to go and does she not feel the cold? Haha.

    Secondly that battle with those douchebag Harpy guys, epic battle, so much death and pain. Greyworm did really well to fend those guys as a one man army after his comrades pretty much failed to be badasses, andSer Barristan he also did great but when they both started getting stabbed up I’m like “No! This can’t be the end for them!” There were fighting against incredible odds but they were doing well, but it looks like both Ser Barristan and Greyworm dropped in the line of duty. I seriously hope that Greyworm isn’t out for good, I really like that guy he’s so recent and cool.

    With Daenerys finding out about what happened to her people, will that give Jorah Returns and Tyrion a bit more leeway when they come to see her? I mean after the results of this battle she’ll need all the help she can get and I can see Tyrion’s skills being invaluable at this point, and maybe considering her losses, Daenerys will consider taking Jorah back just as help/reinforcement? Oh and that small moment between Stannis and his duaghter really gave me the most human aspect of his character in the series so far, the dude’s always been so cold, calcuated and somewhat boring, but that conversation with Shireen really showed that he has a heart somewhere deep down. Oh and how creepy was it to see Littlefinger kiss Sansa, again, it was awkward and weird the first time and it happened a second time! Littlefinger, he is brilliant but man he’s dodgy.

    In need more of this show, the hype levels are building!

    • Hello there! Watching GOT in the morning sounds like a great way to start the day man. I was a little late with this post myself, had a hard time putting things into words. The ending to this ep definitely left me wanting more.

      Melisandre has totally been eyeing Jon and asked a really random question in the lift back in ep1. She knows how to literally pounce on a dude lol. And she said Ygritte’s famous line like a mind reader. The Red Priestess must be in heat all the time, she can barely keep her clothes on hehe. I’m starting to wonder if going to the Wall was her goal all along.

      I thought all the Unsullied were supposed to be badasses like Grey worm, at least take out a couple of harpies before going down. Doesn’t look so good for Barristan but I think Grey Worm will pull through. If only Dany could train her dragons to hunt Harpies … Her council is growing smaller so it might be worth considering taking back Jorah. l wonder if Varys will make his way to Meereen too, looking for Tyrion?

      Yeah, we rarely ever got to see the human side to Stannis, Shireen brings it out of him. Funny he’s actually the “caring” parent of the two. Technically LF is the uncle of Sansa, so pervy with the way he touches and kisses her. Even weirder he freely hands her over to Ramesey, thought he might want to keep her for himself hahah. I guess he likes playing the game over everything else.

      Almost to the half way point of the season … just keeps getting better. 🙂

  9. I think sadly we will need to wait for Stannis/Boltons battle, it’s likely not gonna be in this season

  10. I loved the stannis daddy/daughter moment. Added a lot to his character.

    And I really hope the rumours about Jon’s lineage is true. It makes sense and would explain a lot of the story telling dialogue that has been going on for a while.

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