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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Finale Recap: “Mother’s Mercy”

game of thrones theon sansa

In typical Game of Thrones fashion, there were plenty of fatalities, injuries, and strong character moments to keep everyone glued to their screens during “Mother’s Mercy,” the season 5 finale.

When Podrick spots Stannis and his army marching toward Winterfell, he rushes to tell Brienne, who abandons her post right before Sansa finally goes to light the candle in the broken tower (signaling that she needs rescuing). Sansa realizes that Stannis will probably lose the battle against the Boltons (who outnumber Stannis and his army), so she attempts to leave on her own. She’s stopped by Theon and a bloodthirsty Myranda holding a crossbow. When Myranda threatens to maim Sansa, Theon suddenly snaps out of being “Reek” and pushes Myranda, who falls to her death. He and Sansa make a run for it, jumping over the wall.

Sansa: “If I’m going to die, let it happen while there’s still some of me left.”

In the aftermath of Shireen’s burning, Stannis learns that his men are deserting him, his grieving wife Selyse has hung herself, and Melisandre has abandoned him. At this point, Stannis has no choice but to continue marching. Stannis ends up losing the battle and his small army is pretty much decimated. He survives just long enough for Brienne to confront him about Renly’s murder. Stannis accepts his fate, telling Brienne, “Do your duty.”

game of thrones arya

At the brothel in Braavos, Meryn Trant enjoys physically abusing little girls and hearing them cry. One of the prostitutes refuses to make any noise and when they’re alone in the room together, she reveals herself to be Arya. She attacks Meryn, stabbing him in the eyes and making his death as painful as possible.

In The House of Black and White, Jaqen and The Waif confront Arya about what she has done. Jaqen drinks poison, killing himself, and then The Waif reveals herself to have Jaqen’s face. Arya rips off dead!Jaqen’s face to reveal more and more faces until she gets to her own face. Panicked and confused, Arya proceeds to lose her eyesight.

Jaqen H’ghar: “The girl stole from the Many-Faced God. Now a debt is owed. Only death can pay for life.”

Jaime, Bronn, Myrcella, and Trystane leave Dorne. Ellaria makes sure to give Myrcella a kiss goodbye. Aboard the ship, Jaime decides to tell Myrcella that he’s her father, but she already knows. They hug but then Myrcella starts bleeding from her nose, dying from the poison that Ellaria transferred through the kiss she gave her. The Sand Snakes and Ellaria, who drinks the antidote, watch from the docks.

game of thrones mother's mercy dany

Daario and Jorah leave to track Dany, while Tyrion is left to rule Meereen with Missandei and Grey Worm. Varys appears and he offers Tyrion some advice about ruling Meereen. (It seems like they’ll be working together to some degree next season.)

Drogon is acting unruly. He refuses to take Dany back to Meereen. Suddenly, thousands upon thousands of Dothraki appear and surround Dany.

game of thrones cersei

Cersei finally makes her confession to the High Septon. She confesses to sleeping with Lancel, but she denies that her children are illegitimate. The High Septon accepts Cersei’s confession, but now she has to take the penance walk. Cersei is stripped naked and then forced to walk from the Great Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep with the merciless crowd shouting at her, spitting at her, and throwing things.

Once she arrives at the Red Keep, she’s greeted by her uncle Kevan, Pycelle, and Qyburn. Qyburn covers her up and introduces her to Ser Robert Strong, a new and improved version of The Mountain.

game of thrones for the watch

Sam tells Jon that he’s going to Oldtown with Gilly and the baby. He’s better off becoming a maester. Not to mention Gilly and the baby aren’t safe at Castle Black, especially after Gilly’s near-rape. Jon reacts forlornly, but ultimately he gives Sam his blessing.

Davos urges Jon Snow to help Stannis when Melisandre suddenly shows up. Her silence confirms to Davos that Stannis and Shireen are dead.

Olly tells Jon that one of the Wildlings has information about his uncle Benjen, but it turns out to be a trick. The Night’s Watch proceed to stab Jon, who bleeds out from his wounds and presumably dies.

Final Thoughts

  • Myranda’s death was so satisfying, but Theon’s transformation from “Reek” was very sudden. I’m happy that he and Sansa are finally out of Winterfell, though. I wonder where they’ll go next. Maybe they’ll run into Theon’s sister, Yara.
  • There’s been a lot of speculation online that Stannis isn’t really dead, but his storyline is over (he has no army, no wife, no daughter, no red priestess) and I don’t see any reason why Brienne would spare him. He’s dead, y’all.
  • The Shireen burning was a hard pill to swallow, but admittedly I don’t know if I was ready for Stannis to die just yet.
  • Arya was such a badass when she killed Meryn Trant. The scene with the faces (when she saw her own face on Jaqen’s body) was really confusing, though. Let me know in the comments what that was all about!
  • Dorne remains the worst part of every episode. It seems like Ellaria and the Sand Snakes have no foresight whatsoever. What’s stopping Jaime from killing Trystane now? Can Dorne handle a war with the Lannisters?
  • I’m kind of excited for Meereen next season with Tyrion ruling over it with Grey Worm and Missandei’s help. And Varys! I’m happy he’s back, I missed him.
  • The Cersei scene went on way too long. Was the CGI body double super obvious to anyone else?
  • Melisandre needs to make herself useful and resurrect Jon Snow.
  • Olly needs to die.
  • I’m so sad about Jon Snow. I didn’t realize how attached I was to his character until this season.