Alan is on vacation this week. In his absence, Hitfix Editor-in-Chief Richard Rushfield is stepping in to guest recap “Game of Thrones.”
“A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.”
Hello everyone and thank you for letting me step me into these very big shoes this week. First of all, just to declare my conflicts of interests, while I know this blog has shown a decided leaning towards the simpering survivors of the Stark family, I stand Lannister proud; true in my loyalty to Queen Cersei, the only one in this realm of the deluded fit to preside over the Seven Kingdoms. However, I promise readers to do my utmost to put my personal preferences to the side as we consider together the important question of just what the heck was going on this week and where are we all headed in this Game.
This episode, in fact, had the very Lannister-esque title, “Kill the Boy”; a title whose name rings of a decree from old late Tywin himself. When one hears a title like that on “Game of Thrones” one expects that this week”s special treat will be an extra dose of child slaughter. And while the episode was not without a touch of that (more on this later), the boy in question here is the lad within; the child who plays a dictator within the heart of so many, preventing the inner grown-up from taking the wheel and doing what a leader”s got to do to make a go of things in these brutal times, what with winter coming and all.
Across Westeros and the lands beyond, our would be leaders are having to commit inner infanticide this week if they are going to rise up to the task. Being at the head of army, kingdom or wall company seems like a pretty great thing in those days, until the crown drops on your head like a ton of bricks. And then, as happened to our many heroes this week, you realize it”s not all feasts of honeyed pigeon and ordering some guy who looked at you funny put to death, but a life of very hard choices if you”re going to stay alive yourself. The rubber hit the road on those tough choices this week, as in various ways, the new generation of Westeroses struggled to find their inner Valaryian steel.
Specifically, it is the death of the boy within the breast of Night Watch Commander Jon Snow whose death is called for in the quote referenced in the title. When sought out for advice, good old ancient Maester Aemon tells Snow tostop whining and whatever it is you”ve got in mind, get the h- on with it. “Half of them hate you already,” Jon is told, the meanest thing you can tell Kit Harrington's teen heartthrob following. “You will find little joy in your command, but with luck you will find the strength to do what needs to be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”
And from across the Game of Thrones fan universe, a billion voices called out: Just don”t cut the hair!
Jon Snow seeks the courage to uncork a plan involving getting the wildings to come and leave peacefully alongside their old crow enemies, helping them farm the land and while they”re at it, fight off the zombie invasion. As Jon predicted, when he unveils his scheme in the dining hall it goes over like a call for a samba line at the Red Wedding. Even loyal sidekick Samwell, can”t quite get behind it.