Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10 Recap: Mother’s Mercy (Finale)

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 Review




Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10

The writers on Game of Thrones had it tough this season. Writing a fitting finale to follow the two incredible previous episodes, Hardhome and The Dance of Dragons, must have been incredibly difficult. However, they somehow managed to do it, by breaking our hearts in a thousand pieces in the process. Mother’s Mercy was painful to watch most of the time, but it does set up some interesting questions for next year. We’re still recovering.

In this week’s Game of Thrones episode, we lose a fan favourite, witness an unexpected escape, and watch Cersei get more humiliated than ever. It was a devastating conclusion to another great season, one that left us more emotionally drained than ever. Who would have tough that was still possible? Let’s talk about the finale, one geographical area at a time.

Near Winterfell

Over at Stannis’ Camp, things look a bit grim. Snow is indeed melting, which initially leaves the impression that last week’s sacrifice worked. It’s not all that black and white though. Following Stannis’ horrible decision to have his own daughter killed in order to guarantee another victory, half of his men deserted him. Well, who can blame them? Fighting for a king who proved so heartless and selfish certainly doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Not only that, but his wife also killed herself, which might just be the first logical thing she’s ever done. To top it off, Melisandre abandons everyone and leaves for Castle Black. What’s there left to do? Attack Winterfell, of course. We’re not sure what the reasoning behind Stannis’ foolish move to engage in battle was. Maybe he felt so guilty he had a death wish. Maybe he actually thought that the sacrifice would bring him a victory. Or maybe he was just too devastated to think logically anymore. Whatever it was, it caused him to march to Winterfell and have his butt handed over by Ramsay and his many men. Just when we taught he might make it out alive after all, he encounters Brienne, ready to avenge Renly’s name and take out his protector’s killer. Stannis admits he was behind Renly death and waits for the execution, which unfortunately happens off-screen. Or does it? Did Brienne really murder him? Your guess is as good as ours.


In Winterfell, Sansa takes advantage of the fact that her scum of a husband isn’t around and manages to light that candle and signal for help. Too bad Brienne is otherwise engaged at the moment. She tries to make a run for it, but she’s stopped by Myranda and Theon. Myranda threatens to hurt her, and we finally get to see Theon make a move to redeem himself. He throws Myranda over the ledge, killing her, and then grabs Sansa and they both jump from a castle wall. It was a bit poetic, don’t you agree? Two childhood friends who’ve both been through hell, taking a literal leap of faith together? Fingers crossed they manage to escape Ramsay wrath, who I’m guessing has some serious abandoned issues and would gruesomely punish them for trying to run away. We’ll have to wait and see. So far, the biggest disappointment of season 5 is that the Bolton bastard made it out alive.


This was a huge season finale for Arya. We see her rock a disguise and then brutally murder Ser Meryn, which made for an awesome scene, especially since that dude managed to gross us all out since his appearance last episode. She makes sure he know who she is before the deed is done, which shows just how much rage Arya still carries around.

Arya then returns to The House of Black and White, where Jaqen and The Waif await. Jaqen is very disappointed with Arya, and we see him drink poison and collapse, apparently to teach her a lesson. She freaks out and starts crying, but The Waif transforms into Jaqen, and the dead body’s face keeps changing. Who was he really? Arya keeps pulling faces off until she sees her own, and then her vision gets blurry. She’s blind, folks. Blind!


The story in Dorne finds some sort of finality this episode. Jaime, Bronn, and Myrcella say their goodbyes, and we see Ellaria kiss Myrcella and wish her all the happiness in the world. So that was it? – we naively asked ourselves. Not really. On the boat back to King’s Landing, Jamie shares a touching moment with Myrcella, trying to tell her that he is actually her father. Turns out she already knows, and is kind of happy about that fact. We’re treated to another heartwarming Game of Thrones father-daughter moment just before Myrcella starts to bleed from her nose and drops dead. Back in Dorne, we see Ellaria taking the antidote to her poison. She got her wish to kill the Lannister progeny after all. This could seriously be seen as an act of war, so Myrcella’s death will likely have some major implications for next season.

Somewhere undisclosed

Drogon is tired. He flew Dany pretty far and now needs to lie down for a while. We’re not sure where they are, and neither is the Mother of Dragons. She goes for a casual stroll to familiarize herself with the area, and suddenly finds herself surrounded by Dotharaki riders. She drops a ring – she probably just wants to leave something behind so that somebody can track her, but we could be wrong. Nonetheless, the former Khaleesi might be in danger yet again.

Back in Meereen, all of Dany’s friends seem to have made it out alive from last week’s Sons of Harpy massacre. Daario and Ser Jorah decided to track the queen, while Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm are left behind to govern over the city. Varys makes a special appearance, and we’re glad Tyrion will have a familiar face by his side when season 6 opens.

King’s Landing

In the capital of Westeros, Cersei can’t take the imprisonment anymore and breaks. She confesses to laying with another man, but denies her affair with her brother. She’s promised a trial and the chance to see her son again, but only after her atonement. What does that mean, one might ask? Well, it means that she gets to walk all around the city naked, while people scream insults and throw stuff her way.

Cersei might not be anyone’s favourite character, but seeing her abused and humiliated this was a bit too much to handle. Enough to say that Lena Headey’s performance was riveting. She eventually makes it to the castle and meets a new Kingsguard. Was is the Mountain, resurrected? We have our suspicions, but we’ll have to wait and see if we’re right.

Castle Black

Over at Castle Black, Davos is asking Snow for help right when Melisandre returns. Davos asks about Shireen and Stannis, but Melisandre isn’t particularly chatty. And then, all hell breaks loose. Ollie leads Jon outside, telling him that his uncle Benjen is still alive. The Lord Commander finds himself surrounded by his Night’s Watch brothers, who call him a traitor and look as angry as ever. Sam isn’t around to have his friend’s back, since he decided to take Gilly and leave Castle Black a bit earlier. And then the knives come out. Snow is repeatedly stabbed by his brothers, even by Ollie, who delivers the final blow. We see him laying in the snow… dead. And scene. Season over. Let’s wait another long year to see what happens next.

Jon Snow’s death feels like the series’ biggest loss. We suffered when we lost Ned Stark, sure, but he was only around for nine episodes. We suffered when we lost Robb Stark, but Jon was still around to root for. Now it only feels wrong and illogical. He has grown so much since the series debuted. Is he really dead? If the Mountain was resurrected, can Snow be brought back to life as well? And if the answer is yes, will he still be the Jon Snow we all know and love? Melisandre is back at Castle Black, so this might mean that Jon’s fate has not yet been sealed. We don’t want to get our hopes up though. Game of Thrones does a great job at crushing them time after time.

All in all, another great season of the highly acclaimed drama is over, and we’re in for a long wait. What did you think about the finale? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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