As for the rest of the Sansa storyline, all I can say is that any episode that does not feature Ramsay torturing her double-redundantly (we saw him do it to Theon and we saw her suffer it from Joffrey) is a Benioff-Weiss bullet dodged in my book. Even the moments in Winterfell that seemed primed to go off-course righted themselves neatly. When Ramsay’s lady friend Myranda used an easy compliment about stitching to entice Sansa to walk deep into the scary kennel alone—umm, never would happen—I anticipated (as, I think, we were intended to anticipate) some lame canine-murder plot. But no, the Theon reveal was a good one.
Likewise, when Ramsay offered his bit of Theon dinnertime theater to Roose, his new spouse Walda (née Frey), and Sansa, it seemed like the kind of scene Bolton pere would not countenance. But afterward, he upbraided his bastard son that it was a “disgrace,” before telling the story of the latter’s conception, which amounted, in essence, to: “I tolerate you because I, too, am a deranged sociopath; I just put up a better public front.”
Farther north, at the Wall, Jon Snow is “killing the boy” inside (in turn, providing the episode with its title) and Stannis is continuing his evolution into perhaps my favorite character on the show. The man is committed to overthrowing the Boltons and doing whatever it takes—up to and including Jon’s plan to bring the Wildlings south of the Wall—to stop the White Walkers. What’s not to like? (Plus, you have to love Jon’s exchange with Maester Aemon. Jon: “Half the men will hate me as soon as I give the order.” Aemon: “Half the men hate you already.”) That said, I don’t like the look in the eye of Jon’s steward, Olly. Not that you can blame him. Hard to let bygones be bygones, I imagine, when someone has told you “I’m going to eat your dead mama, and I’m going to eat your dead papa.” Just guessing, but that seems like the kind of thing that would stick with you.
Finally, over in Essos, we have kidnapper Jorah and kidnappee Tyrion making clear progress in their journey to Meereen—clear enough that they see Drogon the Dragon (do we think the creature knows how silly that sounds? Might it be why he’s so ill-tempered?) slicing through the skies. I admit to a certain thrill at the sight. Nice, too, to see old Valyria—even if it wasn’t the show’s best CGI—and to hear Tyrion and Jorah sharing a verse about its ancient Doom.
And then, the Stone Men! For weeks, I’d been noting the escalating references to greyscale and at last the foreshadowing has been fulfilled. (A similar scene takes place in the books, but at a different phase and featuring a different character who doesn’t appear in the show.) I’m not sure what this portends for Ser Jorah, but between this nasty STD, Daenerys’s boffing of Daario, and her (presumed) engagement to Hizdahr, it looks like his long-desired joining of the houses of Mormont and Targaryen is less likely than ever.