Spoilers abound in this article if you haven’t caught the fourth episode of Game of Thrones Season 5, “The Sons of the Harpy.” If you haven’t watched, yet, skedaddle out of here and check out one of our other lovely stories, including what we know about Season 5.
Wow, shit is really going down in Meereen. Daenerys has spent the majority of this season trying to maintain control in the city she recently took over, but it hasn’t been going particularly well. With a title like “The Sons of the Harpy,” we knew tonight’s episode would focus on the group of Meereen citizens who have been attempting to undermine Dany’s rule, but we didn’t realize that struggle would culminate in the death of a key character and the potential death of another fan favorite. But that’s exactly what went down.
In the final moments of the episode, Ser Barristan’s life was ended while defending the Targaryan cause, and Grey Worm additionally looked as if he might have bitten the dust, although only next week’s episode will tell. Here’s what happened. The Sons of the Harpy mounted an attack against Dany’s unsullied warriors, cornering a large group of them in an isolated area. A slew of unsullied went down quickly, but Grey Worm kept fighting and fighting and fighting. Eventually, Dany’s lead advisor, Barristan Selmy reached the scene, and while he managed to take out several of the Sons of the Harpy, he was ultimately stabbed in the gut, which proved fatal.
It got worse. As Selmy went down, Grey Worm attempted to come to his aid, killing the man who stabbed Dany’s advisor. He then fell to the ground, potentially also succumbing to his wounds. I’m hopeful, however, that this won’t be the last we see of Grey Worm. His relationship with Missandei in HBO’s TV series has been appealing for fans of the fantasy drama, and with Jorah banished and Selmy cut out of the picture, Dany will be needing more help than ever. On the bright side, at least Tyrion and Jorah (and presumably Varys) are still on their way to Meereen. With a little luck, Grey Worm will still be in the picture next week.
Ser Barristan’s death is a bit of a surprise on a show that is filled with surprises. Dany’s advisor is still very much alive in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels, but he also hasn't been fleshed out as much on Game of Thrones as he has been in the books. Today, we finally got a little more of Barristan's historical perspective, at least. On the show, we’ve known that Barristan was a supporter of Rhaegar Targaryan long ago, but in tonight’s episode, he shared with Dany a lively story about how Rhaegar would dress as a minstrel and sing on the streets for coin, giving the money away to charity after or using it to get a little too drunk. I wish we had gotten more insights like these from Barristan during his time on the show, but when you are condensing books for the small screen, a lot of characters don’t always get their due diligence.
While we’re sad to see Ser Barristan go, we’re definitely interested in seeing how Dany will maintain her empire now that her strongest advisor has been killed. And now we are desperate to know just what happened to Grey Worm. Find out when Game of Thrones airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.