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YMMV / Game Of Thrones S 5 E 10 Mothers Mercy

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Melisandre. She abandons Stannis not long after learning his hired swords have deserted. Was she genuinely remorseful over Shireen's Senseless Sacrifice or was she merely looking out for her own skin, since she failed to live up to her promises to Stannis? (Especially since the last time she failed him, he genuinely tried to strangle her.) A third possibility arises: she has come to realize Stannis is not the Lord's Chosen and is shocked at her own failure and hubris.
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    • Alliser Thorne: was his assassination of Jon really, "For the Watch," or was it just petty jealousy and a way to get rid of Jon and seize power?
    • Is Brienne a true Knight in Shining Armor or a selfish, revenge-obsessed brute who abandoned her duty to Sansa for a petty grudge against Stannis? Stannis' Famous Last Words, "Go, do your duty" gains a lot of Irony in that light. Bear in mind that Renly was never the "rightful" king Brienne makes him out to be, and despite her anger at Stannis killing Renly, Stannis was also killing a traitor who would have most likely killed him if he'd had the chance. Also, killing Stannis shows a case of Didn't Think This Through as with Stannis dead the Boltons will remain in control of the North, meaning Sansa remains in danger (although doing anything about this was likely beyond Stannis' ability at this point).
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: With the exception of Sam and Tyrion, all the plots of the main characters end tragically on this season finale. In particular, the deaths of Stannis (who even after Shireen's sacrifice, was still trying to save the North from the Boltons) and Jon (one of the few characters aware of the real threat from the White Walkers) may make the viewer wonder why is still watching this series.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Jaqen H'ghar being just a glamor worn by an anonymous Faceless Man explains his harsher personality; he's not the same man that Arya befriended in Harrenhall.
  • Fridge Logic: Stannis is told that the last of his horses have been taken by the deserters and even he himself is forced to march on foot... and yet Melisandre arrives at Castle Black on horseback. What, did she just happen to find a random horse wandering the frozen countryside, complete with saddle and reins?
    • Perhaps this random horse was Stannis' personal horse, which was under guard. Though it's odd that the guards didn't think to ask Mel.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The scenes in which Meryn Trant abuses Sansa on Joffrey's orders are made even more dire now that we know Trant may have been literally getting off on it.
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  • He's Just Hiding!: Many fans don't believe Jon's dead (or at least that he won't stay that way). The ambiguity of the fates of Stannis, Sansa, and Theon/Reek has also left fans thinking they'll be seen again, especially since the show hasn't had a problem with onscreen deaths before.
  • Idiot Plot: Once again, Dorne. Reconciled or not, the vengeful kin of a known poisoner are allowed physical contact with the girl they've sought to kill all season and use a poison easily traced back to them after Tyene's antics, which starts to take effect before the victim is even out of sight. The "Inside The Episode" featurette also speaks of the reaction awaiting Jaime in King's Landing, implying he and Trystane won't simply return to Prince Doran that afternoon to demand the heads of Ellaria and the Sand Snakes.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Septa Unella's chant of "Shame, Shame" while ringing a bell has become something of a running gag in various circles, and is applied to situations such as people spoiling Game of Thrones.
    • "For the Watch" has also been used in joke advertisements for the Apple Watch.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ellaria and the Sand Snakes finally cross this when they poison Myrcella. Somewhere, Oberyn must be spinning in his grave.
    • Collectively the Night Watch mutineers (personified by Alliser Thorne and Olly).
    • Some fans could still give Melisandre the benefit of the doubt of her evil actions because of her genuine magical powers, but her cowardice in outright abandoning Stannis in his Darkest Hour after dragging him into hell has made fans lose any lingering respect they had for her.
  • Narm: "You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy" has been subjected to much internet scorn. Or approval.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Olly wasn't exactly popular before this episode, but his participation in Jon's assassination has made him far more hated by fans than he was already.
    • Brienne has become this to a lot of viewers for her apparently killing Stannis, when he was wounded, something which is portrayed badly when Ramsay does it, and for abandoning her duty to Sansa over a petty grudge, along with calling Renly the rightful King, which just seemed spiteful.
  • Squick: The splat noise when Myranda crashes into the Winterfell courtyard. Still satisfying though...
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The showrunners clearly intended Stannis' downfall to be major Laser-Guided Karma after crossing the Moral Event Horizon in the previous episode, yet the overwhelming misfortune heaped upon him this episode and Brienne selfishly abandoning Sansa in favour of vengeance for Renly (who definitely wasn't "the rightful king") that consists of attacking Stannis after he's wounded and alone can actually make Stannis the more sympathetic of the two despite his crimes, along with the fact Stannis was trying to liberate Winterfell from the monstrous Boltons.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The Night's Watch conspirators. Kit Harrington has reasoned that their mutiny against Jon was justified because Jon was taking them for granted. The problem is that given the events of "Hardhome" and the fact that none of Jon's more debatable actions from the novels were adapted, the Watch brothers end up coming across as petty and shortsighted more than anything else.
    • Brienne's actions. While her killing Stannis is clearly meant to be cathartic Laser-Guided Karma, not only is Stannis Unintentionally Sympathetic for some viewers, but the fact that Brienne abandons her duty to Sansa for revenge, spites Stannis by erroneously calling Renly "the rightful King", and essentially murders a wounded man just like Ramsay can make her come off as selfish, petty, and vindictive instead.
    • Sam's desire to protect Gilly is meant to be a cogent, heartwarming reason for him to leave the Wall, but it can come across as extremely selfish since he's essentially using friendship to manipulate Jon into allowing him to run off south with his lover for a few years, which is precisely the reason the Night's Watch are sworn to celibacy. Remember, "Love is the death of duty." Especially since in the books, Sam wanted to stay at the Wall, and it was Jon's own order that he become a Maester.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Okay, Night's Watch conspirators, you have totally betrayed your Lord Commander after allowing nearly 5,000 wildlings and a giant who owe him their lives through the Wall; you are only a dozen strong, and you don't even have the Wall to protect yourselves now. Good luck.
    • Ellaria and the Sand Snakes smugly acting like they got away with Myrcella's assassination despite their laughably obvious guilt as known poisoners with motive and opportunity, and the fact that they even revealed this particular type of poison to Bronn earlier in the season. Furthermore, Jaime still has Trystane Martell, the heir to Dorne, who genuinely loved Myrcella and will certainly want his own vengeance against the Sand Snakes. Alternatively, Myrcella's death will result in harm to Trystane, in which case Prince Doran is very unlikely to thank the Sand Snakes even if he blames the Lannisters.
    • Stannis knew he was outnumbered well before he marched on Winterfell, meaning he was either Too Dumb to Live or, after murdering his daughter, seeing his lover/guru and half his men abandon him, and finding that his wife has killed herself, he choose to commit an elaborate form of suicide. Even that doesn't really excuse getting ambushed in an open field though.

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