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8.5

Game Of Thrones: “Mother’s Mercy” Second Opinion Review - AVClub

AVClub: No Game Of Thrones character is truly safe. The series premiere ends with a young boy being pushed out of a window; nine episodes later, his father, the show’s ostensible protagonist, is beheaded. Descriptions like these make the show sound every bit the meat grinder it’s criticized for being, and an episode like “Mother’s Mercy” provides plenty of fodder for such criticisms. Let’s run the body count for the fifth season finale: Selyse Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Myranda, Sansa Stark (assumed), Reek (né Theon Greyjoy, assumed), Meryn Trant, Myrcella Baratheon (technically Lannister), Cersei’s hair, hundreds of unnamed soldiers on the battlefield outside Winterfell, and Jon Snow. No wonder HBO put a sixth season on the books back in April 2014—Game Of Thrones needs all the time it can get to restock the casting cupboard. And though the ends of so many watches make for the highest-stakes finale in the history of the show—on top of fateful turns for Arya, Daenerys, and Cersei—the timing of it all leaves something to be desired.

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