Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 8: World’s Creepiest Sleepaway Camp

A weekly conversation between an avid Game of Thrones fan, and someone who has actively avoided it until now.

Haley Cullingham is a senior editor at Hazlitt and Strange Light, and an editor-at-large for...

Scaachi Koul is a senior culture writer at BuzzFeed News and the author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter....

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Scaachi: Finally, a Jon Snow plotline I can really care about.

Haley: You only care because his imminent death looms ever nearer.

Scaachi: Explain this Zombie King to me, because it might be the most interesting thing that has happened in the entire show thus far this season.

Haley: YES! SO! You will recall that everyone at the Wall keeps talking about “the real war”? These regal-looking icy fellows are the White Walkers, and they are raising a zombie army that will presumably, at some point, attempt to break through the Wall and feast on Westeros. So, while everyone down south is busy arguing about who incested with whom, everyone at the Wall is trying to prepare for this coming apocalypse. They keep asking for help, support, etc., and no one comes, except Stannis. Scaachi … it’s kind of an allegory … for CLIMATE CHANGE.

Basically the shit is about to hit the fan in the form of a zombie army and no one, except the Night’s Watch and Stannis Baratheon, believes it’s going to happen.

Scaachi: Oh my god, I just saw Mad Max, does everything need to be an allegory about how man ruins the Earth? CAN WE DO ONE THING PROPERLY?

I really enjoyed this episode! But how perplexing is it that it spends all this time with fAmIlY dRaMa when there are zombie men coming to murder?!?

Haley: We cannot do anything properly. We are a terrible invasive species.

I know! This episode was so good, and I just kept thinking, they do this kind of thing so well, why do they bother drawing out and dwelling on other things they aren’t good at executing?

I understand the value of building up to a moment like this, but … build less.

Scaachi: Well, there are certain things that are interesting but if the crux of the show is that nothing good can really happen to anyone, it’s hard to actually invest in these characters. So, instead of being a show where you create connections with a buncha beardos and incestuous cousins, just GO FOR IT and be all about murder and carnal needs and STABBING.

Haley: All Men Must Die.

Scaachi: I am very curious about how they will wrap up the Cersei and Sansa situations.

Haley: I suspect that Cersei’s storyline will be close to what happens in the books, and if so, it’s one of the more memorable scenes in the series.

Now that Sansa knows the truth about her brothers, I can only assume she’ll somehow go looking for them? Slate discussed, after the episode with Sansa’s wedding, the possibility that, since her wedding took place in the Godswood and her little brother Bran is trapped in a Weirwood tree north of the Wall, in theory, he can see from the vantage point of any Weirwood tree, and so we can assume he saw the wedding and knows what is going on. I wonder if that will lead to Sansa’s salvation, or if she’ll still have to make that happen on her own?

Scaachi: So basically, what you’re saying is that nothing will ever get better for that poor girl.

Haley: No, it might! Although now that I’ve suggested it might, she’s probably doomed. But as we saw in this episode, the idea here is that nothing is ever going to get better for anyone, because their current problems are about to be eaten by zombies. Although maybe Daenerys and Tyrion will swoop in just in time. Nothing unites a people under a Dragon Queen like a common enemy.

How did you feel about their exchange?

Scaachi: I was pretty confused but I appreciated it because it’s always felt like Daenerys does not really have a personality beyond “scared but trying not to be.” And I don’t know why she should remotely trust Tyrion but it’s nice to see different characters interact.

We only have a few episodes to go, yes? Any predictions?

Haley: Only two left! My only prediction is that the season finale will be boring. The season finale is almost always boring. The last time I tried to guess what would happen, I was off by a season and a half.

I hope we see more of Dorne before the end of the season. I suspect we WILL see Ramsay take on Stannis.

Scaachi: Okay, I don’t actually know who either of those dudes are. But I would love to see Sansa murder everyone in a fiery blaze and then maybe fall in love with Cersei? I don’t know. I know Cersei is bad but she has such great bone structure, I want to see her in love.

Haley: Scaachi, YES. Sansa will rescue Cersei from the Sept, and Cersei will finally know what love is, and the two of them will run away to the North together. This is great. Call the producers.

Although the two of them had some Dark Times when Sansa was betrothed to Cersei’s maniac of a son, so there would have to be a lot of forgiving and forgetting in that relationship.

Scaachi: I mean, how great would it be if this show capped off the season with two major female characters saving each other?!

Speaking of: I don’t know what the hell is happening in Arya’s part of the world but it looks murdery and deceptive and I am INTO IT. (That said, never trust a faceless man. Personal saying.)


If you had to go to sleepaway camp at any of these weird Game of Thrones places, which would you choose? Your answer will demonstrate to me what you’ve learned from our time here.

Scaachi: What are my choices, Jon Snow’s House, Cersei’s Castle, Sansa’s Death Tower, Arya’s Lord Cave, Daenerys’ Pyramid?

Haley: And Dorne’s WATER GARDENS.

Scaachi: Probably Water Gardens, largely because I am not white and I don’t know how I would be appreciated elsewhere. What about you?

Haley: Yeah, probably same. Water Gardens or Arya’s bone palace. Either way, one of the warm places where maniacal preachers aren’t running around policing everyone’s genitals.

Scaachi: This show has a lot of opinions about what to do with your bits.


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