My heart is BURNING from sadness and shock, but also from joy and excitement. I knew it was coming, but still it hurts. Episode Nine of Game of Thrones is always a BIG episode and this one certainly was just that. Such sadness followed by such greatness is the way with Game of Thrones. But first, let’s deal with the other things that happened in “The Dance of Dragons”
***** SPOILERS BELOW *****
Braavos: Arya is continuing her oyster-selling/assassin scouting job on the creepy thin man. However, she is immediately distracted and brought back to her old, revengeful Arya Stark self when she sees Mace Tyrell and Ser Meryn Trant. Now Ser Meryn is on her death list and he is a terrible, terrible person (He tried to kill Tyrion during Blackwater!). Arya abandons her mission and basically stalks Meryn and Mace all day. Jovial Mace is meeting with the Iron Bank and we get a reappearance from the great Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gatiss).
To further illustrate the terrible moral center of Meryn, we see Arya follow him into a brothel where it is also revealed he is a pedophile. That’s just great. Sooo, when is Arya going to kill him? Arya returns to the House of Black and White and lies to Jaqen H’Ghar about her mission. Um, nice try Arya, but one cannot fool Jaqen H’Ghar. This misstep just shows Arya is perhaps not ready to become “no one” just yet.
Dorne: Prince Doran is wondering why Jaime thought it best to sneak into his country and steal back Myrcella. Jaime explains that they were sent a threat and didn’t know who to trust. Doran easily figures out it was Ellaria, who sits to his left, who was behind that whole threat. Easy going Doran decides to send Myrcella back with Jaime, but also his son, Trystane – whom he wants to take Oberon’s seat on the Small Council. Seems like a bad political move…but Doran doesn’t seemed concerned. And with that, Jaime is successful in his mission.
He also is able to free Bronn (albeit with a smack to the face). We see the Sand Snakes playing a slapping game together and once again it shows us a side of them we wish we had seen before. Later, Ellaria visits Jaime and comments that she doesn’t care that he slept with his sister. Thank you for your opinion. She later grovels to Doran (after all her insults) and begs for forgiveness in front of the Sand Snakes. Doran grants it to her, because he’s a cool, chill dude. Hmm, this all seems way too easy. Shouldn’t there be more to Dorne? Hmmm….
The Wall: After last week’s terror-inducing White Walker attack, Jon and the surviving Wildlings arrive at the wall. A brief staredown between Alliser Thorne atop the wall and Jon commences, but he opens the gate. Once inside, the Wildings/Jon exchange death glares with the Night’s Watch members. Jon seems to notice, especially after little Olly once again grimaces at Jon. Sam tries to reassure Jon, but Jon knows SOMETHING. Also, Won Won, the giant, has arrived at Castle Black! Yay, Won Won, you made it!
Outside Winterfell: Now, here begins the most upsetting sequence of events in this show’s entire history. UGH. Melisandre senses something is wrong. Suddenly, fires pop up everywhere around Stannis’ camp. A horse is galloping by, whilst on fire! Yowch! Damn that Ramsay Bolton! Looks like he burned all of their food, so that’s not good. Davos later urges Stannis to give up and return to Castle Black while they still can, but Stannis has a massive stick up his butt and is not returning. He later goes to consult with Melisandre and his crazy wife, Selyse.
Stannis decides to send Davos away to Castle Black to request more food and supplies. Davos doesn’t think he should go, but he must obey his king. He says goodbye to Shireen, giving her a little toy Stag. And Shireen continues to be the cutest and nicest and gods why?!… Stannis then visits his daughter and she tells him about “The Dance of Dragons” – a tale about two ancient Targaryen siblings who basically ended their house. Stannis is looking the worse for wear (AS HE SHOULD) and talks some mumbo jumbo about choices and destiny. Shireen is all like, “I’m your daughter and I’ll help you, no matter what!” Heartstrings are pulled beyond repair.
The next sequence of events is terrible and I struggle to recap. Shireen is led down a path to a stake, where she is to be burned. As she slowly realizes this, her shy smile turns to screams for help to her parents. It is truly horrifying. Stannis watches stone faced. Selyse has a change of heart at the last second and rushes towards her daughter, but it is too late. Oh, Stannis, how far you have fallen. All of your redemption is gone and now you have become one of the main villains of the show. Melisandre too. EFF Y’ALL.
Before we can even blink, we go to Mereen, where Daenerys reigns over the fighting matches of Daznak’s Pit. She looks queenly and regal and this could be a scene out of Gladiator. Dany is still reluctant to participate, but her betrothed, Hizdahr zo Loraq, sitting beside her, thinks it’s all for the good of the city. She, Hizdahr, and Daario have some playful exchanges as Daario twirls his daggers around. Tyrion watches on, rolling his eyes and quipping typical Tyrion phrases. Everything is brought to a halt when Ser Friend-zoned aka Ser Jorah himself enters the pit. He just never knows when to give up, does he?
That being said, Ser Jorah proves himself to a badass and all around great fighter. He has a few close calls, but remains the last one standing. He suddenly throws a spear towards Daenerys and kills a Son of the Harpy, who was creeping up behind her. The Sons of the Harpy start appearing everywhere and chaos ensues as they kill everyone in their path. Dany and her council are truly in danger now! Hizdahr gets stabbed and Missandei almost meets her maker, but Tyrion saves her. Jorah helps Dany down and exchanges a look of respect with Daario. All five (Dany, Daario, Jorah, Tyrion, and Missandei) rush to the center of the stadium, where they are encircled by the Sons of the Harpy. It is not looking good at all! Dany seems to know this, grabs Missandei’s hand, and closes her eyes. And then…
DROGON!! YES!!! He suddenly appears in a cloud of fire, swooping down and taking out large group of the enemies and burning them to a crisp. Spears are thrown and Dany calls out to her “child.” He roars at her, but doesn’t burn her. She seems to sense what to do and climbs atop Drogon’s back! She tells him to fly and fly he does… WOW! What a fantastic, beautiful spectacle to see. Daario, Jorah, Tyrion, and Missandei watch as she flies away. Their faces say it all. That was amazing!
And there you have it. Queen Daenerys really is the “Mother of Dragons” and will fly them to Westeros and take back the Iron Throne (at least one day, hopefully). Yes. What a great ending to an otherwise dark and sad episode. Princess Shireen’s death was awful and Stannis has lost all support from anyone who ever did support him – which was few. Arya threw away all her work so far just at the smallest chance of revenge. Dorne seemingly is resolved, which is weird and unfulfilling. Hope there is more to that! Overall, the episode brought out a lot of emotion (both good and bad) in me and I think that is a good thing. What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below.
The Season Finale is next week and I know big things are still heading our way. I just want to remind myself and everyone else with the wise words of Ramsay Bolton: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” Truer words were never spoken for Game of Thrones.
New episodes of Game of Thrones air on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.