Game of Thrones Recap by AsimovLives
Season 5 – Episode 9
Hello. AsimovLives here and I’m a regular sci-fi contributor to this website. But I also love Game of Thrones! So this is my series of recap articles about the episodes of the season 5 of HBO’s television series Game of Thrones, for your pleasure.
Game of Info:
Series: Game of Thrones
Created by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Based on the fantasy novel series A Song of Fire and Ice by author George R.R. Martin
Episode title: The Dance of Dragons
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed by David Nutter
Original Air Date: June 07th 2015
Game of Synopsis:
Beware, spoilers ahead.
The episode opens with the Dyson sphere globe of the world of Westeros showing the locations of King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Braavos, Meereen and Dorne, where the action takes place.
A Girl on her mission to assassinate the Thin Man has her attention diverted to a new arrival: Ser Meryn Trant escorting Lord Mace Tyrell. He’s on Arya’s kill list. Mace is welcomed by Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank. Mace talks a surprisingly good shop to the Bank’s representative, which he mixes with over-familiarity, to the barely concealed cringe of Tycho.
At night Meryn visits a high-class brothel. A Girl follows him inside and commingles among the patrons and courtesans thanks to her oyster salesgirl cover. She finds Meryn in a private room looking at the “wares”. He keeps rejecting them as being too old for his tastes, to the madam’s increasing uneasiness. Still she promises to find someone younger and produces a tall girl who is not yet a teen. Meryn is very satisfied and takes her in; he will release her after he’s satisfied.
A Girl reports the deed not done to A Man, to be done tomorrow. A Man accepts the prorogation, but as she leaves he gives a significant look: perhaps he is not looking at A Girl but Arya.
Jon Snow, Tormund, Edd and the remaining survivors of Hardhome arrive at the Wall’s Gate. After some hesitation Alliser Thorne stays true to duty and opens the gate.
The wildlings pour into Castle Black. Jon laments he couldn’t save more but Samwell says each of them are alive because of him. Thorne admits that Jon has a great heart, which will be the death of them all.
Wun Wun the giant also enters, to the god smacked looks of everybody of the Night’s Watch.
Jaime is taken to Prince Doran’s presence. Also present are his daughter… niece Myrcella, Prince Trystane and Ellaria.
Doran doesn’t want to escalate their families’ vendetta into a war so he makes a gesture of reconciliation by returning Jaime to King’s Landing with Myrcella, accompanied by her betrothed Trystane who will fill the vacant position at the King’s Council left by Prince Oberyn. Jaime agrees. Doran offers a toast to the resolution. Ellaria defiantly pours her wine on the floor, spits harsh words for Doran and leaves.
There is still the matter of Bronn, for having struck a prince. Jaime defends Bronn by stating that he is a knighted man and was following his orders.
In the cells, two Sand Snakes are having an alpha bitch match. Bronn is spared from this teenager bullshit when he’s taken to the presence of Doran. His fate was put in the hands of Prince Doran, who as heir to Dorne should also dispense justice; he was also the injured party. He decides to be fair to Bronn: he has him punched in the face by Areo Hotah so hard he falls on the floor. Quid pro quo, and now he’s a free man.
Doran also dispenses justice by giving Ellaria an ultimatum: subjugation or death. Ellaria knees and kisses Doran’s ring. With barely suppressed volcanic rage, Doran tells her he believes in second chances, but there will be no thirds.
Afterwards Ellaria meets with Jaime and has a strange conversation. She tells him his love for his sister would have met with little prejudice in Dorne and he would be able to express his paternity to Myrcella. She also says she now thinks that Myrcella and maybe Jaime are innocents in this affair. Jaime is left baffled and speechless.
Nighttime in Stannis’s snow bound army camp. Melisandre leaves her tent and sees many fires breaking simultaneously. In the morning, Davos reports to King Stannis: Ramsay’s attack destroyed half their provisions and all of their siege engines. He spies Melisandre and Selyse afar and joins them.
Stannis sends Davos to Jon Snow to ask for provisions. Davos asks if he can take Stannis’ family with him, or at least Shireen as this is no place for a child. Stannis refuses.
Davos visits Shireen, who reads a historiography of a Targaryen civil war where dragon fought dragon, called “The Dance of Dragons.” Davos says his son tried to teach him to read but was unable to change his mind, something Shireen did. He says his goodbyes and leaves.
Stannis also visits Shireen and asks about the events depicted in the book. He finds the title absurd but she says it’s poetic. Stannis says he has a difficult thing to do, and she offers to help, for she is his daughter.
Cut to Shireen being escorted, taking her to Melisandre and her final destination: a pyre. She’s to be burned to R’hollor. Unlike Iphigenia who gladly sacrificed for her father Agamemnon, Shireen begs for her life.
Melisandre lights the pyre. The soldiers look on, saddened and in shock. Shireen calls out for help to mother. Selyse breaks down and first begs to Stannis to stop and runs to her daughter, but is stopped.
Shireen shouts in agony, until she shouts no more. Melisandre looks on in religious ecstasy. Selyse cries. Stannis looks away, being able to endure no more. Something more was burned away at the pyre.
The fight pit games commence. Queen Daenerys presides. Hizdahr zo Loraq arrives suspiciously late, saying he had to make sure things were in order.
A rather hammy announcer announces the first fight: A big brute versus an agile small man. Loraq has to tell Dany that she is supposed to start the fight herself by clapping. After some hesitation she claps and the first fight begins.
Loraq bets the bigger man wins from his experience. Tyrion retorts if he knows fighting from experience or merely watching others fight. Daario counterpoints that when he used to fight in the pits, the crowd usually bet against him, but he always won thanks to his smaller-frame agility. On cue, the bigger man decapitates his opponent, proving Loraq’s point.
A second fight is announced, between two teams of locals and foreigners. Loraq can’t appreciate his victory for much longer as Daario trolls him with a mix of mockery and veiled threats, while Tyrion snarks at Loraq for his love for convenience of reason when in benefit of his own status quo, a kind of thinking his father would approve.
Dany is amused by all this, until a familiar voice calls her attention toward the arena: in front of her is no other than faithful Ser Jorah Mormont chanting his death salute to her. Her expression betrays great emotions for Jorah. But she has to clap, however, and she does so, to the nodded approval of Jorah.
The fight is vicious, for all opponents are skilled. Jorah kills his first opponent, his victory thanks to his rather practical fighting style. His second opponent is a Water Dancer of Braavos, who goes for quick attack cuts until he disarms and trips Jorah, having him on his mercy. But the Dancer is opportunistically killed from behind by a Meereenese spearman, figuring Jorah an easier foe. Jorah proves him wrong by dispatching him without much trouble. Dany is relieved he is alive. Jorah notices something behind her, grabs the dead man’s spear and throws it at Dany’s direction…
… and hits a Son of The Harpy who was making a dash at her unnoticed by her escort.
As Daario turns to inspect, he notices a good number of the audience are Sons of the Harpy who infiltrated the arena unnoticed.
On cue, the Harpies kill people in the audience, targeting the local nobility. Loraq is slayed.
But the main target is Dany. They attack in numbers and force. Wherever Dany turns to there’s a Harpy attacking. Jorah asks her to go with him. Dany accepts her old friend back and grabs his hand.
Jorah runs to a backdoor but it’s closed from the other side. He foils another Harpy’s attempt at Dany. Daario tries another route but more Harpies block him. A harpy attacks Missandei but Tyrion saves her.
All of them and the remaining Unsullied retreat and are corralled at the center of the arena. Though they are more skilled fighters, they are far fewer and it’s a matter of time until they are all cut down. Dany grabs Missandei’s hand and closes her eyes, awaiting her inevitable death…
… until a shriek from above opens her eyes. Above flies Drogon.
Drogon lands and attacks the Harpies, biting them to pieces and burning them. The fight goes well for Dany’s party until the Harpies attack Drogon, throwing spears at him, slowly bleeding him down. This tactic works and even Drogon becomes overwhelmed. Dany goes to him and climbs to its back. A word from her and Drogon dashes forward and take flight with Dany.
Dany and Drogon fly away while on the ground Tyrion, Jorah, Missandei and Daario look on.
Game of Opinion:
What an emotional ride! Few episodes dared push for as many different emotions as this one. I’m certain this will be a very divisive episode.
Shall we start with the saddest moment, shall we?
Shireen was a well-liked character and to have her killed in such a horrid way was heartbreaking. This was the first of my two most emotional moment of this episode, by sheer sadness.
As for Stannis: I have seen in the Internet he has many supporters, Team Stannis they call themselves. I’m curious if they will still justify his actions after this episode. If there was a moment when the fandom could turn on him, this is it.
Alliser continues to gain sympathy. He might not agree with Jon, but he will follow orders. He will say his mind. And in a way it’s hard to disagree with him, even if we are on Jon’s side.
We learned Doran might be the most reasonable leader we have found in the whole series. The inspirations for the character are the Umayyad Caliphs who governed Al-Andalus. The Moorish looks on the dornish characters and the fact Drone was shot in Seville sells the historical inspiration. This episode also allowed the very talented Alexander Siddig to shine.
The Dorne segment also gave this season most enigmatic, strange moment yet, the dialogue between Ellaria and Jaime. If this was a seduction scene, it has to be the strangest yet. Is this the way the dornish women seduce their men?
Bronn getting elbowed in the face was too funny for words. And again Bronn escapes certain death. To quote from another HBO show, Rome, he has powerful gods watching over him.
My second most emotional moment is one filled with happy emotions. I feared and thus expecting that Jorah would die before gaining Dany’s trust again, this being Game of Thrones. As it turned, Jorah is back on Team Dany. The moment when Dany took his hand was supremely satisfying. It was what I have been wanting this whole season, and it did happen!
Emilia Clarke does very good acting this season and she sells more than the special effects Dany’s fly with Drogon. It was awesome. But it’s interesting to note that the final shot is not of Dany and Drogon flying, but on the ground level with the characters that remained behind. Seems to be a good indication of where the focus of the Meereen scenes will be on next episode.
Game of Predictions:
- A Man will foil A Girl assassination attempt on Meryn as punishment. Then he kills him himself because Meryn has a debt to the Many-Faced God.
- Stannis loses the battle of Winterfell, his latest sacrifice notwithstanding. Melisandre has the visions wrong, constantly misinterpreting them because she’s a fanatic.
- Despite the heroic ending, things are going to get bad in Meereen now that the Queen is absent. Fortunately, there is Jorah and Tyrion to clean up the mess. Maybe Daario even dies (happy thought, cross fingers)!!
Game of Final Thoughts:
This will go down as one of the most divisive episodes of not just the season but all the series. It’s hard to believe Stannis will retain the sympathy he once used to enjoy. A child was coldly murdered and that is that.
On the other hand, this episode gave me my most happy moment of the last two seasons, when Jorah returns to Dany’s side. To give on one hand a supreme sad moment and on the other hand a great happy moment, that’s Game of Thrones for me. And I accept it.
As always, thank you for reading. See you at next week’s episode Mother’s Mercy.
This is AsimovLives, signing off. Have a better one.