Sansa Snark: Season 5, Episode 9

Photo: HBO

Before we fly into it, I realized I completely forgot to address Jorah last week! Tyrion convinces Daenerys to just exile the guy, rather than kill him. Instead of maniacally yelling “I have Greyscale!” as I would have preferred, Jorah’s next step is to sell himself back into slavery so he can fight in front of Daenerys (a right he’s earned,) where who knows what will happen. He really seems legit creepy guy obsessed with Daenerys. Maybe he’ll go crazy from his disease and infect everyone? His longing stare at his scaly patch of skin seems to indicate that he’s at least thinking about doing something with it. Jorah has officially reached Wild Card status. Anyway:

Previously on recapping Game of ThronesCountless people die and it’s the most spectacular thing the show has ever done. This week…

Season 5, Episode 9: The Dance Of Dragons

Speaking of Jorah, his little scheme ends up paying off pretty nicely. At long last, we arrive at the so-called “Great Games”, where men compete for the right to kill each other in front of a crowd. Great Games? What’s so great about ’em? Nyuk nyuk nyuk. Actually, they probably give us the best Meereen-related scene in the long slog of Meereen-related scenes produced over the last, I want to say, 17 episodes (?) since Daenerys first arrived there. Much like last week’s sudden re-appearance of the White Walkers, you would have to imagine that Game of Thrones has had the “No seriously, Daenerys is the Mother of Dragons” card stuffed in a particularly deep back pocket this entire time. Otherwise, what real point would any of this seemingly pointless bullshit serve? Right, so Jorah ends up fighting in front of Daenerys at the Great Games, ends up winning his battle after a couple of near deaths, and caps it off by hurling a spear into the royal bleachers. But, lest you think his Greyscale has already made him go insane, he was actually aiming for a Son of the Harpy. Because while everyone was so focused on the brutal murder-sport, there were dozens of people putting on totally conspicuous golden masks in the crowd, waiting for their moment to start their next massacre. All the best for Jorah; He gets to act out the Khaleesi rescuing fantasy of his faded glory dreams. Such is the inception of the second Sons of the Harpy stab fest of Season Five. That Sons of the Harpy that Jorah intended to stab with his spear gets stabbed by Jorah’s spear. Hizdahr gets stabbed repeatedly by the Sons of the Harpy, thus ending the dream sham marriage of the century before it even had the chance to begin. Tyrion saves Missandei by stabbing a guy because Tyrion is honorable. Daario stabs his fair share because he’s a character who’s still alive and relatively compelling. Numerous bystanders get executed because, meh, what’s a little random bloodshed? Unfortunately, despite their best efforts to stab all their foes out of existence, our heroes get surrounded by Harpy guys, who decide they would rather take the “wait around and charge at their over-matched opponent one-by-one” approach, rather than attack all at once. Rookie mistake. This leaves the window wide open for Dragon the drogon Drogon the dragon, Dany Targaryen’s baby boy, to swoop in and protect his mum. He stabs guys with his teeth because his teeth are so sharp! Even lights a bunch on fire too! This vulgar display of power however, is still not enough to stop the attack. That is until, Daenerys does the only logical thing any person in her situation would do: Get on that drogon’s dragon’s back and tell him to fly. And yeah, that happens. Your move, everyone else?

Moving on from that fun story development, it’s the story in which there is no longer anything to root for: Stannis Baratheon vs. Roose Bolton. As much as I have previously complained about pointless character death/torture, it has always been impressive that Game of Thrones has been able to do such terrible stuff and recover from it. They kill off protagonists, even better characters move in to replace them. A few weeks ago everyone was up in arms over Sansa’s rape, but last week it was all “OH SHIT WHITE WALKERS! I’M BACK IN BABY!” with the Hardhome battle. Hell, even this week I was like, “Oh wow, that was a good episode,” the dragon CGI magic blinding me from the fact that I had to listen to a little girl scream as she was burnt to death for her father’s selfishness not 30 minutes earlier. From a story perspective, I can actually kind of see why they did this: Stannis has always been so blinded by what he wants that he’s willing to literally sacrifice people for it. It was always going to be his downfall from the very beginning, and this is the sad, logical conclusion of that arc. Regardless, burning Shireen alive was horrifying, and something that would have been much better off never happening. To quote myself watching the episode, “This is the worst thing I’ve seen in my entire life. I hate this.” Now, if Stannis beats Roose, a child murderer gets rewarded. If Roose beats Stannis, we just had to endure another depressing downfall story about how having ambitions is dumb. I’ve been on record saying that the Lord of Light is proof that God is real. Perhaps, like Stannis, I too was blinded. Blinded by the hope that Stannis’ story would somehow end with him capturing Winterfell and being a decent man. Well, that was stupid of me; Of course it won’t be doing that. It’s stuff like this that makes Atheists believe there is no god. Stannis Baratheon: No longer Dad of the Year.

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Photo: HBO

In Braavos, it turns out Arya cannot become no one, nor someone else. She still has business to take care of as herself. Her little food cart enterprise/assassination mechanism seems poised to finally take off, but when she pulls up on the Gambler she’s supposed to kill, something else catches her eye. Completely ignoring the fact that this guy really wants some oysters, practically begging to be poisoned, Arya passes up the easiest contract of her life because who shows up but Meryn f’ing Trant (along with Mace Tyrell, the dandiest fellow in all of Game of Thrones!) If you’ll remember from like episode two of this season, Cersei sent Mace, with Meryn Trant as his “bodyguard”, on a fancy mission to the Iron Bank to restructure loans, or something, so the Crown wouldn’t be in so much debt anymore. Well, they finally arrived, and Arya still has her grudge to settle with Trant, so off she goes to follow him instead of doing her actual job. Kids these days. She follows him into a brothel where we get even further confirmation that men are monsters who crave young flesh. I guess they did this just in case you forgot that Arya hates Meryn Trant because he killed her sword-fighting teacher Syrio Forel wayyy back in Season One? In any event, Arya gets shooed away from the brothel, failing to kill either Trant, or the Gambler, and ends up back at the House of Black & White a double failure, just in time for some corpse washing. “Tomorrow,” she assures Jaqen. He seems skeptical.

Cooler heads prevail in Dorne, where Assignment Dorne Beach has died as it lived: A convoluted way to get Jaime out of King’s Landing so he would not have to deal with its religious takeover. Prince Doran lays it out simply for Jaime, “Why you breaking into my country, bro?” Then the whole situation gets explained, Doran breaks bread with Jaime and toasts to Tommen (much to Ellaria Sand’s wine-wasting chagrin,) Myrcella and Trystane are set to go to King’s Landing, Trystane gets a seat on the Small Council, everyone gets released from prison, and Bronn catches only a sharp elbow to the face for his transgression of hitting Trystane. What a day, what a lovely day! Later, Doran forgives Ellaria for trying to start a war, if she swears allegiance to him (she does.) Nice guy! Ellaria Sand then all of a sudden learns a valuable lesson that individuals are not responsible for the actions of their families, and that it was not the fault of Myrcella, nor perhaps Jaime, that Oberyn is now dead (though not before comparing Jaime’s hand-writing to that of a seven-year-old.) Jaime seems to have a moment of self-realization that yes, he is his own man. Sure. Let’s put a bow on it and call it a story. I guess it will be interesting when they all get back to King’s Landing next season?

Spare thoughts to light on fire as you see fit:

-Also happening this week: Jon makes it back to The Wall, but no one there is happy about it. “You have a good heart Jon Snow. It will get us all killed.” says Alliser. He gets a death glare from Olly, something not lost on the Lord Commander. Trouble is ahead. *Eyes roll so hard they reach escape velocity* Also, did Wun Wun walk that whole way from Hardhome to Castle Black? This is the only time I wish something was in the books so a book reader could confirm for me whether or not a giant could cross bodies of water just by walking.

-“Yeth, hi mum. I’m back!” What I like to imagine Drogon would say upon his return, if he could speak, lisp and all.

-At least Davos got to say goodbye to Shireen, which 😥  And now maybe he gets to continue to be a great character that hangs out with Jon Snow?

-Of course Ramsay succeeded with his 20-men plan, as previously predicted.

-At first I was afraid Bronn’s punishment was going to be to have to listen to some more inconsequential Sand Snakes dialogue. Bah gawd! He already had to listen to them play Slaps!

-Favorite moments of the episode have to be Mace Tyrell’s singing voice, his commenting on this year being the best for red grapes in half a century, and Myrcella’s very stern, “The Dornish climate agrees with me.”

-Next week’s finale is titled “Mother’s Mercy” so maybe something nice will happen to some nice people for a change? HAHAHAHA.

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