Howdy all, Dan Moore here. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the TV show, so if you're one of those book know-it-alls, BEAT IT. I like when my imagination is shown to me, so screw you.
This weeks episode was a torture chamber of emotions. Whereas last week's hour put the Night's Watch through a physical ringer, 'The Dance of Dragons' put the viewer through the emotional ringer. A lot happened in many locales this week so I'll break it down by region.
Ok, let's recap this story: Jamie, with the help of sell sword Bronn, heads to Dorne to rescue his diece (that's daughter/niece, people) Myrcella from danger. Meanwhile, dead (Goddammit) Prince Oberyn's children, the Sand Snakes, led by their mother Ellaria Sand, decide they have to kidnap Myrcella to start a war with the Lannisters. It all goes to hell, Jamie, Bronn and the Sand Snakes all end up in the clink. One of the girls gets naked, Bronn is poisoned for like eleven seconds, and then The reigning Dornish Prince, Doran, decides to let everyone go. He not only lets Jamie take Myrcella with him, but also her betrothed, his son Prince Trystane to serve on the small council back at King's Landing.
So lemme get this straight...interlopers invade a country, try to kidnap a future princess of the kingdom, get in a fight with some insurgents, and then...nothing. The kidnappers got what they wanted and more, and the insurgents get no penalty either. Aside from the cool interactions of Jamie and Bronn during this journey, I see no real reason this Dorne storyline even took place. Pointless.
|If these two had a sitcom, I'd watch it everyday|
Arya continues her training in the House of Black & White to become no one. She's tasked to poison the thin man controlling the boat gambling by the docks...but then she sees Ser Meryn Trant. The man that killed her beloved sword teacher Syrio Forel waaaay back in season one. She immediately forgets her former job and follows Trant to the closest whorehouse. Trant (who I'm convinced was sent as Mace Tyrell's guard to make sure Tyrell didn't come back alive) continuously rejects the ladies that are auditioned in front of him until a really young one shows up to his liking.
In case it wasn't obvious enough that you're supposed to hate Trant, well here's some more motivation, he's a pederast! (Editor's note: What's a pederast Dan?) I'm pretty sure this was shown to set up Arya portraying herself as a young lady that can be bought so she can finally get her revenge on Trant in the finale. This may screw Arya out of being a faceless man, as this murder would be the work of Arya Stark, and not someone that has forgotten themselves. We shall see.
The fighting pits earned their name this day. Free men are fighting, crowds are cheering, and the nobles are arguing. Suddenly banished knight Jorah Mormont shows up in the pits to impress his one true love, his Khaleesi. But Dany shows a very reserved attitude when she notices him. He wins his fight and suddenly chucks a spear right towards the Mother of Dragons...but hits an assassin headed for her instead.
The Sons of the Harpy continue their siege on the city and its pretty brutal. Dany's husband Hizdahr is killed and Jorah comes to her rescue (he takes her by the hand and I dunno if this spells trouble for Dany due to Jorah's impending case of Greyscale). All seems doomed when Dany, Jorah, Tyrion and the rest are surrounded by the sons until suddenly Dany's
I gotta say I really liked this scene. I def thought Jorah was going full heel here and taking out Dany. Very good misdirection. The fighting scenes were badass and well choreographed (except it annoys the shit out of me when hundreds of bad guys only attack good guys one at a time).
The CGI of the dragon looked a little iffy. I realize it's still TV and they have a limited budget, but it looked a little corny and amateurish. Not enough to take me out of the moment but enough that I noticed. And how bout Dany just jumping on the dragon and saying 'Peace Out!' to all her friends. Such a chick move.
Jon Snow, his fellow brothers and the Wildings return to the Wall. For a moment it looks as if Alliser Thorne, the Watch’s First Ranger and President of the Jon Snow Haters Club, won't let them pass but he does. It looks like things are gonna be bad next week in the finale for our boy Jon. Is little Olly gonna slide into Jon's DMs and take him out? They've focused on this kid a lot the last few episodes and he even gave Jon the stink eye when he returned to Castle Black.
And finally...the scene. Jesus. If you watched, you know what I'm talking about. Stannis sends Davos away for more supplies (so he says). Davos has a touching scene with Shireen Baratheon. This little girl playing Shireen, Kerry Ingram, is a charming, delightful and wonderful little actress. Which makes it even more horrible to watch the fate that befalls her. Stannis takes the advice of his red woman devil bitch Melisandre and to change the fortune of his army's march to Winterfell he sacrifices his daughter to the Lord of Light.
I have watched millions of horror movies. I've seen plenty of gory, gross scenes in my life. This scene, without a drop of blood, is one of the hardest pieces of television I've ever had to watch. Watching poor Shireen hug her father, then be marched out to her ultimate demise was heartbreaking. Part of what was so disturbing was her finally figuring it out halfway to her funeral pyre. It was BRUTAL. Her screaming for her mother and father to help her. To not let this happen. All falling on essentially deaf ears. It was awful. Even worse because earlier in the season Stannis and Shireen had such a touching scene where Stannis explained how much he loved her by going to the ends of the Earth to find a cure for her Greyscale. No lie, when he gave her his speech about what she meant to him, it got dusty here in the kingdom of Mooreen.
|No longer the Mannis|
So what does it all mean for the last episode of the season? How will it all play out? No clue. But I think Stannis has to die now. I can't see how he can move on in this show now after killing his only child. No one can possibly cheer for him anymore.
The finale is all set up for next week. Can't wait to see it. As for this episode, another great one. A perfect four out of four Ned's Severed heads.