While the end of this Game of Thrones was pretty spectacular-looking, it was also kind of sloppy and couldn't hold a candle (or a dragonfire-lit torch) to the Hardhome fight last weekend.
But ANYWAY. Let's get to it.
Since first is the worst...
Dorne: This was the thing that came to mind during the previously-ons with Myrcella being so upset about Jaime coming to get her. But Myrcella need hate Uncle Jaime no more. He's bringing her back to that shit hole, King's Landing, sure, but she gets to bring her dishy fiancé, Trystane, along for the ride (he's going to take Oberyn's place on the small council). Bronn's alive, even though Areo Hotah got to elbow him in the mouth at Trystane's orders. The Sand Snakes still suck and spent their time during this episode playing patty-cake, basically.
There were a few good moments. Prince Doran showed some (gout-ridden) spine. And Ellaria Sand had a nice moment with Jaime, but whatever. Can we leave this place yet?
Braavos: Arya is still trying to kill the gambler, the thin man. She's about to do it when, hey, here comes a boat, and who's on it but Mace Tyrell and his traveling companion, Meryn Trant. She gives up trying to kill the thin man for the day and instead follows the folks from King's Landing, waiting for the perfect time to kill Ser Meryn, enemy #whatever on her kill list. She follows them to the Iron Bank, where Mace talks about grapes and stuff, and then to a brothel, where Ser Meryn reminds all of us who forgot why we're supposed to hate him that he is, in fact, a very bad man.
He keeps asking for younger and younger girls. Arya almost gets close enough to sell him some oysters, but she's kicked out before she gets a chance. He's coming back tomorrow for another young girl. Will this be Arya's ticket to get close enough to kill him? She's been pretending to sell oysters for weeks in order to get to the thin man. Will she pretend to be a prostitute in order to get to Meryn Trant? This type of storyline seems right up the GoT writers' alley. Which, gross. But seriously. I put nothing past them.
Also, when she returns to the House of Black and White, having not killed the thin man, she tells Jaqen that the man wasn't hungry today. Jaqen takes this at face value without slapping her. Does he believe her? Or does he know what she was up to and was letting it play out? I'm thinking the latter. Jaqen sees all.
The Wall: Jon Snow, man. He has the weight of the world on his bastard shoulders. He's back at the Wall now, with a bunch of wildlings. The wildlings may be upset that he wasn't able to save more of them. The Crows are definitely upset that he was able to save so many. The Lord Commander of the Night's Watch can't win. And no one seems to care that there's a zombie army ready to attack at any minute.
Alas, Ser Alliser does let the wildlings and Jon (and Dolorous Edd and a giant) through the gates, though he believes Jon and his kindness will get them all killed. Olly, whom Jon seems genuinely glad to see, is not here for Jon Snow and his wildling-saving ways.
Camp Stannis: What. The. I mean, we kind of saw this coming. Ish. It had been set up. But I did not think Stannis would go through with it. And I didn't think (maybe because we hadn't seen much of Stannis over the past week or so) that his army was in dire enough straits for him to actually allow Melisandre to burn his daughter, but here we are.
One second (or last episode), Stannis was all, "No! She's my daughter." Now Ramsay shows up with his twenty men and does bad things to the camp and Stannis is ready to hand his daughter over to the Lord of Light. All of a sudden. Nope. Don't buy it. No matter how gaunt Stannis is looking these days.
There was a callback to the infamous hug of earlier in the season, but this time Stannis didn't seem to reciprocate it. This Stannis was not the one we'd grown to love over the past nine episodes. This was vintage Season 2 Melisandre's bitch Stannis, and I don't like it. I don't accept it. I don't think Stannis would've given up his daughter for Mel's big plan.
You know who would though? Selyse. Selyse, Stannis's wife and Shireen's mother, TOTALLY would've given Shireen to the Lord of Light no question. She loves the Lord of Light shit. The way this should've played out is that Selyse and Melisandre go behind Stannis back and burn Shireen. He's pissed, but then he sees it works. There's tension between him and his wife and mistress. What happened in this episode, with Stannis turning cold all of a sudden (remember, this is the guy who brought all the maesters in the land to help Shireen with her grayscale) and Selyse having a moment of remorse and "That's my baby!" went against everything we've come to know about these two characters. It's as big an affront to both of them as the whole wedding night thing was to Ramsay and Sansa. I'm really quite pissed about how all this played out.
Meereen: The fighting pits are upon us! Basically, Dany still hates them, Hizdar thinks they're great, so does Daario. Tyrion does not like to experience death during his leisure time.
Jorah shows up to the fight, as we knew he would. He has a very horror movie, "I don't think the bad guy's actually dead yet, Jorah!" moment, but it's a fake out, because Jorah grabs a spear and chucks it toward Dany. He's not aiming for his queen, though. He's aiming for a Son of the Harpy, who has snuck up behind her in the royal box. Suddenly the arena is filled with Harpy sons and a fight breaks out. Actually, more like a massacre on par with the wights overcoming the wildlings last week.
Hizdar gets killed (does this mean he wasn't leader of the Sons of the Harpy after all?). Jorah, Messandei, Daario, Tyrion, and Dany wind up in the middle of the fighting pit, surrounded by enemies, protected by only a few unsullied. Basically, they're screwed. Dany watches as her soldiers battle for her in vein. She closes her eyes and suddenly...dragon ex machina!
Dragon appears and swoops down into the arena, killing only the Sons of the Harpy. They get a few shots on him, but Dany calms him and she gets on his back and rides off into the sunset LEAVING HER FRIENDS AND ALLIES UNPROTECTED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIGHTING PIT, STILL SURROUNDED BY SONS OF THE HARPY. Real nice, lady. Very queenly stuff.
Also, while Dany was having her moment with Drogon, no one thought to chuck a spear at her? I'm dubious.
- I liked the part in Dorne where Ellaria tells Jaime that who we're allowed to love is always changing, the only thing that stays the same is that we want who we want. I take this to mean that someday it will be okay for a foxy one-handed knight to hook up with the girl from the Sapphire Islands who doesn't adhere to gender norms.
- Whale Rider calling her sister a slut? No. Unnecessary.
- There was actually a lot of Davos in this episode. Right now, Stannis has sent him back to Castle Black for reinforcements. Could this be the start of Davos's big storyline? *crosses fingers*
- I read this article the other day about how TV gets mothers wrong. I p-shawed while reading it, but after seeing how the writers mommywashed Selyse in this episode, maybe the piece was dead on. Selyse is a cold, hard zealot. Let her be a cold, hard zealot. She never cared about Shireen before today. WHY DOES SHE CARE NOW?
- I remember the Drogon coming to the pits thing being a lot more menacing in the books. Here he's basically Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.
- Jorah and Dany holding hands though.
What did you think? Season finale next week. How will it end?
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