The Dance of Dragons

by Ed Blackadder

(Spoiler Warning) This show certainly likes to hit us with powerful drama in the later stages of the seasons and this one was no exception. I was emotionally drained after all that went on — between Stannis being an utter bastard thanks to the wonderful advice of Melisandre and Dany effing off on Drogon’s back while the Harpy try to assassinate her. Sansa and the imprisoned queens were conspicuously absent this week, but Arya’s arc took an unexpected turn. I also have to take my hat off to crew regular Director David Nutter, who also helmed The Rains of Castamere, a massively pivotal episode in more ways than one. Nutter’s handling of Shireen and Ser Davos’ final scene was incredibly powerful and touching.

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Jon Snow has managed to save a decent number of Wildlings, including a giant, then marched them all to the Wall. There’s a moment when Jon, as well as the audience, aren’t sure if Ser Alliser will open the gate to allow his lord commander and the Wildlings into Castle Black. Ser Alliser Thorne is many things, but I think Jon recognises the fact that he’s honorable. In fact, he’s staking his life on it. Unfortunately, Jon Snow’s entire arc feels like it’s spinning its wheels and going through the motions. Yes, last week saw some excitement, yet I never felt any actual momentum.

Game of Thrones
Created by
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release Date
7 June 2015
Ed’s Grade: A+

Dorne is starting to get a bit more interesting, however I can’t help feeling the entire Dornish cast was wasted in season 5. The production alone for the stunning Spanish shoot must have been a substantial outlay.

It looks like Princess Myrcella and Prince Trystane will be returning to King’s Landing with Jamie Lannister and Bronn, as long as Cersei doesn’t confess about her incestuous relationship to the High Sparrow, whereby calling into question the legitimacy of King Tommen’s claim to the throne.

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I must say, I was surprised the way things turned out for Ser Jorah when he fought in the pit just to be near to Khalisi Daenerys’ one last time. He also took a bit of a beating and almost died a couple of times. But he came through just in time to save Dany from a Harpy sneaking up on her from behind, by throwing a spear with deadly accuracy. I was incredibly disappointed with the legendary Unsullied. They failed to spot a horde of highly conspicuous men wearing metal masks, then were easily defeated?! They need to grow a pair. Even though I’ve read the books and guessed Drogon’s appearance would be kept in, it was still a pleasant surprise. At least most of the other material was completely new. Tyrion and Jorah are now a team again, and unless Dany returns quickly, those two might be left to rule Meereen for a while. Dany may have gained a dragon but she lost a future husband, with the Harpy still determined to kill her. Flying off into the sunset on Drogon just might be a good solution to her many problems.

Last week Melisandre told King Stannis that he would need to sacrifice Princess Shireen if he wanted the snow to stop so he could march on Winterfell. We knew there was a distinct possibility that it could really happen, but nothing prepared me for the horror of the situation. It was the way Shireen offers to help her father any way she can, then finding out she’s to be burned alive. Stannis actually aged before our eyes, and at least Shireen’s mother wanted it to be stopped. As soon as Stannis ordered Ser Davos Seaworth to take a message to Castle Black, I knew the king was getting him out of the way, as did the Onion Knight. that’s why he gave her a gift before he left. A most touching scene.

This episode is right up there with the best of them, as is typical with the second last episode of each season. Let’s hope the season 5 finale is as good.