Game of Thrones-Season 5-Episode 9

This season of “Game of Thrones” has been a rollercoaster.

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I began the season excited, both for the show and to see some of the locations I had seen in real life on my trip to Spain. Then I was patient with the show as the first half of the season seemed to be building to something. Then with episode six I was pissed off and only continued to watch because I had made the commitment to myself to blog about the whole season. Then at the end of episode 8 I loved the show again. Before last night’s episode aired I was nervous. I felt like if the show could keep the momentum going that it had built up with episode 8 then the season could end on an amazing note and I would definitely be back for season 6, but I also feared a weak end to the season which could drive me away for good.

During the opening credits I noticed that for the first time this season there was no Sophie Turner listed in the opening credits. That, of course, meant no Sansa. Although I hate Sansa’s storyline I do think that Sophie Turner has been doing an amazing job this season and I wanted her to be in all ten episodes this season. Oh well, I guess nine out of ten isn’t bad.

The episode began with shot of Melisandre at Stannis’ camp. I’ve gone back and forth on Melisandre over the years but by the end of this episode I hated her, and I don’t imagine I’ll ever change my mind. Anyway…The camp is attacked, presumably by Ramsay and his twenty men, who set the camp on fire. It is a small attack but a critical one. Stannis is now weakened to a significant point and with winter finally here he is in big trouble. As Davos points out they can’t march forward to Winterfell and they won’t go back to Castle Black…so in other words they are fucked. It is so bad that Stannis orders the dead horses be butchered for meat…Of course it is much worse than that but more on how desperate Stannis is later.

Moving up to the wall we see Jon and the Wildlings who escaped the attack from the Army of the Dead and the White Walkers approaching the wall. The gates open and they enter. Although there isn’t an outright revolt against Jon returning with Wildlings it is clear that many in the Night’s watch still have serious doubts about Jon’s plans. As one of them says, “You have a good heart Jon Snow. But it will get us all killed.”

Moving back down to Stannis we see his wheels turning. He orders Davos to go up to Castle Black to request supplies form Jon. Davos asks to take Selysa and Shireen with him but Stannis says no, his family will stay with him. By the end of the episode we understand the reason for Stannis sending Davos away. The relationship between Davos and Shireen has been, BY FAR, the best part of Stannis’ storyline and before Davos leaves for the wall they have one more great scene together.

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Davos gives her a present and she tells him of how she is reading the story of “The Dance of Dragons”. How telling it is that Shireen is reading about the history of what a war for the Iron Throne did to the seven Kingdoms was when she is in the middle of one herself.

The Dorne storyline has been the most underdeveloped storyline this season. This has been very disappointing to me because, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries I visited the Castle in Seville, Spain that served as the filming location for the Water Gardens of Dorne (Check out my blog entry on the day I visited this amazing castle: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/return-to-espana-day-10-seville/).

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This was the first time there was any real development given to this storyline and it did help. As Doran Martell questions Jamie I couldn’t help but wonder about Marcella’s necklace that was sent to King’s Landing. If Ellaria just wanted to kill Mrycella then why wouldn’t she just do it? Why send Cersei a warning shot? It seems to me there is something is not adding up there.

Doran seems to accept Jamie’s story and says that the alliance between their two families remain. He toasts King Tommen but Ellaria won’t participate in the toast. In a sign that he wants things to remain peaceful Doran proposes that Trystane accompany Mrycella back to King’s Landing where he will see on the small counsel that Oberyon was to have sat on. This enrages Ellaria who says that Doran doesn’t have a spine and that’s the reason he can’t stand. He, of course, doesn’t take her words lightly.

Checking in on Arya on Bravos, we she her battle between being nobody and being a young woman out to avenge her family. She is continuing her work for Jaqen H’ghar when she sees Lord Tyrell arrive with Meryn Trant. Forget being nobody, Arya has the chance to kill somebody on her list. She follows Meryn Trant to a brothel. She watches him pass on prostitute after prostitute because they are too old. He finally settled on a very young girl to have sex with. Now that Arya sees how she can get close to him I suspect that she will disguise herself as a prostitute so that she can get in a room alone with him and kill him.

When Arya returned to Jaqen H’ghar it was clear her mind wasn’t on taking care of the Thin Man, it is on revenge.

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Returning to Dorne, we see Ellaria make a pledge to remain loyal to Doran by kissing his ring. He tells her that he believes in second chances but not third chances, a clear warning to her to not fall out of line again.

Ellaria then visits with Jamie. It is actually a nice scene where she calls Jamie out on the true nature of his relationship with Cersei but isn’t judgmental of it. I liked this scene but it continues to drive me crazy that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are so hell bend on revenge when it was Oberyn’s fault that he died. He was the one who said he would be Tryion’s champion; he was the one who didn’t kill the Mountain when he had a chance. He did it to himself.

After the last check in with Dorne the emotional heartbreak came as the episode returned to Stannis’ camp. Stannis visits Shireen as she’s playing with the gift she got from Davos. She tells her father about what she’s reading in “The Dance of Dragons”. When Stannis asks her who she wouldn’t have chosen she wisely says that she wouldn’t have. It was all the choosing that made things so horrible. My beloved Shireen was so right. Yet, the world they live in is one of nobility and titles and monarchy and Stannis knows that Tommen is not Robert’s legitimate heir so he believes it is his right become King. He says sometimes people have to choose sides to become who they were destined to become even if they hate it. Shireen tells her father hat she will do anything she can to help him.

Then, Stannis lost me forever. Following the advice of that horrid Melisandre he has is Shireen, his daughter, his heir, burned to death so that her royal blood can be used to help him fulfill his destiny. As awful as it was that Stannis had Renly killed this is a thousand times worse. I cried and cried as sweet little Shireen burned to death.

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I have never liked Stannis but I do like Davos and I loved Shireen but that’s it. I HATE Stannis and I will never forgive him.

Ending the episode with Shireen’s death would have been a powerful but depressing ending. Instead the episode ended in Maureen with Dany at the big fighting pit. As soon as I saw that Dany became more convinced than ever that she has to win, this story has to end with Daenerys Targaryen sitting on top of the Iron Throne. Stannis is no longer even a passable option.

The scene began pretty calmly with Tyrion challenging Hizdahr on the value of force and violence. When Jorah comes out to fight Dany has to make the choice on whether to begin the fight or not. She does and things don’t look good for him but he doesn’t get killed. Instead, he saves her life, proving once and for all that he is loyal to her and that he loves her.

An attack from the Sons of the Harpy leads to the most thrilling moment of the season for me. The Harpy are everywhere and it is a true bloodbath. With Dany, Tryion, Jorah, Dario and Missandei surrounded by the Sons of the Harpy I knew there was only one way out. I kept saying his name, I kept saying Drogon, Drogon, Drogon…I knew that their only chance was the one Dragon who wasn’t locked up. And right at the last moment Dany’s baby, all grown up showed up and he ate and torched some Harpy ass.

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In addition to Dany being saved what was exciting about this was that when Drogon roared in her face she wasn’t afraid. She, FINALLY, embraces her power and climbs on her Dragon and flies away. I am so happy Daenerys Targaryen is ready. She is going to kick some ass. Fuck you Stannis, your are going down!

I am both extremely excited for the season finale on Sunday and sad. As much as I have had issues with this season it seems to be ending on a great note and I will miss it.

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