Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: The Dance of Dragons

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 Review




Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9

Re-open the fighting pits, they said. It will be fun, they said. Well, not so much for the Mother of Dragons, who was this close to getting brutally murdered in this week’s Game of Thrones episode. Elsewhere, Stannis made a horrible decision, boring things keep happening in Dorne, and Arya stumbled upon someone from her past (and her kill list).

Both thrilling and traumatic, The Dance of Dragons marked the majestic return of one of our favourite Game of Thrones characters, Drogon. Let’s talk about it.

The Wall

In the disturbing penultimate episode of the season, Jon Snow and the wildlings arrive at the Wall and are let in without major fuss. To be honest, we were expecting a bit of rebellion from Allister’s part, but we’re guessing he learned how to respect the wishes of his Lord Commander. Nonetheless, none of the Watchers of the Wall were happy to see their enemies trudging through the gate, even though they were impressed by the mighty giant. Heaven knows what they’re going to feed this guy, especially since their supplies are running low.

South of the Wall

Remember when Ramsay Bolton told his dad he only needs 20 good men to wreak havoc on Stannis’s army? He wasn’t kidding. He sets multiple fires on Baratheon’s camp, wiping out most of his food supplies, horses, and weapons. Davos urges Stannis to return to Castle Black, but he has other things on his mind. He sends Davos to Snow for supplies, but only to have him away from the camp, due to what is going to happen next. Yes, Stannis foolishly decides to take Melisandre’s horrible advice and sacrifice his daughter Shireen to the Lord of Light. We witnessed another disturbing scene of a little girl screaming for mercy and pleading for her father to spare her as she burnt to ashes. And this is the short story of how Melisandre made it to number two on our “hope these characters die soon and in a brutal matter” list, right after the Bolton bastard. Don’t worry Stannis, you’ve not far behind either.


Arya plans to proceed with her assignment of killing the bookie as per Jaqen’s instructions, but gets sidetracked when a familiar face crosses her path. Ser Meryn Trant, who’s on Arya’s kill list, comes along with Lord Tyrell for a meeting with the Braavosi bank. She follows him all day ignoring her assignment, and then lies to Jaqen, telling him the bookie wasn’t keen on buying any oysters that day. Bad Arya. She’s clearly not ready to become a faceless man, but we must admit that her evolution is pretty compelling to watch.


In Dorne, Jaime and Doran Martell reach a peaceful agreement: Myrcella will return to King’s Landing, but she will be accompanied by Tristan, so their engagement still stands. Moreover, Tristan will serve on the king’s small council. The Martells even accept to free Bronn, which was kind of unexpected. Ellaria Sand opposes the agreement, but has no choice but to swear allegiance to her prince, even though something tells us she hasn’t given up on her dream of avenging Oberyn. At least we hope so, since we have to admit that the Sand Snakes weren’t as impressive as expected and this whole Dorne storyline was kind of dull so far. However, we can’t wait to see Jamie’s reaction when he finds out his beloved Cersei is rotting away in a prison.


For the climax of the episode, we turn to Meereen, where Daenerys oversees The Great Games, which basically means that she watches dudes killing other dudes for no logical reason. It’s clear that she’s hating every minute of it, but she complies with the wish of her people. She also gives her fiancé the stink eye, especially while he insists that the whole setup is completely normal and it’s kind of delightful to spend an afternoon watching people chop each other’s heads of. Ugh. At least Tyrion delivers a clever and memorable line: “There’s always been enough death in the world for my taste. I can do without it in my leisure time.”

Things heat up when Jorah Mormont appears in the arena, ready to fight in the name of his queen once again. He takes hit after hit, but eventually manages to claim victory. We feel relieved, but only for a short moment. Mormont sends a spear flying right past Dany’s head, killing a masked Son of Harpy behind her. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one.

The arena fills with Sons of Harpy at a moment’s notice. They begin to kill everyone in sight, including unsullied soldiers. Dany’s fiancé gets stabbed, and Missandei gets this close to getting murdered, only to be saved by Tyrion at the last moment. However, Dany and the gang are dangerously outnumbered. She and her friends are surrounded by Sons of Harpy and trapped in the arena, and the end looks closer that even for the lovely Mother of Dragons. And then, Drogon makes his spectacular entrance.

Dany’s fire-breathing beast suddenly appears from the sky and starts to incinerate all the Sons of Harpy in sight. As it turns out, he’s still very protective of his mother, despite his rebellious tendencies. When Dany sees the Harpies throwing spears at the progeny, she loses no time and climbs on the dragon, flying away into the sunset (and leaving her friends behind). What a magnificent ending!

With next week’s season finale rapidly approaching, we can’t help but wonder if everyone will make it to season 6 in one piece. Season 5 was particularly brutal so far, so we’re probably in for a memorable conclusion. Since no one seems safe anymore, so we’re just going to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

What are your thoughts on The Dance of Dragons? Give us a shout in the comments!

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