by Sydney Bucksbaum | Sun., Jun. 7, 2015 7:33 PM
Warning: major spoilers below! Do not read until you have watched Game of Thrones season five episode 9, "The Dance of Dragons."
Have you been missing dragons on Game of Thrones as much as we have? We've been dying to see Daenerys' three dragon babies grow into the fully-grown beasts they're destined to be for five seasons, and now that they're finally huge, Game of Thrones has been keeping two of them locked up in a dungeon and one far away from Meereen! Not cool.
That is, until "The Dance of Dragons," when Drogon finally returned to the action in a major way. And his timing couldn't have been better! But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
The episode after "Hardhome's" epic White Walker/Wight attack (yeah, we still can't stop thinking about that) began a little farther south at Stannis' camp, where we finally get to see exactly what Ramsay meant when he said he only needed "20 good men" to stop Stannis from attacking. Turns out, he just wanted to sneak into the camp and set everything on fire! Fires break out all throughout the army, and Stannis' forces lose tents, horses, food, supplies and weapons. Thanks a lot, Ramsay!
But Stannis refuses to retreat, however, and orders Davos to ride to Castle Black to refuel and bring back supplies and food. Basically, Stannis just wanted to make sure that Davos was far away so he could let Melisandre sacrifice Shireen to the Lord of Light. So much for that touching father/daughter bond they've been building all season! At least her mother had a last second change of heart and tried to save her (after agreeing to burn her daughter alive, so she's not really in the running for mother of the year here), but the soldiers stop her, and they all watch as Shireen burns at the stake in front of all of them. Her screams? That was downright disturbing. We're pretty sure Shireen was the only truly innocent soul left on this show.
Davos is going to be so pissed.
Up north at the wall, Jon arrives back at Castle Black with the army of Wildlings who escaped Hardhome alive...so, not too many. But that number is still too high for the rest of his fellow Night's Watch brothers, who are not too happy that he came back with any of them alive. In fact, there was even a moment where it seemed like they weren't going to let any of them pass through the tunnel! Things are about to get real touchy at Castle Black.
In Dorne, Jaime meets with Doran Martell in order to avoid a war between their two houses...because both of them know that's the last thing they need right now. Doran agrees to let Jaime take Myrcella back to King's Landing, along with Prince Tristane so they can still unite their two houses. Jaime also negotiates for Bronn's freedom as well…only after he gets smacked in the face to get even for punching Tristane of course. Doran even makes Ellaria swear her allegiance to him, officially giving up her rebellion. Will this stick? We bet the Sand Snakes will make sure it won't.
In Braavos, Arya continues to shill her oysters by the docks, and almost completes her assignment to assassinate the "thin man" who has been cheating families out of their life insurance money. But when she sees a familiar face arrive in Braavos, she immediately forgets all about Jaqen's assignment. "A girl" hasn't truly shed her past, after all.
The familiar face she sees? Lord Mace Tyrell's soldier, Ser Meryn Trant, aka one of the names on Arya's list. And guess what? He's a total pedophile. He goes to a brothel and makes them bring him a young girl, we're talking about 12 or 13 years old, a new one every day. Ugh.
But at least Arya now has her first real assignment as an assassin. How will Jaqen react when he finds out Arya's flouting his authority? Probably not well!
And then the action truly picked up in Meereen, because it's time for the day of the Great Games in the fighting pits! But watching Dany's lover Daario and Dany's betrothed Hizdahr passive aggressively fight for her approval is actually way more entertaining than watching random dudes behead each other. That is, until, Jorah walks into the ring. The combination of shock, terror, betrayal and a bevy of other emotions was clear on Dany's face.
Jorah defeats every competitor, although for a moment it seemed like he wasn't going to make it out alive. When he approaches Dany as the victor, he suddenly throws his spear right at her...and it goes right into the gut of a Son of the Harpy assassin who was about to kill Dany! And that begins a huge massacre in the arena, as a whole slew of the mask-wearing killers invade the pits and start slaughtering everyone, Hizdahr included. Guess that's one wedding we don't have to fear anymore!
Jorah and Daario work together to help Dany get to safety, with Tyrion protecting Missandei and following them. They almost make it out of the arena alive, but another wave of Sons of the Harpy enter the arena and form a circle around them, trapping them. All hope appears lost, and we started screaming at the TV. How could Tyrion have come so far only to die by Dany's side before they could make it to Westeros?! And that's when Drogon saves the day! He barbecues a ton of the assassins, but in order to save Drogon from getting killed by spears, Dany climbs on his back and flies away, with Tyrion, Daario and Missandei watching them go.
We asked for dragons, and man did we get exactly what we wished for. That last shot of Dany flying high above the arena on the back of her biggest and most vicious dragon was instantly iconic. Of course, we're getting one of those shots pretty much every episode this season. And we still have one episode left!
We're simultaneously psyched and terrified for what the season five finale is going to bring.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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