Game of Thrones S05E09 recap: 'The Dance of Dragons' (Spoiler alert)

A wooden stag and lots of swag.

It's the Game of Thrones S05E09 recap and review.

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Daenerys Targaryen claps. It's on.

Jorah barely manages to kill one dude, but kill that one dude he does.

However, now Jorah's up against a really quick guy. It's not going well. Jorah's down. It looks like it's all over... Tyrion urges Dany to end the fight. It's curtains for Jorah... until the winner of the other match stabs the would-be victor in the back. Okay, but now Jorah has to fight that guy. He pulls a sweet finishing move to kill the guy.

But it gets swaggier: he then hefts his defeated opponent's spear and heaves it into the VIP area, likking a Son of the Harpy who was lurking up behind Dany!

Uh-oh, though: Tons of folks in the audience have donned Sons of the Harpy masks. It's like in V for Vendetta. Now the SotH are slaughtering people in the stands.

Hizdahr zo Loraq gets killed before I can even lock down the spelling on his name. Jorah somehow gets into the VIP area to help Daario protect Daenerys. Jorah offers his hand, and Dany takes it. They head for safety.

Meanwhile, Tyrion tools up and stabs a SotH that's gunning for She3PO. They regroup with Daenerys, Jorah, and Daario and flee with some Unsullied across the floor of the arena. About a kazillion SotH emerge from all sides, surrounding our heroes like in Attack of the Clones; only this time it's characters that we actually care about.

The SotH attack one by one for some reason, so our anti-heroes manage to pick them off, at least for now. Dany and She3PO join hands. Khaleesi closes her eyes...

It's Drogon! The prodigal flying lizard has returned! The dragon starts torching Sons of the Harpy left, right, and center, totally getting in on the #SwagAllDay hashtag. Tyrion can't even believe the crazy shit he's seeing right now. This scene is not shy about full-on SotH-torching, either. Dozens of masked assassins are getting their asses set ablaze. The dragon is getting busy.


It's not totally one-sided, though: the SotH are sticking spears into the dragon's neck. Dany pulls one of the spears from her pet's neck. He allows her to pet his nose. The SotH are still throwing spears into him as Daario and Jorah fight back. Dany climbs onto Drogon's back... and they take to the sky.

That's some serious E09 action right there.

Team Dragon Mama.

Act like you know.

Roll credits.

Game of Thrones S05E09 review

That's what I call an E09. I though for sure that the big moment would be the sacrifice of little Shireen, but no. No. Turns out an Attack of the Clones-meets-Gladiator-meets-Neverending Story scene is the big moment.

If you're a Son of the Harpy, wouldn't you have run for the hills as soon as a gigantic dragon started torching your buddies? Seeing Daenerys Targaryen take to the sky astride a dragon, would you not decide that maybe you're on the wrong team; and perhaps Team Dragon Mama may have more of a future than Team Stab People Randomly?

Also, what about Tyrion, Daario, Jorah, and She3PO? Daenerys just left them there, still surrounded by quite a few Sons of the Harpy. Not cool.

Let's circle back, though, to the death of Shireen Baratheon. I was expecting Psycho Hobbit's attack on TSWRF to be a bigger scene, and for Shireen's sacrifice to be more blood-oriented (and maybe less lethal? Because I'm a softie?). But it wasn't, and it wasn't (and it wasn't, and I am). Also, Stannis finally got to hear someone scream as they were burned alive, but it wasn't Mance Rayder. Where's Jon Snow when you need him?

Well, now the Boltons got 99 problems and a witch is #1. Let's see how this affects Stannis' relationship with Melisandre. And with his wife. And with his own reflection in the mirror. Meanwhile, I wonder what TSWRF is going to get in return for Shireen's death.

Also, I'm guessing that Jaqen H'gar knows about Arya Stark's new target. I'll also try to get around to making an Oysters-Clams-an'-Cockles ringtone. That would be sweet.

I'm also guessing that Ellaria Sand is not done with the Lannisters. No way. Otherwise, that whole side plot would have been kind of pointless. Funny, but pointless.

It's also worth noting that Alliser Thorne letting Jon and the Wildlings back into Castle Black was a big deal. He could have let them freeze. But he didn't, and the rest of the Crows clearly wish he did.

It's the sacrifice of Shireen that makes this episode so monumental, though. It was super-hard to watch, and took incredible stones for the production team to take it there: I understand that this is a big departure from the source material.

This episode gets five swag-as-fuck dragons out of a possible five, and not for the dragon. I don't even care if people even say "swag" anymore.

 Join me on June 14 for the Game of Thrones S05 finale, titled "Mother's Mercy".

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