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Game of Thrones Top Five Recap: Ep. 48, “Dance of Dragons”

In a great nod to the book series as well as the book Shireen reads, this week’s episode of Game of Thrones is entitled “Dance of Dragons.” It was a very exciting episode and again made me simultaneously love and hate these characters. This week was not lacking in OMG moments by far and I have chosen five of them to discuss in detail. For good or ill, I hope these were some of your favorites as well.

5. Number five would have to be when Jaime is brought before Prince Doran along with got3Trystane, Myrcella, and Ellaria Sand. It starts out as a cordial meeting between them despite Ellaria’s snide remarks and blatant hatred for the Lannisters. She even goes so far as to pour out her wine rather than toast to King Tommen. Prince Doran asks Jaime if it is Tommen’s wish that Myrcella return to King’s Landing and when Jaime insists that it is, Doran agrees to allow her to return with Jaime – so long and Trystane accompanies them. Doran also insists that Trystane take the place on the small counsel that Oberyn once held. Jaime agrees to these terms and the conversation turns to what should be done with Bronn, who struck Trystane in the jaw last episode. Doran allows Trystane to decide Bronn’s fate and Trystane tells Jaime that he believes in mercy, but that it will come with a price. The guard, Hotah, goes and retrieves Bronn and brings him up to stand before them. Jaime tells Bronn that Trystane has decided on mercy for his actions, on one condition: BAM! Hotah clocks Bronn in the jaw and drops him to the ground. A fairly small price to pay considering Bronn’s life was on the line.

got44. This one edged out number five because it was very suspenseful. Jon has “successfully” gathered the wildlings and is bringing them to the Wall as promised. Although many of them were lost to the White Walker attack last episode, there are still a couple hundred of them left. They get to the Wall and Ser Alliser is seen standing at the top. There is a long moment where no one does anything until Jon steps forth and looks up. Ser Alliser just continues to look down on him and the people he has brought. It seems as though Jon is going to be left out in the cold before Alliser finally gives the command to open the gate. Whew! Jon doesn’t have many friends left in the Night’s Watch and that fact is made even more apparent as he enters Castle Black. All the Night’s Watchmen look on at him with suspicion and anger except, of course, for Sam, who tries to console him. Jon feels as though he has failed the wildlings in not saving all of them, but Sam makes a very valid point that he made a world of difference for each of the ones he did save.

3. This is one of my favorite moments as it is about Arya. She is doing her duty selling oysters got5in the market and today is the day she is to poison the Thin Man. As she approaches him however, she see Mace Tyrell arrive by boat at the docks and with him is none other than Meryn Trant, one of the names on her kill list! The Thin Man calls to her for his daily snack of oysters but Arya completely ignores him and keeps walking to get a better look.  This is a double OMG because not only has she found the man she blames for Syrio’s death, but she is also now disobeying Jaqen H’ghar’s orders to assassinate the Thin Man. Arya follows Trant to a brothel and into one of its back rooms. She watches him continuously turn down each woman brought before him for being “too old.” One of the knight’s accompanying Trant pushes her further into the room to buy some of her clams and oysters and that is when she and Trant lock eyes. It is unclear if he recognizes her or if he is merely intrigued by her obvious youth before she is hurried off by the brothel owner. Arya then has to lie to Jaqen about why she was unable to kill the Thin Man and he tells her to try again tomorrow. It seems that he is aware of her lie, though, per usual, but he does not strike her. Perhaps Arya’s list of those she wishes to kill will get smaller soon.

got62. This scene has several OMG moments and begins with Daenerys hesitantly starting the Great Games with a clap. The first two fighters begin and Daario and Loraq banter about who is the better bet in a fighter. This continues as the first battle ends and the second sets up to begin with both Daenerys and Tyrion also interjecting their opinion that death is already abundant enough in life. The second bout has eight fighters in it and the look on Daenerys’ face when she hears Jorah’s voice is priceless. The man she exiled stands wounded, ready to fight and die for her honor. The battle begins and each of the fighters square off, the numbers dwindling down as each kills their opponent, bringing the number from eight to four. Jorah was successful in his first battle but this second one is proving more difficult. His opponent is much faster and is getting in a lot of slices on Jorah. While they are fighting, the other pair finish their bout and it seems as though Jorah is about to be run through when the other fighter stabs the man Jorah was fighting through the stomach. This leaves a very wounded Jorah to fight the man who essentially just saved him. The two men square off and despite the odds Jorah gets the upper hand and stabs the other fighter in the gut. Jorah then turns to Daenerys, quickly picks up a spear and flings it toward her! The spear hits its intended victim and one of the Sons of the Harpy hits the ground behind Dany, dead. Jorah, of course, saved Daenerys from the attack, as that is what he will always do. Suddenly, we see several Sons of the Harpy emerge in the stands and they begin terrorizing the Great Games by slitting people’s throats and closing in on Daenerys. Jorah helps her down into the ring, followed closely by Daario and try to escape through one of the tunnels. It gets blocked off and Tyrion shows up and slits one of the attacker’s throat, saving Missandei. Loraq has been killed and now Daenerys, Jorah, Daario, Tyrion and Missandei find themselves in the center of the fighting ring, surrounded by the Sons of the Harpy. There are so many of them and Jorah, Daario and Tyrion do their best to fend them off but it looks incredibly hopeless. Suddenly, Drogon flies into the arena spouting fire and takes out several groups of Harpys. He lands and sets several ablaze, despite having spears flung at him. Daenerys gets so angry at the sight of him being speared she goes to him, no longer in fear for her own life like a true Mother of Dragons, and pulls the spears from his neck. She climbs up on his back and they take to the sky in a spectacular flight! Boom! Dragon riding!!!

got21. What could possibly be more OMG-inducing than riding a dragon? How about the fate of Shireen? Stannis’ camp is attacked in the middle of the night and many tents and supplies are set on fire by Ramsay Bolton and his 20 good men. This attack hits Stannis hard as his men were already struggling against the extreme cold that they are not used to and this only further thinned their ranks and supplies. Ser Davos urges they return to Castle Black to recoup but Stannis refuses. Knowing Davos would be an issue with his next plans, Stannis orders him to return to Castle Black to get more troops and supplies. Ser Davos, who has a soft spot for Shireen, asks if she can accompany him on his journey to Castle Black. After all, a siege is no place for a child. Stannis refuses his request and sends Ser Davos on his way. Before he leaves, Davos gives Shireen a wooden stag that he made. Later, it is Stannis who visits Shireen and they talk for a bit about the book she is reading, The Dance of Dragons. Stannis tells Shireen that sometimes a man must make hard decisions, even if he hates them, to fulfill his destiny. Shireen asks him if there is anything she can do and Stannis tells her there is before embracing her and askinggot1 that she forgive him. Shireen is then marched out to Melisandre’s pyre as the Red God demands a sacrifice of king’s blood and Shireen is expendable to Melisandre. Shireen pleads for her father and mother to rescue her, who both go out and watch her being tied to the pyre. Shireen continues to plead and cry and it seems her mother, Selyse, has a very last-minute change of heart. Selyse tries to go to Shireen, but is held back, so she collapses to the ground and watches as Melisandre sets fire to the pyre and Shireen. Although Selyse tried to reach her daughter, she really didn’t try very hard and Stannis only looked on and watched while his daughter was burned alive, all for the sake of winning a battle. This is for certain the OMG moment of the night and it hit me hard.

There were some comical, mysterious, incredible, and heart-breaking moments in this week’s episode. It was not short on action nor on its ability to ignite tremendous feeling in those watching. What are your thoughts on these five moments? Were there others you thought were OMG-worthy that aren’t included here? Next week is the season finale and I cannot wait to see what Daenerys will do now with Drogon and if Arya will get her revenge!

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