“Video” Podcast of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 9, “Dance of the Dragons”

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18 thoughts on ““Video” Podcast of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 9, “Dance of the Dragons”

  1. Winnie says:

    Man SEK did sound pretty disheartened in the opening. The unrelenting bleakness of this season is getting to *everyone*.

    I know they *said* that Stannis and his troops were out of food, but I think *showing* the soldiers freezing and hungry might have been more effective to getting viewers to recognize the desperate nature of the situation.

    Jon’s ‘good heart’ doesn’t get them all killed-but it is gonna get him killed. Sam’s right in that Jon’s actions have saved thousands of lives, but Jon’s right in realizing that his personal best efforts just aren’t enough in the face of what’s coming.

    Agree that Dorne has been a complete waste of time so far, (this was true in the books as well.) And there were so many *better* things they could have done with the time like moving things along and getting to the Big Reveal about Jon or other events up North like the Ghost in Winterfell.

    Mace in Braavos was hysterical.

    I’m with Steve-Syrio’s dead, people. Get Over It!

    Having Shireen’s death happen in the *middle* of the episode really did make it especially unnerving. And again I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on the sacrifice themes, Steve. And what happens now when Stannis realizes he *isn’t* AA after all.

    Yeah, “Game of Thrones” sure likes to overturn the ‘root for the underdog’ trope.

    LOVED Dany, Hizdar, Tyrion together. It was kinda sad it didn’t last longer.

  2. Son of Fire says:

    I thought the dragon ride was poorly done,they turned a chaotic moment in the novel into a cute “hey i’m flying on a dragon” tv moment!
    Drogon decides to fly off when HE realises that this is what HE wants,dany is terrified & doesn’t know whats happening for the 1st few minutes untill they’re already hundreds of feet above the pit THEN she realises that this is what she really wants.The wall was great as was stannis’s camp,braavos was good & dorne was meh!
    I think hizdahr was innocent on the show & in the book……its the shavepate!!!

    • David Hunt says:

      I realize that the argument that the Shavepate has so publicly disassociated himself with all the trappings of the Meereenese upper class can be explained away. You can say that his allies in the Harpies know that it’s a ruse. However, he’s always the voice in Dany’s council calling for executions in the ruling families…all of them. Some of those guys have got to be his allies. More important, I’m not quite there in my re-read, but isn’t he instrumental in Barristan wresting control of the government away from Hizdar? He could have easily thwarted that effort and gotten the old knight killed. Anyone claiming that he’s the head Harpy needs to have a good explanation for those actions.

      • Son of Fire says:

        I don’t think the shavepate is the harpy,i believe he poisoned the locust’s to frame hizdar if dany eats them & dies, or start a war with the former masters if hizdar dies from eating yummy locusts

        • David Hunt says:

          The Shavepate’s political and actual life are publicly tied to Dany. If she dies, then he’s going to be the first guys on the chopping block…unless he’s a traitor with allies that will keep him alive. I don’t think he’s stupid enough to risk the entirely possible poisoning and killing of Dany to simply start a hot war between her faction and the Masters. If Dany’s known to be dead, her faction will get slaughtered and they’re all dead, including him.

          • Son of Fire says:

            Not so sure they’d be slaughtered,7ish thousand unsullied & the brazen beasts plus the hostage cup bearers they hold might make the great masters at least think twice…..certainly enough to do real damage to the nobel population who usually make slaves do their fighting!

  3. haplo6 says:

    Dorne, in the books, is not a waste of time because they are actively involved in the Targaryen Restoration, plus hapless Quentyn in responsible for releasing the remaining two dragons. I thought the show might have Aegon stashed in Dorne, making Jaime’s trip down there an opportunity for the big reveal instead of a total waste of time. Whoops! on my part.

    There are simply too many Harpies, like, 40% of the crowd turned out to be stashing masks and swords on their person. I know the show folks are trying to up the peril for Dany, but it speaks to Hizdar’s claim that slavery remains a popular component to the region’s culture, despite the overwhelming majority of the population not benefiting from it. The Harpies in the show are incredibly brave and not only take on well trained troops, but hung around to fight Drogon (mysteriously and suddenly equipped with long spears). It’s much more powerful to have them a disgruntled, craven minority, attempting to undermine Dany’s new society by attacking those in the city benefiting from slavery’s demise; success ex-slaves in the economy and Brazen Beasts for example.

    Steven makes an excellent point about the show-Stannis being forced to embrace the Utilitarian ethic in the most horrifying nightmare a parent could imagine. Although Davos, and Kantians, would probably argue that humanity might not be worth saving if it means the burning of children is justifiable. I obviously have no idea how it will go down, but when Stannis finds out his sacrifice of Shireen was all for not (that he’s not AA), he’s going to kill the shit out of Melisandre.

  4. Sean C. says:

    It’s hard to fully assess the Shireen scene without knowing what the book context is, but this is one of those events where the show’s necessarily uber-compressed telling of this story just doesn’t work for me. Literally the last time we saw Stannis he was firmly rejecting the idea of burning Shireen, and then in his opening scene in this episode he’s already decided to do it. And the context is not dramatized particularly well. Also, given how the BTS commentary from the showrunners frame Stannis’ choice as his ambition winning out over his parental feelings, I’m not sure the whole “needs of the many” argument is what they were going for.

    Regarding Dorne, Jessica Henwick (Nym) gave an interview that suggests there’s more going on the finale, so there’s that, at least — but whatever happens, it won’t fix most of the problems with this story. It’s introduced a ton of new characters, in the loosest sense of the term, and done nothing with any of them (Alexander Siddig, the best part of these scenes, has been criminally underused). Nothing that happens with Ellaria in this particular episode makes any sense — she’s inexplicably not under arrest in the opening scene, and acts like a complete asshole, then does a complete 180 in the next scene (the scene with Jaime can be read as some kind of agenda, provisionally, but we’ll see how next week plays to know whether that’s the case or not).

    Arya’s obviousness in Braavos was a consistent source of comedy (my favourite is her following him around King’s Landing about five feet behind him while pushing an oyster cart)

    Regarding Hizdahr “villainous character”, I think that’s a case of book readers projecting onto the show, because there’s never been anything villainous about Hizdahr on the show. I don’t think there’s meant to be anything more to his death than him being an innocent victim, because I can’t see what story purpose it would serve at this point to invent a whole unseen backstory about him being double-crossed, seeing as he was never a big character on the show to begin with, and nothing on the show suggests that.

    Assorted predictions for next week and beyond:

    – Brienne kills Stannis next week.
    – Sansa escapes and heads for the Wall.
    – Next season, Sansa will arrive at the Wall and find Jon dead and Davos there, distraught and looking for a purpose; he’ll be enlisted to help her find Rickon, putting him back into something akin to his book story (he could also be sent in the finale to take Sam and Gilly south, but I think that’s less likely just because ‘slightly/heavily altered versions of book arcs’ is something the show does a lot).

    • Son of Fire says:

      Reguarding stannis,this is where 12 episodes or 10 season’s would come in handy,Feast/Dance cannot be told in 10 f#*king episodes!!!

    • Taipeier says:

      Can’t agree more about Stannis. Even more so than in last season’s episode 9, the show did a bad job showing what the stakes were. Presumably when this comes in the books, the zombie apocalypse will be well under way, making it far easier for the audience to sympathize with Stannis. Sacrificing his daughter just to make it to the next battle (not even to win it!) seems like overkill, even if the other choice is death (and frankly the show could have done a better job showing how desperate their situation was, rather than telling us and then giving us a few token shots of soldiers being cold). Even beside that, the show hasn’t really done much to highlight that he believes he needs to save the world, and he’s been such an unsympathetic character up to this season that the audience isn’t really inclined to cut him any slack.
      I think Feast and Dance were both much too long, but 10 episodes for both is really too little.

      • winnie says:

        10 episodes might have been enough without wasting so much time in Dorne….

        Also to be fair we don’t know how many other twists and turns they have to pack into the next 2 seasons which may be influencing their timing here. I maintain that at least some of the change in Sansa’s storyline was motivated by wanting to already be up North for a Stark reunion next season and that may well prove to be a good call….just other details of the arc that are (to put it mildly) problematic.

        • Son of Fire says:

          Dorne would’nt of been a waste if they’d just stuck to the source material!!

        • Taipeier says:

          Yeah, skipping Dorne entirely would have helped. Perhaps eliminating the Jeyne/Sansa plot line as well, or getting rid of the extraneous stuff in season 4 (i.e., Craster’s Keep, Yara, some of the Tyrion in prison segments…) and moving up the whole plot. At this point I feel like they should either stick to the books and plan for 8 seasons, or go entirely off on their own direction- keeping the main plot points but changing how they get to them has made the story feel rushed or illogical in many places. That said, they have done a pretty good job condensing Dany’s, Tyrion’s, Cersei’s and Jon’s stories, and I’m really glad they’ve skipped the Iron Islands plot wholesale (still not convinced it’s a necessary part of the story).

    • Sean C. says:

      Right about Brienne killing Stannis, and Sansa escaping, though not that she would give a destination. I think the Davos stuff may end up being true still (even though he’s not so much disillusioned with Stannis as just knowing they’re all dead).

  5. KrimzonStriker says:

    Right now I’m of the opinion that Melissandra is going to resort to this behind Stannis’ back because of the current logistics of 12 feet snow over 300 miles long between Winterfell and the Wall. Considering the circumstances with Jon and the whole ‘death must pay for life’ ESPECIALLY given that many of us believe Jon is the PtwP/AA I think Kelly does a one-eighty to salvage the situation. Just my speculation anyway.

  6. I think Elaria was sent to see if Jaime knew what was going on in King’s Landing. Trying to judge his reaction when talking about his sister. If Jaime knew what she was arrested for he would be more on his guard when Cersei is mentioned.

    If Jaime knows what’s going on in King’s Landing then it’s not safe for Mycella and they can’t send Trystane because Jaime would never intend they get to King’s Landing. If Jaime doesn’t know then Doran can send Trystane with instructions. I fully expect a scene of Doran debriefing Elaria and instructing Trystane and the Sand Snakes. I half expect Varys to pop up as well.

    • David Hunt says:

      Having watched Episode 10, it now seems clear that she Elaria was there to decide, based on Jaime’s reactions, if he was really Mycella’s father. That judgment shapes her Episode 10 actions.

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