Where last week we had the Song of Ice, this week we got The Song of Fire. Someone should use that in a book title. I think it could be big.
So, lot’s of stuff and things happened this week that covered a wide variety of feelings from distraught to disgust from suspense to magic. This was an episode that was emotionally all over the place and I loved every blessed moment of it because any television that can illicit those emotions in me – or any emotions at all – is good television.
First, Stannis… What can I say? He’s the Gul Dukat of Westros. I actually got to the point that I kind of liked him and somehow forgot what a gigantic jerk he really is. Chances are, after what he did to poor Shireen, I won’t ever forget it again. It was heartbreaking… absolutely heartbreaking. Game of Thrones has never shied away from being a ruthless tale, but listening to a little girl scream while being burned alive is tough.
Over in Meereen, things aren’t that much better. Dany watching her former trusted advisory fight for her honor might have been tough, but the gaggle of assassins that seemed to appear out of nowhere made it just not a very good day for her. The stadium attack, while lacking the scope and horror of last week’s zombie attack, was intense and nail-biting because, as someone who hasn’t read the books, I honestly thought that anyone could die at any time (and, in a way, that kind of happened). I was honestly scared a couple of times for characters I liked — something I’m sure gives George RR Martin massive happiness.
In the end, the massacre melted away into magic as Dany lofted away into a weird Neverending Story homage on the back of her dragon. Where’s she going? What’s going to happen?
Who the heck knows.
Oh, and Aryra and John Snow were there too, I think.
The only thing that in the episode that fell on its face was the resolution to the Dorne subplot. To me, this storyline never took off, never got interesting, and ended in such a blah way that I’m sure next season we’ll rarely think of it. Seriously, if it’s never even touched on in the final episode of the season, I don’t think I’d give a darn.
In the end, it wasn’t “Hardhome,” but “The Dance of Dragons” did a nice job of carrying the overwhelming sense of dread from the last episode and following with more events that raised the already high stakes.
If that’s not enough… I think that Tyrion is king of Meereen now and, frankly, that would be awesome.