• The Fabulous Administrator

    A good review, but I can’t voice most of my issues without spoiling what comes next in the books XD

    Let’s just say some things are more significant than they seem.

    As for Arya, the whole point of her story arc is that she refuses to let go of “Arya Stark” and become “No One”. This is why she keeps Needle. Needle is her last connection to Jon and by extension her family. She still says her list every night before she sleeps. This is the important part of her storyline. She has no intention of fully joining the Faceless Men and becoming “No One” because she just can’t bring herself to do it.

    The Dany scene is very significant. Drogon is not yet fully grown. He’s much larger than he was last season, but still not yet fully grown. Because this is only the second time we’ve seen Drogon this season it’s hard to see how much he has grown since Season 4. The scene with Dany flying Drogon is incredibly important. Dany has been going through an idenity crisis. Is she the “Mother of Dragons” or is she “Mhysa, the breaker of chains”? Effectively is she the mother of dragons, or the mother of slaves? In the moment she flies away on Drogon she’s decided. Meeren is not her home. It never was and never will be. She’s broke her own chains and accepted her role as the Mother of Dragons. When Drogon flew away before Dany could touch him in Episode 2 it was because Dany was rejecting the Targaryen side of her. She was trying to be the mother of slaves and of dragons which is impossible. Daario has been urging her to choose all season. She cannot be both. And now, touching Drogon and flying away on him is Daenerys accepting she cannot be both. Meeren has rejected her (notice that some slaves were among the Sons of the Harpy) so now she’s the Mother of Dragons and all that comes with it. An important part of Dany’s storyline has been lost in the translation from book to screen. In the books, Dany receives a prophecy that she must go back to go forward. She must go back from being the mother of slaves to the mother of dragons.

    • Mark McCullough

      I’m kinda annoyed that the show didn’t include that now. It would have made that final scene so much better.

  • TheCyberDoctor

    Great review Mark, again! I can’t say I was disappointed by this episode, because I loved it. Yes, it wasn’t at the same level as Hardhome last week, but it still delivered loads.
    In terms of Davos, I’m not sure he knew what was going to happen, and if he had he would never have left Shireen behind. I think this could be the tipping point for him, especially considering how he rejected the using of Gendry, who he didn’t even know. With her, he cares deeply, so he’s gonna want to kill Stannis. And at this stage, I cannot possibly blame him in any way.
    And of course, that whole scene in the fighting pit was glorious. It honestly looked so real, I can only throw praise to the visual effects companies behind it. Great to see Jorah showing just how badass he really is, and how much he’s willing to sacrifice, especially considering he’s gonna die anyway. And the sudden realisation that the Sons of the Harpy were everywhere, I honestly wasn’t expecting that. It just shows that they are never going to accept Dany, regardless of anything she does to appease them.
    I was so glad when Drogon turned up, in fact I whooped for joy. Seeing him take down all those harpies was spectacular, and he wouldn’t leave his mother, even if he was getting badly injured. There is such a deep bond between them, and as such, the only way to get him to leave was by going with him. It was either, stay and die with your friends and child, or save said child and escaping with the chance that your friends survive. It’s a total no-brainer! ;) [9/10]

  • Steve Willis

    The issue with killing Shireen is that it affects the viewer’s hopes for the comming story.

    Before we wanted Stannis to crush the Boltons and be torn with Brienne’s desire to slay Stannis. And we’d expect Stannis to be defeated and then feel awful (Stark’s rebellion crushed/Tyrion losing the trial by combat).

    Now, do we actually care who wins the battle? Both sides we hope will suffer horrific loses. Our only care now is that Sansa escapes and survives. Theon’s arc is concluded (bored of this character. He can do something interesting, but always disappoints). And hopefully Brienne slays Stannis. And Mrs Bolton survives because for once it’d be nice if an innocent bystander lives. It’s new to have a conflict where we have complete apathy on the outcome. So that’s something. It just means I look forward to the battle and hoping key people die. That’s not a healthy human hope…

    Shireen’s death was disturbing and disappointing. Upsetting because she was a loveable character, and disappointing because I suddenly had apathy slinking into that story-line.

    Does it normally take this long for Game of Thrones to be discussion worthy? I’ve never watched a series as it aired before.

    Hardhome so far is my favourite moment because it was unexpected and effective. The fighting pits was spoiled by the series trailer.

    • elite power

      Thank you for this. I totally agree.

      As for when it becomes interesting, thats a tricky one. This is generally agreed to be the worst season and to be fair, it does have the weakest books to draw material from. Also it has less material to take inspiration from so more rests of the writers who personally I feel as weak. Instead of the complex characters GRRM creates, they are more typical black and white. An example is choosing to make Trant go after underage girls when there is already enough reasons for the audience to dislike him.

      Ironically the last scenes was packed of interesting scenes. The wedding, Tyrion’s trial, Lysa, the finale. There may be one surprise left this season – there is a plot the show may still use yet that would blow every non book readers mind. However I am worried the show runners are writing more to shock moments e.g. Sansa’s rape, Stannis etc that well thought out surprising stories.

      • Steve Willis

        I agree to with you to an extent. That’s one reason I like Game of Thrones even though it has these awful events that are sickening. The events are in context. The world is established and human nature. Which I think is why we feel disappointment when a sick shocking thing happens… and it doesn’t make much sense in the established context.

        It’d be like in the anime Attack on Titan if loads of people explode in fountains of blood. That would be shocking and annoying. The violence in that anime has weight. Having a stylized splatterfest would kill the context of violence.

  • ShalkaDoctor

    Firstly, yes it didn’t quite live up to previous episode 9s, but every episode should be judged on its own merits rather than your expectations.7/10 is too harsh. I can’t help but think points have deducted once again because the author was offended by another scene.

    Secondly people need to stop whining that it’s not strictly following the books. The show is on its own path and has always been since the start with the producers and GRRM saying as much. It has never been a pure adaptation so stop judging it as one. And if you can’t accept that just read the books.

    As with the last scene with Drogon. And I completely disagree about the size. Very nitpicky.

    • Mark McCullough

      It’s odd that you get the impression I have been offended by Shireen’s death, when the review states the opposite “All I am certain of is that it was a shocking scene which was difficult to watch, essentially Game of Thrones’ niche in a nutshell.”. Unlike Sansa’s scene this one made sense for the characters involved and perfectly fitted Stannis’ character arc, sacrificing Renly, almost doing the same with Gendry and now his daughter for his cause. The execution of the scene too was spot on and I loved how it can be analysed for its depiction of religion on an otherwise normal family man.

      7/10 which is still a very respectable score for any TV show to achieve. Especially when you take into account the pointlessness of Jon’s scene, the slight confusion around Arya’s (But then again that might just be me) and the utter anticlimax to the Dorne storyline. That’s not to mention my disappointment at Dany’s section this week. Granted there’s the concept of judging on it’s own merits but the Harpy battle doesn’t live up to the standard set by Hardhome, and it id hard to believe they are the same show, it does take you out of the episode a bit.

      Drogon’s size is nothing more than an observation, it would be pretty fickle to drop the episode score for that. Here he is in episode three http(:)//www(.)vixenvarsity(.)com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/drogon-game-of-thrones-season-5(.)jpg and again from this weeks episode http(:)//www(.)geekgirlauthority(.)com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/GOT-DROGON-2(.)jpg I’m not the only one to have noticed this and it’s very odd that this happens and the greenscreen whilst in flight is done so poorly especially when the CGI of the dragon is otherwise PERFECT.

    • elite power

      Completely putting the Stannis scenes to one side, 7/10 is quite good for this episode.

      There was the Jon scene. This added very little, mainly just set up for next week. There was also the Sir Allistar at the gate moment, which looks to me more like trailer bait than anything else. This bit didn’t add much.

      Arya. This was just an unnecessary throw to the audience. We know why Arya hates Trant and the reasons are valid so was it really needed to make him a paedophile too? He killed Syria, he has beaten Sansa and threatened Bronn. We dislike him, this felt like unnecessary overkill. I could always do with more Maisie Williams on my screen but it isn’t like this writing stretched her. A nice bit from Mace but all in all, expected and not about minding interesting.

      Dorne. Doran had a bit of spark to him, everything else pretty by the book (as it meh, not as it the source material.

      Mereen. Bit of banter about the fighters was nice. Most surprising moment was when Jorah threw the spear. Some of the fighting was good. Again shown how easy to kill the supposedly great unsullied are. Drogon rescue was so unsurprising even if they tried to built it up as a shock. Also it could have been shot better so it didn’t look like Dany was abandoning everyone to their deaths.

      So overall, not an episode to write home about. Yes Hardhome was better but it wasn’t just because of that battle sequence. Scenes with purpose and good writing like the Tyrion-Dany scenes helped make it too and this episode lacks both. Go back and watch “Blackwater”, “The Lion and the Rose”, “The Children”, “The North Remembers” etc and see how much stronger those were.

  • carol

    I completely agree with the GOT review.