Synopsis of 5×09: The stories focused around desire this week; desire for revenge, for power, and to prove that they are the only one suited for the throne. Arya meets a familiar face in Braavos while Jon reconvenes at the Wall. Stannis proves how far he will go to be king while Dany accepts what she’ll have to do to be queen.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Usually episode 9 is “THE EPISODE.” I know that ever since last week’s insanity, I’ve been talking with everyone about how wild this episode was going to be. And then we all came into the office Monday morning and just weakly shrugged as we mumbled about how we expected more.

And how we just weren’t happy with it.

While in terms of shocks and ahhs the episode hit the classic Game of Thrones high notes, but overall the episode just felt lazy. It didn’t seem to do much in terms of plot, and I felt let down after watching this episode.

But to the story!

Arya might be trying to be Faceless but she'll always remember her List [HBO]
Arya might be trying to be Faceless but she’ll always remember her List [HBO]
There were three stories that were really only quickly touched upon this week before the other two took focus so we’ll recap them briefly here, starting with Arya herself. The young Stark girl is trying to give that all up, the name, the past, everything. But when she sees Meryn Trant show up in Braavos with the intention of raping every young girl he can during his time here, she loses focus. You see, Meryn Trant was one of the first men that she decided would have to die after he killed her sword fighting teacher. While Arya is training to be a nameless assassin, she still can’t forget what drove her to this point.

Jon has problems of his own now that he’s seen the White Walker’s army of the dead. While the Wildlings are now with them, the Crows aren’t too happy about this and are skeptical of what they’re being told happened.

And over in Dorne, which you know, exists, Prince Doran is letting Bronn and Jamie go, provided they take Trystane and Myrcella with them back to King’s Landing. He’s also releasing the Sand Snakes after Ellaria pledged his allegiance to him. I mean, I guess that’s cool. But I’m still like, “okkkk…” and as a book reader I hope it’s leading to some more interesting stuff but man has this whole Sand Snake/ Dorne/ House Martell plot line been a real let down? I don’t know. I’m just a huge fan of the Martells and this season wasn’t the kindest to them.

Fancy pants, we hardly knew you or grew to even care enough to not care about your death [HBO]
Fancy pants, we hardly knew you or grew to even care enough to feel ANYTHING when you died. [HBO]
But on to the real juicy parts of the episode! Dany has opened back up the fighting pits and, while she banished Jorah, he still shows up because you know, he’s obsessed with Dany. While his devotion is awe inspiring (really though, he does care for her at astonishing levels), his fighting prowess leaves a little to be desired as he nearly falls to his competitors, but narrowly comes out at the top of the match. While everyone else looks on, he continues to fight, until he turns and throws a spear at Khaleesi.

But never fear! He wasn’t going to hurt her, he was actually killing the Son of the Harpy who was chilling RIGHT behind her that no one noticed. Seriously, her security sucks at actually taking care of her.

As the arena becomes full of the assassins, Daario, Jorah, and Tyrion fight off their advances while the nobleman that Dany married whose name none of us even tried to remember died (that’s one way to get rid of a shitty plot point). They quickly find themselves out numbered, until out of nowhere Drogon literally drops from the sky to save his mommy.

Parenting 101 Pt. 1: Let your child burn alive any man who threatens you [HBO]
Parenting 101 Pt. 1: Let your child burn alive any man who threatens you [HBO]
It was a pretty spectacular scene to see Dany mount Drogon and ride him as he flew around burning any Harpy who dared to get in his way. Finally Drogon and her were really one with each other and she accepted that this was what she was responsible for and what her birthright was.

Sure, Jorah, Tyrion, and Daario along with countless other citizens are still stuck in the arena with the Harpy but hopefully they’re in less trouble than before.

The important thing is that the Mother of Dragons finally acted like one.

But you know who were awful parents that didn’t act like them?

Oh yeah, these fools above. I wrote episodes ago how if they did all this build up to show that Stannis loves Shireen and cares for her only to end up burning her alive I’d be done.

I’m not done, I’m not surprised, but man am I disappointed in just how lazy this ended up being written.

So after being ambushed by Ramsay with his 20 men (how is it that nothing goes wrong for this man?), Stannis is feeling down and feeling like he needs to do something to ensure his victory. Enter Melisandre who’s just like, “Remember what I told you about burning Shireen?”

He sends Daavos away and once we saw the only sane one of Stannis’ men walk away I knew that we were in for a downhill story line. As Daavos hands Shireen a carved stag to protect her I knew it was over. Heck, she was even teaching Daavos to read with the story of “The Dance of Dragons,” which is literally about how war is bad.

They rounded her up, and everyone watched on solemnly as they burned this child alive.

Selyse was always the one who wanted to get rid of Shireen. She’d offered her as a sacrifice countless other times, never wanted her around, and basically was a horrible mother while it was Stannis who showed any sign of love or affection to the young princess. So to have it be her in the end who tried to get them to stop burning her alive made my blood boil. Stannis is a worse villain than Ramsay at this point.

This whole segment was just poorly written. There’s no reason for anyone to cheer for Stannis at this point. Cersei, who’s rotting in prison, wouldn’t do anything this awful to her children. Roose Bolton, the father of Ramsay, supports his insane son with whatever he does. Like, every single villain in this damn show treats their children better than Stannis did, and he’s someone who was being written as someone to root for, as someone to support.

Nuh uh. I’m done with this lazy writing. I’m done with fake moments of sympathy with mothers crying for their daughters, I’m done with plot lines that are built up to just be finished off with a death (Dany’s marriage to that dude).

It’s just boring.

Dis witch.... [HBO]
Dis witch…. [HBO]
So in the end, some cool stuff happened, but I don’t know if this is going to make any impact in the long run. I honestly don’t know what to expect for next week’s season finale, but I do know one thing; It better be good.

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