Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 9: No.

Oh the pain and controversy:

The Bad

  • There has been a lot of talk about whether the show was wrong to burn Shireen or not, given the fact that it probably happens in the books. Since we have little other context, I’m just going to say that, according to the show’s own characterization of Stannis, he seems like a devoted father who wouldn’t allow his daughter to be cast aside, even if it meant the potential spread of a serious illness. It is therefore highly unlikely that such a man would sacrifice his own daughter, especially when he has other options available to him.
  • Further down the mischaracterization line, we have Selyse who so far has shown disinterest if not outright loathing for her daughter. I didn’t like this departure from the books, but I have grown to accept it, Not all mothers love their children. Except this is Game of Thrones, so of course being a mother always wins in the end. Again, this is something I might have liked if the show hadn’t taken every opportunity to make women who have children mothers before everything else.
  • Burning one’s daughter when one still has a chance to go back is also terrible for morale. It wasn’t a sacrifice that came at a terrible cost, but was for the greater good. Stannis’ troops saw a commander who was willing to burn his own daughter alive rather than make a tactical retreat, for the glimmer of hope offered by some foreign god. This isn’t a man you willingly follow into battle.
  • It also makes viewers who have to side between the Flaying House of Bolton and Stannis just wish for both sides to die slow deaths.
  • Furthermore, they were put in that situation because of fires lit by the enemy, so you would assume that Stannis wouldn’t have been so eager to trust a fire god, especially one he hasn’t trusted in the past. Come to think of it, being burned by fire is a running theme for Stannis. Oh, Blackwater. He really is the burning heart.
  • Jorah touched Daenerys and she in turn touched Missandei. I loved the fact that the two friends were holding hands and such a big deal was made of it, until I connected the dots. Dany has plot armor from the books, so she might be fine, but I am very scared for Missandei.
  • …who has no lines in the episode. No. Lines. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only thing the actress did was give good face. If the writers were so excited to have Tyrion talk to Dany, why wasn’t the same true for one of the smartest characters alongside Tyrion in the books?
  • Ellaria has been the closest she’s ever been to her book counterpart during her conversation with Jaime: a kind, thoughtful and gracious woman, who doesn’t thirst for revenge. Too bad she is either planning something or was written completely out of character for the show.
  • If this is all we see of Dorne until next season, it was an underwhelming ending to an underwhelming subplot.
  • I wish they’d made me care more about Olly, I really do. You will wish that soon also.
  • Why was the fact that they were attacked by a gazillion zombies not the main focus of the Free Folk passing through Castle Black? Not even Allisair can argue against a gazillion zombies. Nevermind, I know why. It’s just annoying.
  • Where in Meereen was Grey Worm?

The Good

  • Knife-flirting Daario is my bread and butter right now and Dany playfully siding with him against Hizdhar is a show I could watch forever. Tyrion (and I desperately wish I could add Missandei) was just a bonus.
  • My reservations concerning the hand holding aside, the scene between Daenerys and Jorah was incredibly sweet and I never thought I’d say that.
  • While it is difficult for me to separate ADWD Tyrion from show Tyrion, I really loved the fact that he repeatedly saved and protected Missandei.
  • Davos and Shireen were adorable together. I especially liked the how she fit in his back pocket as he snuck her out of the camp.
  • Doran Martell can grace my screen with his scheming sensible self any day of the week.

This post is brought to you with help from the lovely Nikki who saved us all from the typos. 

Come support me on Patreon!