Game of Thrones Episode 5.09 Recap and Season 5 Finale Preview

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Arya is on her way to peddle her oysters to the Thin Man, but she sees a small contingent from King’s Landing docking, and is immediately transfixed. Lord Tyrell is there to meet with the Iron Bank, but he is not who Arya is interested in. It is Meryn Trant. She abandons her mission to kill the Thin Man and instead spends the entire day following Meryn and the other kingsguard. She follows them to a brothel, and luckily one of the whores is hungry, giving Arya the chance to stay. She sneaks into the back, where a madam is parading women by Meryn, who claims they are all too old. After he passes on the third, and threatens to leave, the madam runs off to find him an adolescent. One of the other kingsguard sees Arya and wants some shellfish. Meryn’s eyes lock on her, but I don’t think he recognizes her; I think she just fits his disturbing age requirements. The madam comes back with a suitably prepubescent peasant girl, and Meryn takes her but informs the madam he expects she has a fresh one for him tomorrow. So you know where this is headed. Arya returns to the temple and tells Jaqen the Thin Man wasn’t hungry today. He tells her she can try again tomorrow.

Jaime is brought to Prince Doran. Myrcella is there, as is Trystane and a very unhappy Ellaria. Doran is level-headed and wants to know why Jaime felt he had to sneak in to take Myrcella. He tells of the threat they received, and Doran looks pointedly to Ellaria. Doran isn’t going to behead Jaime; he doesn’t want to bring the hell of war on his people. They toast to King Tommen – all except Ellaria, who pours her wine on the floor. Doran will return Myrcella to King’s Landing because it is his king’s wish, but Trystane will accompany her, and take Oberyn’s place on the Small Council. Jaime agrees to these terms, and Ellaria storms out (though not before Doran gives her a veiled threat). Doran will also leave Bronn’s fate to Trystane, who will set him free, on one condition: that Areo gets to break his jaw. So everyone is happy.

Well, everyone except Ellaria, who is brought before Doran privately. She is given the option to swear allegiance to Doran, or die. After a long moment, Ellaria kneels and kisses Doran’s ring, sobbing as she does. Her daughters watch disapprovingly. After, Ellaria visits Jaime, who is writing a letter. She tries to bait him into admitting he is in love with his sister, and Myrcella was the product of their incest. He doesn’t, but he doesn’t flat-out deny it either. Ellaria points out that they may disapprove of that sort of thing in the capital, but not in Dorne. “I know your daughter had nothing to do with what happened to the man I love,” she says by way of apology. “Perhaps even you are innocent of that.”

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During the night, Stannis’ camp is set on fire by “twenty unknown men.” All the food has been destroyed, as have many tents and horses. Stannis refuses to turn back. Instead, he sends Davos to Castle Black, seeking supplies from Jon Snow. Davos doesn’t understand why he has to go; Stannis says that a messenger boy wouldn’t be able to do anything if Jon says no. He doesn’t want Davos to return empty handed. Davos wants to take Selyse and Shireen with him, but Stannis refuses. Again, we know where this is headed. Before Davos leaves, he gives Shireen a little toy deer he carved for her and a kiss on the head. Later, Stannis sits with her and she tells him about a story she is reading about the Targaryen war, dubbed the Dance of Dragons. Stannis asks Shireen which side she would choose. She wouldn’t have chosen because making a choice is what makes things horrible. Stannis points out that sometimes you have to choose; sometimes a man must fulfill a destiny and become who he is meant to be, even if he doesn’t want to. Shireen is worried for her father and wants to help, even though she doesn’t know what he is talking about. She hugs him, and Stannis whispers, “Forgive me.”

Shireen is marched through the troops and Melisandre meets her, before a pyre. Shireen gets nervous and wants to see her father. Melisandre promises it will be over soon. The girl becomes increasingly panicked, the guards grab her and tie her to the stake. She screams as Melisandre starts to chant. Selyse and Stannis appear, off to the side, and Selyse agrees this sacrifice is the right thing to do. Shireen’s pleas become more insistent, and Selyse’s resolve disappears. As Melisandre lights the pyre, Selyse tries to fight her way to her daughter. The guards hold her back and she eventually collapses. Shireen’s cries for mom and dad devolve into shrieks of pain… until finally, all is quiet.

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The centerpiece of tonight’s episode is the battle in Meereen. It’s no war with the White Walkers, but the Sons of the Harpy fight was pretty eerie and it had the bonus of a dragon.

The massive coliseum is packed, waiting for the Great Games to begin. Daenerys sits in the royal box with Missandei and Tyrion. Daario stands watch over her, and Hizdahr arrives late, explaining he was “making sure everything is as it should be.” The first two fighters are presented, and both state they fight and die for the queen’s glory. Daenerys is vaguely unsettled. Hizdahr informs Daenerys that they are waiting for her clap to begin. She does, once, and sure enough, they instantly fight. The stadium erupts into cheers while the royal box erupts into a debate over who will win: the quick or the strong. Daario and Hizdahr target one another, each clearly jealous of the other. Daario points out that Hizdahr never killed anyone and brags about his skill as the “quick one” in battle. Of course, the strong one ends up winning the first round. Tyrion enjoys the fights about as much as Daenerys does; there is enough death, he doesn’t enjoy it in his leisure time.

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In the next battle, six men are paired up, and one is Jorah. Daenerys is frozen. Hizdahr leans in to say something to her, but Daario warns him to shut up. He retracts. On the field, Jorah kills his first opponent, and moves on to a second. The second competitor pins Jorah beneath his sword. Tyrion reminds a horrified Daenerys that she can end this; Hizdahr says she cannot. at the last minute, one of the other competitors kills the one who has Jorah pinned. So now it is just Jorah and one other competitor. Jorah wins by impaling his competitor. The crowd does not like this, and they boo. Jorah suddenly grabs a spear and throws it into the royal box. Daenerys is horrified, but the spear was not meant for her; it was meant for the Son of the Harpy who sprang up behind her. Suddenly, hundreds of Harpies appear in the crowds, and chaos ensues. Daario shouts for the guards to protect Daenerys and he starts fighting. Hizdahr tries to flee, but is killed. Jorah takes Daenerys by the hand and helps her to the coliseum floor so they can escape. They are greeted by a locked door and a Harpy in the tunnel leading from the fighting pit. Still up in the box, Tyrion grabs a sword and kills a Harpy before he can kill Missandei. They meet up with Daenerys, Daario, and Jorah on the floor of the ring. It is the royal party in the center, surrounded by guards, then surrounded by a ring of Harpies. The Harpies are kind enough to take turns when trying to kill the guards. Daenerys and Missandei are scared. There doesn’t seem to be any way out. A screech in the distance causes everyone in the stadium – Harpy or not – to freeze. Drogon flies out of a cloud of his own fire, circles, and lands in the stadium. He eats a few people; burns more of them. He is there to defend his mommy. Some of the Harpies start throwing spears at him, which basically just angers him. Daenerys calls out to Drogon, then approaches, pulling out some of the spears. He growls at her, then stops and sniffs her. She reaches out for him, but Harpies start throwing more spears. Without any further hesitation, Daenerys climbs on Drogon’s back and tells him to fly. He does, and they soar off into the sky. Tyrion and the rest of her advisors can only watch in amazement.

You can watch the scene featuring Daenerys’ escape using the player below!

You can check out the promo for episode 5.10 of “Game of Thrones” in the player below. Titled “Mother’s Mercy,” the episode is officially described as follows:

“Stannis (Stephen Dillane) marches. Dany (Emilia Clarke) is surrounded by strangers. Cersei (Lena Headey) seeks forgiveness. Jon (Kit Harington) is challenged.”

Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by David Nutter. “Mother’s Mercy” is set to air June 14. “Game of Thrones” airs Sunday at 9 P.M. EST on HBO.