Remember last week when I published this article about how the balance of power had shifted dramatically in Game of Thrones? That Daenerys had lost another dragon, her ground forces were seriously depleted, her ships all but destroyed by Euron’s fleet, and one of her closest friends and advisers, Missandei of Naath, was decapitated before her very eyes. Not to mention the growing cracks in her once-loyal support, as the likes of Sansa Stark and Lord Varys openly opined about there being “someone better” to rule the seven kingdoms.
Well, forget all that. I stupidly forgot (like many viewers, I suspect) that even one full grown dragon remains the ultimate trump card in battles traditionally found by men with swords and spears. Likewise, Dany suddenly seemed to remember that a full grown dragon is more maneuverable that giant scorpion crossbows attached to the bows of ships or affixed on castle walls. They are slow to reload and it’s difficult to hit a moving target.
I suppose we’re left to believe that Rhaegal only succumbed to those giant arrows last week due to the element of surprise. Which, well, okay fine. It’s paper thin logic, at best, but we’re going to allow it since it was Dany’s monumental personal losses that led to her actions this week.
***THIS IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING. DO NOT CONTINUE UNLESS YOU ARE CAUGHT UP TO EPISODE FIVE!***
Before we get to the main event, we would be remiss if we didn’t spend a paragraph or two talking about the build up. The episode starts with Varys sending a letter (and maybe letters) to… someone… about Jon Snow’s true identity. He’s clearly trying to get the word out that Aegon Targaryen is the true heir to the throne. One of his little birds appears, and they not-so-subtly discuss Varys’s attempts to poison Daenerys. However, the Queen is refusing to eat.
Tyrion, in an effort to save his own skin (plus the fact that he is still solidly on Team Dany, for better or worse) decides to rat out Varys, leading to his execution. He is calmly resigned to his fate, and even warns Tyrion about Daenerys once again with his last words: “I hope I deserve this. I hope I’m wrong.”Screenshot via HBO